Scotties unable to play catch-up in play-in game
Union (43) Vs. Clairton (52)
Feb 22, 2016

By Joe Sager
New Castle News

AMBRIDGE — A four-point halftime deficit may not seem bad to most teams.

For the Union High boys basketball team, it turned out to be devastating Monday night.

The Scotties struggled to muster much offense in the first half. By the time they got it going in the fourth quarter, it was too late and Clairton pulled away for a 52-43 triumph in a PIAA Class A play-in game at Ambridge.

The Bears (16-5) move on to face Eden Christian (21-4), a 78-66 winner over Vincentian, on Thursday for the WPIAL's fifth seed to the PIAA tournament. Union's season comes to an end at 12-12.

There were plenty of opportunities for the Scotties to rack up points in the first half. They had numerous open and in-close looks and misfired repeatedly at the foul line. Instead of taking control, they settled for a 20-16 halftime deficit.

"Missed layups and easy shots; going 1 for 12 from the line — so many missed opportunities. It's a game of runs in the playoffs. Instead of being up eight or 10, we're down four," Union coach Mark Stanley said. "In the playoffs, they're going to make their run and you're going to
make your run. When we had the opportunity to make our run, we didn't
utilize it and put ourselves in a tough situation."

Union's offense remained cool in the third quarter. Despite that, the
team got back within four, 27-23, on Garrison Bell's bucket and freebie
with 4:27 left. Clairton closed the quarter with a 7-0 march to grab a
34-23 advantage at the horn.

The Scotties finally picked up in the offensive end and went on a 10-5
run to open the fourth. That gave them some life and cut the deficit to six, 39-33, with 4:51 to go. Again, the Bears pulled away, but Union got within 48-43 with 40.1 seconds to go on a Tre'Von Charles triple.

"From the scouting reports we had and what we saw on film, we knew they play four quarters and they are scrappy. We knew they weren't going to quit," Clairton coach Matt Geletko said. "I was proud of how our guys stepped upthe intensity and handled the pressure."

Clairton closed out the win when it converted its next four attempts from the foul line. All told, the Bears were 10 of 12 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter, including 6 of 6 in the final minute.

"We fouled to try to extend the game. What they did do was hit their free throws they needed to hit and got a couple putbacks off misses," Stanley said. "What we should have been doing in the first half, they did down the stretch and they were able to hold us off."

Bell led all scorers with 19 points, while Charles finished with 17. Maurice Reeves led Clairton with 11 points off the bench.

Nightly Roundup
Feb 22, 2016 Nightly Roundups
Game Scoreboard
Union 6 10 7 20 0 43
Clairton 6 14 14 18 0 52
Box Scores
Aaron Mathews 4 0-1 8
Uri Meyers 1 0-0 3
Koran Boyd 2 4-4 8
Khori Fusco 2 4-6 9
Lamont Wade 3 1-3 7
Maurice Reeves 4 3-4 11
Anthony Pruitt 2 0-0 5
Noah Hamlin 0 1-2 1
Totals: 18 13-20 52

UNION (43)
Joey Crivelli 1 0-0 3
Garrison Bell 8 2-3 19
Tre’von Charles 6 2-7 17
Constantin Padure 1 0-0 2
Devin Wilson 1 0-0 2
Timmy Sumner 0 0-0 0
K’Von Huddleston 0 0-3 0
Jordan Best 0 0-4 0
Totals: 17 4-17 43

CLAIRTON 6 14 14 18 – 52
UNION 6 10 7 20 – 43

3-point goals – Clairton 3 (Meyers 1, Fusco 1, Pruitt 1), Union 5 (Charles 3, Bell 1, Crivelli 1).
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