Farrell uses OT run to down Uniontown
Uniontown lost a PIAA Class AAA second-round shootout, falling 86-72 to Farrell on Tuesday night at Penn Hills High School.
The Red Raiders' Lyric Ellis hit a 3-pointer with 1:44 left in overtime to tie the score at 72-72. Farrell's Chris James answered with a 3 on the Steelers' next possession, and that started a 14-0 Steelers run to close the game.
“We couldn't get our rhythm going,” Uniontown coach Rob Kezmarsky said. “To battle back and lose in overtime, there's no shame in that.”
Uniontown (22-3) rallied and survived a back-and-forth fourth quarter in which the Red Raiders never led but were able to tie the score with 35 seconds left when Xavier Ellis hit a 3-pointer from the corner.
Farrell's Jamel Brown then drove through the Uniontown defense to give the Steelers a quick two-point lead.
But Uniontown's Rodney Harris came off the bench to hit two clutch free throws to knot the score at 69-69 and send the game into overtime.
“That shows you what kind of players he is,” Kezmarsky said.
Joe Campbell led Uniontown with 19 points, followed by Jordan Pratt (15), Lyric Ellis (13), Xavier Ellis (11) and Jeremy Perkins (10).
The Steelers' Jamel Brown led all players with 23.
The Red Raiders lost an early lead midway through the first quarter and never regained it.
Uniontown was in foul trouble for the majority of the game. Four players fouled out, and Farrell went to the foul line 46 times and connected on 30 of those attempts.
The Red Raiders' full-court press forced several turnovers, but the Steelers (24-3) were able to break through and score fast-break layups on many occasions.
Perkins was a bright spot for the Red Raiders in the first half. He scored his team's first six points and by halftime had 10 to go with two steals and countless hustle plays. He was able to back defenders down to the low block and bank home easy baskets.
However, the Steelers were able to take a 32-22 lead at halftime by outrebounding the Red Raiders, 17-12, in the first two quarters and converting numerous second-chance points.
Uniontown responded with a 20-point third quarter to pull within five and put itself in a position to make a run at a victory.
Ed Phillipps is a freelance writer.