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Soforic's career-high 30 leads Latrobe

| Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, 10:52 p.m.
Greater Latrobe forward Will Wears tears a loose ball away from Penn-Trafford forward Andy Abreu during their January 11, 2013 contest in Latrobe. The Wildcats downed the visiting Warriors 72-59. Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review

There are times when Mike Soforic has struggled to score even a few points for Latrobe.

And then there was Friday night.

Soforic scored 14 of his career-high 30 points in the third quarter, and Latrobe stretched its winning streak to four with a 72-59 Section 1-AAAA victory over fading Penn-Trafford, the Warriors' third consecutive loss.

Latrobe (9-4, 4-1) won for the sixth time in seven games, but it hasn't been all about Soforic.

“That's one of the nice things about this team,” Latrobe coach Brad Wetzel said. “He hardly scored at Connellsville (in an 82-59 victory on Tuesday). He was in foul trouble and couldn't get into any kind of rhythm. We have other guys who can give us offense.”

Matt Cullen added 19 points and Will Wears had 14 for Latrobe, which built leads of 17-13 after the first quarter and 37-23 at halftime before Soforic, a 6-foot-6 senior, heated up to help the Wildcats build a 58-41 cushion.

Soforic registered 14 of Latrobe's first 16 points in the third quarter, igniting an emotional reaction following a Penn-Trafford timeout. He finished with 3-pointers in the game.

“I was pumped,” he said. “I know I can shoot like that. I've done it in practice a lot. But that's practice.”

Andy Abreu scored 17 points to lead Penn-Trafford (7-5, 2-3), which hasn't won a game since beating Bethel Park, 73-72, in the final game of the Shady Side Academy Tournament on Dec. 29.

“We're struggling,” P-T coach Ryan Yarosik said. “We've lost our defensive mentality. We've got to be able to adapt to kids who can knock down shots.”

Latrobe's surge has vaulted the Wildcats into contention for the Section 1-AAAA lead. Their only loss is a one-point decision to frontrunner Norwin.

“The improvement over last season has come in sharing the ball,” Wetzel said. “We're passing up good shots for good shots.”

Said Soforic: “We might be the most unselfish team in the section.”

Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at dmackall@tribweb.com.

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