California still in playoff race
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Frazier's road woes continued Wednesday at California, this time costing the Commodores a chance to get a piece of the Section 5 AA title.
The Trojans' defensive-minded 48-38 victory dropped Frazier into a tie for second place in the section with Charleroi at 9-3 (13-6 overall), while California improves to 7-5 (9-11) and remains very much alive in the playoff race.
“Big win, big win,” California coach Bruno Pappasergi said. “It was a total team effort. Rebounding-wise, that's how we got beat the first time we played them and tonight was much improved. Offensively, we really executed even though it looked otherwise at times. We did the little things we needed to.
“We kept switching defenses all night and the kids were so focused. They never missed a switch and they stayed on point all night. We probably switched through four or five defenses and they were on point each time.”
Frazier is 4-6 on the road and averages just 45.6 points per game, compared to an 8-0 mark at home, where the Commodores average 61.6 points per game.
“We've been struggling on the road,” Frazier coach Ed Keebler said. “We've been putting up some points at home, but on the road we have just been having trouble putting the ball in the hoop. We had plenty of attempts; the attempts were there tonight. Were they all perfect? No, but we had a lot of good attempts and the ball just wouldn't go in. The same thing happened to us last week against Jefferson-Morgan.”
California was strong defensively, especially in the first half where the Trojans held Frazier to 15 points, forced 14 turnovers and outrebounded the Commodores 14-12.
“We talked about holding their penetration down,” Pappasergi said. “We didn't want to let them penetrate the middle so they can kick the ball out; that's where they are most effective. We laid back in our 3-2 defense and didn't let them penetrate.
“Our guards were really strong on top. Kass Taylor, Austin Wingo and all of the guards for that matter, everybody just did a heck of a job rebounding.”
Frazier began to heat up briefly in the third quarter when Alvin Ross made two 3-pointers to help the Commodores out score California, 12-11. Ross scored eight of his team-high 12 points in the third, while Demetri Clements did his best to keep California in the lead, going for nine of his 13 points in the quarter.
Frazier cut the lead to seven with a minute to play after Roger Cline drove the lane for a layup, stole the inbounds pass and scored another layup, but a quick three-point play by Malik Jackson snuffed out the comeback attempt.
Cline finished with 10 points, while Jackson had five and a team-high seven rebounds. Josh Luko joined Clements in double digits with a game-high 16 points, including five in the final frame.
“Our kids were focused from the first tip,” Pappasergi said. “That's what we have to do. We came out strong and continued to play strong the whole game. We got to every loose ball. When we play that physical and that emotional, we are really hard to beat.”
Frazier will need to recover quickly if it hopes to clinch second place in the section.
“Tonight was a tough one,” Keebler said. “We have Charleroi tomorrow and Brownsville on Friday so we can't afford a letdown. We're fighting for second place now.”
Donnie Tasser 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.
- Monessen’s Brown coaching in J. Budd Grebb Memorial Summer Basketball League
- Baldwin boys basketball team to be led by solid senior leadership in 2015-16
- Norwin girls basketball win McKeesport summer league
- Quaker Valley boys basketball puts in summer work
- Sarra has made a career out of achieving
- No lack of scoring in Grebb boys’ action
- Young Penn-Trafford girls basketball team using summer league to improve