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SSA surprises Deer Lakes in playoff

| Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Valley News Dispatch
Shady Side Academy's Cody Boyer (No. 50, left) and Charles Calabrese (No. 32) celebrate their 48-45 victory over Deer Lakes after their WPIAL playoff game at North Hills High School on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch

Like many coaches say — once the playoffs start, everybody is coming in with an 0-0 record.

Shady Side Academy proved the adage true on Saturday as they knocked off a Deer Lakes team that had claimed its first section title in 20 years.

The Lancers came into the WPIAL Class AA preliminary-round playoff game with a 16-6 mark while the Indians were 8-14.

Perhaps playing in a section that included Greensburg Central Catholic, Jeannette and Serra Catholic helped the Indians' cause.

“Our section is a very tough one and we were in a battle for the last playoff spot,” SSA coach Gene Deal said. “Every game was must-win toward the end of the season and we've been playing well.”

The Indians jumped out to a 22-16 halftime lead but the Lancers outscored SSA by 21-12 to take a 37-34 lead entering the final quarter.

SSA's Dan Marous sank a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left to give the Indians a 48-45 lead and Deer Lakes couldn't score after that. Marous scored all nine of his points in the fourth quarter while Aaron Thorne had a big second half as he scored 11 of his 13 points after intermission.

“He played a great game for us,” Deal said.

The Indians faced Brentwood (13-9) on Wednesday in a game that ended too late for this edition.

Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or mstewart@tribweb.com.

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