Highlands downs Valley for 1st section victory
By George Guido
Published: Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, 10:12 p.m.
When Highlands and Valley have played basketball over the past 46 seasons, it often has been for playoff position.
But on Saturday afternoon, the Highlands-Valley matchup presented a look at which team is further along in its rebuilding program.
A big second-quarter advantage by Highlands led to a 52-41 victory in a Section 1-AAA contest.
The Golden Rams outscored the host Vikings, 19-8, in the second period as Highlands won its fifth straight game on the New Kensington hardwood.
It was also the first section victory of the season for Highlands (5-7, 1-3). Valley slipped to 5-7, 1-5.
“In the summer league, we don't call fouls because we want to emulate that every time we play is a road game,” Golden Rams coach Tyler Stoczynski said.
“We're not looking to whine about any officiating. We're taught to play as hard as we can and no matter what happens, we have to stick together.”
Junior Kaison Branch came off the bench to score 13 points and equal his season's average.
“Kaison's one of those guys who, when he keeps his head in the game, he can be extremely effective,” Stoczynski said. “The one thing he's really done this year is mature, and, say if a call goes against him, battling his way through and getting ready for the next play.”
Sophomore Tyler Alworth chipped in 11 points.
Valley ended the first quarter with a 7-0 spurt to move within 13-12, but Highlands began to pull away in the second period.
“I felt like we were very flat to start the game,” Valley coach Mark Faulx said. “We dug ourselves a hole.
“We're not an offensive juggernaut just yet, so when we dig ourselves a hole we end up having a big problem getting back.”
Branch tallied seven points in the second period, while sophomore Jordan Lineburg made two free throws with 29 seconds left in the half to lift the Golden Rams to a 32-20 advantage at the intermission.
Vikings junior Caleb Davis got hot in the fourth period, scoring Valley's first seven points to cut the Golden Rams' lead to 44-37 with 4:11 to go. The Vikings couldn't get any closer.
Valley also struggled at the free-throw line, hitting 5 of 16 attempts.
“You've got to really win your home games in the section,” Laulx said.
“This one certainly hurts, but it's just one game and we'll regroup, get back to practice and learn from this.”
Davis and junior Tyson Hill fouled out in the fourth quarter, quashing any thoughts of a late Valley comeback.
Hill scored three field goals, each on strong offensive rebounds.
Sophomore Lavontae Martin corralled 11 rebounds to lead the Golden Rams.
Highlands visits Freeport on Tuesday before returning home for a makeup game against Mars on Wednesday.
Valley is off until Friday when it visits Mars.
George Guido is a freelance writer.
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.
- West Mifflin ponders late breakdowns in PIAA playoff loss
- Serra Catholic’s PIAA path and foe familiar
- Blackhawk fights past sloppy 1st half to beat Mercyhurst
- Free-throw shooting keys Fox Chapel’s opening-round win
- Thomas Jefferson basketball team wants to erase sting of WPIAL loss
- Greensburg Central Catholic boys roll past Bald Eagle in PIAA opener
- Seton-La Salle basketball teams share WPIAL Class AA limelight
- Breaking down the PIAA boys basketball playoffs
- PIAA boys basketball roundup: Chartiers Valley pulls out first-round victory
- Seton-La Salle girls cruise past Blairsville
- Elizabeth Forward girls advance to PIAA second round