Union comes from behind to route Shade
Peters Twp. (56) Vs. New Castle (50)
New Castle News


Plain and simple, it was the only way Dave Smialowski could describe what he witnessed last night.

After a lackluster start, his Union High boys basketball team went to work during the second half and captured a 68-45 victory over Shade in a PIAA Class A first-round matchup at North Hills High School.

Union (17-7) advances to the second round and will face Coudersport on Tuesday at a time and site to be announced. The Falcons (28-0), who are the District 9 champs, earned a 70-40 win over Homer-Center (21-8) last night.

The Scotties jumped out to an 11-7 lead before the Panthers closed the quarter with a 5-0 run to take a 12-11 advantage. Shade maintained its lead through most of the second quarter and used a 9-2 run to go into the half in control, 28-21.

“They have some talent,” Smialowski said. “They run good offensive sets and they play hard. It wasn’t a huge surprise to me because I knew their guards could shoot. They’re not a bad team.”

Jason Burkes helped spark the third quarter surge with eight unanswered points in the first minute and a half. Burkes, a junior guard, led all scorers with 22 points and he also had four assists. He scored 15 alone during the second half.

“We didn’t come out as fired up in the first half as we normally do,” Burkes said. “Coach Simo wasn’t happy and he got us fired up during the half. After that, we were ready to go.”

“Jason works hard,” Smialowski said. “He can attack and he can shoot it. In the first half, those shots weren’t falling. If those fall, it’s a different first half, too.”
Union used a 13-0 run in the third to go up 34-30 and closed the quarter with a 38-33 advantage. The Scotties outscored the Panthers, 47-17 in the second half.

“It’s a game of momentum and I’m proud of our effort,” Shade coach Wade Fyock said. “(The Scotties) made a couple of hustle plays that really turned it around for them in the second half. I don’t fault my guys’ effort.”

Turnovers were the main contributor to Shade’s collapse.

“It kind of got contagious in the second half,” Fyock said. “Even with the turnovers we had about a six- or seven-point deficit there for a little bit and we still had the opportunities.”

Shade committed 21 miscues in the game, 15 of which were in the second half alone.

“All year we have taken advantage of turnovers,” Burkes said. “In the first half, they held the ball nice and moved it around. They turned it over in the second half and we used our speed to get to the hole.”

Donte Calhoun was another factor. The junior reserve forward didn’t play in the first half, but went on to score 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

“He just brings us so much energy,” Smialowski said. “We didn’t play him in the first half for disciplinary reasons. He came in and brought that energy when we needed it.”

For Smialowski, though, it was easy to pinpoint the differences between Union’s play during the two halves.

“It was effort,” Smialowski said. “They came and played. Shade beat us to a lot of loose balls and they got a lot of second shots (during the first half). They were diving on the floor and we weren’t. That’s effort.

“In the second half, we made a run and I knew once we got up on them they wouldn’t be able to guard us if we spread the floor out. We’re more athletic then they are.���

Joel Kaminsky led the Panthers with 14 points. Josh Barnes followed with 10.

“I thought that Union’s players busted their tail the whole game,” Fyock said. “Credit their hustle. That’s a good team and I wish them the best the rest of the way.”
Game Scoreboard
Peters Twp. 0 0 0 56 0 56
New Castle 0 0 0 50 0 50
Box Scores
Field Goals Attempted Foul Shots Made Foul Shots Three Points Total Points Fouls
Peters Twp.
New Castle
#11 Abby Allen141030
#0 Shelby Rodgers222060
#22 Logan Hartman7640180
#23 Tasia Wise200040
#44 Nikki Wise5220120
#31 Jazelle Dennis320170
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