Alle-Kiski basketball notebook: Apollo-Ridge ready for Summit Academy rematch
By Bill Beckner Jr.
Published: Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, 10:21 p.m.
Their first meeting was a track meet, but the Apollo-Ridge boys basketball team was the one with its head down and hands on its knees at the finish line.
Host Summit Academy overcame a three-point deficit after three quarters and sprinted past Apollo-Ridge, 75-67, on Dec. 20 in the teams' Section 1-AA opener. It remains Apollo-Ridge's only loss.
But the Vikings (12-1, 4-1) get a chance to even the score Friday in a rematch that expects to be another ready-set-go affair.
“I expect my guys to be ready to play. I think the atmosphere should by exciting, and I hope we can feed off that,” Apollo-Ridge coach Matt Gourley said. “Summit has a very good team. They are very athletic, quick and if they shoot well they are going to be tough to beat.”
Summit Academy (9-3, 4-0) beat the Vikings with a fourth-quarter surge, sparked by the play of Dasonte White, who had 19 of his game-high 30 points in the final frame when the Knights outscored the Vikings, 26-15.
The Knights also got 18 points from Shawn McFadden and 14 from Donte Tyson. The team is coached by 1986 Kiski Area graduate Adam Petrosky, who was an assistant for two years before assuming the head coaching job this season.
“We're both transition teams, and dangerous at that, but our goal is to stop (Apollo-Ridge) from doing that,” Petrosky said. “We don't want Tre (Tipton) to get a steal or rebound and take it one end to the other. We have to put a halt to that.
“Our team has a lot of first-year players. We're a work in progress.”
Summit has been one of the WPIAL's highest-scoring teams at 71.5 points per game. The Knights have put up 85 or more five times, including 93 against Deer Lakes and 97 against Burrell.
White hit nine 3-pointers and scored 35 in the Burrell game.
“We need to be disciplined on both sides of the ball,” Gourley said. “The amount of turnovers on either side will play a big factor in the outcome.”
Four players scored in double-figures for Apollo-Ridge in the first meeting. Tipton led with 20, Duane Brown had 18, Mitchell Johnston 15 and Alex Smith 12.
The St. Joseph boys team is developing a propensity for late-game heroics. On at least three occasions this season, the Spartans (5-8) have won with late fireworks.
The most recent case came Tuesday in a double-overtime win over Wilkinsburg. Junior guard Dan Sullivan connected on a 3-pointer to send the game to overtime and the Sabers made 17 of 26 free throws across overtime to beat the Tigers, 87-79.
Sullivan also hit the game-winning 3 in a 60-59 win over Imani Christian. In the Spartans' opener, they scored 13 points in two minutes, including seven in 17 seconds, to rally past Ford City, 48-45.
The Freeport girls team has a pair of former A-K Valley headliners on its coaching staff.
Former Ford City star Marisa Wolfe, who played at Penn State as a reserve forward, is helping head coach Paul Sylba. They're joined by former Riverview baseball standout pitcher Brandon Federici, who was drafted by two MLB teams, the Tampa Bay Rays and San Francisco Giants, in the early 2000s.
Wolfe missed her senior season with concussion-like symptoms.
“Marisa and Brandon are both fantastic to have on the sidelines,” Sylba said. “Both are very enthusiastic.”
Sylba coached against Wolfe and also coached her in the Cager Classic all-star game. He also coached Federici in youth football and in freshman basketball.
Several local teams had trouble scoring points last Thursday. In a rare occurrence, three A-K teams combined for six scoreless quarters.
The Kiski Area boys and Leechburg girls both did not score in the second half of their games. Kiski Area used slow-down tactics to repel Penn-Trafford's use of a “junk” defense and won a much-talked-about-game 30-29 in overtime.
The Kiski Area girls had a scoreless first quarter in a loss to Norwin.
With 31 points against Central Catholic on Tuesday, Fox Chapel's Matt D'Amico needs 54 to break his school's scoring record of 1,321 points set by Dave Ostrosky in 1989.
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