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Seton-La Salle boys wrap up section title in hoops

| Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
South Hills Record
Two key players in Seton-La Salle's rousing 63-50 section win against visiting Washington last week were, from left, Dale Clancy, a 5-foot-8 junior guard; and Levi Masua, a 6-5 junoir forward. Photos | Randy Jarosz | For The South Hills Record
South Hills Record
Seton-La Salle forward Levi Masua

The Seton-La Salle boys' basketball team appears to be the best team in Section 4-AA, and has grown into one of the top teams in the WPIAL Class AA ranks.

The Rebels are ranked No. 4 in Class AA in the Trib Total Media's boys' basketball rankings, behind Greensburg Central Catholic, Beaver Falls and Jeannette.

Last week, Seton-La Salle wrapped up the section championship with a rousing 63-50 win at home against the Washington Little Prexies. The Rebels improved to 10-0 in Section 4-AA.

“Our team and my staff deserve the credit for the win,” Mark Walsh, Seton-La Salle's second-year head coach, said. “My staff is so valuable; they are an integral part of our success.

“For anyone who was fortunate enough to be there, what a high school basketball game it was. Our boys played their hearts out and gave a tremendous effort, and so did Wash High.”

It is the ninth section title in boys' basketball in school history, and the first since 2000. The Rebels previously captured section crowns in 1982, 1984, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1994.

“Our goal each season is to compete for a section, WPIAL and state title,” Walsh said. “We feel fortunate and excited about our section championship.”

Seton-La Salle also cruised past Fort Cherry, 75-36, to extend its winning streak to nine games. The Rebels opened this week with 18 wins in their past 19 games.

Two keys to the Seton-La Salle success this season have been balanced scoring and aggressive defensive play.

Four players finished in double figures for the Rebels against Washington, led by 6-foot-5 junior forward Levi Masua and 5-8 point guard Dale Clancy with 15 apiece.

Masua and Clancy were complemented by junior center Malik White's 12 points, senior guard/forward Luke Brumbaugh's 10 points, and senior guard Eric Marasco's three 3-pointers.

Seton-La Salle has been ranked in the top five in Class AA for most of the season. The Rebels have played in five tournaments, and have defeated every Class AAA foe — Greensburg Salem, South Park, Ringgold, West Mifflin, Ambridge and Thomas Jefferson — on their schedule.

Going into the final week of the regular season, Seton's only losses came against Class AAAA McKeesport in the Hempfield tip-off tournament, and to rival North Catholic, top five team in Class A, in the Don Graham Classic.

The Rebels turned in perhaps their best eight-minute effort of the season last week against a stunned Washington squad.

“That third quarter was an awesome quarter of high school basketball,” Walsh said. “We were fortunate to get hot at the right time.”

Trailing by a 34-27 score at halftime, Seton-La Salle outscored the visitors by a 29-8 margin during a sensational third-quarter rally.

Brumbaugh, Marasco and Masua connected from 3-point range to help lift the Rebels to a 41-40 lead. The home team then followed up with a 15-2 run in the final 4:35 of the period to assume a 56-42 edge.

Seton-La Salle's hot hands during the scoring spree were White, Clancy, with one of his three triples, Brumbaugh, sophomore forward Ryan Norkus and Masua, who accounted for nine points plus a dominating performance on the boards in the third quarter.

“I think Eric Marasco and Luke Brumbaugh guarding Josh Wise, as well as our team defense and team rebounding, and our sharing of the basketball, were the catalysts for us,” Walsh said.

Washington, which fell into a tie for second place in the section with Bishop Canevin, was limited to eight points in each of the third and fourth quarters.

Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or rfisher@tribweb.com.

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