Union comes up short against Wilkinsburg
Union (62) Vs. Wilkinsburg (74)
Feb 15, 2014
By Joe Sager
New Castle News
BUTLER — Wilkinsburg had all the answers last night.

The Tigers stifled every Union comeback attempt with a big shot to post a 74-62 win in a WPIAL Class A first-round boys basketball playoff game at Butler High School.

Wilkinsburg (13-7) moves on to face to face Monessen, a 78-54 winner over Eden Christian, on Friday at a time and site to be announced.

“It is a good feeling to move on,” Wilkinsburg coach Eugene Wilson said. “It means a lot to the Wilkinsburg program and the school district and the community, as a whole. The guys were locked in and really paid attention and they came through tonight.”

The sixth-seeded Tigers were especially zoned in when the 11th-seeded Scotties mounted any rallies.  

“It was just amazing. Every time we made a run, they came back and hit a big shot and it was usually a 3-pointer. We had it well contested,” Union coach Dave Smialowski said. “Every time we hit something, they responded. That’s the mark of a good basketball team. They are solid. They have good guards and their big men are solid. They just always hit that big shot when they needed to.”

Wilkinsburg posted a 23-17 lead after the first and used one of its big answers to pull away in the second. D’shawn Adair hit a 3-pointer, added a bucket and drained another trey to halt a Union rally. That burst helped the Tigers grab a 37-28 halftime lead.

The Scotties cut the deficit to nine two more times in the game, but could not propel themselves past that deficit. A Benjamin Young bucket trimmed the deficit to 49-40 with 3:02 remaining in the third. Yet, Wilkinsburg responded with quick 6-0 run in less than a minute. Adair had a steal and layup, Rafiq Simpson had a hoop and Isaiah Pete drained a shot to push the lead to 54-40 with 2:03 on the clock.

Union’s final push came in the fourth. The Tigers boosted their lead to 16 points, 65-49, but the Scotties went on an 8-1 charge. Jullian Johnson and Young had two buckets apiece to cut the deficit to 66-57 with 3:57 to play. Again, Wilkinsburg came through with two quick Pete hoops and a free throw to put the lead back up to 15 points, 72-57, with 3:08 to go.

“I’ve never seen a game like that. Every time we made a run, they hit a big shot,” Smialowski said. “Our kids didn’t quit. They kept working and working and I couldn’t be more proud of a group. Just for how they started and where they came from and how we finished the year. I told them they shouldn’t hang their heads; they should be proud of themselves.”

Pete, a junior, led all scorers with 28 points. Adair added 18.

“It’s very important that we have leadership from a guy like Isaiah and D’shawn, especially when you come into some tough battles like we did with Union,” Wilson said. “Union fought hard. Their coach does a great job with them. They went on a couple runs and we were able to withstand them.”

Young paced Union with 26 points. He finished his career with 1,140 points.

“I am going to miss him,” Smialowski said. “He is a good kid and he comes from a good family. You couldn’t ask for a better kid or a better leader. He had a great career.”

(Email: ncsports@ncnewsonline.com)
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Union 17 11 14 20 0 62
Wilkinsburg 23 14 23 14 0 74
Box Scores
UNION (62)
Anthony Rush 2 0-0 4
Garrison Bell 3 1-3 8
Cornell Charles 2 2-3 6
Jacob Jendrysik 3 1-1 9
Malik Williams 0 0-0 0
Jullian Johnson 2 2-2 6
Benjamin Young 10 5-9 26
Jamie Hooks 0 0-0 0
Nick Mrozek 0 1-2 1
Devon Stevenson 1 0-0 2
Totals: 23 12-20 62

Isaiah Pete 12 1-2 28
D’shawn Adair 6 2-2 18
Kenny Eleam 2 2-4 6
Rafiq Simpson 2 4-4 8
Dremar Everette 3 3-7 10
Desmond Stolich 1 0-0 2
Genaro Coleman 1 0-0 2
Gary Gates 0 0-1 0
Totals: 27 12-20 74

UNION 17  11  14  20 — 62
WILKINSBURG 23  14  23  14 — 74

3-point goals – Union 4 (Jendrysik 2, Bell 1, Young 1), Wilkinsburg 8 (Adair 4, Pete 3, Everette 1)
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