Siddall lifts Laurel boys to easy Class AA win
Laurel (76) Vs. Waynesburg Central (50)
Feb 16, 2015
By Shawn Fox
New Castle News

McMURRAY — Laurel High boys basketball coach Ken Locke hoped his team would get off to a good start Saturday afternoon.

But the way his Spartans actually played in the first quarter was beyond even his wildest dreams.

Laurel raced out to a 13-point lead going the second quarter and was never challenged in rolling to a 76-50 victory over Waynesburg Central in a WPIAL Class AA preliminary-round game at Peters Township High School.

The Spartans were up 23-10 after one period.

“Obviously, it’s nice,” Locke said of his team’s fast start. “We wanted to get off to a fast start right from the tip. We were able to right off the tip and get things moving. Starting like that is something you always want to do, and tonight we were able to do it.”

With the victory, the Spartans (16-7) earned the 13th seed in the Class AA field. They will face a familiar foe in Wednesday in the first round: Greensburg Central Catholic. The Centurions defeated Laurel, 73-56, in the first round last year at Peters Township. This year’s rematch will tipoff at 8 p.m. at Gateway High School in Monroeville.

“It’s a great feeling, and we’re just ready for Greensburg Central Catholic,” said Laurel sophomore guard Mason Mraz, who finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds. “We have to keep our intensity up against them.”

After the teams traded buckets to open the contest, the Spartans took control of the game thanks to the long-range shooting of Scott Siddall. The 6-foot junior guard buried two of his game-high five 3-pointers during the 13-2 spurt. He finished with a team-leading 25 points.

“I hit my first one, and it felt good,” Siddall said. “My teammates just kept feeding me.”

Noah Wertz added a trey and Laurel got baskets from Mraz and Jordan Dantico to grab a 15-4 lead less than five minutes into the game.

“Everyone was getting after it and playing hard,” Siddall said. “The defensive effort was the difference.”

Dominick Sarra ended the Raiders’ nearly five-minute scoring drought by scoring on a runner. However, Mraz scored on a putback and Laurel got layups from Siddall, Isici Layne and Jacob Wilson to take a 13-point lead after one quarter.

“I think it was our energy,” Locke said of the strong opening quarter. “Our guys have battled hard all year long. A lot of people were talking about the seed we got and things like that. I think our guys wanted to prove a little bit and make a statement that they’re better than some people thought. There was a little extra energy tonight.”

Waynesburg Central, which ended the season at 14-8, was able to trim the deficit to nine points — 27-18 — with 5:52 remaining before the half. The Raiders cut into the Spartans’ lead by hitting 6-of-6 free throws and getting an inside hoop from Sarra. Sarra, a 6-1 senior guard, finished with a game-high 26 points.

“He’s excellent,” Locke said of Sarra. “He takes the ball to the hoop so well, and gets to the foul line. We focused on him, to his credit. He definitely proved out there that we should have focused on him. He had a heck of a game.”

But Laurel answered, as Mraz put back a missed 3-pointer by Siddall and Tucker Skerbetz hit a pair of free throws to rebuild the Spartans’ double-digit lead, 31-18, with less than five minutes remaining before the half.

Waynesburg Central cut into the Spartans’ 44-28 halftime lead in the early moments of the third quarter on back-to-back baskets by Sarra.

“It’s going to happen,” Locke said. “In the game of basketball, teams are going to make runs. It’s all about how you respond.”

However, as was the case throughout the game, the Spartans quickly answered as Siddall canned an NBA-range 3-pointer from the top of the key to dash the Raiders’ comeback hopes.

Laurel’s lead grew to 57-39 after three quarters before closing out the game with a 19-11 edge in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

“We’re going to enjoy this one over the weekend, but on Monday we’re going to get back to work,” Locke said.

Wertz and Wilson finished with nine and eight points, respectively, despite being in foul trouble throughout the game. The duo each picked up their fourth fouls within four seconds of each other early in the third quarter.

The Spartans got a lift off their bench from Skerbetz, Layne and Colton Brown when the two starters were sitting in foul trouble.

“They were huge tonight,” Locke said. “We know we’ve got guys we can go to, and they stepped up and did a fabulous job. We tell them all the time to be ready to go at any minute when your number is called.”

Nightly Roundup
Feb 16, 2015 Nightly Roundups
Game Scoreboard
Laurel 23 21 13 19 0 76
Waynesburg Central 10 18 11 11 0 50
Box Scores
Dominick Sarra 9 8-11 26
Colby Collins 2 0-0 4
Travis Wilkinson 0 0-0 0
Mitch Warman 3 6-10 12
Cole Garrett 0 1-2 1
Jack Xue 2 0-0 5
Brandon Turcheck 0 0-0 0
Ronnie Howard 1 0-0 2
Aaron Yario 0 0-0 0
Nathan Blair 0 0-0 0
Aaron Sielski 0 0-0 0
Totals: 17 15-23 50

Jordan Dantico 2 0-1 4
Noah Wertz 3 2-2 9
Tucker Skerbetz 1 2-2 4
Scott Siddall 10 0-0 25
Jacob Wilson 3 2-3 8
Mason Mraz 6 3-4 16
Adam Enscoe 0 0-0 0
Isici Layne 3 0-0 6
Zachary Sickafuse 0 0-0 0
Colton Brown 0 0-1 0
Coltin Esposito 2 0-0 4
Benjamin Wilson 0 0-0 0
Totals: 30 9-13 76

WAYNESBURG 10 18 11 11 — 50
LAUREL 23 21 13 19 — 76

3-point goals — Waynesburg 1 (Xue 1), Laurel 7 (Siddall 5, Wertz 1, Mraz 1).
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