Shady Side Academy plays past Jeannette
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Michael Young might have grown up even more Saturday.
The Shady Side Academy 6-foot-7 freshman scored all of his 11 points in the second half, helping to lead the No. 3-seeded Indians to a 53-45 win over Jeannette in a WPIAL Class AA quarterfinal game Saturday afternoon at Woodland Hills.
Jerome Barnes scored a team-high 15 points, and Cooper Handelsman added 11 for Shady Side (18-3), which advanced to play No. 7-seeded Rochester in Tuesday's semifinals.
Barnes, Handelsman and Young scored all but two of Shady Side Academy's 18 fourth-quarter points, leading the Indians to their second victory in three meetings this season against the Jayhawks (16-8), also a Section 4 rival.
Shady Side Academy coach Terence Parham said Young's performance yesterday was reminiscent of how the 14-year-old newcomer played in the second half Jan. 22 at Jeannette. The Indians won that one in overtime, and Parham said he's seen Young mature as the season has progressed.
"You're talking about a kid who's coming from McKeesport into a whole new atmosphere socially, academically, and now, you gotta try to compete athletically on this court," Parham said. "And remember, he's only 14 years old, and I'm throwing him in these type of atmospheres."
Young said a few turnovers and missed layups threw him off in the first half, after which Shady Side led, 24-14. The difference in the second half, according to Young, was concentration.
"I just got more focused," Young said. "I thought about what I was supposed to do and just got involved in the game."
Toddy Harris led Jeannette with 15 points and hit a 3-pointer that brought the Jayhawks within four, 43-39, with 2:30 remaining.
But Barnes answered with six of the game's next eight points, and his slam dunk on a fast break with a minute left all but put it away.
Jordan Batts added 13 points, and Demetrious Cox added 10 for No. 11 Jeannette, which struggled finishing around the basket.
"Those are opportunities in the playoffs that you have to capitalize on," Jeannette coach Adrian Batts. "Down the stretch, my guys got rattled against the zone. I don't understand why; we've been zoned all year.
"But I'm very proud of our guys. No one expected us to be here. They played their hearts out, and that's all I can ask."
Young nearly missed earning a double-double, grabbing nine rebounds. Shady Side Academy's other freshman, 6-2 guard Geno Thorpe, scored nine points.
Parham said his team's older, more experienced players, such as Barnes, a senior, have been great in developing Thorpe and Young.
"Our seniors have done a great job of just taking (Young) in, as well as Geno," he said, "and I think it's paid off for our team."
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