High school basketball roundup: Lincoln Park hangs on for PIAA quarterfinal victory
By halftime of Friday night's PIAA Class A quarterfinals, it appeared Lincoln Park would run away with a convincing blowout victory over Bishop Carroll. Then, the third quarter started.
The Leopards, up 14 at the half, witnessed an offensive explosion by the District 6 runner-up and eventually found itself trailing by as many as five early in the fourth quarter.
In the end, however, Lincoln Park pulled out a thrilling 86-84 victory in front a packed Hempfield gymnasium.
Junior forward Elijah Minnie finished with 42 points, and Maverick Rowan added 23 to lead the Leopards (22-6), who will face District 9 champ Johnsonburg (27-2) in the semifinals Tuesday at a site and time to be determined.
“We lost track of their guards,” Lincoln Park coach Mark Javens said of the team's play in the second half. “We haven't been playing well in the playoffs, and we got off to a hot start tonight. And then, in the second half, we gave it right back. This is a shooter's gym, and that team can really shoot the ball. They gave a tremendous effort.”
Drastically undersized, Bishop Carroll continually found ways to get open shots in the second half, hitting six 3-pointers and forcing numerous turnovers that resulted in easy transition baskets.
“We had a big lead and let it slip,” Javens said. “We can't take teams for granted. You have to play the whole game. We knew we had a big size advantage and tried to exploit it early.
“We don't want to give teams a reason to think they can play with us. But I'm very proud of the way they stuck together and finished it off. We made plays when it counted most.”
The Huskies (23-6) were led by sophomore guard Brandon Martinazzi, who scored 28 points, and senior Scott Ranck's 26.
Archbishop Carroll 49, Chartiers Valley 46 — The season came to an end for WPIAL runner-up Chartiers Valley after District 12 fourth-place finisher Archbishop Carroll pulled out a PIAA Class AAA quarterfinal victory at Chambersburg.
Derrick Jones had 15 points, and Ernest Aslakpui added 13 to lead Archbishop Carroll (22-6).
Chartiers Valley's Matty McConnell, who had nine points, hit a 3-pointer to make the score 44-43 late, and Haedyn Herzer hit another shot from behind the arc with less than a minute to play to tie the game, 46-46. But Archbishop Carroll hit a free throw with 11 seconds left to seal the win.
Mike Boulos had 13 points, and Spencer Casson added 11 for the Colts, who finished the season 24-5.
Bishop Carroll will play Montour in the semifinals Tuesday.
Seton-La Salle 73, Mohawk 45 — Seton-La Salle's Natalie Piaggesi scored 15 points, and Nicolete Newman had 14 in a lopsided PIAA Class AA victory over Mohawk (20-7) at New Castle.
Angela Heintz added 11 points, and Cassidy Walsh had 10 for the Rebels (27-2), who led, 34-12, at halftime.
The victory sets up a fourth meeting with rival Bishop Canevin on Tuesday, a semifinal rematch that Seton-La Salle has been anticipating since a 56-47 loss March 1 in the WPIAL championship.
“I've been the biggest Bishop Canevin fan since they beat us,” Seton-La Salle coach John Ashaolu said. “I've been wanting for them to win. I want to play them again. And that's the same for the girls; they want to play them again.”
Bishop Canevin 41, Burrell 29 — At North Hills, WPIAL champion Bishop Canevin (25-4) secured its first appearance in the PIAA Class AA semifinals with its second win of the season against Burrell (24-4), this time in the state quarterfinals.
Senior guard Celina DiPietro hit five 3-pointers and scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Crusaders.
With the first WPIAL title in school history and being one step away from a trip to Hershey, Crusaders coach Tim Joyce isn't looking at this as a breakthrough season for his program.
“I don't really think of it that way,” Joyce said. “We take one game at a time. That's this year; that's how I pretty much approach each year.”
Burrell, the third-place team from the WPIAL, played the Crusaders much closer than the WPIAL semifinals when Bishop Canevin cruised to a 55-19 win. Sophomore guard Sydney Bordonaro led Burrell with nine points.
Bishop Canevin used an 8-0 run from late in the first quarter into the second to turn a 6-4 deficit into a 12-6 lead. Burrell cut it to 19-14 to start the third. But the Crusaders led, 32-20, heading to the fourth and stretched the margin to 15 after a 3 by DiPietro and layup by Carly Forse, who had eight points.