Montour boys ousted in Class AAA semifinals
TribLIVE Sports Videos
CHAMBERSBURG — Montour seemed to be on its way toward a double-digit loss until the Spartans suddenly rallied from 12 points down in the fourth quarter.
With 59.7 seconds left, the score was tied.
Yet, with hopes for a third consecutive trip to the state championship back within its grasp, Montour went scoreless in that final minute Tuesday of a 50-45 semifinal loss to Archbishop Carroll in the PIAA Class AAA boys basketball playoffs.
That moment of hope made this loss all the more painful.
“It does hurt,” said Montour coach Adam Kaufman, “but that's our guys. That's their character. They continue to push and fight and push and push.”
This was the final game for a senior class that won two WPIAL championships and was state runner-up the past two seasons, led by star point guard Devin Wilson.
Montour (24-5) had rallied in similar fashion to win the WPIAL title a little more than two weeks ago, but this comeback fell just short.
“This is a team that's special,” Wilson said. “We never stop fighting.”
Archbishop Carroll (23-6) of Philadelphia's Catholic League was the fourth-place team from District 12.
Wilson had 15 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, and Justin Hill added 10 points. Carroll's Derrick Jones, a 6-foot-5 sophomore drawing Division I offers, had 21 points.
With 4:39 left, Montour trailed, 44-33, never led and hadn't been within seven points of Archbishop Carroll since the second quarter. The Spartans had shot poorly — making just one of their first eight 3-pointers — and allowed 11 offensive rebounds to a team with a 6-foot-9 center.
“They took away our driving lanes and left open people who weren't really shooters,” Wilson said. “It left us in a bind a little bit.”
Then came a surprising 12-1 run as Montour attacked the basket.
It started with a shot by Hill with 4:25 left, a layup and free throws by Wilson, and a 3-pointer by Kevin Scuilli. Four more free throws by Wilson followed, including a game-tying pair with 59.7 seconds left.
But Montour lost some of the patience it had shown all season. Two aggressive shots — a missed jumper from the corner by Rob Julian and a contested layup by Hill — went against Montour's typical approach.
Neither possession involved Wilson, who had 15 points.
“At that point in the game, we need to make sure the right guy has the ball,” Kaufman said. “They did a good job of doubling Devin and making him give it up.”
An easy layup by Carroll's 6-9 sophomore, Ernest Aflakpui, and two free throws by sophomore Nick Jones built a 49-45 lead with 25.2 seconds left.
Montour's rally stalled completely when Wilson drove to the basket with 20 seconds left, missed and didn't receive the foul call he and his coach expected.
“(The ref) said I held it until the last possible second, and he didn't touch me,” said Wilson, who disagreed. “Whatever he says goes.”
Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com.
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.
- Allderdice boys advance to PIAA tournament
- Blackhawk girls top South Fayette to repeat as WPIAL Class AAA champs
- Undefeated Aliquippa downs Seton-La Salle for WPIAL Class AA title
- Indiana boys beat Beaver Falls for 1st WPIAL basketball title
- Seton-La Salle girls defeat rival Bishop Canevin to capture 7th WPIAL title
- Monessen boys capture yet another WPIAL basketball title
- Monessen downs Jeannette to win WPIAL Class A championship
- Blairsville girls claim District 6-A title
- Norwin boys basketball team falls in opening round of WPIAL playoffs
- Monessen-Jeannette: Who gets the gold?
- Switching defenses turns tide for Redbank Valley