Moose tames Wildcats
Neshannock (51) Vs. Shenango (46)
By Andrew Koob
New Castle News

The Shenango High boys basketball team was looking to exact some revenge against Neshannock last night.

Ethan Moose had other plans.

The junior guard scored a game-high 29 points, adding eight rebounds and five blocks, as the visiting Lancers swept the season series in a 51-46 WPIAL Section 1-AA win against the Wildcats.

“He’s our go-to guy, these guys love him as a teammate,” Neshannock coach John Corey said. “He’s such a good kid, he needs to have a productive four quarters for us. That was one of our problems Tuesday night (in a 76-63 loss to Laurel), Ethan went to the locker room with two points at the half. And for him to come out and have the start that he did tonight, that’s huge for us.

“You always want other guys to step up, but when he’s playing as efficient as he was and he was doing a hell of a job ... these guys, they feel it. They feel it when Ethan’s on and they did a good job of getting the basketball. Everybody played their role tonight and it was a good win.”

Only three of those points came from beyond the arc, as Moose relied heavily on spin moves and power to get to the basket for high percentage shots.

“I was kind of feeling it,” Moose said. “I wasn’t trying to take outside shots, I just wanted to get close shots and create if they were helping down. It was more one-on-one tonight and I was just feeling good throughout the game.”

Shenango tried to cut off Moose’s access around the rim, but was unsuccessful as he went around and through the Wildcats defense.

“We knew he was going to score,” Shenango coach Bob McQuiston said. “The one thing we were trying to do was get a little weak side help because he spins a lot. He’s a strong player and he has a nice spin move. But I didn’t think our weak side help was getting there quick enough. He’s a big kid, if he gets to the hoop he’s going to be tough to stop. We have to do a better job of getting some help on the screens.

“I thought (Brenton) Booher did a good job on him, but he was getting screened by people and we have to do a better job of hedging those screens. Obviously he’s a good player, he’s going to get his. But you have to try and limit him.”

Shenango countered with three double-digit scorers, as Booher led the way with 13 points. Christian O’Hara added 12 and Ryan Smith totaled 10.

Neshannock (6-2 section, 9-4 overall) trailed 20-15 early in the second quarter, but was able to use a 16-2 run, including 10 from Moose, that spanned the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third to take an eight-point lead.

A combination of forced shots from Shenango and easy transition baskets for the Lancers helped spur the Neshannock onslaught.

The Wildcats (3-5, 8-6) were able to keep the Lancers within striking distance after that run, never allowing them to post a double-digit lead.

“It got to nine (points) a couple times and I looked at my assistants and said ‘we just can’t get over the hump,’” Corey said. “It would’ve been a little bit relieving to get into double-digits. They kept battling back and we expected that. The first time we played them at home, they shot so poorly. And that was a big reason why we got that win. We knew it would be a battle and I tried to stress that each defensive possession, we had to have five guys being all in.”

Shenango brought the lead down to two points near the start of the final quarter with seven straight points, five coming from Booher at the end of the third.

Twice the Wildcats found themselves down by one possession in the final eight minutes but, as they had done earlier in the game, taking off-balanced shots in an attempt to get a quick bucket gave the Lancers an advantage.

“We need to slow down and get a shot,” McQuiston said. “We’re battling back, we get it to two and three (points), that’s when we have to pull the ball out and get set. There were probably a half dozen times where we passed just once and took a shot or didn’t pass at all and took a shot. That led to transition baskets for them.

“When you’re trying to dig yourself out of a hole, every play counts. You have to make the right play at the right time and I thought, at times, you’ve got guys trying to make the plays but, in that situation, we need to set up and look for a better shot.”

Neshannock kept pace with Lincoln Park and Laurel in the Section 1-AA standings and stood pat in the third spot.

Shenango now finds itself two games out of the WPIAL playoff scenario after Riverside defeated Mohawk, 72-50. The Wildcats have split the last four section games with their second matchup with Lincoln Park looming.

“We’re still in the hunt, but we have to get some wins,” McQuiston said. “We have to step up and we have to make some plays and we have to get some wins down the stretch if we want to have a chance to get in. We’re two games behind (Riverside) right now. It’s going to come down to the end, but we have to get a couple more wins.”

Game Scoreboard
Neshannock 13 16 12 10 0 51
Shenango 14 11 12 9 0 46
Box Scores
Jake Rylott 2 2-5 6
Ethan Moose 12 4-6 29
Frank Fraschetti 3 1-2 7
Jimmy Medure 0 1-2 1
Rich Serignese 1 0-0 3
Frank Antuono 0 0-0 0
Donald Colucci 0 0-0 0
Jason Swope 2 1-1 5
Totals: 20 9-16 51

Brenton Booher 4 4-6 13
Ryan Smith 4 2-2 10
Christian O’Hara 4 2-2 12
Matt Benson 1 0-0 2
Hunter Miller 0 0-0 0
Paul Turco 0 0-0 0
James Micco 2 5-8 9
Totals: 15 13-18 46

NESHANNOCK 13 16 12 10 — 51
SHENANGO 14 11 12 9 — 46

3-point goals — Neshannock 2 (Moose 1, Serignese 1), Shenango 3 (O’Hara 2, Booher 1).
JV score: Neshannock 74, Shenango 50. High scorer: N — Brandon Scheidemantle 20, Ean Oprean 19, Jason Swope 18. S — Vinny Turco 12.
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