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Ellwood clinches first playoff berth in decade
Ellwood City (61) Vs. Laurel (42)
The drought is over for the Ellwood City Lincoln High boys basketball team.

The Wolverines clinched their first WPIAL playoff berth since the 2000-2001 season with a 60-41 Section 2-AA victory over Laurel last night.

“That’s what we talked about,” Ellwood City coach Al Campman said of the playoffs. “This is a fun time of year in high school basketball when you clinch a playoff spot; it’s one of the reasons you play.”

Campman, in his first season back on the bench, was the coach of that 2000-2001 team before stepping down after the season.

The Wolverines (6-4 section, 9-8 overall) now hold a two-game lead over Shenango (4-6, 11-8) for the fourth and final playoff spot in Section 2-AA. The Wildcats can secure a playoff spot, too. But Shenango must win out against Neshannock and Mohawk, while getting losses from Ellwood City against Summit Academy and Riverside.

“I was really super excited for them,” Campman said of his players. “Sometimes kids don’t know what the playoffs are like until they get in there. It’s very satisfying to see the smiles on their faces.”

The Spartans (1-8, 3-14) were just 14 of 59 from the floor. The Wolverines, who buried four of their eight 3-pointers in the first quarter, were 20 of 42 from the field.

“Ellwood City came out and played very well,” Laurel coach Mike Tinstman said. “They shot it really well.

“When a team comes out that hard it’s tough to overcome.”

Todd Fennick fired in a game-high 15 points for the Spartans and Chad Long was next with seven markers and six rebounds. Ryan Melichar also snared six boards for Laurel.

Gino Ceriani and Marcus McCowin tossed in 11 markers each for the Wolverines. Matt Morella and Brandon Lucarelli contributed nine points apiece and Morella pulled down eight boards.

Game Scoreboard
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
Ellwood City 19 13 20 9 0 61
Laurel 10 9 14 9 0 42
Box Scores
ELLWOOD CITY (61)
Ryan Horgan 2 3-7 7
Gino Ceriani 2 6-8 11
Devon Siegfried 2 1-5 5
Jesse Valentino 0 0-0 0
Matt Morella 3 3-3 9
Jared Vetica 1 0-0 3
Matt Germanoski 2 0-1 6
Marcus McCowin 5 0-1 11
Brandon Lucarelli 3 0-0 9.
Totals: 20 13-25 61.

LAUREL (42)
Ryan Hites 0 0-0 0
Ricky Jones 2 0-0 5
Todd Fennick 5 4-6 15
Chad Long 1 5-6 7
Josh Finley 0 0-0 0
Conor Melichar 1 0-0 2
Brad Telesz 1 2-2 5
Ryan Melichar 3 0-2 6
Austin Sipe 0 0-0 0
Josh Dando 1 0-0 2
Ethan Wilson 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 14 11-16 42.

ELLWOOD CITY 19 13 20 9 — 61
LAUREL 10 9 14 9 — 42
3-point goals — Ellwood City 8 (Ceriani 1, Vetica 1, Germanoski 2, McCowin 1, Lucarelli 3), Laurel (Jones 1, Fennick 1, Telesz 1).
JV score: Laurel 46, Ellwood City 25. High scorer: L — Josh Finley 18; EC — Matt Young 9.
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