Local roundup: Apollo-Ridge boys hang on for win
Apollo-Ridge boys basketball's first playoff win in a decade included a fair portion of fourth-quarter anxiety for the Vikings.
Ahead of Neshannock by 15 points late in the third quarter of Saturday's Class AA preliminary-round game at Highlands High School, Apollo-Ridge watched its lead dwindle but held on for a 66-64 victory. The Vikings (16-7) advance to the first round, where they'll play No. 5 seed Sto-Rox on Wednesday at a site and time to be determined.
Apollo-Ridge's Lucas Burrell scored a team-high 18 points, including a putback that gave the Vikings a 56-41 lead with 1:44 left in the third quarter. But Neshannock (17-6), led by 3-point specialist Ernie Burkes, stormed back and cut its deficit to two points in the game's final minute. Burkes, who finished with 28 points, including six 3-pointers, missed an attempt from behind the arc at the buzzer.
Riverside 58, West Shamokin 53 — A 17-3 run by Riverside (15-8) proved costly for West Shamokin in the WPIAL Class AA preliminary-round game.
The Wolves led, 28-23, in the third quarter when the Panthers surged, particularly forward Tyler Falk, who scored 12 of his 18 points in the period.
Riverside held West Shamokin (11-11) without a second-half field goal until Anthony Rocco hit a jumper with 6:18 left in the game.
Rocco hit a 3-pointer with 5:36 to go to cut the Panthers' lead to 41-38.
With the Panthers in front, 51-45, with 1:43 remaining, Rocco was fouled behind the arc by Brent Mulneix.
Mulneix was charged with a technical foul when he vehemently protested the call, and Rocco sank four of five free throws.
Gig Jewell made two foul shots with 6.9 seconds left to seal the victory.
Rocco led West Shamokin with 21 points.
Falk had 20 for Riverside.
West Mifflin 61, Kittanning 41 — West Mifflin (10-12) broke open a close game with 20-6 third-quarter run in the Class AAA preliminary-round game.
Taylor Thomas tallied 23 points to lead the Titans. The West Mifflin defense limited the Wildcats (9-14) to 14 field goals, seven of which were 3-pointers.
South Fayette 61, Freeport 35 — Freeport (8-13) fell behind, 18-5, in the first quarter of the Class AAA preliminary-round game. Jess Aulicino scored 20 points for the Yellowjackets.
Batiz third in state — Ford City's Courtney Batiz placed third all-around with a score of 37.458 at the PA Classic at Moon. The event is gymnastics' version of the state championship. Batiz placed first on floor and second on bars.