Central Valley captures thrilling championship in double overtime
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Central Valley's Tony Gates drew a foul and made one free throw with 0.6 seconds left in double overtime to claim Friday night's 70-69 victory over Chartiers Valley in the WPIAL Class AAA championship at Palumbo Center.
Tied at 69, Gates drove into the lane and Chartiers Valley's Kyle Westover was called for a block. With 00.6 on the clock, Gates made his first free throw and his teammates erupted in celebration. He missed the second toss, but Chartiers Valley had no time to answer.
“I'm used to knocking down free throws in the clutch,” said Gates, who'd been held scoreless in regulation, but scored seven points in the two overtimes. “I practice.”
“He's one of our best free throw shooters,” teammate Mike Sims said. “We depend on him.”
But the Warriors really had little choice. Jacob St. George had 17 points, John George had 12 and Sims had 10. But all three Central Valley starters were on the bench with five fouls.
“We did it without some guys in the game there at the end,” Central Valley coach Brandon Ambrose said. “I guess that's why you build depth.”
Brian Kolich scored 11 points off the bench for No. 2 Central Valley (22-3). Matty McConnell had 22 points for No. 1 Chartiers Valley (24-2) and made a tough layup with 48 seconds left to force the 69-69 tie. Jerrad Tuite had 26 points and Eddie Flohr added 13 points for the Colts, who were runners-up for the second consecutive season.
Central Valley overcame a 12-point first-half deficit and needed two extraordinary plays just to reach the second overtime. A driving layup by Sims with 4.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter forced the first overtime. A steal and go-ahead layup by Gates with 18.5 seconds left forced the second, when Tuite made a game-tying free throw with 14 seconds left but missed his second shot.
Tuite, who clinched his team's semifinal win with free throws, was 17 of 20 from the line.
This was just the fourth season for Central Valley, which became a school in 2010 when Beaver County neighbors Center and Monaca merged. But the Warriors needed just one visit to Palumbo to claim their first WPIAL basketball title.
“I had a feeling we'd win it,” Ambrose said. “... I just thought it was our time, our turn.”
Led by McConnell, Chartiers Valley started well. The Colts led 6-0 when McConnell made three free throws and 8-1 before Central Valley could make a basket. Six more points by McConnell gave Chartiers Valley a 14-4 lead with 2:24 left in the first quarter. McConnell had 10 of his team's first 14 points.
A three by Tuite made the lead 17-5.
But Central Valley recovered with a 13-2 run that included the first quarter's final six points when Matt Kline's free throw finished a three-point play with 22 seconds left. The Warriors' run had cut Chartiers Valley's lead to one point midway into the second quarter. When Kolich made two free throws with 5:07 left in the second quarter, Chartiers Valley led 19-18.
Consecutive 3-pointers by Central Valley's Chris Anastas and Chartiers Valley's Westover just before halftime marked the first of seven lead changes. There also were six ties at 29, 49, 55, 63, 67 and 69. The final three came in double overtime.
“I hated every moment of it,” Sims said, “but I loved every minute of it at the same time because we just prevailed.”
Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @CHarlan_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.
- Starkey: Stupid Steelers
- It’s only exhibition, but these Steelers could solidify roster spots vs. Eagles
- Steelers running backs Bell, Blount will face drug charges
- New Kensington slaying victims identified
- Kiss’ makeup has changed, but their impact remains strong
- Brentwood man chronicles battle with haunted house
- Pitt sophomore Coles leaves football team
- Westinghouse could provide reactors for Utah nuclear site
- Husband of Butler County day care center operator charged with molesting children
- Pittsburgh Comedy Festival puts area’s growing comedy base on display
- Commitment by Steelers’ Gilbert pays off