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Greensburg Central Catholic starts strong, routs Serra Catholic

| Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, 11:36 p.m.

Greensburg Central Catholic just keeps on rolling. The only question was whether the second-ranked Class AA Centurions would reach the 100-point mark for the first time this season.

They almost did Friday night in a 98-55 rout of host Serra Catholic in a WPIAL Section 3-AA boys basketball game.

“I fully expect they'll go to the Palumbo Center. They're very good,” Serra Catholic coach Vince Gibbons said, referring to the Centurions' chances of playing in a WPIAL championship game this year.

Brian Graytok scored 23 points to lead five players in double figures for GCC (11-1, 5-0), which won its fifth consecutive game by jumping to a big early advantage and never letting up.

The Centurions outscored Serra Catholic 29-13 and 30-18 in the first two quarters to take a 28-point halftime lead. They stretched the margin to 78-46 after the third quarter before both coaches substituted freely in the fourth, when GCC's reserves outscored Serra's, 20-9.

Christian Hyland (17), Romano Sebastiani (15), Billy Hipp (11) and Cole Reese (10) also scored in double figures for GCC, whose only loss is to Class AAAA No. 3 North Allegheny.

Graytok, Hyland and Hipp combined for 39 of GCC's 59 first-half points.

“They're just much deeper than we are,” Gibbons said. “When you can play 10-11 players and not lose much, that's saying something about your team.”

Tyler Grebur paced Serra (3-8, 2-3) with 20 points. Joe Satira added 16 for the Eagles, who lost their third in a row.

GCC coach Greg Bisignani continued to stress the idea of a tough nonsection schedule as a key to the Centurions' progress.

GCC, a Class A school by enrollment, owns victories over Class AAAA teams McKeesport, No. 5 Hempfield and Woodland Hills and Class AAA schools Blackhawk and Greensburg Salem.

“We try to play good teams at the beginning of the year in an effort to get better,” Bisignani said. “The other thing that people might underestimate is our strength. We really got after it in the weight room over the summer.

“Our guys play with their heads up, and that's been a result of their strength training. We try to get up and down the floor no matter what.”

Bisignani said he used a 76-53 loss to North Allegheny at the Gateway Hoops Classic in December as a teaching tool, and his players have responded.

“Don't get me wrong, North Allegheny is a terrific team,” he said. “But I'd say we're not as bad as that score would suggest. We did not play well in that game, and we came home and broke down the film over and over. We showed them things they could improve on.”

Serra played much of the game without leading scorer Max Kaminski, who was averaging nearly 22 points.

Gibbons said the senior guard, who was not in the starting lineup and finished with just four points, was being penalized for breaking an unspecified team rule.

“As a competitor, you don't like losing,” Gibbons said. “But Greensburg Central Catholic is just so strong. Other than (Class A No. 1) Lincoln Park, who we lost to by 53, they're the best team we've played.”

Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at dmackall@tribweb.com.

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