Greensburg Central Catholic boys roll past Bald Eagle in PIAA opener
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Greensburg Central Catholic's warm-up jerseys read, “We work 84/32,” referencing the 84 feet that make up the length of the court and the 32 minutes that make up a high school game.
The Centurions lived up to that statement in their opening-round game of the PIAA Class AA playoffs, defeating Bald Eagle Area, 92-59, on Saturday at Hempfield.
“We ran up against a buzz saw,” Bald Eagle coach Bill Butterworth said. “That's why they're No. 3 in the state, and you can't ask much more of my kids than that.”
The Centurions shook off the disappointment from their 52-51 loss to Seton-La Salle in the WPIAL finals a week ago and pushed the tempo from start to finish, leading the entire way.
“That was one of our main goals, to win a WPIAL championship, but we just had to think about the fact that there's still a state championship out there,” senior Brian Graytok said. “We refocused in practice and came out and had a good showing today.”
Graytok led all scorers with 25 points, Billy Hipp scored 15, Romano Sebastiani 11 and Christian Hyland added 10 for GCC (23-3).
Greensburg Central Catholic moves on to face District 10 champion West Middlesex on Wednesday at a site and time to be determined. The Centurions lost to Lakeview in the second round of the PIAA playoffs a year ago.
“Last year we lost to a team that we should have beat,” Graytok said. “We know which round we lost in and we'll be motivated for Wednesday for sure.”
It was clear from the opening tip that Bald Eagle (20-6), the third-place team from District 6, was outmatched. Graytok finished a layup in the opening seconds, and GCC started on a 6-0 run before leading 18-11 at the end of the first quarter.
“You never know how a team's going to respond after a tough loss in a championship game,” GCC coach Greg Bisignani said. “But it just shows you the heart and determination that the kids play with.”
Bald Eagle was accustomed to playing an up-tempo style, but simply couldn't hang with GCC.
“We average 70 points a game in our league, so we're used to that. We want up-tempo,” Butterworth said. “I don't know how many jumpers they shot, but I know they shot a lot of layups off the fast-break.”
Graytok led a 13-2 GCC run to start the second quarter, stretching the lead to 31-13.
Leading by 14 in the third quarter, Graytok converted a 3-point play to cap a 12-4 run that stretched the lead to 61-37.
“We're a very motivated team,” Graytok said. “We worked hard in the summer, and we worked hard for the playoffs, so this is where we want to be our best.”
Sebastiani finished a back-door cut to stretch the lead to 82-52 in the fourth quarter. Both teams pulled their starters for the rest of the game.
Bryan Green led Bald Eagle with 19 points.
Gary Horvath is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Quaker Valley girls ‘up to the challenege’ of reaching WPIAL playoffs
- Time to shine for new-look West Shamokin boys basketball team
- Youth movement takes next step for St. Joseph girls
- West Shamokin girls basketball eyes another playoff run with new coach
- Streak on the line for St. Joseph boys
- WPIAL AAAA girls basketball preview: Reigning WPIAL champ Norwin hoping to lock down on defensive end
- Soutmoreland girls basketball team primary goal: playoffs
- WPIAL AAAA boys basketball preview: Runners-up last season, North Allegheny hopes to take next step
- Sewickley Academy girls embrace the unknown
- Leechburg girls set out to build on breakout season
- Plum girls basketball team looking to take next step