Frazier boys basketball team boots South Allegheny from postseason
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Sure, it was South Allegheny's first playoff game in more than a decade. And sure, the Gladiators exceeded expectations by putting a decade of disappointment — a 59-165 record and no winning seasons — behind them.
But that's something that second-year coach Tony DiCenzo and South Allegheny will be proud of down the road.
South Allegheny's first playoff game since 2003 ended like its last one — in heartbreaking fashion.
Two months after routing Frazier by 25 points on its home court, South Allegheny was stunned by the Commodores, 46-43, in a WPIAL Class AA preliminary-round game at Baldwin on Saturday.
“There's no doubt about it, this one stings,” DiCenzo said.
Frazier (15-7) advanced to take on No. 6 Avonworth (16-5) at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Chartiers-Houston.
“Can I tell you something? We didn't lose to anybody twice all year,” Frazier coach Ed Keebler said. “These kids have gotten better as the year has gone on, and we've gotten a lot better since we last played South Allegheny.”
South Allegheny (14-9) was only two years removed from a winless season and was on the verge of winning the school's first playoff game in 13 years before faltering down the stretch against a gritty Frazier team.
“Right now, this hurts,” DiCenzo said. “We wanted to win the game and move on in the tournament, but when we look back on this we are going to be happy with what we accomplished.”
DiCenzo paused, then added: “But it might take awhile.”
South Allegheny's Ty Cook had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Kordell Thompson scored 13. Charles Manack led Frazier with 20 points and eight rebounds.
“We knew it was going to be a closer game than what it was a couple months ago,” DiCenzo said. “They are a better team than they were then, and so are we. You have to give them credit.”
Frazier held South Allegheny to 20 fewer points compared to their first meeting. The Commodores defended the 3-point shot much better than they did in December.
“We didn't realize going into that game how good they can shoot the three,” Keebler said. “They had to hit 10 our first meeting. They were lights out. We just had our good players to get out there and get a hand in the face more.”
South Allegheny hit only 4 of 18 from 3-point range (14 of 45 field goals overall), including a pair of missed opportunities by Jeiron Lewis late in the game — the first would have put SA ahead with 10 seconds left; the second would have sent the game to overtime.
“To be honest, that's how we go,” DiCenzo said. “When we shoot the ball well and with the way we defend, we are a tough team to beat. When we have an off-night shooting is the reason why we can lose.”
Early on, it was all Cook for South Allegheny.
The senior scored all nine of SA's points in the first quarter and its first 11. But when Cook picked up his second foul midway through the first half, everything changed.
Cook scored only five points the rest of the game, but would be missed more on the defensive end.
Because of foul trouble, DiCenzo was forced to move Cook off Manack, and the 6-foot-1 senior took full advantage. Manack was 5 of 7 from the floor and scored 14 points in the second half.
“What that kid has between his ears and what he is teaching the kids is amazing,” Keebler said. “Still, I am surprised they didn't get (Cook) the ball more. I don't know what happened. We really didn't do anything more with him.”
SA led 31-27 in the third before Frazier used a 9-0 run to end the quarter with a 36-31 lead. Frazier extended its lead to 40-32 before S
A rallied to get within 42-41 when Thompson hit a 3-pointer with 2:08 left.
Roger Cline would get loose for a layup 30 seconds later, then converted a pair of free throws late.
“At the end of the day, they were a little bit better than us,” DiCenzo said.
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.
- Knoch girls seek dividends of experience
- Serra girls expecting repeat success
- WPIAL AAAA boys basketball preview: Runners-up last season, North Allegheny hopes to take next step
- Kiski Area boys a team in transition after graduation of top scorer
- With star Satira gone, Serra Catholic boys basketball to rely on team effort
- Elizabeth Forward boys basketball preparing to fill big shoes
- Latrobe boys look to defend Section 1-AAAA title with experienced lineup
- Frazier girls expect success under 2nd-year coach
- Southmoreland girls basketball team sets playoffs as goal
- Steel Valley boys put focus back on basketball
- Derry boys basketball hoping to change losing ways