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Roundup: Free throws seal North Catholic's win

| Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007

A foul thing happened to North Catholic's boys basketball team Saturday on its way to a 75-67 victory over rival Seton-La Salle in the preliminary round of the WPIAL Class AA playoffs at Northgate High School.

Down 45-35 after three periods, Seton-La Salle fell behind by 15 a few minutes into the quarter before it started sending North Catholic to the foul line in an attempt to get back in the game.

North Catholic responded by hitting 25-of-31 foul shots in the fourth quarter, including 13 of 17 by Fran Long. Overall, North Catholic scored 35 of its 75 points from the foul line.

Aaron Smetanka led North Catholic (14-9) with 25 points, including three 3-pointers. Fran, Matt and Mike Long added 17, 12 and 11 points.

Bo Hodgkiss scored 18 to lead Seton-La Salle (11-13), followed by David DelGreco (14), Peter Croke (13) and Matt Kail (11).

Freeport 59, South Fayette 56

Freeport recovered from a 32-24 halftime deficit to record a victory in the preliminary round of the Class AA tournament at Steel Valley. Brady Sherrieb scored 13, Brian Zimmerman 12 and Nate Kotecki 10 for Freeport (13-8), which will play Beaver Falls on Tuesday. Sean McElhinny scored 20 for South Fayette (14-10).

Class AAA

Laurel Highlands 85, Highlands 76

Laurel Highlands junior Kaleb Ramsey posted one of the best performances in WPIAL playoff history in the 15th-seeded Mustangs' shocking victory over No. 2 Highlands in a first-round WPIAL Class AAA playoff game at North Allegheny High School.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Ramsey scored 43 points on 17 field goals and a 9-for-14 performance from the foul line.

"We talked over it at practice where Highlands didn't have anybody to match up with me, and all I had to do was stay out of foul trouble and stay in the game," Ramsey said.

Laurel Highlands (13-12) will play the winner of the Valley-Steel Valley game in the quarterfinals Friday or Saturday at a site and time to be determined.

Ambridge 60, West Mifflin 42

Slade Unis scored 19 points and Jared Gibson added 18, as Ambridge (18-7) beat West Mifflin (11-12) in the first round at Butler. West Mifflin went on a 7-0 run to close out the third quarter to pull within three points, but Ambridge hit 13-of-15 free throws in the final quarter. Chris Giles scored a game-high 24 points for West Mifflin. Ambridge will face the winner of Monday's Hampton/Yough contest.

Chartiers Valley 65, Hopewell 50

Mike Sherry scored 37 points on 11-of-14 shooting to lead Chartiers Valley (21-4) to the victory over Hopewell (11-14) at North Hills. Mark Javens paced Hopewell with 21 points. Chartiers Valley will face the winner of Monday's Blackhawk/Knoch game.

Rochester 54, Bishop Canevin 41

Derek Moye scored a game-high 21 points, as Rochester (13-7) defeated Bishop Canevin in a Class AA preliminary-round game at South Park. Kevin Nee had 14 points for Bishop Canevin (17-8).

Class A

Leechburg 84, OLSH 68

A 32-point performance by senior Steve Predebon lifted Leechburg (13-10) to a playoff victory over Our Lady of the Sacred Heart at North Allegheny High School. Nick Matviko added 25 for the Blue Devils. Matt Metcalf had 19 for OLSH (10-15).

Girls AAAA

Oakland Catholic 67, Canon-McMillan 55

Erica Prosser scored nine of her 11 points in the fourth quarter to help Oakland Catholic (19-6) pull away from Canon-McMillan in a first-round game at North Allegheny. Cameron Jones scored a game-high 18 points for Canon-McMillan (16-9).

Shaler 46, Hempfield 42

A technical foul in the third period turned into a five-point play and helped Shaler (16-9) rally to defeat Hempfield (15-10) at Gateway.

After Hempfield's Melissa Lupinacci tied the score at 39 with 4:30 left, Julianne Harris hit a driving layup to give Shaler the lead for good at the 4:15 mark.

Girls AAA

Southmoreland 47, Chartiers Valley 40

Vanessa Abel scored 19 points, Jamie Henry had 12 points and 11 rebounds and Anna Coffman 10 points as the Southmoreland girls basketball team (22-3) won the first playoff game in school history in the first round of Class AAA tournament at North Hills.

Abel moved into 15th place on the WPIAL all-time scoring list with 2,299 points.

Mary Rodavich led Chartiers Valley (13-12) with 13 points, and Kathy Bianco had 10.

Southmoreland will play Moon in the second round of the playoffs.

Girls AA

Shady Side Academy 52, Freeport 22

Raediah Lyles scored 14 points and Kathy Sheerer added 12 -- with three 3-pointers -- to lead Shady Side Academy (18-7) to a preliminary-round victory at Steel Valley. Freeport (7-15) made only three 2-point field goals.

Girls Class A

North Catholic 69, Western Beaver 15

April Austin had 19 points, nine steals and six assists to lead Class A No. 1 seed North Catholic (21-4) past Western Beaver (8-15). North Catholic recorded 24 steals.

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