ShareThis Page
News

Hopewell stuns Aliquippa

Kevin Gorman
| Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2003

Hopewell coaches have been trying to convince Greg Rosatelli that he needs to play as inspired in the first half as he does in the final 16 minutes. Against Aliquippa, the Vikings guard showed why he just might be the best second-half player in the WPIAL.

Rosatelli made the front end of a one-and-one free throw with 33.7 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime, then scored 13 points in the extra period, as Hopewell stunned visiting Aliquippa, 79-71, in overtime Tuesday in a non-section game between neighboring rivals.

The 5-foot-9 senior scored 31 of his game-high 35 points in the second half, including 26 in the final two periods. He scored 10 unanswered points to turn a 65-64 Aliquippa lead into a 74-65 Hopewell advantage.

“Against Aliquippa, you need players to step up,” Hopewell coach Joe Falletta said. “In critical situations, Greg took over. It was one of the most amazing performances I've seen.”

After scoring only four first-half points, Rosatelli was 11 of 12 from the field and 7 of 9 from the free-throw line in the second half. He was untouchable in overtime, scoring all but two of Hopewell's 15 points.

“Aliquippa is very athletic and plays such great help defense,” Falletta said. “We tried to get Greg in the gaps of their defense. When the lane opened, he drove right in.”

Rosatelli credited forwards Craig Bokor (15 points) and Mike Hudak for setting screens that allowed him to drive the lane uncontested. Rosatelli beat either Darelle Revis or John Harvey off the dribble, then scored on layups.

“My teammates told me, ‘Do whatever you want. Take over if you have to,'” Rosatelli said. “Bokor and Hudak just picked their men, and I had an open lane.”

The Vikings needed Rosatelli's performance to overcome that of Aliquippa's Revis, a junior guard who scored 17 of his team-high 26 points in the first half. Revis fouled out while guarding Rosatelli with 33.7 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and the Quips leading, 64-63.

“We tried to keep him out of trouble early so he could guard their best man late,” Aliquippa coach Mike Zmijanac said. “You've got to learn how to play with fouls.”

Added Falletta, “His getting in foul trouble was beneficial to us.”

Hopewell (10-5) shot 60 percent (30 of 50) and snapped a four-game losing streak to Aliquippa (14-3), which made only 29 of 76 shots from the field. Aliquippa beat Hopewell, 72-67, on Dec. 30 in the C.J. Betters holiday tournament championship game.

The Quips' other losses came against Class AAAA Chartiers Valley and AAA Blackhawk. They are undefeated against Class AA opponents.

What did they get out of the non-section loss•

“Absolutely, positively nothing, other than playing a real good team,” Zmijanac said. “If we become WPIAL and state champions, nobody will remember if Hopewell beat us except for Hopewell. If it mattered, I wouldn't play Chartiers Valley, Blackhawk and Hopewell.

“I'd play Podunk.”

Hopewell treated the win as a potential turning point in a season that started slow because of its football team's WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA championship run. Beating Aliquippa is always huge for the Vikings.

“It's just a rivalry game we like to win,” Rosatelli said. “This is a big win for us.”

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.

click me