Frazier boys basketball team suffers 5th straight loss
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The South Allegheny and Frazier boys basketball teams were each in need of some confidence heading into Wednesday's nonsection contest in Perryopolis. The Commodores came in on a four-game slide, and the Gladiators were riding a three-game skid.
After the game, both coaches felt that a measure of confidence had been achieved, but it was South Allegheny that was able to snap its losing streak by pulling out a 55-53 win on the road.
“We needed a great team effort and we needed to get some momentum,” South Allegheny coach Tony DiCenzo said. “We needed a confidence boost, and (Wednesday) was it.”
The Gladiators (2-4) and Commodores (1-5) played a back-and-forth game, with each team playing well in spurts. In the first quarter, South Allegheny's Brandon Murn and Harry Matczak combined for 14 points to help South Allegheny build a 16-10 advantage. However, both of those players were held in check the rest of the game. Each finished with 12 points.
But even though the scoring tailed off for Murn and Matczak, Kordell Thompson was there to pick up the slack. Thompson finished with a team-high 17 points, including 10 in the second half.
“He is our go-to player,” DiCenzo said, explaining that Thompson rolled an ankle in South Allegheny's last game, and he was a question mark for Wednesday's contest. “He toughed it out, and we needed him.”
For the Commodores, the game was mostly played in catch-up mode. After falling behind early, Frazier made up some ground in the second and third quarters. Vincent Bucci hit a driving layup late in the third quarter to send the game into the final eight minutes tied, 38-38. In the fourth, Roger Cline hit three straight shots to give the Commodores a 48-46 lead with just more than two minutes remaining. Cline finished with a game-high 18 points, and Bucci tallied 16.
With just over a minute left, Frazier was clinging to a 48-47 lead, but that's when South Allegheny's Jeiron Lewis picked the perfect time to get involved. Lewis hit a clutch 3-pointer, then kissed in a layup to give South Allegheny a 52-48 lead. Those were Lewis' only five points, but they couldn't have come at a bigger time.
“He comes off the bench, and he works hard,” DiCenzo said. “I tell him to keep scrapping, and it worked in our favor.”
The Commodores clawed back to 55-53 and had the ball with 13 seconds left. However, a last-second jumper fell short. For Frazier, a poor start proved costly.
“At the beginning of the game, we put ourselves in a hole,” Frazier coach Ed Keebler said. “We worked our butts off in the second half, but we have to play four quarters to win. We did take the ball to the hole strong, and hopefully that will give them some confidence to know that they can do it.”
Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-626-3534.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kittanning senior Kunst shoots lights out at Cager Classic skills event
- Cager Classic notebook: Highlands, Mars players bury hatchet for the weekend
- Division I-bound duo to lead East girls team at Cager Classic
- Tough seasons to end on high note for girls at Cager Classic
- Basketball all-stars delay hanging up sneakers
- Aliquippa boys’ bid for undefeated season ends with loss in PIAA Class AA title game
- PIAA committee wants to revive western final
- Plum seniors look forward to Cager Classic
- East Allegheny board opens boys basketball coaching jobs
- Greensburg Central Catholic boys basketball squanders early lead, bows out of state playoffs