Shift in strategy paves way for Apollo-Ridge's victory
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Trailing by one at the half, Apollo-Ridge coach Matt Gourley felt his team had to change its attack.
Tre Tipton was moved from the backcourt to the frontcourt, and the move paid dividends. The Vikings collected a 52-38 victory over California in a WPIAL Class AA preliminary-round game at Elizabeth Forward.
Apollo-Ridge started the third quarter with a 22-2 run and cruised to victory.
The Vikings (19-3) will play Quaker Valley in a first-round game Wednesday at a site and time to be determined.
Apollo-Ridge trailed 19-18 at the half.
“That first half wasn't us,” Gourley said. “We didn't play well in the first half. We put Tre in the paint, that took them out of their flat-3 defense, and we were able to score some buckets.”
The move resulted in open shooting areas, and the Vikings took advantage.
Alex Smith, who had missed time recently with an ankle sprain, made a trio of 3-pointers in the third period.
“Alex hasn't practiced in three or four days. We didn't even know if we were going to have him today,” Gourley said. “He came in for the shootaround this morning and he said it felt great. I told him I would watch him in the warmups, and I decided not to hold him back.”
Smith scored 11 of his 13 points in the third quarter, and Dominic Schrecengost had seven of his nine as Apollo-Ridge outscored California (10-13), 28-6, in the quarter.
“We have to score to press,” Gourley said. “So we were able to start pressing a little better. We want to use our defense to score. The first half, we were a little anxious and missed a lot of shots.”
“They're athletes,” Trojans coach Bruno Pappasergi said. “They came out in the second half with guns a-blazing. Tipton's too good. We didn't want to go down in the lane with him. When we got behind, we had to change our game plan.''
Apollo-Ridge forced eight California turnovers in the third period. Loren Wingard's two steals late in the third resulted in Vikings baskets.
The most spectacular turnover of the day came when Tipton leaped at the baseline to grab an inbounds pass.
Tipton fed to Smith, who was fouled by Malik Jackson and made both free throws to give the Vikings a 32-21 lead with 4:35 left in the third quarter.
Tipton had 10 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals. Freshman Duane Brown also had 13 points for Apollo-Ridge.
Pappasergi started the season as an assistant but took over as coach when coach Steve Luko became ill early in the season.
“Let me tell you right now: I've coached 38 years, and this team is one of the memorable teams I'll ever have,” Pappasergi said. “It's because of the adversity we faced. We were without two starters today. The kids played hard and they listened to what we tried to teach them in such a short period of time.”
George Guido 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.
- Lofty expectations
- Leechburg boys set to go up-tempo
- Plum girls basketball team looking to take next step
- Mt. Pleasant to rely on experienced, balanced group
- South Allegheny boys seeking bounce-back season
- Coach focused on building South Allegheny girls program
- Monessen girls basketball eyes playoff return
- Leechburg girls set out to build on breakout season
- Plum boys basketball seeks section 3-peat
- South Fayette, Chartiers Valley boys basketball teams setting goals high again
- Parham set to lead Deer Lakes boys in challenging Section 1-AAA