Rylott's three at buzzer lifts Neshannock
Neshannock (71) Vs. Washington (69)
By Shawn Fox
New Castle News

BRIDGEVILLE — For a play that was just added earlier this week, the Neshannock High boys certainly ran it to perfection.

With 4.7 seconds remaining and trailing by a point, Frank Fraschetti inbounded the ball to Jim Powers, who found Jake Rylott on the left wing. Rylott coolly sank a 3-pointer as time expired.

Rylott’s trey touched off a wild celebration by his teammates and gave the Lancers a 71-69 victory over fifth-seeded Washington last night in a WPIAL Class AA first-round basketball playoff game at Chartiers-Valley High School.

“It was perfect,” Neshannock coach John Corey said. “Actually, in all seriousness, we just put that in Monday in practice. We just wanted to have a couple new wrinkles to go to, and the boys executed it perfectly.”

It was fitting that a 3-pointer decided the game, because the Lancers were hitting from behind the arc all night. Neshannock connected on 10 of 22 threes in the game, led by Rylott’s four triples.

“My coaches just kept telling me all game to keep shooting and not get down on myself,” said Rylott, who finished with 16 points. “They believed in me, and I knocked it down. It was pretty exciting. We played a great game. We were just knocking them down tonight.”

Fraschetti and Powers each came off the bench to hit three 3s. Powers finished with 13 points, and Fraschetti had 11.

“It’s something I’ve talked about all year long,” Corey said of his bench’s production. “I think we have 10, 11, 12 guys who can play. We didn’t go that deep tonight, but the guys who came off the bench did a great job.”

With the victory, No. 12 seed Neshannock will next face fourth-seeded Greensburg Central Catholic, a 61-53 winner over Laurel last night, in Saturday’s quarterfinals at a time and site to be announced.

“We’ve got to tighten up the defense and just keep playing aggressive to keep it rolling,” Rylott said.

The Lancers trailed by seven points, 65-58, with four minutes remaining in the game before making their comeback.

Powers started the rally with a 3-pointer from the right wing before a pair of inside buckets by Ethan Moose tied the game at 65-all with 2:07 remaining in the contest.

Matthew Popeck put the Little Prexies up by two by scoring on a drive on the next trip down the floor. Moose and Washington’s Dequay Isbel then traded free throws over the next 30 seconds to keep it a two-point game.

Following a Neshannock turnover, Powers got the ball right back for his team with a steal. He was fouled by Popeck, and calmly hit both free throws to knot the game at 68-68 with 52 seconds remaining in the contest.The Little Prexies held the ball for a final shot, but Nathan Swart was fouled by Donald Colucci with 8.4 seconds remaining. Swart hit the first of two free throws, with Powers rebounding the missed second shot. Neshannock then got the ball to half court and called timeout to set up Rylott’s heroics.

“It’s a huge win, and I give all the credit to my guys.” Corey said. “We preached all week that the tougher team was going to win. In the first half, they out-toughed us and they were up. In the second half, we played a lot tougher than we did in the first half and were able to pull it off.”

Things didn’t start off well for the Lancers, as they trailed, 12-4, with three minutes remaining in the first quarter. But Neshannock heated up from behind the arc, draining four threes in the final 2:47 to take an 18-14 lead after one.

The Little Prexies rallied in the second quarter to grab at 35-30 lead at the break. Markel Pulliam scored 12 of his game-high 22 points in the stanza.

“Being down a bucket or two at the half, I thought we were in perfect position,” Corey said.

The Lancers drew to within a points, 50-49, at the end of three to set up the exciting fourth quarter. Moose, who was saddled with foul trouble in the first half, scored eight of his team-leading 19 points in the quarter. Rylott also had eight points in the stanza.

Washington, which was ranked No. 10 in the state in Class AA by the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, finished the season 15-8.

“There were a couple keys to the game for us to win and beat a verygood Washington team,” Corey said. “I told my staff we needed seven threes, and we got 10. I said Ethan Moose had to have 25 (points) and 15 (rebounds). He didn’t get there. The other thing was the offensive rebounds. I said we needed 10-plus, and we got 15. So, two out of three’s not too bad.”

(Email: ncsports@ncnewsonline.com)
Game Scoreboard
Neshannock 18 12 19 22 0 71
Washington 14 21 15 19 0 69
Box Scores

Jake Rylott 6 0-0 16
Rich Serignese 1 0-0 2
Ethan Moose 8 3-6 19
Donald Colucci 1 0-0 2
Jimmy Medure 2 3-6 7
Frank Fraschetti 4 0-0 11
Jim Powers 4 2-2 13
Frank Antuono 0 1-4 1
Totals: 26 9-18 71


Matthew Popeck 3 0-0 8
Nathan Swart 7 5-6 20
Jonathan Spina 1 6-6 8
Jordan West 0 0-0 0
Dequay Isbel 4 1-4 9
Markel Pulliam 9 3-3 22
Anthony Popeck 0 0-0 0
Khalil Young 0 0-0 0
Zachary Parr 1 0-0 2
Totals: 25 15-19 69

NESHANNOCK 18 12 19 22 — 71
WASHINGTON 14 21 15 19 — 69

3-point goals — Neshannock 10 (Rylott 4, Fraschetti 3, Powers 3), Washington 4 (M. Popeck 2, Swart 1, Pulliam 1).
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