Randall a difference-maker for Gateway basketball team

Michael Love
| Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Delvon Randall has been a difference maker for the Gateway varsity boys basketball team so far this season, and the senior guard has put up impressive numbers for the Gators, who are 7-3 overall as they begin their January slate in and out of Section 2-AAAA.

He averaged 17.6 points per game through his team's first 10 contests and showed his talents during the Gateway Holiday Classic at the Furrie Sports Complex.

In a tough 82-68 loss to North Allegheny in the title game Saturday, Delvon Randall scored a game-best 33 points. He made 11 of 14 shots from the field.

He also was 10 of 11 from the foul line.

“I just stay focused and rely on fundamentals,” Randall said. “I love getting a steal or assisting my teammates on a bucket. It's fun going down and getting a layup and seeing everybody hyped up. Whatever it takes, I want to be able to do it for my team.”

Randall averaged 20.3 points per game as Gateway went 2-1 in the Gateway Holiday Classic.

The Gators beat Shaler, 54-31, in the first game and scored a 60-58 overtime win against Jeannette in the semifinals on Friday.

Randall was clutch in the extra session against the Jayhawks.

With the game tied at 58, Gateway held for the final shot, and head coach Mitch Adams called a timeout with 12 seconds remaining.

A play was drawn up, and Randall got the ball in his hands. He converted a driving layup through the Jeannette defense to give the Gators the lead with five seconds on the clock.

“It was coming straight to me,” Randall said.

“I want the ball in my hands. I had to make the shot and win the game for my team.”

Jayhawks star Julian Batts, who scored 36 in a first-round win over Clairton, finished with 26 against the Gators and had a 3-point shot at the buzzer ring off the rim and fall away.

Randall scored 24 points ­— a season high before Saturday's 33-point effort — in a 56-53 Section 2 win over Plum on Dec. 20, and he helped the Gators' cause with a tip-in bucket in the waning minutes to help seal the victory.

Randall said he simply hopes that the numbers he puts up helps the team to wins.

“It's a great feeling to know that the coaches and my teammates have confidence in me,” Randall said.

Gateway is 3-0 in Section 2 play and will try to remain perfect in the section Friday as it hosts Franklin Regional at 7:30 p.m.

A big section contest at Fox Chapel looms Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The Foxes are 7-1 overall and 2-1 in section play.

Fox Chapel lost to Franklin Regional, 66-63, on Dec. 17, and it plays at Penn Hills Friday before Tuesday's matchup with the Gators.

“It's exciting to know what we can do if we all work together,” Randall said.

“It starts by working even harder in practice and keeping up the intensity throughout a game. No matter what happens, we have each other's backs,” Randall said.

Randall's strong play on the hardwood comes on the heels of a successful football season for the Gators. He put up top receiving numbers and also lined up at quarterback and as a runner in the wildcat.

Randall received all-conference second-team honors as a multipurpose athlete, and several people, including Adams, felt he was one of the region's top football players and deserved a higher standing on the all-conference squad.

Randall was selected to play in the annual Chesapeake Bowl all-star football game with senior teammates Joe Robak, Brenon Thrift and Montae Nicholson.

However, because of personal reasons, he decided to stay close to home for the holiday season and didn't travel to Virginia Beach, Va., for Saturday's game.

The North, with the Gateway trio a big part of the effort, beat the South, 59-21.

North Allegheny 82, Gateway 68

Hot shooting by the Gators gave them a 34-31 lead at halftime, but 21 turnovers for the game and a 33-point fourth-quarter explosion from the Tigers sent Gateway to defeat Saturday.

North Allegheny (9-0) outscored Gateway, 33-19, in the final quarter, as five players reached double figures for the Tigers.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825, at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.

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