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Wilson's clutch play leads Montour to PIAA first-round victory

| Friday, March 8, 2013, 10:21 p.m.
South Fayette's Lucas Russell defends Montour's Justin Hill in the first half of a PIAA Class AAA first-round playoff game at North Allegheny Highs School Friday, March 8, 2013. Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
South Fayette's Evan Bonnaure (right) and Brett Brumbaugh defend Montour's Devin Wilson in the first half of their PIAA Class AAA first-round game North Allegheny Highs School Friday, March 8, 2013. Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review

Rich Bonnaure stood dejectedly in a locker room in the bowels of North Allegheny High School about a half hour after the South Fayette team he coaches lost, 52-43, to rival Montour in a first-round PIAA Class AAA playoff game Friday night.

Upset as he was by the end of his team's season — and of the high school career of his senior point guard son — Bonnaure's tone quickly turned when asked about Montour's Devin Wilson.

Wilson had 11 of his game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter, including nine in the final 4:22 as Montour broke open a tight game to win going away.

“That's what Devin always does,” Bonnaure said with a chuckle that was equal parts resignation and admiration. “You know, Devin's Devin.”

His high school career on the line, Wilson — a three-time WPIAL champion and two-time PIAA finalist, counting football exploits — was at his best with the game on the line.

“I feel like it's my job as the point guard and leader of this team to find people and get the right shots at the right times,” said the 6-foot-4 Wilson.

“We've been in games like that all year where we kind of had to gut things out. We believe in our defense, and if we get stops our offense kind of comes to it. We've been in those situations before.”

WPIAL champion Montour (23-4) closed out the game on a 13-2 run after trailing, 41-39, when Wilson drove to the basket and made a lay-up while being fouled.

That tied the game for the eighth and final time. The contest's 10th lead change came on a Justin Hill basket off a Wilson assist less than a minute later.

After the Spartans had not held a lead of more than one point since the first quarter, Wilson triggered an 8-0 run to give Montour a six-point lead.

He then made four of six free throws in the final minute to ice it away.

Montour's statkeepers reported Wilson finished with a triple-double, with 10 rebounds and 10 assists — and only one turnover.

“There's been a lot of really good players to come through (the WPIAL), and I think he could be mentioned with some of those guys,” Montour coach Adam Kaufman said. “I can't speak to all those guys as far as their mentality, but I guarantee he has that same type of mentality. He has a drive and a will to win that I've never seen at Montour, to be honest with you.

“He just really wants to get back to (the PIAA championship game).”

Hill added 12 points for Montour, which was a PIAA finalist each of the past two seasons.

C.J. Rudisill had 15 points and Evan Bonnaure 13 for South Fayette (14-11), which has played the Section 5-AAA rival Spartans nine times over the past three seasons.

“It's turned into a pretty good rivalry,” Kaufman said. “It really comes down to what players can make plays. Coaching is negated at that point, so it's what guys can do on their own to win the game. That's why we pulled it out — Devin made plays. A lot of them.”

Among those on hand to see Wilson were Villanova coach Jay Wright, St. Joseph's coach Phil Martelli, UNC-Wilmington coach Buzz Peterson and an assistant from Rutgers.

Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.

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