Share This Page

Playoff-bound Knoch eases past Valley

| Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, 11:18 p.m.
Valley News Dispatch
Knoch High's #5 David Gallagher drives the ball to the hoop on Valley's #3 Devin Whitman during the first half of play at Knoch High School on Tuesday February 5, 2013. Steven Dietz | Valley News Dispatch

Knoch had already clinched a WPIAL playoff berth before tipoff Tuesday night against Valley.

But Knights coach Ron McNabb approached the game as if a postseason spot was still on the line.

The Knights responded by opening up a big first-quarter lead and rolling to a 60-24 victory over the Vikings in Section 1-AAA play.

Mars' victory over Freeport on Monday night secured Knoch's 21st WPIAL playoff entry in school history.

“Actually, I don't think most of these guys knew that Freeport losing clinched it for us — and I didn't share it with them,” McNabb said. “We had a tough game down at Valley, and I wanted our guys to come out relaxed and play.”

McNabb has taken three different local schools to the WPIAL playoffs, including Valley and Burrell in previous coaching stints.

David Gallagher scored 18 points to lead three players in double figures for the Knights (11-9, 6-5), who ended the first quarter with a 13-1 run to take command.

“I like the way we started out,” McNabb said. “I thought we did a lot of things. I like how we shared the ball and worked.”

Valley, on the other hand, is clearly going in another direction.

The Vikings (3-16, 1-11) started three freshmen and a sophomore in their section finale.

But coach Phil Cope didn't approach the game any different than if he had five upperclassmen taking the floor.

“Teaching mode has been going on all year long,” he said. “There's not at any time a non-teachable moment with high school kids. Even with the older kids out there, there's always teaching.”

One of the freshmen, DeAundre Johnson, had 18 of his team's 24 points.

Freshman Tyson Hill grabbed nine rebounds for Valley and fellow ninth-grader Jordan Frame had six.

Matt Zanella, the Knights' valuable sixth man, came off the bench to score 13 points, including 11 during Knoch's big second quarter.

Mark Vaughn, playing despite some sore ribs, contributed 12 points for the Knights, who will learn their playoff opponent Tuesday at the WPIAL playoff pairings meeting.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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.