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Basketball

Hempfield boys basketball team subdues Greensburg Salem, 63-37

Paul Schofield
| Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, 10:39 p.m.
Hempfield's Kason Harrell (center) drives between Greensburg Salem's Nicholas Sabers and Antonio Ferrari (11) during their game in the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday Dec. 5, 2014, in Hempfield. The Spartans defeated Greensburg Salem 63-37.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Hempfield's Kason Harrell (center) drives between Greensburg Salem's Nicholas Sabers and Antonio Ferrari (11) during their game in the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday Dec. 5, 2014, in Hempfield. The Spartans defeated Greensburg Salem 63-37.
The Hempfield student section pretends to read newspapers while the Greensburg Salem players are introduced during their game in the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday Dec. 5, 2014, in Hempfield. Hempfield defeated Greensburg Salem, 63-37.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
The Hempfield student section pretends to read newspapers while the Greensburg Salem players are introduced during their game in the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday Dec. 5, 2014, in Hempfield. Hempfield defeated Greensburg Salem, 63-37.
Hempfield's Tony Pilato battles Greensburg Salem's Connor Forkey and Nicholas Sabers for a loose ball during their game in the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Hempfield. Hempfield defeated Greensburg Salem, 63-37.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Hempfield's Tony Pilato battles Greensburg Salem's Connor Forkey and Nicholas Sabers for a loose ball during their game in the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Hempfield. Hempfield defeated Greensburg Salem, 63-37.
Hempfield's Tony Pilato battles Greensburg Salem's Nicholas Alwine for a rebound during their game in the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Hempfield. Hempfield defeated Greensburg Salem, 63-37.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Hempfield's Tony Pilato battles Greensburg Salem's Nicholas Alwine for a rebound during their game in the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Hempfield. Hempfield defeated Greensburg Salem, 63-37.
Hempfield head coach Bill Swan barks instruction against Greensburg Salem during their game in the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Hempfield. Hempfield defeated Greensburg Salem, 63-37.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Hempfield head coach Bill Swan barks instruction against Greensburg Salem during their game in the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Hempfield. Hempfield defeated Greensburg Salem, 63-37.
Hempfield's Logan Swan pulls down a rebound in front of Greensburg Salem's Nicholas Sabers and Antonio Ferrari (11) during their game in the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Hempfield. Hempfield defeated Greensburg Salem, 63-37.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Hempfield's Logan Swan pulls down a rebound in front of Greensburg Salem's Nicholas Sabers and Antonio Ferrari (11) during their game in the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Hempfield. Hempfield defeated Greensburg Salem, 63-37.
Hempfield's Kason Harrell drives to the hoop as Greensburg Salem's Caleb Key looks on during their game at the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, at Hempfield. The Spartans won, 63-37.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Hempfield's Kason Harrell drives to the hoop as Greensburg Salem's Caleb Key looks on during their game at the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, at Hempfield. The Spartans won, 63-37.
Hempfield's Kason Harrell battles Greensburg Salem's Nicholas Sabers for a loose ball during their game in the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Hempfield. Hempfield defeated Greensburg Salem, 63-37.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Hempfield's Kason Harrell battles Greensburg Salem's Nicholas Sabers for a loose ball during their game in the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Hempfield. Hempfield defeated Greensburg Salem, 63-37.
Hempfield's Kason Harrell steals the ball from Greensburg Salem's Antonio Ferrari (11) during their game in the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Hempfield. Hempfield defeated Greensburg Salem, 63-37.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Hempfield's Kason Harrell steals the ball from Greensburg Salem's Antonio Ferrari (11) during their game in the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Hempfield. Hempfield defeated Greensburg Salem, 63-37.
Hempfield's Kason Harrell dunks against Greensburg Salem during their game in the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Hempfield. Hempfield defeated Greensburg Salem, 63-37.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Hempfield's Kason Harrell dunks against Greensburg Salem during their game in the Hempfield Spartans Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Hempfield. Hempfield defeated Greensburg Salem, 63-37.

Hempfield boys basketball coach Bill Swan probably hadn't felt nervous before a game in a long time.

But after not coaching at Hempfield for the past five seasons, Swan admitted the start of the season Friday night felt different.

No. 3 Hempfield (1-0) eased its coach's nerves with a solid 63-37 victory over Greensburg Salem (0-1) in the Hempfield Tip-Off tournament at Spartan Field House.

Hempfield will play McKeesport, which lost to Greensburg Central Catholic, 80-75, at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Kason Harrell scored a game-high 35 points, and Tony Pilato added 11 for the Spartans, who pulled away in the second half.

Hempfield led scrappy Greensburg Salem, 14-11, after the first quarter and had a 30-20 halftime lead.

“It was a hectic game,” Swan said. “I was busy at school, but once I got to the gym and watched the first game, I started to settle down.”

Having players like Harrell, Pilato and his son Logan returning from last year's squad helped settle him down.

“I could tell Coach was a little nervous,” Harrell said. “He's been gone for a few years. Once we started the game and started executing, he was back to his normal self.”

Greensburg Salem, which lacks Hempfield's star power, kept to its game plan of slowing things down and being patient.

“We were two or three possessions in the first half away from being tied with them,” Greensburg Salem coach Craig Mankins said. “We made a few mistakes, and they were able to capitalize on them.

“Everyone knew Hempfield was favored and expected to win — everyone except the players in our locker room. I told them we could be the 1980 United States hockey team.”

Swan said he felt the team played well defensively and got to see a lot of different defenses.

“I have no idea how teams plan to defend us,” Swan said. “I thought we used all our zone offenses, and we were able to get some good looks.”

Hempfield only turned over the ball six times and shot nearly 60 percent from the field.

“There are no Kason Harrells in our section, and no one the size of Tony Pilato,” Mankins said. “We played hard, and if we put forth the effort every game and get a little healthy, we'll be OK.”

Caleb Key led Greensburg Salem with 13 points, and Delaine Hughes added 11.

Greensburg Salem will face Greensburg Central Catholic at 5.

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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