Central Catholic holds off late McKeesport rally in victory
By Dave Mackall
Published: Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, 11:27 p.m.
Chuck Crummie rode Central Catholic's third-quarter momentum to career coaching victory No. 599 Friday night.
But the Vikings nearly wasted a 14-point fourth-quarter lead in the process.
Sean Whalen scored 12 points, and Central Catholic held off a furious McKeesport rally to claim a 63-58 WPIAL Section 2-AAAA road victory, enhancing the Vikings' playoff hopes heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.
Central Catholic (10-7, 7-3) trails section co-leaders Gateway and Plum by just one game.
Aside from that, Crummie won't have long to wait for a shot at his 600th victory. Central Catholic faces East Liverpool (Ohio) on Saturday in the Coaches vs. Cancer Clash of the Titans tournament at Geneva College.
His focus, however, appeared to be on his team's play rather than his own accomplishments.
“Any time you win on the road, you have an extra sense of satisfaction,” said Crummie, whose 34-year record is 599-290. “We were able to beat McKeesport's zone in the third quarter and get some easy baskets. They want to feel comfortable in that zone, but they started to question themselves when we got that lead.
“It changed the momentum of the game.”
Kevin Wharton-Price and freshman Paris Ford added 10 points each for Central Catholic, which swept the season series with McKeesport (8-9, 4-6).
“We need to split with the remaining teams we play from the section if we're going to get into the playoffs,” McKeesport coach Corey Gadson said. “This was a game we needed.”
Jordan Payne led the Tigers with 18 points, 13 coming in a furious fourth-quarter comeback attempt that saw McKeesport cut a 14-point deficit to four on Payne's 3-pointer with 45 seconds left.
Central Catholic survived by making 10 of 13 free throws in the fourth quarter and 19 of 26 overall. John Petrishen converted four in a row during one stretch in the final 1:30, and Alex Schopppen, who had a career-high nine rebounds, made both of his attempts with 56 seconds left to help the Vikings stay in the lead.
“We gave it a shot there at the end,” Gadson said. “I can't fault the effort. They played hard.”
Central Catholic used a 20-5 run spanning the end of the third quarter and the early part of the fourth to turn a one-point deficit into a 51-37 lead. After the teams traded baskets, McKeesport outscored the Vikings, 17-7 — with Payne scoring 13 during the run — to cut the deficit to 60-56 with 45 seconds left.
“Top to bottom, this section might be the most competitive in the WPIAL,” Crummie said. “That's not to say that the other sections aren't as good, but there is more balance in this section than I can remember for a long time.”
In a game that became physical at times, McKeesport made 11 of 13 free throws. The Tigers played nearly a full two quarters without leading scorer Khalil Perdue, who committed two fouls in the first quarter and picked up his third early in the third on a charge.
“He's got to stay on the floor,” Gadson said. “We've talked about that over and over again. It was just mistakes a young ballplayer makes.”
Perdue scored eight of his 14 points in the fourth quarter for McKeesport, his total nearly six points below his season average.
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. 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.
- Hempfield girls harass way to win over Fox Chapel
- PIAA boys basketball roundup: Farrell takes down Uniontown in Class AAA
- Burrell sophomore forward saves season
- Monessen’s PIAA run ends, 69-65
- Another tall task for Greyhounds
- Miscues cost Karns City girls in PIAA playoff loss
- Elizabeth Forward, Mt. Pleasant set for rematch in PIAA playoffs
- Seton-La Salle again ends GCC’s season in PIAA tournament
- PIAA girls basketball roundup: Seton-La Salle again ousts Greensburg C.C.
- Vincentian boys win, sets up showdown with Lincoln Park
- Monessen victimized by Bishop Carroll’s 22-0 run in 2nd half