Scotties rout Wildcats again to claim crown
Union (76) Vs. Shenango (35)
By Dan Irwin
New Castle News

The Union High boys basketball team already had beaten Shenango by 39 points earlier this month.

Thus, when the two teams met for a rematch in last night’s championship game of Union’s holiday tournament, the Scotties might well have been tempted to play this one on cruise control.

They didn’t.

“Coach always says don’t take anyone for granted,” Union junior Benjamin Young said. “You go out and play your hardest.

“We wanted to pounce on them right away, and then just keep going.”

Mission accomplished. The Scotties built a 30-point lead by halftime, then kept pouring it on to claim a 76-35 mercy rule win. Young earned tournament MVP honors for the second straight year with a career-high 22 points, nine of which came in the opening quarter when Union (8-1) outscored the Wildcats, 24-10.

“It means a lot,” Young said of the trophy, “and I’ll try my hardest to get it again next year.”

Union coach Dave Smialowski said that his team’s 65-26 win over Shenango in the Neshannock Tip-Off Tournament was indeed one topic of conversation prior to last night’s contest.

“Shenango’s gotten better,” he said. “They’re young, and Coach (Bob) McQuiston has done a nice job with them. We stress to the kids, listen, they’re going to want to get you, so we’re going to have to come out and we’re going to have to be ready.

“One of our keys to the game was a fast start. That’s what we stressed, and that’s what we did.”

Joining Young in double figures for the Scotties were Joe Salmen with 17 points, Tre Major with 12 and all-tournament team pick Markel Peace with 10. Salmen capped his night with a 3-pointer just 35 seconds into the fourth quarter that boosted Union’s lead to 71-31 and kicked the mercy rule into gear.

“They’re a good team, they’re athletic and they took it to us tonight,” McQuiston said of the Scotties. “They jumped on us early, and they’ve got some good athletes.”

Despite the lopsided setback, Shenango (2-6) could point to reasons for optimism. The first would be Brenton Booher, who contributed a team-high 15 points. After averaging just 5.5 points a game over the Wildcats’ first four contests, the 6-foot-3 sophomore has averaged 17 points a game over his team’s last four outings.

“He’s playing well for us, he’s scoring for us on a consistent basis,” McQuiston said. “He’s strong with the basketball, he’s looking to score. He’s not playing like a sophomore, and that bodes well for our future.”

Booher also was named to the all-tournament team, along with teammate Brian Tanner, Laurel’s Scott Siddall and Wilmington’s Jordan Smith.

A second positive omen for Shenango would be the return of senior guard Greg DePorzio, playing in just his second game after going down with an injury in the first quarter of Shenango’s season opener.

“He’s not quite 100 percent, but he’s getting closer,” McQuiston said. “We’re looking forward to getting him back in the lineup at 100 percent, and not just for his skill, but his leadership on the floor is going to help us, I think.”

Game Scoreboard
Union 24 23 21 8 0 76
Shenango 10 7 14 4 0 35
Box Scores
Brian Tanner 2 0-0 4
Ryley Ferrari 2 1-1 6
James Jacobs 0 0-0 0
Brenton Booher 7 1-3 15
James Micco 1 0-0 2
Greg DePorzio 1 1-2 3
Sam Sibeto 1 0-0 3
Shaun Conner 0 0-0 0
Matt Pherson 0 0-0 0
Ryan Smith 0 1-1 1
Nico Pagley 0 0-0 0
Christian O’Hara 0 0-0 0
Jake McMillen 0 0-0 0
Rocco Fiorilli 0 0-0 0
Andrew Miloser 0 0-0 0
Hunter Miller 0 0-0 0
Devon Ross 0 0-0 0
Paul Turco 0 0-0 0
Totals: 14 5-9 35

UNION (76)
Markel Peace 2 6-8 10
Joe Salmen 6 3-4 17
Tre Major 6 0-1 12
Drew Robinson 0 1-2 1
Benjamin Young 9 3-3 22
Wayne Seamans 3 0-0 8
John Hilke 1 0-0 2
Clifford Clark 2 0-0 4
Malik Williams 0 0-0 0
Elijah Williams 0 0-0 0
Jacob Jendrysik 0 0-0 0
Ryan Egbert 0 0-0 0
Totals: 29 13-18 76

SHENANGO 10 7 14 4 — 35
UNION 24 23 21 8 — 76

3-point goals — Union 5 (Salmen 2, Seamans 2, Young 1), Shenango 2 (Ferrari 1, Sibeto 1).
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