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Grebb League tips off

Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
Northwood Realty's Javon Brown goes up for two points against Union Cleaners' Tyler Yuille and Jalen French in a J. Budd Grebb Memorial Summer League opener in California.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Not even a fast-moving rain storm could hold back the season opening of the J. Budd Grebb Memorial Summer Basketball League's boys' division.

The skies opened up during the first half of the first game of Tuesday's tripleheader at Mechanic Street Playground in California, and the action was swiftly moved to California Area Middle School for the rest of the night.

“This isn't the first time this has happened,” league chairman Phil Pergola said. “We've had to do this before. It's nice to have that kind of a backup plan available.”

In the first game, Northwood Realty held off Union Cleaners, 83-74, behind the 20-point performance of Robert Chaney Jr. (Ringgold).

Cole Novotne and Brandon Lawless added 13 points each, while Jake Sweitzer (Belle Vernon Area) finished with 12.

Union Cleaners went on a 14-3 run to open a 21-14 lead midway through the first half, but Northwood came back and took a 37-33 lead at halftime as Javon Brown (Monessen) scored all eight of his points.

With Chaney Jr. scoring 15 of his points in the second half and Lawless getting 11, the winners built their lead to 66-50 with 9:41 to play.

After that, Union got no closer than six points (72-66).

Leading the way for Union Cleaners was Tray Matthews (California) with 19 points, including 15 in the second half. John Arnold (Charleroi) scored 17, Jalen French (Elizabeth Forward) had 15 and John Frederick (BVA) added 10.

The game also featured the league coaching debuts of Northwood Realty's Paul Stanley and Union Cleaners' Walt Costello.

In the second game, Campy's Pizza built a big lead and held off a furious second half rally to nip Dairy Queen, 53-49.

Campy's raced to a 30-18 halftime lead as George Prota (EF) scored 10 of his game-high 19 points.

However, DQ battled back to take a 49-48 lead with 1:30 to play.

Campy's regained the lead 30 seconds later, 51-49, when Demetri Clements (California) hit a 3-pointer.

Joining Prota in double figures for the winners was Nick Despot with 10 points.

Matt Indorante (Charleroi) led DQ with 18 points, while Clintell Gillaspie (Monessen) added 12.

In the final game of the night, BeeGraphix defeated Farmers Insurance, 78-69, in a rematch of last season's championship game.

The score was tied, 28-28, with 4:22 left in the first half before the winners went on a 17-6 run to end the half with a 45-33 lead.

Elijah Minnie scored 17 of his game-high 30 points and Luke Doptis (Monessen) scored all of his 12 points for BeeGraphix in the first half.

Dayshore Majors (Ringgold) had 14 points and Tim Pritchett (Ringgold) added 11 for the winners.

Farmers Insurance was led by Cameron Sarber with 18, Matt Bernadowski (EF) with 14 and Lavelle Rush (Monessen) with 13.

Action resumes Thursday with a tripleheader at Mechanic Street Playground starting at 7 p.m.

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or

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