Share This Page

Ford City suffers loss in test vs. Neshannock

| Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, 11:27 p.m.

Ford City challenged itself by hosting one of Class AA's top teams, and the Sabers got a good look at why Neshannock is so highly regarded.

After a slow start offensively, Neshannock dominated after halftime and left Ford City with an 87-45 nonsection win Monday night.

Matt McKinney scored 22 points, and Ernie Burkes added 21 for the Lancers (6-1), whose only loss was to Class AAA No. 3 Central Valley.

Blake Bower and Jesse Sequeira scored 11 points each for the Sabers (4-4).

“I'm going to let our guys know, when we make the playoffs this year, this is the type of team we could possibly play,” Ford City coach Greg Hutcherson said. “I think we thought we would be able to compete (Monday), but we weren't able to compete. They basically kicked our butts.”

The opening nine minutes went well for the Sabers. They did a good job rebounding, and early in the second quarter, Noah Nulph and Jon Karabin knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game 18-18.

But the Lancers found their rhythm, as McKinney knocked down two 3-pointers to fuel a 10-0 run that helped Neshannock take a 35-23 lead to halftime.

“Overall, I thought we played really well,” Neshannock coach John Corey said. “We didn't shoot the ball well in the first half, except for Matt McKinney.

“We probably gave up about four or five offensive rebounds early, too, and that's a credit to (Ford City). They came out playing really hard.”

Neshannock put the game away in the third quarter by outscoring Ford City, 31-10.

The Lancers used turnovers to get easy baskets and also excelled at the foul line, knocking down 20 of 22 attempts.

Neshannock was able to get to the line so often by getting the ball inside against the 3-2 zone employed by the Sabers. The zone was effective in the early stages, but by the second half, the Lancers were finding seams they didn't take advantage of earlier.

“They made a good adjustment to our zone, got some open looks and knocked them down early in the third,” Hutcherson said. “They separated themselves then, and a team like that isn't going kill themselves. They weren't going to do anything to let us get back in the game.”

Said Corey: “Our guys remained steady, and the outcome came out the way we wanted it.”

Though the score indicates a heavy setback for Ford City, Hutcherson said he hopes his players can grow from the experience of Monday's game and the coming weekend, when the Sabers will compete in Freeport's Christmas Tournament.

“We're just working to get better and better for our section season,” Hutcherson said. “Hopefully, when we go down to Freeport, we can do well there and get some momentum for the second half (of the season).”

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at mgrubba@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.

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.