South Fayette stymies Greensburg Salem in Class AAA preliminary game
TribLIVE Sports Videos
It's tough to win basketball games when you can't make shots.
Fortunately for South Fayette, it had Nick McKee.
The 5-foot-10 junior guard was the only player on the floor for either team to consistently make shots in the first half. This came from a player who hadn't practiced in a week after suffering a sprained ankle at Chartiers Valley on Feb. 7.
McKee scored 14 of his game-high 16 points in the first half, and South Fayette rolled to a 54-42 victory against Greensburg Salem (10-12) on Friday at Peters Township in the preliminary round of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.
South Fayette (13-9) advances to face No. 4 seed Elizabeth Forward (18-3) on Tuesday at a site to be determined.
After Greensburg Salem tied to score 10-10 early in the second quarter on a basket by Antonio Ferrari, South Fayette ended the half on a 13-0 run to grab a 23-10 lead at the break as McKee hit two 3-pointers. He had four 3-pointers in the first half.
The second quarter proved to be the difference.
“Nick had a few shots, and we got a few stops in the second quarter,” South Fayette coach Rich Bonnaure said. “I was kind of worried because Nick hadn't touched a ball in week. He hit a couple shots. He's a winner.
“I thought if we could get the lead, we'd be OK. Our defense has been pretty good. Getting the lead on them was the key.”
Greensburg Salem was 0 for 9 from the floor after Ferrari's shot and it finished the first half shooting 3 for 23 (13 percent).
“We just couldn't get the basketball in the hole the first half,” Greensburg Salem coach Craig Mankins said. “We got good shots; we just couldn't get the ball to fall.
“We kept fighting, but McKee's four 3s proved to be the difference. It stretched the game out. I felt we did a good job defensively.”
In the second half, South Fayette's Jack Relihan picked up where McKee left off. He finished 16 points, 12 in the second half.
Mankins said the team was confident they could play against South Fayette. Relihan was a tough matchup.
Greensburg Salem found its shooting touch in the second half, but the Golden Lions had trouble cutting into South Fayette's lead.
Pat Boyer and Antonio Ferrari each scored 13 points for Greensburg Salem, including 11 each in the second half. Boyer finished with 12 rebounds.
“I don't think we played our best,” Bonnaure said. “Both teams played hard. It's nice to not play your best and still win a playoff game.”
South Fayette junior Brett Brumbaugh had 10 points and 13 rebounds, while Justin Watson added 18 rebounds.
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.
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.
- Pitt recruit Rowan leaving Lincoln Park
- Fox Chapel girls basketball coach Meabon steps down after 5 seasons
- New coach to lead Greensburg Salem girls basketball