Union boys advance with win over California
Union (51) Vs. California (31)
Feb 16, 2016
By Andrew Koob
New Castle News

IMPERIAL — Wednesday night may not have been about revenge for the Union High boys basketball team.

Yet it made its victory that much sweeter as the eighth-seeded Scotties earned a 51-31 win over ninth-seeded California in the WPIAL Class A first round at West Allegheny.

The Trojans defeated Union last year in the same round off a layup in the final seconds.

Garrison Bell took over the scoring for the Scotties (12-10) in the first half, scoring 11 of his game-high 19 points in the first 16 minutes.

“I was just trying to get fouled," Bell said. "There were a lot of open gaps so I was just taking them when I could."

Tre'Von Charles picked up the slack when Union was in foul trouble, scoring 11 points including nine straight between the third and fourth quarter. The sophomore also added five steals to his night.

While the Scotties' duo did its job on the offensive end of the court, it was the collaborative defensive effort that keyed the victory. After the Trojans (14-8) scored 14 points in the first quarter, they were subsequently held to just 17 points for the remainder of the game, including just five points each in the second and fourth quarter.

Cal's offensive struggles helped Union, which won its first playoff game in three seasons, take an 11-point advantage into the final quarter as the Scotties held onto the ball and tried to work time off of the game clock.

“I thought that if we could get a 12-point lead, I don’t think they could chase us," Union coach Mark Stanley said. "I thought we could wear them out a little bit and that makes it harder on the offensive end. When Garrison got his fourth foul, we took a minute off. Every minute we could take off and get him out there, it was key. We knew, if we had a lead, they would have trouble chasing us a little bit.

“Playoff basketball is different," Stanley continued. "(Joey) Crivelli had an open three in the corner and, a week ago, he would have jacked it. But he brought it out, played smart and shrank the clock. The best teams get a lead, make the other guys foul, extend the lead and play good defense. It’s a good formula."

Plenty of the defensive focus circled around Kass Taylor, last year's hero in Cal's victory over Union. The 6-foot-4 sophomore, who averaged just under 18 points per game heading into the playoffs, was held to eight points and six in the first quarter.

“Early on, Taylor was giving us trouble," Stanley said. "We tried to face guard him a little bit, kept playing man but sagged off a little bit. If we were going to lose, someone else was going to beat us. I think we got him out of rhythm a little bit and that helped us. We located him and tried to slow him down.”

Union now turns its attention to top-seeded Monessen, a 95-31 winner over Leechburg. That contest will be played Friday at a time and site to be determined.

(Email: AKoob@ncnewsonline.com)
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Union 14 9 14 14 0 51
California 14 5 7 5 0 31
Box Scores
Kass Taylor 4 0-0 8
John DeFranco 2 7-11 12
Jaycee Conaway 1 0-0 2
Dylan Hammitt 0 1-2 1
Ben Wilson 0 1-2 1
Xavier Reed 2 0-0 4
Braden Petrucci 1 0-0 2
Dru Miller 0 1-2 1
Totals: 9 10-17 31

UNION (51)
Garrison Bell 6 6-11 19
Jordan Best 0 0-0 0
Joey Crivelli 2 0-0 6
Devin Wilson 2 0-0 4
Devon Holmes 0 0-0 0
Timmy Sumner 0 0-0 0
K’Von Huddleston 1 0-0 2
Matt Costello 1 2-2 5
Jason Pasquarello 0 0-0 0
Evan Pinkerton 0 0-0 0
Seth Pinkerton 0 0-0 0
Tre’von Charles 5 1-1 11
Constantin Padure 2 0-0 4
Totals: 19 9-14 51.

UNION 14 9 14 14 — 51
CALIFORNIA 14 5 7 5 — 31

3-point goals —California 1 (DeFranco 1), Union 4 (Crivelli 2, Bell 1, Costello 1).
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