McKeesport stuns No. 2 Gateway
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Maybe it's the rivalry or just the style of play, but playing Gateway seems to bring out the best in the McKeesport boys basketball team.
And Tuesday, the Tigers sent a message to the rest of the WPIAL that they may be a team to be reckoned with when the playoffs roll around.
Junior forward Khalil Perdue came off the bench to score 12 points, none bigger than the 3-foot jumper he hit with 4.8 seconds remaining in regulation that gave McKeesport a stunning 42-40 victory over Trib Total Media Class AAAA No. 2 Gateway.
“I just thought that I got to do it for my family, for my team,” Perdue said. “It was just instinct. I had to get the ball in the basket.”
Perdue's game-winning shot was the culmination of an outstanding fourth quarter by McKeesport defense in which it held Gateway to only two points on 1 of 7 shooting from the floor and forced three key turnovers. The Tigers trailed, 38-33, entering the final quarter and initially tied it when Carlitto Acie drilled a 3-pointer with 4:52 remaining and Perdue knocked down a putback with 2:32 left.
After Deon Cottrell-Baker put Gateway ahead, 40-38, with the team's only fourth-quarter points with 1:55 left, Perdue, who also had seven rebounds, scored to tie it at 40 with 1:40 remaining.
Gateway (9-2, 6-1) called timeout and went into a delay offense, but when McKeesport applied ample pressure, the team again called time to regroup with 45.1 seconds to play. That turned out to be disastrous as another Tigers sub, Javon Tyson, deflected a Gators pass to Acie, who brought it up for the team's final offensive possession.
McKeesport called a pair of timeouts, one with 19.1 seconds remaining and the other after Acie was fouled with 11.3 seconds left to come up with a play. After the ball was rotated around, the pass went to Perdue in the low post just outside the right side of the paint. He quickly put it up and in to give the Tigers the lead.
McKeesport's bench outscored Gateway's, 14-1.
“That's outstanding because we talk about how it's going to take everybody to win,” McKeesport coach Corey Gadson said. “Guys who may be disappointed they don't play, there's going to be a night where you've got to step up and play.”
Gateway had one last opportunity to win the game but D.J. Boyce, who scored a game-high 13, hit the rim with a 30-foot attempt and McKeesport fans ran onto the floor at midcourt to celebrate.
“This was just wonderful,” Perdue said. “It gave us a win for our team and this feels great.”
Perdue didn't begin to make an impact until late in the second quarter when he hit baskets on consecutive possessions to help the Tigers take a 23-19 lead, their largest advantage of the game. While he did the scoring, Tyson came off the bench and chipped in five much-needed rebounds as the Gators won the battle of the boards, 36-28.
“They kicked our butts on the offensive boards and we thought that we'd zone it and pack it and see if we could hold them to one shot,” Gadson said. “It's harder to rebound in a zone, but I think we did better than we did when we were in man and we just tried to make it methodical and play our game.”
With the win McKeesport (10-3, 6-1) is tied with Gateway for first place in Section 2 at the midpoint, but will have a tough test Friday when it plays at Fox Chapel (10-4, 5-2), the only team to beat the Tigers in section play this season. The Foxes could have made it a three-way tie at the top, but dropped a 67-62 decision Tuesday at Central Catholic.
“It's the middle of the season,” Gadson said. “I told them to just come into work (Wednesday) and get ready to go to Fox Chapel on Friday.”
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.
- Kittanning senior Kunst shoots lights out at Cager Classic skills event
- Cager Classic notebook: Highlands, Mars players bury hatchet for the weekend
- PIAA committee wants to revive western final
- Ford City, Kittanning making final appearances at Cager Classic
- Tough seasons to end on high note for girls at Cager Classic
- Wise’s triple-double leads Vincentian to PIAA Class A girls title