Fast start leads Apollo-Ridge past Deer Lakes
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Apollo-Ridge set the tone early Friday night against Deer Lakes.
The Vikings turned five Lancers turnovers into 10 points in less than five minutes and rolled to an 87-69 victory in a showdown between two of three undefeated teams in Section 1-AA.
Sophomore guard Tre' Tipton scored a career-high 24 points, collected eight rebounds and dished out seven assists to lead Apollo-Ridge (9-1, 3-0).
Josh Reynolds added 19 points, while Alex Smith had 16 and Evan Davis 10.
Reynolds scored a basket off a steal and hit a free throw produced from another steal to put the Vikings in front, 15-1, with 3:30 left in the first period.
“Needless to say, it wasn't the start we wanted,” said Lancers coach Jon McKay, whose team fell to 6-4, 2-1. “(Down) 23-3 on the road in this section? Five points is a big hole, 20 points is a gargantuan hole.”
“We like to get after it defensively, and when you get people moving fast, you can do a lot of crazy things,” Davis said. “We like to get out on teams early and set that tempo with a fast-paced game.”
Davis also got after Lancers guard Tim Jaczesko early, holding the Alle-Kiski Valley's third-leading scorer without a point until the 6:34 mark of the second quarter.
“The past few games, Evan has shut down the other team's best player,” Apollo-Ridge coach Matt Gourley said. “He did a good job tonight. Naturally, Jaczesko's going to get his points. He's a great player. To hold him down for even a little while is a great accomplishment.”
Jaczesko recovered, however, to take game-high scoring honors with 29. The senior sharpshooter scored 14 of his team's 21 points in the second period.
The Vikings led, 23-3, at the end of the first quarter and took a 42-24 advantage at halftime. Deer Lakes managed to cut its deficit to 48-36 on a pair of free throws by Jaczesko with 5:02 left in the third period. But Reynolds answered with two off-balance shots as Apollo-Ridge recovered.
When Davis headed to the bench with four personal fouls, in came junior Mitchell Johnson to hit three quick baskets, and the Vikings were back in front, 63-41, as the third quarter concluded.
“We almost climbed out of the hole,” McKay said. “But to Apollo's credit, they didn't let us. Just when it looked like we might get it into single digits, they hit some big shots.”
A Tipton basket with 5:06 to go gave the Vikings their biggest lead, 76-47.
“We play together and always work hard,” Tipton said. “Deer Lakes is a very good team. We just had to come out and play our game.”
Lancers swingman J.J. Kowalkowski turned in a strong game, scoring 26 points. Though he's the Lancers' tallest player at 6-foot-1, Kowalkowski had to come outside and shoot as his team had to try and trim the Apollo-Ridge lead.
“Our guys stayed after it, and that's why I love them,” McKay said. “I told them before the game — and after the game — there's no locker room that I'd rather be in.”
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.
- High school roundup: No. 4 Bethel Park boys edge Upper St. Clair
- West Mifflin edges late-charging Steel Valley in Section 4 contest
- Shady Side Academy torments Apollo-Ridge, moves to 3-0
- Hot-shooting Charleroi blitzes Waynesburg
- Greensburg high school roundup: Hempfield downs Penn-Trafford to stay unbeaten
- Valley Independent roundup: Elizabeth Forward edges Ringgold in Section 4-AAA clash
- Daily News roundup: Plum deals McKeesport girls first loss
- Plum’s defense seals win over McKeesport
- Several A-K Valley basketball schools face new surroundings this season
- Greensburg Salem’s Oberdorf on early-season scoring binge
- GCC girls expect more after reaching WPIAL semifinals last year