Lancers come up short against Greensburg CC
Greensburg Central Catholic (59) Vs. Neshannock (49)
By Andrew Koob
New Castle News

McMURRAY — The Neshannock High boys basketball team had momentum against Greensburg Central Catholic after a strong second quarter.

It didn’t carry over into the second half, though.

The Lancers, who held a three-point lead out of the break, were outscored 21-9 in the third quarter as the Centurions advanced to the WPIAL Class AA semifinals with a 59-49 victory last night at Peters Township High School.

Greensburg Central Catholic was spurred by four 3-pointers in the third quarter, two coming from guard Sam Nowicki.

“It was a dagger,” Neshannock coach John Corey said. “I don’t think we played terrible in the third quarter, we played a couple of different defenses. They hit some crucial threes when our close outs weren’t perfect, our rotation wasn’t perfect. Going into halftime and being up a couple of points, you can’t come out and have a third quarter like that.”

Neshannock (16-7) shot 40 percent from the field and just 31.6 percent from beyond the arc. The Centurions countered with a 47.8 percent overall shooting performance and 43.8 percent from deep.

Romano Sebastiani led the charge for Greensburg Central Catholic, totaling a game-high 21 points.

Jim Powers paced the Lancers with 14 points and four steals, while Ethan Moose recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards.

Jason Swope provided a boost off the bench with 12 points, including seven straight during a pivotal 15-7 second quarter that gave Neshannock the lead.

“They hit four threes in the third quarter and that’s a lot,” Corey said. “They’re bigger than us as a team and we wanted to try and mix it up a little bit and not let them settle into their regular motion offense. Do I think we should have changed anything? I’m not so sure of that, but the third quarter they did a hell of a job shooting the basketball. I bet that quarter alone, they shot 60 percent. It was one of those things where we were slow on close outs and rotations.

“Overall, they made shots and we didn’t. It sounds generic putting it on that, but we’re a much better shooting team than we showed tonight and it’s frustrating along those lines.”

Both sides used small runs to take minimal leads in the first half. The Centurions struck first with six straight points to cap the first eight minutes.

Neshannock responded with six of its own to start out the second quarter and extended its lead to four points, its largest lead of the night, later in the quarter.

That lead quickly evaporated, as Greensburg Central Catholic scored five consecutive points to retake the lead, one that would remain until the final buzzer.

The Centurions (21-2), ranked sixth in the state in Class AA by the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, did plenty of damage at the charity stripe, more than doubling the Lancers’ attempts at the line and converting 16 of their 21 chances.

Neshannock, in turn, connected on seven of its 10 tries from the free-throw line.

“They’re a good team and we talked about how good of a team they were,” Corey said. “They do a good job of using their body and getting to the line. I thought we drew a lot of contact that wasn’t called, but that’s the game of basketball. I have to stand in that area on the sideline, I don’t get to wear the striped shirt. My opinion, in those regards, means little.

“But it’s frustrating that they got more than double the free-throw attempts we got.”

Neshannock now has to turn around quickly, falling to the PIAA play-in bracket for a matchup against Bishop Canevin at 8 p.m. today at Canon-McMillan High School. Bishop Canevin fell to top-seeded Aliquippa 74-51 last night.

“It’ll be interesting to see how we respond,” Corey said. “I feel comfortable, we have good seniors that we know don’t want the season to end. We have some hungry underclassmen that have enjoyed having such a successful season as we’ve had that want to keep it going. That’s going to be the big key (tonight), will that effort that we’ve been playing with, will it be back (tonight).

“I’ve got a lot of trust in my guys, they play with a lot of heart and
I’m sure we’ll be ready to go.”

Game Scoreboard
Greensburg Central Catholic 12 7 21 19 0 59
Neshannock 7 15 9 18 0 49
Box Scores
Jake Rylott 4 1-2 11
Ethan Moose 4 2-2 10
Frank Fraschetti 0 0-0 0
Jimmy Medure 0 0-0 0
Rich Serignese 1 0-1 3
Jim Powers 5 0-1 11
Frank Antuono 0 0-0 0
Donald Colucci 1 0-0 2
Jason Swope 3 4-4 12
Brandon Scheidemantle 0 0-0 0
Totals: 18 7-10 49

Tyler White 4 3-4 14,
Cole Reese 0 0-0 0
Sam Nowicki 3 0-0 9
Collin Liberatore 2 2-3 6
Romano Sebastiani 6 8-11 21
Scott Riley 0 0-0 0
Domenic Rullo 3 3-3 9
Totals: 18 16-21 59

NESHANNOCK 7 15 9 18 — 49
GREENSBURG C.C. 12 7 21 19 — 59

3-point goals — Neshannock 6 (Powers 1, Rylott 2, Swope 2, Serignese 1), Greensburg Central Catholic 7 (White 3, Nowicki 3, Sebastiani 1).
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