Kiski Area overcomes slow start, beats Penn-Trafford to earn section title
TribLIVE Sports Videos
A miserable first quarter is easy to forget, especially when the game ends with flashbulbs and ear-to-ear grins.
Kiski Area scored one point and committed six turnovers in the first quarter, but that became ancient history when it put up 22 in the second on the way to a 48-44 victory over Penn-Trafford on Friday night.
It was the team's 10th straight victory, and the Cavaliers (15-4, 9-2 Section 1-AAAA) clinched at least a share of their first section title since 2002.
The team posed for pictures at midcourt after the tight victory.
“We weren't moving in the first quarter; we were frozen,” Kiski Area coach Harry Rideout said. “That was the first time in maybe 10 games where I called a timeout in the first half. Once we stopped and relaxed and got back into our game, we were fine.”
Down, 14-1, after one, Kiski Area settled into its half-court set and steadily rallied. The Cavaliers looked noticeably more comfortable as their old, patient selves.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Mike Simmons and Joey Brungo tied it, 21-21, with 55 seconds left in the first half. That capped a 15-5 surge and Brungo's two free throws gave Kiski Area a 23-21 lead at halftime.
Brungo scored nine of his game-high 15 points in the second quarter for the Cavaliers. Simmons and Nick Stone had 11 points apiece, and Adam Robison had 10 for Kiski Area.
“We came out anxious,” Robison said. “You could sense it in the locker room before the game. We had to get our wheels under us. We had that deer-in-headlights feeling early. We were thinking about the section too early I think.”
Still in the playoff chase, Penn-Trafford (12-7, 5-5) looked strong early and matched Kiski Area almost shot for shot as the game progressed.
“This game could have gone either way,” Penn-Trafford coach Ryan Yarosik said. “Overall I was really pleased with our defensive effort. It was tremendous. Kiski Area forces you to be disciplined.”
There were four ties in the third, and the Warriors regained the lead, 36-33, by closing out the quarter with a 7-1 run.
In the back-and-forth final quarter, the Cavaliers seized control when, after several crisp passes, Stone made a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give the Cavaliers a 43-40 lead with 2:24 to go.
Corey Stanford's basket with 34.9 seconds got the Warriors within 45-44.
After Kiski Area was whistled for a 10-second violation with 23.8 left, Penn-Trafford threw the ball out of bounds and was later called for a travel. Kiski Area chewed some clock until Brungo was fouled and made two more free throws at the 2.1-second mark.
Mitch Murdock added another free throw to make it 48-44. Stanford's near-fullcourt heave hit the backboard and rim as the buzzer sounded.
“It's been our goal all season to win the section,” Rideout said. “I am so proud of our kids. They were a game away from winning it last year.”
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.