Shenango falls to District 10 power
Shenango (58) Vs. Mercyhurst Prep (66)
Dec 06, 2013
By Corey J. Corbin
New Castle News

Shenango coach Bob McQuiston found out a little something about his team last night.

His players don’t quit.

The Wildcats nearly overcame several 18-point deficits in the second half before dropping a 66-58 decision to perennial District 10, Class AA power Mercyhurst Prep at the Neshannock Tipoff Tournament.

“The thing I was happy with is we got down by (18) and we could’ve quit,” McQuiston said. “We battled back and made a game of it. I was real pleased with that part that they didn’t quit. Basketball is a game of runs and we have to answer the runs when they happen.”

Mercyhurst Prep turned a six-point halftime lead into 47-29, 49-31 and 57-39 second-half leads before the Wildcats battled back to within eight points at 60-52 on a Ryan Smith layup with under two minutes to play.

Shenango got no closer as the teams traded points.

“We came out a little flat to start the second half and then we started rushing some shots,” McQuiston said. “We weren’t setting good screens and defensively, they were beating us down the floor. We weren’t getting back down the floor. They were getting a lot of 2-on-1s and 3-on-2s. We weren’t stopping the ball. That’s the one thing that we preach that you have to stop the ball on the break and we weren’t doing that. They were able to get easy baskets.

“I thought we came out in the fourth quarter and played a little stronger. I was happy with the effort in the fourth quarter. I thought the guys played with intensity.”

Shenango scratched and clawed to stay within striking distance of the Lakers for much of the first quarter before taking a 14-13 lead on a pair of Brenton Booher free throws early in the second quarter.

The Wildcats extended their lead to 21-20 behind five points from Booher and a Ryley Ferrari layup before Mercyhurst Prep closed the half on a 7-2 run.

“We were actually up by four at one point in the first half,” McQuiston said. “That’s when we need to come down and run a better set. That’s on me. If we run better sets and I call better plays, we can stretch the lead to six or eight points.”

Shenango made just 12 of 26 shots from the charity stripe.

“The key was free-throw shooting,” McQuiston said. “We were 12 for 26 from the line and we lost by eight points. You can’t shoot under 50 percent from the line and expect to win a game.”

Booher and Smith combined to score nearly two-thirds of Shenango’s points with 24 and 16, respectively, while Rocco Fiorilli came off the bench to post 10 tallies.

Rocco Agnello led Mercyhurst Prep with 14 points and Chris Vallimont and Matt Puda evenly split 26 points. Aaron Haas totaled 12 points.

“We graduated seven seniors and five starters from last year’s team,” Lakers coach Sean Bear said. “Yeah, some of these guys got some playing time towards the end of last year, but this was their first meaningful game experience.

“If we can keep that balance, it bodes well for us in our region. We’re still trying to feel each other out. We’re trying to figure out who plays what and who does what well. If everyone can score, that’s going to be a good thing for us down the road.”

Shenango will play East Allegheny, which lost 93-62 to host Neshannock in last night’s second game, at 5 p.m., while the Lancers will square off with the Lakers in the title tilt at 6:30 tonight.

Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Shenango 9 14 10 25 0 58
Mercyhurst Prep 13 16 18 19 0 66
Box Scores
Ryley Ferrari 2 0-3 4
Jake McMillen 0 0-0 0
Sam Sibeto 1 0-0 2
Ryan Smith 6 2-5-16
Brenton Booher 8 6-9 24
Evan Hill 0 0-2 0
Christian O’Hara 1 0-0 2
James Micco 0 0-2 0
Rocco Fiorilli 3 4-5 10
Totals: 21 12-26 58

Rocco Agnello 6 2-10 14
Aaron Haas 4 2-2 12
Matt Puda 4 3-5 13
Nate Klein 3 2-2 9
Chris Vallimont 4 4-5 13
Luke Holland 1 0-0 2
Nick Evanoff 0 1-2 1
Justin Baker 1 0-0 2
Austin Winschel 0 0-0 0
Luke Cancilla 0 0-0 0
Totals: 23 14-26 66

SHENANGO 9 14 10 25 — 58
MERCYHURST PREP 13 16 18 19 — 66

3-point goals — Shenango 4 (Smith 2, Booher 2), Mercyhurst Prep 6 (Haas 2, Puda 2, Klein 1, Valimont 1).
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