Laurel pulls upset of Riverside
Laurel (54) Vs. Riverside (51)
Feb 09, 2011
Plays that went wrong early in the season went right last night for the Laurel High basketball team.
The Spartans, who were in the cellar in WPIAL Section 2-AA, upset third-place Riverside, 54-51, and snapped an 11-game losing streak in the process.
Laurel (2-9 conference, 4-15 overall) trailed by four entering the fourth quarter, but outscored the Panthers, 15-8, in the final frame to secure the win.
“The kids responded differently,” said Laurel coach Mike Tinstman of facing a deficit. “That was the difference. In the fourth quarter, where we didn’t make the shot or get the rebound before, we did tonight.”
Riverside (7-4, 12-9) remained in third place despite the loss, but the Panthers play fourth-place Ellwood City (6-5, 10-9) Friday.
The Spartans had three players score in double figures. Todd Fennick scored a team-high 16 points. Chad Long bucketed 14 and dished out five assists, and Ryan Melichar netted 11, including five in the fourth quarter, and grabbed 10 rebounds.
“He had two big baskets in the fourth,” Tinstman said of Melichar. “It’s a very good win for us. It’s something we needed. We’ve been struggling.”
Laurel hadn’t won a game since beating Union on Dec. 28. Riverside, on the other hand, had won three straight, with victories over Neshannock, Shenango and Mohawk. It looked as if the Panthers were on their way to a fourth-straight win after dominating the third quarter (16-7), but the Spartans regrouped and got back into their offense in the fourth.
“We weren’t patient in the third quarter,” Tinstman said. “Before that, we were making the extra pass and moving the ball around. The kids made the adjustment and became more patient again (in the fourth quarter). They got back into the ball game.”
Laurel ends section play against Neshannock, which is a half game back of Summit Academy for first place.