Season comes to end for Scotties
Clairton (66) Vs. Union (55)
By Andrew Petyak
New Castle News

PITTSBURGH — Two steps forward, two steps back.

That was the story for the Union High boys basketball team against Clairton in the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals last night.

For every punch the Scotties delivered, the Bears answered right back, taking home a 66-55 victory from North Hills High School.

“We’d make a run, then we’d get a little bit closer, but then we’d miss a shot or we’d throw the ball away,” Union coach Dave Smialowski said. “They’d come down and they’d capitalize on it. It made for a tough game.”

Fifth-seeded Clairton (15-6) will move on to battle defending Class A champion Lincoln Park (19-5) in the semifinals Tuesday at a time and site to be determined.

The Bears used a 10-0 run midway through the first quarter to gain a 15-7 lead into the second. Forward Terrish Webb made his presence known early, snagging six points during the run. He finished with a game-high 24 points for Clairton.

“He’s not the tallest guy — he’s listed at 6-foot —but he’s a big, strong kid and he can jump,” Bears coach Matt Geletko said. “He’s very athletic, so he can pose a lot of matchup problems when he gets the ball inside like that. Terrish was down on that low block grabbing rebounds and scoring. ”

The fourth-seeded Scotties (17-6) stormed back, capping a 9-0 run to take a two-point lead with a 3-pointer from forward Markel Peace. Union’s leading scorer ended the contest with 14 points and three 3-pointers.

But, as it did all night, Clairton quickly responded. This time, it was guard Tyler Boyd who did the damage, notching five points in a 12-2 run to end the half for the Bears. Union trailed by a 29-21 count heading into the third.

“We didn’t really get a whole lot of other looks,” Geletko said. “Titus (Howard) crashed the boards really well, Tyler hit a lot of 3-pointers and (point guard Bryon) Clifford hit a couple jump shots, too, but other than that, they did a good job defensively on us on the perimeter.”

Boyd, Webb and Howard are three Pitt football recruits known as the “Killer Ts”. The trio of gridiron stars led the Bears football team to state four consecutive state titles and a Pennsylvania record 63 straight victories. The group proved they also are formidable on the basketball court against Union, providing 45 of the team’s 66 points.

“People have to realize these guys have been going at it full since the summer time. With a 16-win season, with the scrimmage games and all the way through the states, these guys are tired and need a little rest. But they get up for the games. When the playoffs come and big games come, they turn it up and play well. We feed off emotion and feed off our defense. When we’re playing good defense, that leads to hoops for it.”

The Scotties’ Benjamin Young cut the advantage to seven points late in the third with a 3-pointer with 2:15 remaining. Young bucketed a team-high 20 points for Union and matched Peace with three 3-pointers.

Joe Salmen was next for the Scotties with 15 points, converting all 10 of his free-throw attempts.

That was as close as Union would get, as Webb took over in the fourth quarter, notching 12 of Clairton’s 20 points to seal the win.

The loss ends the Scotties season much in the same way their 2011-2012 season concluded, in the second round. Union will graduate nine seniors this year — Peace, Salmen, Clifford Clark, John Hilke, Tre Major, Tyrone May, Drew Robinson, Wayne Seamans and Elijah Williams.

Said Smialowski of his seniors, “I’m proud of those kids. I told them in the lockerroom that I couldn’t be more proud of a senior group. They’ve done things right and they’ve worked hard where they’re at. I told them I’m proud of them and don’t hang their heads, because they had great careers.”

Game Scoreboard
Clairton 13 16 17 20 0 66
Union 7 14 14 20 0 55
Box Scores
Titus Howard 3 0-0 6
Bryon Clifford 4 4-4 14
Terrish Webb 12 0-1 24
Armani Ford 2 0-0 5
Tyler Boyd 6 0-0 15
Santeaun Sims 0 0-0 0
Robert Boatright 1 0-0 2
Aaron Matthews 0 0-0 0
Totals: 28 4-5 66

UNION (55)
Markel Peace 4 3-4 14
Joe Salmen 2 10-10 15
Tre Major 2 0-0 4
Drew Robinson 1 0-0 2
Benjamin Young 6 5-7 20
Wayne Seamans 0 0-0 0
Totals: 15 18-21 55

CLAIRTON 13 16 17 20 — 66
UNION 7 14 14 20 — 55

3-point goals — Clairton 6 (Clifford 2, Ford 1, Boyd 3); Union 7 (Salmen 1, Peace 3, Young 3).
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