Shenango holds on to nip Wilmington
Wilmington (62) Vs. Shenango (63)
By Corey J. Corbin
New Castle News

The Shenango High boys basketball team found out that no lead is safe.

The Wildcats took a 15-point lead into the fourth quarter and had to hold off a furious Wilmington comeback to secure a 63-62 nonsection home win last night.

“We got off to a great start and shot the ball extremely well,” Shenango coach Bob McQuiston said. “We slowed down a little in the third quarter and they came out hot in the fourth quarter. We always tell the guys that basketball is a game of runs. Fortunately, we were able to answer their runs.

“They picked up their defensive intensity and we got away from what was working. I’m really proud of the effort, because we were coming off a tough loss to Neshannock and have to play Aliquippa (tomorrow). We did a good job of focusing on the task at hand.”

Ryley Ferrari and Christian O’Hara each knocked down crucial free throws in the closing minute to fend off the Greyhounds (8-6), who were were making field goals offensively to keep the game within one possession down the stretch.

“We just turned it over too much in the fourth quarter,” McQuiston said. “We got into a transition game with them and we started to play like we were trying not to lose rather than do what was working.

“We took some bad shots in the second half and they turned them into points at the other end. We just got away from attacking the rim. It looked like we were trying to protect the lead. You want to value each possession. We were doing that, but we just weren’t working the ball for a good shot.”

Shenango (7-9) found success in the first half by attacking the Wilmington defense and the basket, taking a 37-25 lead into the second half.

“The first half, we were looking to attack,” McQuiston said. “We ran when we wanted to run. We were doing a good job in our transition offense.”

The ’Cats threw their visitors for a loop by utilizing a box-and-one defense on Wilmington guard Rocco Fagan in the first half.

“I didn’t expect the box-and-one early on Rocco,” Wilmington coach Mike Jeckavitch said. “That was a good move by Bob. It took us out of our game.”

McQuiston credited Rocco Fiorilli and O’Hara for their efforts on Fagan.

“We knew Fagan could put up big numbers,” McQuiston said. “Our job was to keep his point totals down. Rocco and Christian did a great job on him and keeping the ball out of his hands.”

The Greyhounds have now lost three straight games.

“We’re at a breaking point right now,” Jeckavitch said. “We knew this would be a difficult stretch for us with the caliber of competition we were going to play. Shenango is no exception. We have to regroup and figure it out. We have to do it quick. We have a game Friday (against Vision Quest) and a huge region game on Saturday (at Reynolds).”

Shenango had four players reach double figures with Brenton Booher leading the way with a game-high 22 points. Ferrari was next with 14, while James Micco and Ryan Smith tossed in 10 each.

“It’s always nice when four guys get into double figures,” McQuiston said. “Booher and Ryley shot the ball really well. Our guards and bigs did a good job of finding Booher. We found him off a couple screens.

“Micco did a nice job off the bench and (Jake) McMillen gave us good minutes off the bench, too. He was rebounding well and was playing good defense.”

Spencer DeMedal scored 10 of his team-high 15 points in the fourth quarter, while Fagan totaled 14. Jesse Hilliard added 13.

Game Scoreboard
Wilmington 10 15 10 27 0 62
Shenango 20 17 13 13 0 63
Box Scores
Josiah Bloise 0 0-0 0
Jesse Hilliard 5 3-4 13
Rocco Fagan 4 4-8 14
Travis Brumbaugh 3 2-2 8
Jordan Smith 4 1-2 9
Spencer DeMedal 6 0-0 15
Derek Nichols 1 0-0 3
Marc Peoples 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 23 10-16 62.

Ryley Ferrari 3 6-7 14
Jake McMillen 2 0-2 4
Ryan Smith 3 4-6 10
Brenton Booher 8 0-0 22
Christian O’Hara 1 1-2 3
James Micco 5 0-2 10
Rocco Fiorilli 0 0-1 0
Paul Turco 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 22 11-20 63.
WILMINGTON 10 15 10 27 — 62
SHENANGO 20 17 13 13 — 63
3-point goals — Wilmington 6 (DeMedal 3, Fagan 2, Nichols 1), Shenango 8 (Booher 6, Ferrari 2).
JV score: Shenango 44, Wilmington 34. High scorer: S — Paul Turco 10, Christian O’Hara 10; W — Marc Peoples 14.

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