South Fayette wins ugly against West Mifflin
TribLIVE Sports Videos
West Mifflin never shoots well at Baldwin High School, and South Fayette struggled mightily the last time it played the Titans.
So heading into Tuesday's WPIAL Class AAA first-round playoff game, both coaches knew that it was going to be pretty.
And it wasn't.
However, No. 9 South Fayette used four quick bursts — 7-0, 6-0, 5-0 and 7-0 — late in each quarter to come away with a hard-fought 40-34 win over No. 8 West Mifflin.
The Lions (13-10) advanced to the quarterfinals to take on section foe Chartiers Valley at a site and time to be determined.
Evan Bonnaure led all scorers with 16 points, while West Mifflin's leading scorer, Ryan Maha, was held to 10 points with six of those coming in the last 59 seconds of the game. Maha was averaging 18.1 ppg.
“We knew it wasn't going to be pretty,” South Fayette coach Rich Bonnaure said, “just because how we have played them in the past.”
The most recent history between the two was in early December, and it wasn't pretty for the Lions there either.
South Fayette converted only 12 of 52 field goals, including 4 of 23 3-point attempts, in a 49-34 loss.
And early on, it was much of the same for the Lions.
South Fayette started the game hitting only two of its first 10 shots and started the second quarter by converting one of its first nine shots.
“They thought they were going to live with the three,” Bonnaure said. “We didn't want to get on the bus thinking that we were 2 of 30 from three.”
South Fayette finished 14 of 46 from the field, including 7 of 23 from 3-point range.
“This is a really tough place to shoot,” Maha said. “They didn't shoot it well either.”
But it was South Fayette's quick-strike ability that proved to be the difference.
In a 6-6 game late in the first, South Fayette rattled off seven points in 35 seconds to take a 13-6 lead. Then, at the end of the half with the score 15-11, The Lions scored six points in 58 seconds to go into halftime up, 21-11.
West Mifflin battled back late in the third and went on a 9-0 run sparked by a Cye Murphy dunk to make it 26-24. But another quick five points within a minute got the lead back seven by the end of the third.
“I knew if we continued to guard that they were going to come back to us because they were going to have trouble shooting as well,” Maha said. “But they made it tough on us. You have to either make some shots or get it to the rim, and they make it difficult to get to the rim. When you have difficulty scoring, sometimes you do things out of character. You have to be patient on defense, not just offense.”
West Mifflin had one last run in it and got its deficit to 31-28 in the fourth, but seven points in 78 seconds this time was too much for the Titans to overcome.
“They are a scrappy team,” Bonnaure said. “They have 16 wins, and they are very capable team.”
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.
- Burrell girls basketball braces for Greensburg Central
- Roundup: Cal turns showdown into 63-36 blowout
- Quick start carries Riverview girls past Leechburg
- West Mifflin edges late-charging Steel Valley in Section 4 contest
- High school basketball notebook: Knoch forward makes speedy recovery
- Connellsville can’t overcome poor 2nd quarter in loss to Latrobe
- Chartiers Valley boys basketball competes, bonds in Arizona
- Fox Chapel’s Urso adjusts quickly between football, basketball
- Stinelli developing into scoring threat for Penn-Trafford boys hoops
- Quaker Valley girls basketball poised to win now
- High school roundup: OLSH uses big 2nd half to surge past Quaker Valley