Gateway wins battle of unbeatens; Foxes rally with victory over Plum
In a showdown between two 4-0 Section 2-AAAA teams on Jan. 8, Fox Chapel fell to Gateway, 40-38, in boys basketball action.
The Foxes had multiple chances to tie the game in the final minute but came up short as Matt D'Amico's 3-point attempt at the buzzer missed.
“Defensively, that was our best game of the year,” FC coach Zach Skrinjar said. “We got the shot we wanted at the end but it didn't go in.”
D'Amico led all scorers with 18 points while Brian Papich added 10.
Skrinjar said he thought his team was a little to careful with the ball against Gateway and didn't do a good job boxing out.
That was something he knew the Foxes would have to do to win.
Skrinjar did like the fact the Foxes responded when Gateway went on a run.
“We had a great look at the end of the game to win it, with Matt shooting. I told the team that I will take Matt getting that look at the hoop any time and the majority of the time, we will come out with the win.
The Foxes fell to 4-1 in the section and 9-2 overall while Gateway took over sole possession of first place with a 5-0 mark.
The Foxes bounced back to defeat Plum on Friday.
FC used big first and third quarters to keep control of the game.
They outscored the Mustangs by 20-14 in the first and 13-7 in the third. D'Amico scored 20 points and Papich added 19.
Billy Urso scored 10.
“We knew that Plum would be a well-disciplined, well-coached team and we prepared ourselves for a tough game,” Skrinjar said.
Skrinjar said he thought the Foxes shared the ball well in the winning effort.
The team, he said, was focused on the game plan and executed it.
“I also thought that our guys off the bench did a nice job of contributing,” Skrinjar said. “We also made a match-up change on defense that worked out well for us in the second half.”
FC (10-3) played in the Coaches vs. Cancer Backyard Brawl at Seton Hill on Saturday and fell to Penn-Trafford by a 49-45 count.
The Foxes led by 30-14 at the half. D'Amico scored 23 and Papich had 10.
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or mstewart@tribweb.