Penn-Trafford holds on to defeat Hempfield in key section contest
Penn-Trafford did to Hempfield what Hempfield did to the Warriors back on Jan. 4 — dominate the first half and build a comfortable lead.
But unlike the first game when Hempfield won by 20, Penn-Trafford had to hold on for a 59-52 victory in a Section 1-AAAA contest Tuesday.
Penn-Trafford (12-6, 5-4) outscored Hempfield, 9-2, in the final 2:44 thanks to a tie-breaking 3-pointer by senior Dorian Stevens and clutch shots by freshman Timmy Vecchio.
Hempfield (14-5, 7-3), which never led, trailed 25-10 in the second quarter but rallied to tie the score at 48 and 50 during the fourth quarter.
“Our backs were against the wall, and we needed to come out swinging,” Penn-Trafford coach Ryan Yarosik said. “We did a good job. Our kids played harder.”
Christian Rohaus, who finished with a game- and career-high 23 points, hit two jumpers to give Penn-Trafford an early lead. He added a 3-pointer later in the first quarter to push the lead to 11-2.
Andy Abreu, who had 12 points and 13 rebounds, chipped in with 10 first-half points as Penn-Trafford led, 33-22, at halftime.
“Defensively, we were where we needed to be, and we were all over the glass all night long,” Yarosik said. “That was one of the points of emphasis.
“I can't talk enough about all the good things that Devin did defensively against Kason Harrell. It was perfect. We knew he was going to score; we just wanted to make him work. Timmy (Vecchio) has guts. He took a shot when we were up three and that was big time.”
Both teams had trouble with the surface at Penn-Trafford. The warm weather caused moisture on the floor, and at least a dozen players slipped.
Hempfield didn't help its cause, as the Spartans shot poorly from the field, including many missed layups.
Harrell led Hempfield with 15 points, and Logan Hunter came off the bench to score nine points on three 3-pointers.
Hunter hit two threes and Nate Irwin and Harrell had one each during a 14-0 run to end the third quarter and begin the fourth quarter to trim the Penn-Trafford lead to 44-43.
“We weren't tough enough in the final three minutes, and we let them push us around in the first quarter and we took it,” Hempfield coach Jim Nesser said. “We only played 32 minutes. We had our chances offensively to take the lead, but we just didn't finish.”
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com.