Highlands boys score section title
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).