Fox Chapel boys knock down Gateway, take control of section
TribLIVE Sports Videos
“This is our house and we take pride in defending it.” — FC coach Zach Skrinjar
The Fox Chapel High School boys basketball team used a combination of defense, pride and timely shooting to defeat visiting Gateway before a packed house on Friday.
The Foxes used a big second quarter to post a 53-37 win and vault into first place in Section 2-AAAA.
It was Senior Night and a raucous student section was on hand to try to give the Foxes an edge.
“The place was packed,” FC coach Zach Skrinjar said. “The support was overwhelming. The kids in the student section came out in full force.”
Not that the Foxes needed any outside help on this night.
“We executed exactly as we practiced all week,” Skrinjar said. “Our guys did a fantastic job of boxing out. Our feeling coming into this game was that this is our house and we wanted to defend it.
“I can't say enough about the defensive effort.”
Once again, it was the Foxes' dynamic junior duo of Matt D'Amico and Brian Papich that fueled the win. D'Amico had 19 points while Papich added 13. Billy Urso scored 11, including a couple of clutch 3-pointers.
“We knew how important this game was and we played as a team,” Papich said. “People say we'll have problems because of our lack of height but we've been proving them wrong all season.”
Skrinjar agreed with that assessment.
“Yeah, were not the biggest team but these guys bust their butt every day, in practice or in games,” he said.
“We run some tough practices and they never complain. In order to win the big games, you have to work hard and these guys have done that all year. What makes this such a great bunch to coach is the team chemistry.
“They all like each other and work together so well.”
The win put the Foxes in a first-place tie with Central Catholic.
“We control our destiny,” Skrinjar said. “We've got an edge because we're finishing out the season at home. I told the kids to enjoy this win for a day and then we start focusing on our next game.”
Earlier in the week, the Foxes beat Penn Hills, 66-55, on Jan. 29. Papich had 21 points and 10 rebounds while D'Amico netted 17 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Nate Huwar and Billy Urso each scored 10.
FC entered this week 15-4 overall and 10-2 in the section.
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or 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.