Union edges Lincoln Park in instant classic
Lincoln Park (69) Vs. Union (71)
Jan 29, 2008
It was the type of basketball game that people will talk about at their high school reunion in 10 years.

The Union High and Lincoln Park boys teams displayed pure athletic theater last night. There was drama, controversy and a big game from a budding star. At the end, the hero was even carried off by the crowd.

The Scotties claimed a share of the section title with a 71-69 win in an instant classic at the Mike Covelli Field House.

“Maybe the best high school game I’ve been involved in,” said Lincoln Park coach Chris Raso.

Union (9-3 section, 13-6 overall) took control in the latter stages of the second quarter, with Anthony Thomas’s back-to-back 3-pointers giving his team a 34-24 lead.

The Leopards (8-3, 12-6) got within 36-35 before Union went on a 22-9 run that ended the third period with a Thomas’ 3 at the buzzer for 58-44 lead.

Here comes the big-time performance.

With Lincoln Park down 63-55 early in the fourth quarter, 6-foot-4 David McCauley took command. He had three steals that led to baskets. He drove to the hoop and was fouled (he was 11 of 13 from the line). His putback capped a 20-8 run over the first 6:05 of the fourth quarter as the Leopards pulled within 68-64.

McCauley was the best player on the floor, scoring 31 points to go with 16 rebounds and five steals.

“I’m biased, but he’s the best player in the section,” Raso said. “The hidden gem of the WPIAL.”
Here comes the drama.

With 45 seconds left, Union’s Jordon Rooney missed the front end of a one-and-one that would’ve made it a two possession game. Michael Cox scored and was fouled by Rooney on the other end, making it 68-66 with 30 seconds left.

Cox missed the free throw, and the Scotties’ Jordan Clingensmith ran down the rebound and was fouled. He made two foul shots, pushing the lead to 70-66 with 11 seconds left.

During a timeout, Scotties’ coach Dave Smialowski reminded his team that the Leopards didn’t have a timeout, and not to inbound the ball if there was less than five seconds left on the clock.

Here comes the controversy.

McCauley pulled up and buried a 3-pointer with four seconds left. From the sideline, Raso was giving the intentional foul signal, but a referee mistook it for a timeout call and blew the whistle. The clock should have been allowed to run out, but in what was later called an inadvertent whistle, four seconds were put back with Union inbounding under the Leopards’ hoop.

Here comes the hero.

Clingensmith was fouled with two seconds left, and had long walk to the other end to think about the free throws.

“Oh my goodness, I couldn’t feel my legs,” said Clingensmith.

Firsy one: Swish, 71-69.

He missed the second, but McCauley’s backcourt deperation shot sailed over the backboard.

Before anyone could digest what happened, the Union student body was on the floor and Clingensmith was on someone’s shoulders.

Clingensmith had 19 points to lead Union. Jason Burkes had 17 and Thomas had 15 points on five three-pointers. Donte Calhoun came off the bench to score 12 points and grab nine boards.

Calhoun’s performance was especially big, as he filled in for starting center Matt Adamo who played only three minutes because of an illness.

“Calhoun was kicking our rear end,” said Raso.

“We really battled down the stretch,” Smialowski said. “The kids showed a lot of character.”

With their section slate complete, the Scotties can win the title outright if Lincoln Park loses to Western Beaver and Sewickley falls at Vincentian Friday night.

“This does a lot for us going into the playoffs,” said Clingensmith. “This, by far, was the best win we’ve had all season.”
Nightly Roundup
Jan 29, 2008 Nightly Roundups
Game Scoreboard
Lincoln Park 14 15 15 25 0 69
Union 15 21 22 13 0 71
Box Scores
Field Goals Attempted Foul Shots Made Foul Shots Three Points Total Points Fouls
Lincoln Park
#3 Linnell Robinson200040
#23 Jason Burkes6332170
#25 Markus Allen100020
#10 Jordon Rooney010000
#20 Jordan Clingensmith51072190
#1 Anthony Thomas5005150
#34 Matt Adamo100020
#40 Donte Calhoun6200120
#32 Anthony Forletta000000
#12 Nick DeCesare000000
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