Trinity stuns Keystone Oaks in WPIAL Class AAA playoffs
Trinity boys basketball coach Joe Dunn had the right game plan Tuesday night for his team to upset Keystone Oaks. He may need a new WPIAL Class AAA bracket, though.
"It's one of the bigger wins in school basketball history," he said. "That's a four seed, 20-2, and we're what• A No. 427 seed?"
Dunn corrected himself with a wry grin. The 13th-seeded Hillers were in a smiling mood after topping the Section 5 champion Golden Eagles, 72-62, in a first-round matchup at Moon.
On Friday, they will face No. 12 seed Beaver, which upset fifth-seeded South Fayette, 68-65.
It was still an intense matchup that saw the Hillers outscore Keystone Oaks, 33-28, over a wild fourth quarter — intensity that spilled over into game's immediate aftermath. After the teams shook hands, an older male Trinity fan walked onto the court and bumped Keystone Oaks coach Gene Mercuri with his chest. The fan was immediately pulled off the court by security, and no one was injured. Mercuri had no comment on the incident.
Instead, the first-year coach was crestfallen that his team went one-and-done in the postseason after compiling a 20-2 regular season record.
"It's gut-wrenching right now," Mercuri said. "I kept telling the kids we're good enough, but it doesn't matter. You get here, you've got to make some noise in the playoffs."
For Trinity, which came out of a tough Section 4 featuring Montour and South Fayette and played a rough nonsection slate, it was a fine defensive display for three quarters. Using a 1-2-2 zone, the Hillers (14-10) effectively slowed a Keystone Oaks offense that was averaging 76.4 points per game.
It began with shutting down 6-foot-4 senior Rocco Contristano.
Class AAA's second-leading scorer collected two fouls early in the contest and missed half of the first quarter. He didn't collect his first field goal until the 1:46 mark of the second quarter. He finished with a game-high 23 points but collected 18 of those in the fourth quarter while the Eagles were playing catch-up.
Trinity relied on its offensive balance to fuel the win. All five starters reached double figures, with Jared Deep putting up a team-high 22 points. Christian Koroly was next with 17, followed by Corey Hunsberger (12), Avery King (11) and Berton Miller (10). King also had 12 rebounds.