Kiski Area pulls away from Connellsville with 11-0 run to start second half
TribLIVE Sports Videos
During Friday's Section 1-AAAA boys basketball game between Connellsville and visiting Kiski Area, both had their share of momentum.
The Falcons and Cavaliers seemed to take turns making runs throughout the game, but it was the Cavaliers who came up with an 11-0 spurt to start the second half, which ultimately lifted them to a hard-fought 66-56 victory over the Falcons.
“It was a heck of a game,” Kiski Area coach Joe Tutchstone said. “It was a game of runs, and it was very competitive.”
It also was a game that featured one key adjustment by Kiski Area.
Early in the game, the Cavaliers (7-3, 4-0) were able to take a 13-12 lead thanks to a couple of long-range shots from Mike Simmons, who finished with five 3-pointers and a game-high 28 points.
Simmons also connected on a 3-pointer in the second quarter, as did Joe Brungo, who scored 16 points.
Other than that, Kiski Area's offense struggled, and the Falcons (5-4, 1-2) did a great job of clogging up the area around the basket.
Connellsville's defensive energy seemed to spark the offense as the Falcons put together a 6-0 run that gave them an 18-13 lead.
Trent Bauer, Caleb Pittsment and Jimmy Leichliter each came through down low to help Connellsville grab the lead. Leichliter finished with a team-high 25 points, followed by Bauer with 12 points and Pittsment with 10.
Up by eight, the Falcons appeared to be in control heading into the second half. But in the third quarter, things changed as Kiski Area went to work on finding open shots. Despite their early struggles, the Cavaliers continued to try to work inside, only this time, there was a slight hitch in their game plan.
“I told my guys that when we get the ball in the lane, we have to dump it off,” Tutchstone said. “We made the extra pass, and we started hitting the outside shots.”
Simmons was the primary beneficiary of those extra passes, and he connected more often than not. Simmons scored 18 second-half points to propel Kiski Area.
For the Falcons, giving up 11 straight points to start the third quarter was a turning point.
“I think that when they went on that run, that was the difference in the game,” Connellsville coach Dan Bosnic said. “I take full responsibility. For whatever reason, we didn't come out ready in the third quarter.”
Kiski also did a nice job of controlling the clock, thanks to some big offensive rebounds, especially in the fourth quarter. The Falcons put the Cavaliers on the line late, but Kiski sealed the win from the line in the closing minutes.
“It's disappointing, and I take responsibility,” Bosnic said.
For the Cavaliers, the win kept them at the top of the section standings.
“It's huge, and I couldn't be more proud of my guys,” Tutchstone said. “They worked hard.”
Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- No summer vacation for Mars boys basketball team
- Belle Vernon coach’s family bonds through basketball