Greyhounds come from behind to top Trojans
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Sunday's game between Monessen and California Area was a non-section game, but both coaches used it as playoff preparation.
“It was a good test for our team, especially after losing Friday,” Monessen coach Joe Salvino said. “California is a very good team with two good scorers. It's what we're going to see in the playoffs.”
The Greyhounds passed this test, handing the Trojans only their second loss of the season, 68-63.
“We held our composure towards the end there and did what had to be done,” Salvino said of his team.
Junior Clintell Gillaspie led the way for the Greyhounds (6-9), scoring a team-high 24 points. Javon Brown added 17.
The game was close throughout with neither team holding a lead of more than six points and when the Trojan defense tried to put the clamps on Gillaspie, it was Noah Rullo and Luke Doptis seizing the momentum back for the Greyhounds.
With his team leading by one, Doptis nailed a three-pointer to raise the lead to four, 50-46, and after a quick California basket, Rullo nailed a three of his own.
California's Tanner Huffman, who led all scorers with 33 points, including 16 in the final frame, nailed a three of his own to pull the Trojans to within two, but Rullo dialed up his second score from long range to give the Greyhounds a five-point cushion.
It's a good thing he did because Huffman scored five straight to tie it up for California.
With the game tied at 60-60, Gillaspie scored four points within 33 seconds. A Tyler Yuille basket game Monessen a six-point lead with 24 seconds left.
Huffman nailed another three-pointer to pull the Trojans to within three, but Doptis stepped to the line and knocked down both ends of a one-and-one to seal it for Monessen.
“Those kids coming off the bench and hitting those threes was big for us,” Salvino said. “Our thing was to try to stop Huffman and (Brian) Fisher. We did all we can do. Those two should really be commended. They played a great game.”
Fisher notched a double-double for the Trojans (13-2), who had a seven-game winning streak snapped. The senior finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
“An athletic team is what we expect to see in the playoffs,” Trojans coach Phil Pergola said. “We didn't play really well defensively and offensively we missed a lot of close shots. Monessen did a good job, though.”
Pergola was quick to point out the play of Greyhounds' point guard Javon Brown.
“Number two did a great job of running that offense,” Pergola said. “He definitely handled the ball well and did a good job. Their outside shooting really hurt us towards the end.”
Looking ahead, both teams are primed to make a run to the playoffs with California undefeated in Section 5 AA and the Greyhounds in second place in 3 A.
“We need to make sure this game doesn't effect us emotionally,” Pergola said. “It's an exhibition game. It's just a matter of going out and battling against another good team. One is going to win and the other is going to lose. Just don't let that affect what you're going to do in the section.”
Salvino, whose team has won five of their last six, is hoping the emotions of his team were affected by the win.
“We can play against a good team. This shows that,” Salvino said. “We just have to be better fundamentally. We need to rebound better. We missed a lot of easy shots, you can't do that in a big game. When we wake up tomorrow this game will be over and we'll look forward to the Geibel game.
California returns to 5 AA play Tuesday at Frazier, while the Greyhounds are off until Friday when they travel to Geibel.
Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-684-2667.
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.
- Clairton board OKs moves
- Christian radio station off air while on the market
- Starkey: Steelers stopping themselves with suspensions
- Steelers’ Martavis Bryant facing four-game suspension
- Pirates turn nifty double play in 9th, edge Marlins
- Animal Rescue League, miffed at Vick signing, moves gala from Heinz Field to Consol
- Former Consol employee wins nearly $587K in ‘Mark of the Beast’ lawsuit
- Pirates notebook: Hurdle mulling rotation options
- Mt. Pleasant Area board votes to establish $3.5M line of credit
- Steelers won’t change scheme after Pouncey injury
- Returning QB Thimons ready to lead Highlands