Geibel's Ewing scores career-high 28 points in key section win
TribLIVE Sports Videos
With four Section 3-A losses already on its record, the Geibel boys basketball team knew beating Avella at home Friday night was of utmost importance if it wanted to retain solid hopes of making the WPIAL playoffs.
The Gators came through.
Despite trailing for a majority of the first half, the Gators continued to battle and took control late on the way to a 60-52 victory.
“We talked about it in practice,” Geibel coach Bill Hughes said. “We told them that if we won, we'd be in a three-way tie (in section wins) with Avella and Mapletown for fourth place. The guys have been working hard, and I'm proud of their effort.”
Hughes especially was pleased that his team overcame several obstacles to beat the Eagles.
Brandon Miller led the Eagles (3-11, 1-3) with 22 points, and Walt Kopko finished with 12 points and helped Avella to an early lead.
However, the Gators (2-11, 1-4) stayed aggressive defensively and started to get rewarded on the offensive side.
Brent Plisko scored five points in the opening quarter as Geibel stayed within striking distance at 11-7. In the second quarter, Geibel's James Ewing began to assert himself.
He scored eight points in the quarter on his way to a career-high 28-point effort.
“James is a silent leader, and a game like this for him is huge,” Hughes said. “He did a good job of handling the pressure.”
Bailey Miller scored eight points in the second quarter to help the Gators pull within 29-28 at the half.
With momentum already on their side, the Gators received another boost prior to the start of the third quarter.
Matt Mammarella, who suffered a leg injury in the first half, told the team he would be able to come back for the second half. He added two big buckets in the second half to help Geibel overtake the visitors.
“Matt Mammarella is our heart and soul,” Hughes said. “He went down in the second quarter, but at halftime, he said he was good to go.”
Geibel came out strong in the second half as Ewing buried two big shots to help the Gators claim a 38-36 lead headed to the fourth.
With the game tied at 38-38, Tucker Bokan hit a 3-pointer to put the Gators ahead to stay. Ewing connected for 13 fourth-quarter points to help seal the win.
For Avella, the game represented a missed opportunity to gain the driver's seat in the race for one of the last playoff spots in the section. Avella coach Joseph Hough pinpointed the Eagles' main weakness in the loss.
“We couldn't make free throws,” Hough said, lamenting his team's 14-of-31 effort from the line. “Geibel played really well, but we have to knock down free throws. This was a huge ballgame. If we win, we're sitting pretty, but it's a tough loss.
“The kids played hard, but we couldn't make free throws.”
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.
- Fox Chapel boys basketball team will rely on rotation for scoring
- Deer Lakes girls basketball set for AAA competition
- Athletic McKeesport boys basketball team features new coach, up-tempo style
- McKeesport girls basketball team healthy, anxious to start new season
- 6-foot-8 transfer bolsters Cheswick Christian boys lineup
- Deer Lakes boys move into tough Class AAA section
- Ford City, Kittanning winter teams look forward to ‘last ride’ before school merger
- With starters back, Geibel boys basketball team expects big improvement
- Fox Chapel grad Papich makes jump into coaching
- Southmoreland girls hope to compete despite shorthanded roster
- Frazier grad Poling set to coach school’s girls basketball team