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Charleroi rallies past Frazier

| Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
Charleroi's George Linneman (23) shots a three pointer against Frazier's Caleb Cox (12) at Charleroi in the first quarter on Thursday, Febuary 6,2014.

With second place in Section 5 AA on the line, Charleroi dominated the boards and used another sizzling shooting performance from Matt Indorante to drop Frazier 72-64.

The Commodores had four players scoring in double digits, but they did not have an answer for Charleroi's John Arnold and Ryan Konek, who both finished with double-doubles and Indorante, who shot 6-for-10 from three point range.

The Cougars (12-7, 10-3) avenged a 17-point loss from last week to take over sole possession of second place in the section with one regular season game to play.

“We worked out some things from last week,” Charleroi coach Bill Wiltz said. “We played much more intensely and I think Tuesday night's game (against Jefferson-Morgan) helped us over that hump and helped get our confidence back.

“Now we are playing with a lot more confidence and that's key, especially with this team.”

Frazier (13-7, 9-4) came into the week with a section championship within reach, but the Commodores have now lost two straight games and dropped to just 4-7 on the road.

“They shot the ball better this time around,” Frazier coach Ed Keebler said. “We have to limit their attempts. We allowed them way too many quality shots and they burned us every time.”

The Commodores opened the game hot, jumping to a 21-11 lead at the end of the first quarter behind eight points from freshman guard Alvin Ross.

Frazier pushed its lead to 12 early in the second quarter, but the Cougars began to claw their way back, cutting the lead to just four at the half (30-26) before using a 12-2 run in the third quarter to grab a 44-38 lead.

Indorante was instrumental in the run, hitting three 3-pointers. Ross finished with a game-high 21 points for the Commodores, while Indorante scored 20 to lead the Cougars.

“Matt's staying hot,” Wiltz said. “That's what we need. That was the halftime speech — get the hot people the ball. Keep feeding Indorante and Arnold. They weren't stopping them very well, so just keep feeding them.”

Frazier had no answer for the 6-7 sophomore Arnold, who was a force underneath the basket. He finished with 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, along with five blocked shots.

Konek, a 6-2 forward, was also dominant with 18 points – all in the second half – and 11 rebounds. Charleroi outrebounded Frazier 32-16.

“It hurt us the games when Arnold had to miss,” Wiltz said. “He is a force inside. There aren't many people who can defend him in our section. He just has too much size for people. We need to utilize him as much as possible.”

“We didn't box out well at all, allowed them to get the rebounds and kept giving them second and third attempts,” Keebler said. “We had tough ones two nights in a row. I don't think there was any carryover, but we definitely need to get better on the road.”

Charleroi continued its strong second half, pushing the lead to eight with four minutes to play, but an 8-0 Frazier run tied the game at 60-60 just a minute later.

However, Indorante hit the last of his threes to grab the lead back for the Cougars, and Konek hit six free throws to clinch it.

Joining Indorante, Arnold and Konek in double digit points was Brandon Bowman, who finished the night with 11. Roger Cline and Caleb Cox each scored 12 points and Charlie Manack added 10 to join Ross in double figures for the Commodores.

The fight for second place isn't over yet. Tonight, Charleroi travels to a fourth-place California team that has won four straight, while Frazier hosts first place Brownsville.

“We need to just keep playing hard,” Keebler said. “Beat Brownsville and hope for second.”

Donnie Tasser is a freelance writer.

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