Laurel outlasts Riverside in overtime
Laurel (72) Vs. Riverside (66)
Jan 05, 2016
By Andrew Koob
New Castle News

The shots eventually had to start falling.

At least that was the thought going through Scott Siddall's head as he rose for a 3-pointer midway through the overtime period between the Laurel High boys basketball team and visiting Riverside.

It may have taken awhile for the outside shot to finally hit for the senior, yet, when it did, it came at the most pivotal point in the game.

Siddall's 3-point shot put the Spartans up permanently, as they walked away with a 72-66 overtime victory over the Panthers in a WPIAL Section 1-AA bout Tuesday night.

“It was about time, I hadn’t hit one in awhile," Siddall said. I figured one had to go in. It felt good to see one finally fall.”

Laurel allowed two buckets to open the extra period and missed its first three attempts. Jake Wilson connected on an outside shot to bring the deficit down to one before Siddall's field goal gave the Spartans the lead for good. Laurel held the Panthers to those two field goals, outscoring them 10-6.

Before the shot, Siddall was 2-of-7 from beyond the arc, with both successful tries coming in the second quarter. He finished with 17 points, while Wilson paced Laurel (3-1 section, 10-2 overall) with 28 points and Mason Mraz followed with 17.

"We’re a veteran team now. The past couple of years, we had inexperience. But these guys have been here so long between Jake and Scott and Mason and Jordan (Dantico), they’ve played a lot of games, a lot of playoff basketball games," Laurel coach Ken Locke said. "That’s something we talked about in the huddle, even down seven, we’ll keep fighting and doing the things we do. I think those guys know not to get frustrated or blink, just keep doing what we’re doing, keep battling and I think the leadership came through at the end.”

The Spartans, however, were not without their shortcomings. As a team, they shot just 6 of 23 from beyond the arc (26 percent) and continually turned the ball over, a result of Riverside's play being similar to the Spartans' uptempo style.

That led to long rebounds following Laurel misses and a Riverside game plan that included one player sprinting back to beat the Spartans defense for an easy layup.

It certainly wasn't a pretty sight at times, especially for a coaching staff that continually tried to correct the issue.

“You have to give them credit, their defense was sagging a little bit," Locke said. "They had a good game plan in place and they’re well-coached, but it is something we talked about. If we can get our feet set we can knock them down at a very high percentage. It’s not that we don’t want to shoot, we’ll take those shots, but only if they’re good looks and we can get our feet set. We took some bad ones, maybe standing still a little bit too much offensively.

"We just shoot a lot, and we missed a lot tonight. That caused a lot of long rebounds and our guys need to do a better job of getting back. They were releasing some guys and we didn’t do a good enough job. It’s something we talked about a lot but, for whatever reason, we just let it happen too many times. It’s something we’ll focus on.”

Laurel held an eight-point advantage heading into the half, but the Panthers stormed out of the locker room and outscored the Spartans by 11 points. The largest lead Riverside held in the quarter was seven points, which was knocked down to five after a Siddall tip-in at the buzzer.

That last-second bucket gave Laurel an edge in the final quarter, as the Spartans stormed back with six straight points to open the fourth for a one-point lead.

The victory puts the Spartans in a solid position early in the section schedule. Laurel now has a strong hold on the third spot behind Lincoln Park and Neshannock, who play each other Friday, as the Spartans now own a two-game lead over the Panthers.

“They’re all big and, especially at home, it was definitely important," Locke said. "Our guys know that and you have to give (Riverside) credit, we knew they were coming to play. They’re going to battle night in and night out and they’re going to beat someone down the stretch here. We just didn’t want it to be us.

"They’re all big, we told the guys now, as we look forward to Friday, that you have to throw the records out. When we get into section play, there are a lot of good teams in our section. Night in and night out, it’ll be a battle.”

Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Laurel 14 19 11 18 10 72
Riverside 14 13 22 13 4 66
Box Scores
Ty Thellman 1 2-4 5
Dylan Speicher 7 2-3 17
Austin Dambach 5 2-4 12
Jesse Fornatero 0 0-0 0
Justin Baust 6 2-2 15
Jason Dambach 5 2-5 12
Mike Boswell 2 1-2 5
Totals: 26 11-20 66

Jordan Dantico 1 4-6 6
Adam Enscoe 0 0-0 0
Tucker Skerbetz 0 0-0 0
Isici Layne 2 0-0 4
Scott Siddall 7 0-0 17
Jacob Wilson 8 9-9 28
Mason Mraz 6 5-6 17
Colton Brown 0 0-0 0
Zach Sickafuse 0 0-0 0
Totals: 24 18-21 72

RIVERSIDE 14 13 22 13 4 — 66
LAUREL 14 19 11 18 10 — 72

3-point goals — Laurel 6 (Siddall 3, Wilson 3), Riverside 3 (Thellman 1, Speicher 1, Baust 1).
JV score: Laurel 38, Riverside 30. High scorers: L — Adam Enscoe 11, Nick Giles 10.
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