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Huffman hits 1,000 in Trojans' loss

| Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, 12:26 a.m.

The California Trojans were knocked from the unbeaten ranks Friday night after losing to defending champion Steel Valley in the Charleroi Federal Holiday Classic.

“Nobody said we were going to go 22-0,” Trojans coach Phil Pergola said. “We played a quality team tonight. We got down early and stayed down. I'm pleased with the way we battled back in the end, though.”

Pergola said he knows one detail that played a role in the loss.

“Man, our free throw shooting was terrible,” Pergola said.

A bright spot for the Trojans was senior Tanner Huffman eclipsing the 1,000-point barrier early in the second quarter. Huffman scored 25 points to lead the Trojans (6-1). He now has 1,016 career points.

“Tanner's been a steady influence for us throughout his career,” Pergola said of the senior. “He's someone you can depend on at the offensive end of the floor. He's a good player and a good kid.”

Classmate Brian Fisher scored 22 points for California. He too, is expected to join the 1,000-point club within the next few games. He has 967 career points, needing on 33 more.

The Trojans will end Classic play Sunday when they play Bentworth at 5 p.m.

Belle Vernon Area 62, Southmoreland 45

Jason Capco scored 11 of his game-high 19 points in the Leopards' 22-point fourth quarter to lead BVA to a 62-45 win over the Scotties.

The Leopards, who led 40-35 at the end of the third quarter, hit 10 of 13 free throws in the final frame.

Joe Bondi scored 12 points for BVA (2-6), who snapped a three-game losing streak with the victory.

Southmoreland was led by Zac Black's 15 points. Teammate Randy Ohler chipped in with 12.

BVA resumes tournament play Sunday against Bentworth in the 5th place game. Tip off is 5 p.m.

Yough 55, Charleroi 46

Aspirations of winning their own holiday tournament went by the wayside for the Charleroi Cougars, as they lost to Yough, 55-46, Friday night.

Ben D'Amico lit up the scoreboard for 21 points for Yough while Kirk Brown chipped in 13 and Dom Miele added 11 points.

Yough will move on the championship game, much to the chagrin of Charleroi coach Bill Wiltz.

“Overall we didn't play very well,” Wiltz said. “Matt (Indorante) wasn't feeling too good and Jimmy (Diaz) had a bad shooting night.”

Eric Johnson led Charleroi with 13 points and Indorante managed to score 11.

“Because of our defense we managed to claw back into it and had a chance to tie it with a few minutes left,” Wiltz said.

While Charleroi wasn't bad from the free throw line, they missed one that would have tied it with just over three minutes remaining.

“We weren't bad but we couldn't get that one at the end,” Wiltz added. “After that we had to foul, that's why the margin of victory looks worse than it was.”

Yough now moves on to the tournament's championship game to take on Steel Valley.

The tournament will take a day off before picking back up on Sunday.

The schedule will be as follows:

California will take on Bentworth at 5 p.m.; host Charleroi will battle Belle Vernon Area at 6:30; and Steel Valley will look to repeat as champions against Yough at 8 p.m.

“We should have been playing California, but it was a mutual decision between me and Coach Pergola that we would wait to play.”

Wiltz said the reason is because both teams are favorites to win the Section 5 AA title.

“That's the reason. We're going to wait and see how the season plays out,” Wiltz said. “Those other two games are going to be good ones.”

The teams meet in section play on Jan. 15 at California and again in the season finale Feb. 8 in Charleroi.

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