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Kiski Area 'outsmarts' Latrobe in victory

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Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch
Kiski Area's Joe Brungo (left) is challenged by Latrobe's Matt Cullen as he drives hard to the hoop during first half action at Kiski Area High School on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013.
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Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, 11:32 p.m.

Kiski Area believes it can out-smart teams, even using a motto to drive home that point:

The smart take from the strong.

On Friday night, the Cavaliers went Ivy League on Latrobe.

Using back-door cuts and pick-accentuated weaves — Princeton-style — the Cavaliers put together their sixth straight win, 61-51, over the visiting Wildcats in Section 1-AAAA.

“That offense is our default,” said senior guard Adam Robison, who had 10 assists. “It's hard to guard.”

Four players scored in double figures, led by sophomore guard Mike Simmons with 16 points, including 11 in the second half.

Senior forward Mitchell Murdock scored 14, senior guard Nick Stone had 12 and junior guard Joe Brungo chipped in 10 for the Cavaliers (11-4, 5-2), who hit seven 3-pointers and led by as many as 17 (45-28) late in the third quarter.

Kiski Area outscored the Wildcats, 15-4, in the second quarter to take a 34-19 lead at the half. Robison ended the half with an emphatic block following a three by Brungo.

With Latrobe spread out, Kiski Area thrived in half-court sets after running with the Wildcats early.

“We want to keep teams on their toes,” said Stone, who picked up four fouls in four minutes in the third. His teammates picked up the slack when he was on the bench.

“We're playing with confidence,” Robison said.

Latrobe (9-7, 4-3) made a mild move to cut the margin to 45-38 with a 10-1 run to close the third quarter.

But Kiski Area scored the first six points of the fourth to get back to a double-figure advantage.

“We called a timeout and regrouped,” Kiski Area coach Harry Rideout said. “I think we beat them by one point the rest of the way.

“We use that two-guard front. Not everyone uses it. You have to have the personnel to run it, and we feel we do.”

Long-bombing 6-foot-6 senior Mike Sofric led Latrobe with 15 points, and sophomore Chad Kissel added 12.

Kiski Area, which never trailed, led, 19-15, after the first quarter.

In the teams' first meeing, Latrobe used a Matt Dunlap basket with 7.8 seconds left to edge the Cavaliers, 53-52. Kiski Area had one last possession but could not get off a shot in that game.

“We played much better this time,” Stone said.

“We are taking care of the ball a lot better.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is the Local Sports Editor for the Valley News Dispatch. He can be reached at

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