Neshannock jolts Lincoln Park
Neshannock (65) Vs. Lincoln Park (51)
Jan 06, 2009

Most expected three teams to battle it out for the Section 1-A title.

But the Neshannock High boys basketball team made it a four-way scramble last night.

By beating Lincoln Park, 65-51, the Lancers proved they are among the section’s elite.

The top four teams have one loss each. Neshannock (2-1 section, 6-4 overall) is tied with Monaca (2-1) and trails only Union (4-1) and Lincoln Park (3-1).

“It was a big game and a big win,” Neshannock senior Tony Kirkwood said.

“It gives us a lot of confidence because they are one of the better teams in our section. We’re going to have another tough game with them and another tough game with Union on Tuesday, too.”

Kirkwood led the way with a game-high 30 points for the Lancers. He had six field goals, but did most of his damage from the foul line, converting 17 for 19.

“I wanted to go to the line at the end of the game because a foul shot is probably my best shot,” he said.

Kirkwood and his teammates shined on the defensive end, too.

“He’s a heck of an offensive player,” Neshannock coach John Corey said. “Defensively, with some of the gimmick stuff we were doing, he and Eric Bruening were the anchors and kept everybody in check. Going 17 for 19 from the line is pretty hard to beat, too.”

The Lancers did a good job of containing Lincoln Park’s David McCauley. The senior entered the game averaging nearly 30 points per contest. He finished with 24.

“He’s a heck of a player and he’s going to get his points. You just have to make him work for it,” Corey said. “If you make it easy for him, then he is going to have a field day. If he has to work, and I think he did have to work for those 24 points, that has to be the goal. Maybe that tired him out and led to his foul trouble.”

McCauley sat out nearly the final three minutes of the first half after he was whistled for a technical foul.

Neshannock carried a 32-24 lead into the intermission. The Lancers’ lead swelled to 20 points, 48-28, in the third quarter as McCauley was limited to four points. The hosts held a 50-33 edge heading into the fourth.

In the final frame, the Leopards made a charge with McCauley leading the way. He scored Lincoln Park’s first 12 points in the quarter, but was whistled for his fifth foul and left the game with 3:47 to play.

“There was a span there where they gave him the ball and he said, ‘Get out of my way, I am going to score.’ Unfortunately, he did there for a while and our lead went to single digits,” Corey said. “Having him foul out was a bonus, but I am still proud of how hard we fought.”

The deficit was 11 (58-47) when McCauley went to the bench. The Leopards were unable to sustain their charge.

“He was taking over the game and they didn’t have another go-to player on the court after that,” Kirkwood said. “We played really good defense. Everyone stepped up.”

Bobby Nittinger had 11 points for Neshannock. Joey Fontana added eight, while Bryce Kauffman had seven.

Marcus Brown added 15 points for Lincoln Park.
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Neshannock 17 15 18 15 0 65
Lincoln Park 11 13 9 18 0 51
Box Scores
Keith Hutchins 2 1-1 6
Marcus Brown 5 3-4 15
Sean Shirley 1 0-0 2
Trey Hosack 1 0-0 3
David McCauley 9 4-5 24
Cameron McDonald 0 1-2 1.
Totals: 18 9-12 51.

Bobby Nittinger 5 0-0 11
Bryce Kauffman 3 1-2 7
Tony Kirkwood 6 17-19 30
Eric Bruening 2 0-2 4
Stephen Perrott 2 0-0 4
Brandon Doran 0 1-2 1
Joey Fontana 3 2-2 8
Chris Graziani 0 0-0 0
C.J. VanEman 0 0-0 0
John Sansone 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 21 21-27 65.

LINCOLN PARK 11 13 9 18 — 51
NESHANNOCK 17 15 18 15 — 65

3-point goals — Lincoln Park 6 (McCauley 2, Brown 2, Hosack 1, Hutchins 1), Neshannock 2 (Nittinger 1, Kirkwood 1).
JV score: No game.

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