Vincentian outlasts Union in OT thriller
Union (81) Vs. Vincentian (86)
By Clayton Sauertieg
New Castle News
A couple of Union High boys basketball players could be seen taking shots long after the Scotties’ gym cleared Tuesday night.
It was too late to beat Vincentian Academy, but too soon to walk away.
About 30 minutes prior, the Scotties fell 86-81 in an overtime thriller to their WPIAL Section 1-1A foe.
“I put on the board before the game ‘compete’ and they did that,” Union coach Mark Stanley said. “It could have gone either way.”
In a battle for section supremacy in the early season, the Scotties (3-1 section, 8-3 overall) took the Royals (4-0, 7-2) to the brink.
The two teams went toe-to-toe, with one landing and punch and the other a counter. Union, led by Tre Charles with 24 points and five assists, took an early five-point lead into the first intermission.
“Tre’s a good athlete,” Stanley said. “He’s tough to stop. He can penetrate, he kicks, he makes the guys around him better. And when he’s on a roll, he’s tough to stop.”
Vincentian, though, fought back to tie the game at 39 at the half.
A pair of Charles buckets out of the break gave the Scotties a five-point lead, but the Royals, as they would all night, had an answer. Zach McDonough, who led Vincentian with 24 points, scored on a tough pull-up jump shot before Thomas Quinlan, who finished with 23, tied the game with a layup up over the lengthy Union front line.
Still, the Scotties held a 59-57 lead going into the final frame in regulation.
Then the pace began pick up.
A Dom Dudo three-point play with 1:29 remaining in regulation gave Union a one-point lead. The Royals answered right back with a Cameron Kreutzer 3-pointer with 1:01 on the clock to take a two-point lead of their own. After a Dudo missed layup and a Vincentian timeout, the Royals turned over the ball while inbounding it with 41.6 seconds remaining.
A Scotties turnover followed, giving Vincentian the opportunity to ice the game at the foul line, but McDonough went 1 of 2 to leave the door open. Union kicked in the door as Dudo knocked down a 3-pointer, the first of his career, with 4 seconds left in the game to send it overtime.
“He’s always asking ‘coach can I shoot the three, can I shoot the three,’ “ Stanley said of Dudo. “And I tell him if it’s in the context of the offense he can, because he can shoot. When he came down and was open I was yelling ‘shoot it, shoot it, you got it’ and when he’s set I’m as confident in him as I am anybody. So he let it go and he buried it.”
The Union student section erupted as Dudo’s shot took one bounce off the rim and dropped, giving the Scotties momentum heading into the overtime period.
But the Royals were able to steady the ship. Kreutzer, who finished with 19 points, made a layup before fouling out with 3:04 remaining in overtime and Vincentian kept Union at arm’s length. With the Scotties down three with 1:06 left, Dudo stepped to the line for two free throws. The senior finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, but was only able to go 1 for 2 from the line.
From there, McDonough helped the Royals seal the win. The junior went 4 of 4 from the charity stripe to help wrap up the victory.
“I told them that that play is over, they have to forget it about it,” Vincentian coach Shelton Carney said of his words to his team before the overtime. “I said the score is zero-zero, we had four minutes to go out and do what we do.”
The win puts Vincentian alone atop the section standings, but the Scotties proved up to the challenge of the perennial playoff team.
“I like how we played,” Stanley said of his team. “Vincentian is one of the top teams in the WPIAL and I think we showed tonight that we’re right there with them.”