Neshannock season comes to an end
Neshannock (58) Vs. Greensburg Central Catholic (74)
By Andrew Koob
New Castle News

CANONSBURG — The Neshannock High boys basketball team couldn’t hit a shot. Greensburg Central Catholic couldn’t miss.

It all added up to an early deficit and an eventual 74-58 loss for the Lancers in the second round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs at Canon-McMillan High School last night.

Greensburg Central shot out to an 18-3 lead in the first quarter with four 3-pointers, three from Romano Sebastiani. The senior Centurions forward converted six of his team’s nine successful deep shots on his way to a game-high 31 points.

“Obviously finding ourselves down early on, it wasn’t the greatest of starts,” Neshannock coach John Corey said. “They hit four threes in the first quarter, Sebastiani had a great night and it started in the first quarter. In the first game, he had one three against us. Clearly we were aware of what a good player he is, but didn’t necessarily expect him to come out shooting like that. From there, it was an uphill battle.”

The Lancers (18-9) fought back, scoring seven straight to close the gap to eight points early in the second quarter. Neshannock only trailed by 10 at the half, even with the Centurions knocking down eight triples in the first 16 minutes of play.

“They had eight threes in the first half and we’re down ten,” Corey said. “We knew, with a team like that and how methodical they are offensively, chipping away was going to be a feat. A team that shoots that well from behind the arc, you look at some of the things we were trying to accomplish defensively and it just seemed as though nothing was clicking.”

It turned out to be a task harder than anticipated and the deficit increased to 21 points following a 17-6 third quarter in favor of Greensburg Central.

The Centurions (23-3), who defeated Neshannock 59-49 in the WPIAL Class AA quarterfinals more than two weeks ago, relied heavily on their full-court defense throughout the game, but the burden started to get to the Lancers in the third.

“Their defensive pressure does that to you,” Corey said. “I don’t think it’s the full-court pressure, but that they’re really solid in the half court. They make scoring difficult. Up until the last three or four minutes, we were stuck on 39 (points) for a long period of time. We struggled with putting the ball in the hole and that has a lot to do with how good they are defensively.”

Greensburg Central shot 48.6 percent from the field and connected on nine of its 16 attempts from beyond the arc. The Centurions were most impressive, however, in their transition game, picking apart the Lancers defense as they found ways over and around the defenders on their way to uncontested layups.

“We wanted to pick up the tempo,” Greensburg Central coach Greg Bisignani said. “That’s more of our style and they’re have more of a half-court defensive game so, if we could pick up the tempo with our press, it could lead to some easy transition points. Luckily we were hot early and we got a big lead and we were able to keep it up.”

The Lancers tried to counteract it with a number of different looks on the defensive end, but to no avail.

“They do that to you. When you’re playing against a team with that many good players at each of the positions, you’re trying to be disruptive and trying to get them out of their rhythm,” Corey said. “At times we tried to trap the high ball screen, we went through some different zones and traps to try and get them uncomfortable. Then we got down, they were able to kill clock with good motion. Just too big of a hill to climb.”

Ethan Moose paced Neshannock with 15 points and eight rebounds. Jason Swope followed with 13 points, while Jake Rylott netted 11.

Domenic Rullo followed Sebastiani’s performance with 16 points, Tyler White totaled 11 and Collin Liberatore tallied 10.

The first meeting between the two teams, when Neshannock led by three points at halftime, offered some hope for the Lancers heading into the matchup. It didn’t transition, however, as it spelled the end of the Lancers’ season.

“Although things didn’t go our way, I thought we fought tooth and nail throughout the game,” Corey said. “They were the better team and I thought, the first time we played them, that we were right there. It’s a 10-point loss but, throughout that game, we controlled the tempo a little bit and were able to disrupt some of the things they were trying to accomplish offensively.

“This one, it got away from us fast because of how they shot the ball.”

Game Scoreboard
Neshannock 7 20 6 25 0 58
Greensburg Central Catholic 18 19 17 20 0 74
Box Scores
Jake Rylott 4 1-4 11
Ethan Moose 4 7-12 15
Frank Fraschetti 1 0-0 2
Jimmy Medure 3 3-4 9
Rich Serignese 1 1-3 4
Frank Antuono 0 0-0 0
Donald Colucci 2 0-1 4
Jason Swope 3 5-6 13
Totals: 18 17-30 58

Tyler White 4 0-0 11
Cole Reese 1 1-3 3
Collin Liberatore 4 2-5 10
Romano Sebastiani 9 7-9 31
Domenic Rullo 8 0-2 16
Sam Nowicki 1 0-0 2
Scott Riley 0 0-0 0
Phil Forsythe 0 1-2 1
Nick Finoli 0 0-0 0
Totals: 27 11-21 74

NESHANNOCK 7 20 6 25 — 58
GREENSBURG C.C. 18 19 17 20 — 74

3-point goals — Neshannock 5 (Rylott 2, Serignese 1, Swope 2), Greensburg Central Catholic 9 (White 3, Sebastiani 6).
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