ShareThis Page

No. 3 Sewickley Academy cruises past Jeannette boys

| Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, 9:51 p.m.

Sewickley Academy got the better of Jeannette for a second straight postseason, and it didn't take a 21-point comeback this time around.

Chris Groetsch scored 21 points, including 15 in the third quarter, and the third-seeded Panthers ran away from No. 6 Jeannette, 80-51, in a WPIAL Class 2A boys basketball quarterfinal Friday at Northgate.

Sewickley Academy (18-4) needed a 28-6 run to close last year's semifinal meeting to top the Jayhawks (12-12) at the buzzer, but this time around, it was a 26-11 first quarter that put the game squarely in the Panthers' hands.

The Panthers advance to face No. 2 Bishop Canevin (19-4) in the semifinals Tuesday at a time and site to be determined.

Tempo played a factor in the Panthers' game plan, as they tried at every available chance to push the floor. SA scored 26 in the opening quarter and 28 in the third behind Groetsch's big quarter, and the Panthers steadily pulled away to a 70-39 lead to begin the fourth quarter.

“We're a running team, and we felt like with (Jeannette's) big, strong athletes, if we got locked into a half-court game, their physical strength could make a difference,” Sewickley Academy coach Win Palmer said.

For Jeannette, Mike Pompei scored 20 points, and the senior guard surpassed the 1,000-career point mark with a third-quarter 3-pointer. Robert Kennedy was second in scoring for the Jayhawks with eight off the bench.

“I was impressed with the way all eight of (Sewickley's players), and the way they defended,” Jeannette coach Adrian Batts said. “Their size negated a lot of what we were doing, and they switched a lot of the time.

“I thought we did a good job getting back in transition. ... But there were a couple of plays in a row, I think we were down by eight, and they would get an offensive rebound and kick it back out for a 3. That's a swing from eight to 14.”

Sewickley Academy got a big boost off their own bench from freshman guard Isaiah Smith, who scored 16, including 14 in the first half. Nate Ridgeway, who scored the winning basket in the final second last season, added 13 points.

“Our seniors have done a great job helping the freshmen develop, and they're always happy to see them come in like they did tonight and contribute,” Palmer said.

The Panthers are assured of a spot in the state tournament with the win, while Jeannette's hope of playing on rest with Sewickley Academy advancing.

“We're going to cheer for Sewickley now. I know if Canevin beat them, they must be pretty good, and (Greensburg Central Catholic) from our section is tough, so there's going to be at least one really good team left out of the championship,” Batts said.

Matt Grubba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.

click me