P-T stopped in battle between top-10 teams
The first day of basketball in Penn-Trafford's refurbished gym ended with the WPIAL's biggest opening-night contest.
The ninth-ranked Warriors jumped out to an early lead, but No. 2 Hampton used a combination of size and outside shooting to rally for a 60-54 win at the Penn-Trafford Tipoff Tournament in the only matchup between top-10 boys teams on Friday.
Christian Rohaus led Penn-Trafford with 21 points, Corey Stanford added 16, and Andy Abreu had 12 to lead the Warriors. Hampton was led by 6-foot-8 forward Ryan Luther, who had 21 points and 15 rebounds, and David Huber, who had four 3-pointers among his 19 points.
“There's no moral victories; that's not the way we approach things,” Penn-Trafford coach Ryan Yarosik said.
“But there are a lot of things we can take from this game, and I think maybe we earned a little respect tonight.”
P-T started the game with its intensity high — possibly too high, as the Warriors ran into early foul trouble. The shooting of Rohaus helped his team overcome the fouls, as the senior accounted for 12 of the team's 25 first-half points.
“I came prepared for this game, and I had the hot hand,” Rohaus said. “I was just going to keep shooting because that's what my teammates wanted me to do.”
“He was shooting so well that (the coaches) said at halftime, ‘Don't talk to him. Don't touch him. Just let him keep doing what he's doing,'” Yarosik said. “He was definitely one of the best on the court for us.”
The Warriors appeared to be headed to halftime with a healthy lead, but Hampton scored five quick points to end the half, including a 3-pointer by Huber at the buzzer, to cut P-T's advantage to 25-24.
“We were comfortable at halftime, but that late basket hurt,” Rohaus said. “We were still up by one, though, but we let that get away from us.”
Those late baskets gave Hampton momentum entering the second half, as the Talbots got eight third-quarter points from Huber and seven from Joe Lafko on their way to a 43-36 lead with 2:00 left in the period.
P-T tried to make a push and trailed by only five on two occasions in the final quarter. But each time, Hampton came up with a quick basket in transition — one on a steal by Lafko and the other by Huber breaking the full-court press — to extend its lead and hold on for a road win.
“We should have had this one, but we made some costly turnovers,” Rohaus said. “That's basketball, and we love the challenge of playing one of the best teams.”
The Warriors bounced back with a win on the second day of their tournament by topping Mt. Pleasant, 75-44. Stanford led all scorers with 25 in the win, while Abreu had 17, Rohaus had 13, and 10 different players scored for P-T.
The Warriors were scheduled to face Woodland Hills in a nonsection game Wednesday, after this edition's deadline, before kicking off Section 1-AAAA play at Albert Gallatin on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.