Laurel battles hard in loss
Laurel (56) Vs. Greensburg Central Catholic (73)
Feb 20, 2014
By Shawn Fox
New Castle News

McMURRAY — Probably the worst thing that happened to the Laurel High boys basketball team last night was the halftime break.

The Spartans hung with second-seeded Greensburg Central Catholic for the first 16 minutes, but the Centurions pulled away in the second half for a 73-56 victory in a WPIAL Class AA first-round game at Peters Township High.

“I thought we played well the whole game,” coach Ken Locke said. “They’re the second-ranked team in the WPIAL and fifth-ranked team in the state for a reason. I’m proud of the way the guys battled. We have become accustomed to them playing that way — hard-nosed, diving all over the place for 32 minutes. I couldn't have asked for anything more.”

The teams traded leads in the early going before Greensburg Central Catholic (20-2) went on an 8-0 run to grab a 12-5 lead with 3:09 remaining in the first quarter.

Laurel was able to cut the deficit to 16-12 at the end of one on a putback by Zachary Wilson and a 3-pointer from the top of the key by Josh Dando.

“I thought Laurel played great,” Centurions assistant coach Ed Zimmerlink said. “They played hard, they hustled and were on the boards battling.”

Head coach Greg Bisignani was unable to speak with the media following the game as part of his punishment for allegedly bumping an official following Jan. 18 loss to McKeesport.

Noah Wertz opened the second quarter with the first of his four treys in the game — this one from the left elbow — that drew the Spartans to within a point.

Romano Sebastiani answered for Greensburg Central with a 3-pointer of his own.

The Spartans again cut the deficit to one — 21-20 — with 4:51 remaining before the half on Kyle Forbes’ three-point play.

The Centurions looked to take control of the game from that point, outscoring Laurel 11-1 over a three-minute span.

Trailing 32-21 with 2:03 remaining before the half, Laurel scored the final eight points of the stanza, and Wilson’s putback at the buzzer made it a 32-29 game at the break.

Wertz’s three treys in the third quarter — Laurel’s only points of the stanza — kept the Spartans close. However, Greensburg Central went on an 11-0 run to close out the quarter and take a 50-38 lead after three.

Laurel would get no closer, as the Centurions held a 23-18 scoring edge in the fourth quarter.

Wertz and Jacob Wilson scored 13 points apiece to lead the Spartans.

Brian Graytok led the Centurions with 20 points. Christian Hyland added 12 points and Sebastiani scored 11.

The loss ended Laurel’s season at 13-11. It was the final game for seniors Zachary Wilson, Dando, Forbes and Damian Steele.

GCC will face Quaker Valley, a 64-47 winner over Apollo Ridge last night, in the quarterfinals Saturday at a time and site to be announced.
Nightly Roundup
Feb 20, 2014 Nightly Roundups
Game Scoreboard
Laurel 12 17 9 18 0 56
Greensburg Central Catholic 16 16 18 23 0 73
Box Scores
Zachary Wilson 3 3-4 9
Josh Dando 2 0-1 6
Noah Wertz 4 1-2 13
Jacob Wilson 6 1-2 13
Scott Siddall 1 4-4 6
Mason Mraz 1 4-6 6
Kyle Forbes 1 1-1 3
Damian Steele 0 0-0 0
Joseph Bandemer 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 18 14-20 56

Christian Hyland 5 0-0 12
Brian Graytok 9 2-5 20
Billy Hipp 3 2-2 9
Collin Bisignani 2 1-2 5
Romano Sebastiani 3 3-4 11
Collin Liberatore 2 0-0 4
Domenic Rullo 2 4-4 8
Cole Reese 2 0-0 4
Sam Nowicki 0 0-0 0
Tyler White 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 28 12-17 73
LAUREL   12 17  9 18 — 56
GREENSBURG CC  16  16  18 23 — 73
3-point goals — Laurel 6 (Wertz 4, Dando 2), Greensburg Central Catholic 5 (Hyland 2, Sebastiani 2, Hipp 1).
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