Foul shooting lifts Lancers
Neshannock (61) Vs. Laurel (55)
Jan 19, 2011
Clutch free throw shooting helped Neshannock escape with a Section 2-AA victory over Laurel.
The Lancers’ John Sansone and David Burkes combined to hit 6 for 6 attempts from the line in the final two minutes to seal the victory. Neshannock (5-1, 11-3) took an early 14-4 lead, but were outscored 21-14 in the second quarter and led by just three at the half.
“Laurel did a very good job of distributing the ball,” Neshannock coach John Corey said. “The second quarter for them, six different guys scored. We made plenty of mental mistakes, and after such a good first quarter, it was very discouraging.”
The Lancers went up by as much a 12 in the third quarter, but Laurel stayed within striking distance, mainly because of Ryan Hites, who hit a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. He pulled them within five with three minutes remaining. The Spartans (1-5, 3-11) had to foul though, and Neshannock made them pay.
Neshannock’s Brandon Marinelli led all scorers with 26 points, including going 16 of 19 from the charity stripe. He was 9 for 9 in the third quarter. He also grabbed 12 rebounds. Sansone added 16 points.
Hites paced Laurel with 12 points. Chad Long added 11, including eight in the fourth quarter.
“It’s going to be an extremely important game for us in regards to section status,” Corey said of Friday’s game against Ellwood City. “The first game (at Neshannock) was an overtime victory for us. It was back and forth and a very intense game, so we have to go down there and, offensively, play efficient. Ellwood City does a good job priding themselves on defense, so we have take care of the ball.”