Jeannette boys basketball team gets past Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic, 55-50
Anthony Schmidt wasn't supposed to take the shot that put Jeannette ahead of Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic, but everyone on his team was glad he did.
With 14 seconds remaining in the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals at Gateway, Jeannette was attempting to inbound the ball from under its own hoop when Jayhawks star Julian Batts ran into a Trojans double team and fell to the floor. Amid the chaos, an alert Schmidt rolled to the paint and banked home a basket to give the Jayhawks their first lead of a game they would win 55-50.
“I just flashed (through the paint) because I saw it was open, caught it and just went up,” Schmidt said. “That's what I love about basketball. Having a close game like this was nerve-racking, but it's fun.”
The play was set up for Batts, with Schmidt as a second option.
“I knew they would double Julian, so I told Anthony to roll hard,” Jayhawks coach Adrian Batts said.
The Trojans held a 12-point lead after three quarters.
“We got caught up and took a lot of shots we should have passed up,” CWNC coach Dave Long said. “If the kids finish them, they look like a hero. If not, it's just another wasted possession and opportunity for Jeannette to do what they did tonight. I have to tip my hat to them. They did what was necessary on their offensive end.”
No. 5 seed Jeannette (15-7) faces Eden Christian Academy in the semifinals Tuesday at a site and time to be determined.
Julian Batts finished with a game-high 23 points, which gives him 1,719 for his career and ties him with Mike Dent for second place on the school's list. Terrelle Pryor netted a school-record 2,285 points.
Schmidt and Swade Redman had 13 points each.
Timmon Gribbon led CWNC with 13 points. Vince LeGrande added 11.
The fourth-seeded Trojans (14-9) raced to a 14-3 first-quarter lead partly because of a balanced offense and partly because of shooting struggles by the Jayhawks.
Batts missed his first seven field-goal attempts, including six misses in the first quarter.
The Trojans got four quick points from LeGrande, but he picked up a foul early and spent the rest of the first quarter on the bench.
Gribbon took over from there. He drained a pair of 3-pointers en route to eight first-quarter points.
The second quarter saw Schmidt come alive for Jeannette. The 6-foot-5 Schmidt bullied his way to six points — all in the paint — as the Jayhawks outscored CWNC, 11-8, in the second quarter to make the score 22-14 at halftime.
Schmidt and Batts were the only players to score for Jeannette in the first half with eight and six points, respectively.
The Trojans put sophomore Ken Fucon to work. He guarded Batts during his first career start.
Ed Phillipps is a freelance writer.