High school roundup: Experienced guard tandem leads Beaver Falls to PIAA quarterfinal win
Needing some late-game poise, Beaver Falls turned to a backcourt duo that has carried it through many tough times before.
Beaver Falls guards Drew Cook and Elijah Cottrill combined for 13 fourth-quarter points Saturday, including five free throws in the final 96 seconds to beat resilient Lakeview, 56-44, in the PIAA Class AA quarterfinals at Edinboro University.
The Tigers' lead was just 46-41 with two minutes left, but they ended with a 10-3 run.
“We've played in big games before and we've been in adverse situations,” coach Doug Biega said. “When you have an experienced backcourt like Cook and Cottrill, you can control things. And they did.”
Cook, a senior, had 19 points for Beaver Falls (26-3), the WPIAL champion who was PIAA runner-up in 2012. Cottrill, a junior, had 14 points. Combined, they were 8 of 10 from the foul line in the fourth quarter. Danny Stratton, a senior forward, had 15 points.
Dalton Boggs had 16 points for Lakeview (23-5), the District 10 runner-up.
In Tuesday's semifinals at a site and time to be determined, Beaver Falls will face District 10 champion West Middlesex (25-3) in a rematch of a season-opening game in the New Castle tipoff tournament. Beaver Falls won, 50-41, on Dec. 7.
Blackhawk 78, Lancaster Catholic52 — Paced by Chassidy Omogrosso's 20 points and eight assists, four players scored in double figures to lead Blackhawk (27-1) to a PIAA Class AAA quarterfinal win at Bedford.
Halle Denman added 19 points, Alexis Graham 16 points and Bridgette Shaffer 14 points for Blackhawk, which led at halftime, 38-25.
“We're really balanced,” Blackhawk head coach Steve Lodovico said. “We have a number of different scoring options, and that helped us today.”
Porscha Speller led Lancaster Catholic (30-2) with 27 points.
South Park 61, Franklin 43 — South Park (26-2) will be going to the PIAA semifinals for the first time in the program's history after a Class AAA quarterfinal victory Saturday at North Allegheny. South Park, which lost in last season's quarterfinals, used a 12-0 surge in the first quarter to take control early. The WPIAL champion Eagles, who will play Blackhawk in the semifinals Tuesday, led 29-13 at the half, but the Knights sliced the lead to 40-31 early in the fourth on a 3-point basket by Angelina Starr.
Franklin (26-2), however, couldn't score on its next two possessions, clearing the way for Allison McGrath and Halie Torris to each register traditional three-point plays with a field goal and foul shot to seal the win.
“When they did make a short run, we were able to at least stem the tide and not let them get into a good rhythm during the game,” South Park coach Reggie Wells said.
Shelby Lindsay led the Eagles with 21 points and seven assists. Torris, who scored South Park's first seven points, added 18 points and 14 rebounds.
Freshman forward McGrath had 16 for Eagles. South Park handed Blackhawk its only loss of the season in the WPIAL semifinals.
Vincentian 68, Kennedy Catholic 31 — Vincentian (28-1) moved a step closer to its first trip to the PIAA finals since 2002 with a Class A quarterfinal victory at North Allegheny. The Royals will play Bishop Guilfoyle in the state semifinals Tuesday.
The Royals built a 33-13 lead late in the first half, but the Golden Eagles cut the lead twice to eight in the fourth quarter.
“They're a good team, we knew they wouldn't give up,” Vincentian coach Ron Moncrief said. “They made their runs, but we made sure our runs were a little bit longer.”
Brenna Wise paced the Royals with 20 points and 18 rebounds and was 10 of 11 from the foul line.
Rachel Burns and Alex Ricketts led Kennedy Catholic (24-3) with 17 points each.