Shenango back in playoff picture
Shenango (56) Vs. Laurel (47)
Jan 22, 2011
By RON PONIEWASZ JR.
Shenango is starting to make a run at a postseason berth.
Jeff Williams recorded 18 points to lead the Wildcats to a 56-47 WPIAL Section 2-AA boys basketball victory at Laurel last night.
The win is the fourth in a row for Shenango (3-4, 9-6), while the Spartans (1-6, 3-12) dropped their eighth consecutive matchup. The Wildcats are just a game out of fourth place for the final postseason berth.
Ellwood City Lincoln (4-3, 7-7), which has lost three of its last four contests, is in fourth place in the loop.
Shenango secured the victory by draining 26 of its 31 attempts from the foul line, including 16 of 19 in the fourth period.
“One thing we’ve been doing well lately is making foul shots,” Shenango coach Bob McQuiston said. “We’re being aggressive and getting to the basket.
“The guys are knocking them down when they get there and that’s great to see.”
Shenango, which led the whole game, built a 27-13 halftime bulge, but the Spartans cut the deficit to 38-27 after three quarters.
“I knew they wouldn’t go away,” McQuiston said. “One thing I thought we did was keep our composure when they tried to make a run; Laurel is always tough at home.”
The Spartans trimmed the deficit to four with a minute to play, but the Wildcats closed it out at the foul line.
“Shenango is a very good team and they have some very good shooters,” Laurel coach Mike Tinstman said. “We were in the ballgame, but we just have these mental lapses.
“I give a lot of credit to Shenango for making their foul shots.”
Williams was 12 of 14 from the foul line, including 7 of 8 in the final frame. Jordan O’Hara chipped in with 13 points for Shenango.
Todd Fennick and Chad Long paced Laurel with 17 points apiece. Fennick, who snared six rebounds, tossed in six of his markers in the fourth quarter. Long recorded eight of his points in the fourth frame.
“I’m seeing improvement and I’m pleased with the effort,” Tinstman said. “We just don’t have the firepower to overcome our mistakes.”