Mackey leads Cornell past Union in OT
Union (59) Vs. Cornell (63)
Jan 28, 2012
By Joe Simon
New Castle News

There’s nothing overly spectacular about Corey Mackey.

The Cornell High senior is 5-foot-11 with moderate speed, average leaping ability and a nice jump shot. But he isn’t, by any means, an imposing or intimidating figure.

Just ask his coach.

“The son of a (gun) doesn’t know he can’t play,” Raiders coach Bill Sacco said. “He can’t jump, and he’s a slow white kid. He just plays hard. Everyone who comes to see him says, ‘Coach, how do you get him to do that?’ I don’t get him to do that. He does it on his own.”

Mackey did a lot last night, but he had plenty of help as Cornell outlasted Union, 63-59, in overtime of a vital WPIAL Section 1-A showdown.

Mackey scored 25 points, including a huge field goal where he was fouled and made the free throw early in overtime that gave the Raiders (4-2 section, 13-4 overall) a five-point advantage they wouldn’t relinquish. Union pulled within two when Markel Peace sank two free throws with 10 seconds left to make the score, 61-59, but Dorian Maynard of Cornell calmly hit two of his own with seven seconds remaining to seal the win.

“Four minutes is still a lot of time where you can regroup and you can be OK because we still had chances, but I think it did deflate us a little bit,” said Scotties coach Dave Smialowski of the 5-0 run to start overtime. “Being that overtime is a four-minute period, you don’t want them to jump out like that.”

Union (2-4, 8-8), which could have moved into a tie for third place in the section with a win, matched Mackey and Cornell shot for shot for most of the game. Benjamin Young scored all 19 of his points in the first three quarters and had some spectacular finishes, but the Scotties couldn’t finish off Cornell.

Union appeared poised for a run early in the fourth quarter. Mackey picked up his fourth foul with 7:16 remaining in regulation and the game tied at 48. The Scotties’ Joe Salmen, who used a pump fake to cause Mackey to leave his feet and commit the fourth foul, immediately hit a 3-pointer to ignite the crowd and give Union a 51-48 lead, but they couldn’t pull away.

Smialowski said turnovers and an inability to execute at key points of the game was the difference.

“We had some careless passes, we had a couple of defensive breakdowns that shouldn’t have occurred, but it was just little things,” he said. “In close games like this, the little things get magnified.”

Another reason Union couldn’t extend its lead was the balance of the Raiders. While Mackey was the catalyst, three other players scored in double figures. Their zone defense also caused problems, especially for Peace, Union’s leading scorer, who was held scoreless for long stretches during the first half.

Still, the Scotties had their chances, especially when Mackey went out and Union stole the momentum.

“We prayed — a lot,” joked Sacco of how Cornell held off the Scotties during that stretch. “We had other guys step up, and that’s nothing new for us. (Dustin Goins) sat out all of last year, and he’s back this year and made a difference for us. And Dorian, he hit the key fouls at the end. These guys have experience. They’re all seniors.”

It showed in overtime as the Raiders made 5 of 6 free throws to secure the win. Union looked like a veteran squad, too. Peace, who finished with 13 points, made two free throws to tie the game with 22 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Scotties then played exceptional defense on the final possession of regulation and didn’t allow Cornell to get a shot off as time expired.

“Our kids battled,” Smialowski said. “It was a hard-fought game. It was just unfortunate we came up on the losing end.”

Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Union 13 18 14 8 6 59
Cornell 14 23 8 8 10 63
Box Scores
Dustin Goins 3 4-7 11
Dorian Maynard 3 4-6 11
Corey Mackey 10 4-5 25
Bryce Borne 1 0-0 3
Daniel Weryha 0 0-0 0
Rodney Payne 5 3-4 13
Totals: 22 15-22

UNION (59)
Joe Salmen 2 6-8 12
Drew Robinson 0 0-0 0
Tre Major 6 0-0 12
Markel Peace 4 5-5 13
Benjamin Young 7 4-4 19
Wayne Seamans 0 0-0 0
Toryan Respress 1 0-0 3
Jordan Conrad 0 0-0 0
Totals: 20 15-17

CORNELL 14 23 8 8 10 — 63
UNION 13 18 14 8 6 — 59

3-point goals — Cornell 4 (Mackey 1, May 1, Borne 1, Goins 1), Union 4 (Salmen 2, Young 1, Respress 1).
JV score: Cornell 30, Union 23. High scorer: U — Austin Burk 14.
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