Serra's latest comeback attempt falls short
By Keith Barnes
Published: Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, 12:51 a.m.
Serra Catholic wasn't in a completely unfamiliar position when it faced a double-digit second half deficit against Mohawk on Saturday in its WPIAL Class AA preliminary-round playoff game.
The Eagles have found themselves in holes like that throughout the latter part of the season.
And, like so many of those other times, Serra Catholic (13-9) made a late run against the Warriors. In this instance, Serra gave itself a chance at perhaps advancing and becoming the No. 14 seed in the tournament. But it was not to be as the Eagles' late rally came up short in a 49-43 loss at Chartiers Valley High School.
“They're tired. When you're not deep, you make that run and you use all that energy and, with four minutes left in the game, you don't have anything left in the tank,” Serra Catholic coach Vince Gibbons said. “They've got to get conditioned better and we've got to run the heck out of them this summer and, hopefully, some other kids will develop and we'll fill the holes we have right now.”
Serra Catholic made this one even closer than it did some of its other failed come-from-behind attempts. Trailing, 34-32, with just under four minutes remaining, the Eagles were in the midst of a 12-0 run that had eroded what had been a 14-point deficit. They had a pair of opportunities to tie the game.
In both instances, Mohawk forward Lucas Grim, who led all scorers with 17 points, missed the front end of a one-and-one and Serra Catholic rebounded. Each time, instead of setting up the half-court offense that had been so effective during their run, the Eagles settled for hurried 3-pointers that failed to connect.
“It wasn't the shot we wanted, but it was an open look and it's unfortunate that it didn't go in because it could have really turned the tide,” Gibbons said. “But one play doesn't win or lose a game.”
No, this game was lost in the second quarter when Mohawk (10-13) opened the period on a 15-0 run, and Serra Catholic was held without a field goal for 7 minutes, 52 seconds on 0- for-12 shooting from the field. The Eagles' only points from the floor were on a George Prota layup with 46.1 seconds to play in the half.
“We shot the ball better than we normally do, and we got 3-pointers from guys who normally don't get points that way,” Mohawk coach Rob Fadden, who's team will play No. 3 Seton-La Salle on Wednesday, said. “When we got in at 9-13, I said we're happy to be here and we'll play whoever and, now we've got a win and we get to go up against one of the best.”
For Serra Catholic, though, this loss marked the end of a tumultuous season in which the team won its first nine games then lost its final five and seven of its last eight. It was tough year made more difficult with the team's transition to moving up in classification and having to play top-flight teams Greensburg Central Catholic and Jeannette in its section.
“We went from being the largest Class A school in the WPIAL to the smallest Double-A school, and that's a huge difference,” Gibbons said. “It was about what we had anticipated, but when you start 9-0, maybe you get a bit more optimistic and you're not as much of a realist as you should be. We need to grow up, get a little stronger and get in better shape.”
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.
- High school roundup: Vincentian’s Wolf scores 46 in victory
- Perz scores game-high 33 to lift Norwin past Monessen
- Norwin girls hold their own in season-opening tournament
- BVA drops opener, 72-56
- Versatile Dedert leads Plum boys past Kiski Area
- Franklin Regional boys putting up points in bunches
- Monessen falters late, 68-63
- Penn-Trafford boys learn from opening losses
- Franklin Regional girls win tournament crown
- Fourth quarter sinks Charleroi
- Greensburg high school roundup: Uniontown tops Belle Vernon