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California downs BVA again, 61-52

| Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

In a rematch of a game played two weeks ago in the opening round of the Charleroi Federal Classic, California once again prevailed over Belle Vernon Area, 61-52.

BVA (2-10) employed the same defense, a triangle-and-two, to shut down the Trojans' two 1,000- point scorers, Tanner Huffman and Brian Fisher. It worked to perfection on those two.

Unfortunately for the Leps, California's two big men, Austin Wingo and Evan Patterson had their career highs in the game. Wingo finished with a team-high 18 points and Patterson 17.

“Our two big kids stepped up, 35 points out of your two big guys, that's amazing,” California coach Phil Pergola said.

Huffman finished with 15 for California, but the Leps held Fisher to nine before he fouled out with 2:14 left in the game.

BVA started the game depending heavily on Jason Capco, who had a solid effort before getting into foul trouble. After an initial 5-3 lead by the Trojans, Capco went on an 8-point run of his own capped off by a steal and layup to put BVA up 11-7.

The Leps went on a 10-4 run to push the lead to 21-11. It was the largest lead of the half for either team.

California (10-1) hung in the game behind the scoring of Patterson, who accounted for 11 of the Trojans' first 13 points.

BVA coach Eric James took notice of Patterson, saying he was “hard to stop in the first half. He kept them in the game.”

The quarter ended with BVA ahead 23-17. Capco finished the quarter with 12 of his game-high 19 points.

The game turned for California before either team could score in the second quarter. Capco picked up his second and third fouls with 6:36 remaining and sat the rest the half. California took advantage of the opportunity and went on a 7-3 run to tie the game at 26-26.

After a basket by Ryan Thomas put the Leopards on top 28-26, California's Huffman hit back-to-back three-pointers to give the Trojans the lead. California went into the half on top, 34-32.

The Trojans opened the second half with a 7-1 run to push the lead to 41-33 before James used a timeout to try and steady his team. Belle Vernon came back on the floor and quickly got a basket by Thomas to cut the lead to six at 41-35.

That was as close as the visitors could get, as they were outscored the rest of the quarter 12-7 to give California a 53-42 lead going into the fourth. Wingo scored eight of his points in the quarter, including a buzzer-beater to end the period.

“The other big guy (Wingo) hurt us in the second half. He hurt us down low,” James added after the game.

“They had a heck of a game, both on the scoring end and the rebounding end, they did a good job. Those two guys won the ballgame for us tonight,” Pergola added.

Jake Sweitzer also got into double figures for the Leps with 10 points.

BVA is hosting East Allegheny Friday at 7:30 p.m., and California is traveling to Beth-Center for a section contest.

BoysCarmichaels 73, Frazier 42

The Mikes (10-2) rolled in the non-section game as Brandon Lawless scored 31 points and teammate Sean Smoggle added 19.

Frazier (1-8) got 11 points from Paul Pellick. Charlie Manack added eight points, 13 rebounds, five assists and five steals.

Bentworth 52, Mapletown 47

The Bearcats (5-6) won the non-section contest as Cody Levine exploded for 28 points and Chris Blackburn added 16.

Derek Riggleman had 18 points for the Maples (2-9).

E. Forward 76, Southmoreland 48

The Warriors (6-6) evened their record in the non-section game as they outscored Southmoreland 49-19 in the second and third quarters.

GirlsCarmichaels 48, Frazier 41

The Lady Commodores (4-6) fell behind 20-11 after one quarter and lost the non-section game.

Lauren Timko scored 16 points and Cassidy Guiser had 11 for Frazier.

Morgan Berardi had 23 points for Carmichaels (11-1).

Frazier goes to Geibel tonight.

Naz Victoria is a freelance writer.

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