Central Valley rallies past Farrell to reach PIAA semifinals
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Central Valley would prefer a comfortable lead, but so far that just hasn't happened.
For the third time in their last four games, the Warriors used a resilient second-half rally to win. Central Valley overcame a 16-point halftime deficit to beat District 10 champion Farrell, 69-62, on Friday night in a PIAA Class AAA quarterfinal at New Castle.
“We don't want to come back; we want to get up early,” said senior Tony Gates, who scored 12 of his 18 points after halftime. “But we've got to do what we've got to do to win.”
Lately, that's meant late-game rallies.
In the PIAA second round, Central Valley trailed Thomas Jefferson by seven points midway through the fourth quarter. In the WPIAL final, the team rallied to beat Chartiers Valley in double overtime.
“This is one special group,” Central Valley senior Matt Kline said. “I don't know how, but I think every playoff game we've been behind to start by five or 10. But we always find a way to come back.”
Michael Sims scored 16 points and Kline added 11 for Central Valley (25-3), which will face District 3 champion Susquehanna Township on Tuesday in the semifinals. Susquehanna beat Lancaster Mennonite, 75-57. The site and time has not been announced.
“We don't get rattled down the stretch,” said CV coach Brandon Ambrose, who credited the composure of Sims, the team's senior point guard.
Malik Miller led Farrell (24-4) with 21 points, and Chris James had 15.
With physical play and pressure defense, the teams combined for 52 fouls.
Farrell had three players foul out. Central Valley had three starters in foul trouble.
“Their experience really showed over our experience tonight,” Farrell coach Roland Shannonhouse said.
With 5:46 left in the fourth, Central Valley trailed 54-43. But Farrell went more than five minutes without a basket, and the Warriors mounted a 21-2 run.
Consecutive 3-pointers by Central Valley's Jacob St. George and John George forced a 54-54 tie. A layup and foul shot by Gates gave Central Valley its first lead, 57-55 with 3 minutes left. With Farrell unable to make a shot, five points from Kline pushed the lead to seven.
“In the first half, I wasn't as aggressive as I should have been,” said Kline, a 6-foot-8 forward who scored 10 second-half points. “In the second half, I knew that I was bigger than them and stronger than them and that I could get every rebound out there.”
With 52 seconds left, Central Valley led 62-55.
“We were angry with the way we'd played in the first half,” Gates said. “We don't want to go home.”
The second quarter was Central Valley's problem. The Warriors trailed by only one point after the first quarter but were outscored 24-9 in second. Farrell was quicker, more aggressive and led 38-22 at halftime.
But that changed. Central Valley became more aggressive and began the second half with an 11-0 run. It started with four free throws by Kline and a layup and foul shot by Gates. When Sims made a pull-up shot from the left block, Farrell's lead had dwindled to 38-33.
“I thought we had them on the ropes,” Shannonhouse said, “and they just continued to fight. They took the game to another level in the first four minutes of the third quarter, and we didn't respond. I think our guys panicked.”
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.
- Allderdice boys advance to PIAA tournament
- Blackhawk girls take down South Fayette to repeat as WPIAL Class AAA champs
- Undefeated Aliquippa downs Seton-La Salle for WPIAL Class AA title
- Indiana boys beat Beaver Falls for 1st WPIAL basketball title
- Monessen downs Jeannette to win WPIAL Class A championship
- Seton-La Salle girls defeat rival Bishop Canevin to capture 7th WPIAL title
- Monessen boys capture yet another WPIAL basketball title
- Pinpoint free-throw shooting carries North Allegheny to 1st finals since 1999
- Oliver: It takes a lot to be a Greyhound
- Blairsville girls claim District 6-A title
- Bishop Canevin knocks off No. 2 seed Burrell, 32-30