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Highlands boys score section title

| Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011

The Highlands boys basketball team won its first overtime game in five tries this season, and the Golden Rams' timing couldn't have been better.

Highlands edged Hampton, 84-82, on Friday night to claim sole possession of the Section 1-AAA title.

Highlands (15-7, 12-2) pulled ahead of Mars (17-4, 11-3) in the section standings; the Planets were upset by Knoch, 57-55, last night.

Highlands was led by junior guard Micah Mason, who scored a game-high 38 points, including six of his team's eight in overtime. Highlands senior forward Andrae Boone sent the game to overtime by tying the score at 76 on a driving layup with about five seconds left. Boone finished with 14 points.

Ryan Luther led Hampton (14-7, 10-4) with 26.

"We were real appreciative of Knoch knocking off Mars," Highlands coach Shawn Bennis said. "Our kids didn't want to share (the section title). I told them the score of the Knoch-Mars game, and the place erupted."

St. Joseph 67, Leechburg 51 — St. Joseph (18-3, 8-2) claimed a share of the Section 4-A title by beating Leechburg (9-11, 4-6). The Spartans, ranked No. 5 in Class A by the Tribune-Review News Service, got some help when Clairton (8-10, 6-4) beat No. 3 Serra Catholic (14-6, 8-2).

St. Joseph senior guard Brian Heinle scored a game-high 23 points and had five assists. Senior guard Erik Roming added 16 points, and junior guard Mike Connelly collected 15 points and seven rebounds.

Plum 62, Franklin Regional 44 — Plum (9-11, 6-6) clinched a playoff berth by defeating Franklin Regional (10-11, 7-5) and finishing in a tie for fourth in Section 2-AAAA. The top four teams in each section qualify.

Plum was led by junior guard Nolan Cressler's game-high 22 points. Sophomore guard Griffin Myers scored 13, and sophomore forward Matt Dombrowski added a career-high 13 of his own.

Knoch 57, Mars 55 — Senior forward Nate Junk netted a game-high 29 points, as Knoch (8-11, 7-7) upset Mars (17-4, 11-3) in Section 1-AAA.

Valley 85, Burrell 57 — Senior guard Geoff Fuquay scored a game-high 35 points to lead playoff-bound Valley (12-9, 8-6) past rival Burrell (4-17, 1-13) in Section 1-AAA. The score was tied at 26 at halftime, but Valley outscored Burrell, 35-16, in the third quarter.

Kittanning 82, Deer Lakes 47 — Senior guard Nathan Stolitza finished with 34 points and eight assists, as Kittanning (9-12, 6-8) routed Deer Lakes (4-18, 1-13) in Section 1-AAA. Deer Lakes sophomore guard Tim Jaczesko scored 12 points, and senior forward Zac Capan had 11 points and 15 rebounds.

Ford City 48, West Shamokin 46 — Senior forward Gabe Valasek scored a game-high 17 points, and Garrett Sigler chipped in 12, as playoff-qualifying Ford City (14-8, 8-4) nipped West Shamokin (5-16, 1-11) in Section 1-AA.

Connellsville 63, Kiski Area 55 — Senior guard Zach Barker scored a team-high 19 points for Kiski Area (9-12, 5-9) in a Section 1-AAAA loss to Connellsville (18-2, 12-2).

Shady Side Academy 57, Freeport 46 — Senior forward Jake Campbell had a team-high 18 points and seven rebounds for Freeport (8-9, 5-7) in a Section 1-AA loss to Shady Side Academy (14-6, 11-1).

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