Mistakes spell doom for Wildcats
Shenango (52) Vs. Mercyhurst Prep (61)
Dec 10, 2011
By Joe Simon
New Castle News

It was an uncharacteristic night for the Shenango High basketball team.

A team full of experienced seniors made fundamental errors, something that is anything but common for the battle-tested Wildcats.

Those miscues were their undoing last night in a 61-52 loss to Mercyhurst Prep in the opening round of the Neshannock Tipoff Tournament.

Shenango committed 24 turnovers, missed numerous layups and failed to box out on several occasions. Coach Bob McQuiston wasn’t sure why the mistakes continued to happen, but said he doesn’t expect them to continue in the future.

“That’s one thing that we try to preach is that you have to play fundamental basketball,” he said. “We’ve got a veteran team, and those are mistakes we can’t make if we want to be successful. The good thing is they’re all correctable.”

The killer was the turnovers, which always seemed to come at critical junctures. Mercyhurst Prep led throughout, but Shenango stayed within striking distance and took its first lead, 46-45, after a 3-pointer by Brett Chieze. The Wildcats followed with two turnovers and a bad defensive play, and the Lakers quickly retook the lead.

The catalyst for Mercyhurst Prep was speedy point guard Dwayne Canady, a senior who scored a game-high 24 points and demonstrated some impressive athleticism. He guarded Chieze, one of Shenango’s best players, and kept the Wildcats off balance with his ability to both hit the jump shot and drive to the hoop.

“He made some plays that only he can make (because of his athleticism),” Mercyhurst Prep coach Sean Baer said. “There’s not a lot of guys on our team that can make those plays. He came through and got a rebound, or a layup or a putback. Those were crucial to us keeping the ship afloat.”

Early on it was the Lakers’ big man, 6-foot-5 Alex Borges, who was causing problems. He scored eight points in the first quarter, but had to sit for most of the second because of foul trouble. That’s when Canady stepped up, scoring nine and making sure Mercyhurst Prep didn’t relinquish its lead.

Chieze was the main sparkplug for the Wildcats. He scored 19 and grabbed 10 rebounds. But Shenango only made 14 of 49 shots compared to 25 of 54 for the Lakers and was outrebounded 28-21.

“One of our keys to the game was limiting our turnovers,” McQuiston said. “We wanted to have 10 or less and we had 20-something. When you have that many turnovers, it’s hard to overcome that. If they score on half of those turnovers, that’s 20 points. I know they’re going to be a little nervous, it’s the first game, and it’s a team we never faced before, the adrenaline’s going, but we’ve got to overcome that.”

Shenango has another chance at 6 p.m. today when it faces Union in the consolation game.
(Email: j_simon@ncnewsonline.com)
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Shenango 9 16 15 12 0 52
Mercyhurst Prep 12 16 15 18 0 61
Box Scores
Brett Chieze 6 4-7 19
Jordan O’Hara 3 3-5 9
Jeff Williams 1 9-10 11
Mike Linz 4 0-0 8
Greg DePorzio 1 0-0 3
Vinny Fiorilli 1 0-0 2
Brian Tanner 0 0-0 0
Pat Lunn 0 0-0 0
Totals: 16 16-22 52

Dwayne Canady 10 3-4 24
Casey Shelton 2 0-1 4
Anthony Malone 1 3-5 5
Carl Anderson 4 3-6 11
Alex Borges 7 1-4 15
Steve Wagner 0 0-0 0
Sam Corritore 1 0-0 2
Totals: 16 10-20 61

SHENANGO 9 16 15 12 — 52
M. PREP 12 16 15 18 — 61

3-point goals — 4 (Chieze 3, Deporzio 1), Mercyhurst Prep 1 (Canady 1).
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