Plum to host Woodland Hills in rematch of 2OT thriller
On Dec. 14, the Plum and Woodland Hills varsity boys basketball teams kicked off the Section 2-AAAA schedule with a game to remember.
The contest between the Mustangs and Wolverines went down to the wire — more than once.
The game was tied at 41 at the end of regulation, and was still tied — this time at 46 — after the first overtime.
But Plum outlasted Woodland Hills in overtime No. 2, outscoring the Wolverines 14-6 en route to a 60-52 victory.
Junior forward Austin Dedert converted a bucket close to the basket in the final seconds of overtime No. 1 to force the second extra session.
Senior Griffin Myers came on in the second overtime to score seven of his 20 points.
Dedert finished with a game-high 21, and junior Nick Stotler added 13 points, including a 7 of 9 night from the foul line.
The second cycle of Section 2-AAAA games begins Friday, and the Mustangs and Wolverines will face each other again, this time at Plum High School. The game is set for 7:30 p.m.
Plum was 2-4 in section play heading into the first-cycle finale Tuesday against Franklin Regional.
The game was to be played past the deadline for this week's edition, and the Panthers also were 2-4 in section.
Gateway (6-0), Fox Chapel (5-1), McKeesport (5-1) and Pittsburgh Central Catholic (4-2) began the week in the four WPIAL playoff spots from the section.
The Wolverines where scheduled to face Penn Hills on Tuesday in a battle of teams 0-6 in the section.
Plum head coach Ron Richards said he has seen good things from his squad despite the tough record.
He said the Mustangs have been competitive in each of its section losses, which include a two-point loss to Gateway and a pair of five-point defeats at the hands of Central Catholic and McKeesport.
“I think we just need to keep doing what we've been doing,” Richards said.
“We've been playing better and improved in the past week or so.”
He liked his team's effort in a 55-48 loss to Fox Chapel on Friday.
Plum led in the first quarter and the game was tied at 21 before the Foxes took the lead for good with 3:50 to play until halftime.
“I can't fault our kids,” Richards said.
“We gave good effort. We contested most of their shots, and they made some tough shots. They also beat us in transition a couple of times.”
Richards said he's concerned about injuries to players on the team, and Stotler played against Fox Chapel with a sprained ankle.
He had 14 points at the half and 22 for the game.
“Nick is a competitive kid,” Richards said. “He gutted it out.”
Sophomore Austen Carney, who started four games this season, suffered a broken hand early in Plum's 67-41 victory over Penn Hills on Jan. 8.
The injury occurred when he tried to brace himself after taking a charge, and Richards said Carney is most likely done for the season.
“He just landed on it funny. It was just one of those freak injuries,” Richards said.
“He's such a good kid and a hard worker. He had the knee injury last year. Hopefully, after this one, he can shake the injury bug.”
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.