Kittanning still unbeaten after rolling past Apollo-Ridge
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The anticipated showdown between undefeated Kittanning and Apollo-Ridge on Wednesday night never materialized.
A stellar Kittanning defensive effort allowed the Wildcats to grab an early lead and roll to a convincing 73-47 victory at Lt. Charles Hutchinson Gym.
Junior guard Alex Schaffer led five Kittanning players in double figures with 18 points for the Wildcats (6-0).
Sterling Henry contributed 14 points and 10 steals, and Kevin Barnes had 10 points and nine assists.
The Wildcats finished near their margin of victory average of 25.2 points.
“We came out and did a little something different tonight,” Kittanning coach Bill Henry said. “We used two guards to create pressure and try to slow them down a little bit. We figured if we could get out there and slow them down a little bit, we could hold them to one shot, get the rebound and go.”
The strategy worked to perfection. A 3-pointer by Sterling Henry was followed by a basket off a steal on an inbounds pass by Schaffer. That gave the Wildcats five points in 5 seconds and a 27-4 lead with 1:18 remaining in the first quarter.
“We turned the ball over too many times,” Apollo-Ridge coach Matt Gourley said. “We were undisciplined; we didn't get into the right spots, and the final score was the result.”
It didn't help that the Vikings played without sophomore standout Tre' Tipton, who sprained an ankle after landing on a player at practice. Tipton said he hopes to be back in time for the Apollo Trust Tournament next week.
“We were a little bit out of our ordinary sets, but that's no excuse,” Gourley said. “Kittanning has a nice team, and we succumbed to their pressure.”
The Vikings rallied somewhat in the second period, cutting the Kittanning advantage to 38-27 just before the half on a pair of 3-pointers by Evan Davis.
The Wildcats, however, held Apollo-Ridge (5-1) to just four points and forced eight Vikings turnovers in the third period.
Kittanning was coming off a victory in a buzzer-beater against Knoch, 68-67, in a Section 1-AAA game Tuesday.
“You always worry about how much energy they have left and where their focus is,” Bill Henry said. “They've done this so often, playing two days in a row and twice in a day during the summertime. They're an experienced group of kids.”
One bright spot for Apollo-Ridge was Davis, who tallied 14 points with four 3-pointers.
Kittanning held Apollo-Ridge's leading scorer, Lucas Burrell, to two points in the first three quarters before the senior guard made two 3-pointers late in the game.
Both teams return to section play Friday. Kittanning hosts Valley, and Apollo-Ridge will visit Section 1-AA rival West Shamokin.
George Guido is a freelance writer.
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.