Riverside rallies past ’Cats
Riverside (62) Vs. Shenango (57)
Feb 04, 2015

By Joe Sager
New Castle News

 NORTH SEWICKLEY TWP. — Shenango High’s slim playoff hopes were dashed last night.

 Riverside responded from an early deficit to hold off the Wildcats, 62-57, in a WPIAL Section 1-AA clash.

 Shenango (5-8 section, 11-9 overall) needed to beat the Panthers (8-5, 11-8) and win Friday against Mohawk and hope Riverside lost at New Brighton to tie for fourth place in the section and reach the WPIAL playoffs.
However, the ’Cats fell short of the first requirement.
“We needed this to stay alive,” Shenango coach Bob McQuiston said. “Unfortunately, that’s how it ended.”

 Shenango got off to a great start, though. The team erupted for a 16-0 run in the first quarter. It turned a 4-2 deficit into a 16-4 lead with 3:33 remaining.

 However, the hosts responded to close the frame with a 10-0 run of their own to trim the margin to 18-14 at the buzzer.

 The Panthers stayed hot in the second quarter. They gained the lead on a 8-0 march midway through the frame. Overall, they outscored the ’Cats, 20-6, in the frame and went into the intermission with a 34-24 advantage.

 “They are a good team and it’s their home court and senior night. They are playoff bound and they are not just going to take it. It’s a tough place to play and a tough place to win,” McQuiston said. “We got away from what was working. We won every quarter except the second. When you think back about the first quarter, I thought we did a great job getting the ball inside. The second quarter, I thought we went away from that and got out of our offensive sets. We started shooting outside shots instead of pounding it inside.”
Senior James Micco sparked Shenango in the first quarter. He had 13 of the team’s 18 points. However, he got into foul trouble, which coincided with Riverside’s rally. He was whistled for his third personal foul with 3:19 left in the second and went to the bench with only one point in the quarter.
“That hurt us when our go-to guy is on the bench,” McQuiston said. “At the same time, other guys have to step up. We had five seniors on the floor and we needed someone to step up.”

 The Panthers tried pulling away on three occasions when their lead soared to 12 points, once late in the third and twice in the fourth. Shenango came back each time – the final one bringing the squad within 56-52 on a pair of Christian O’Hara freebies with 1:52 to go.

 However, the ’Cats failed to get any closer as some missed shots and turnovers doomed the team.  

 “I think we could have quit. We kept battling back and battling back and made a game of it,” McQuiston said. “When you turn the ball over a couple times down the stretch, it hurts. When you’re trying to dig yourself out of that hole, every possession has to matter. You have to get every rebound and every possession. We let a couple slip through our fingers with a couple turnovers and a couple missed rebounds. You have to come up with those plays.”

 Panthers coach John Rorick was happy to see his troops hold on for the win.

 “It’s a good win. Anything you can get down the stretch at this time of the year is good,” he said. “We’re playing for playoff positioning and they were fighting for their postseason lives and you knew they weren’t going to quit from start to finish. I am proud of the way we handled it.”

 Micco led all scorers with 19 points, while Brenton Booher had 16 and Ryan Smith added 14.

 Dylan Speicher paced Riverside with 17 points. Logan Sheridan contributed 16 and Zach Gould finished with 12.
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Riverside 14 20 12 16 0 62
Shenango 18 6 14 19 0 57
Box Scores
Brenton Booher 6 1-2 16
Ryan Smith 6 1-2 14
Christian O’Hara 0 4-4 4
Matt Benson 1 1-2 4
Hunter Miller 0 0-0 0
James Micco 8 3-4 19
Paul Turco 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 21 10-14 57.

Zach Gould 2 7-8 12
Dylan Speicher 5 4-4 17
Lance Fisher 0 0-0 0
Clint Fornataro 1 3-4 5
Logan Sheridan 6 4-4 16
Jason Dambach 2 1-2 5
Justin Baust 2 2-2 7.
Totals: 18 21-24 62.
SHENANGO 18 6 14 19 — 57
RIVERSIDE 14 20 12 16 — 62
3-point goals —Shenango 5 (Booher 3, Smith 1, Benson 1), Riverside 5 (Speicher 3, Gould 1, Baust 1).
JV score: Riverside 70, Shenango 49. High scorer: S — Ryan Conner 10, Brandon Ryder 10.
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