Shenango takes Riverside to the wire, falls
Shenango (61) Vs. Riverside (65)
Dec 18, 2007

NORTH SEWICKLEY TOWNSHIP — Shenango High played well enough to win against most teams.

It held Riverside’s offense in check much of the game, went on a 17-1 run in the first half and owned a 30-20 rebounding edge.

But the Panthers aren’t your average team. They were 8-0 coming into the WPIAL Section 2-AA clash with the Wildcats last night, and were allowing a WPIAL-low 41 points per game.

Most importantly, they are clutch.

In a game that hung in the balance until the final 10 seconds, Riverside made more plays down the stretch than Shenango to claim a 65-61 victory in an emotional, well-played game.

“Great game, both sides,” Panthers’ coach John Rorick said. “We just made a few more plays tonight.”

The Wildcats (1-2, 7-4) had chances, but were never able to take control.

Trailing 51-49, Shenango caught a break when Riverside was called for a technical foul for having six players on the court following a substitution early in the fourth quarter.

Mike Murcko made 1 of 2 at the line, and then Bryan Chieze found Andrew Watson for an apparent hit a 3-pointer. But Chieze was called for a charge right after he passed the ball, nullifying the shot.

Rich Gaston tied it at 53 with two free throws, but the Panthers responded. Mason Marion’s pull-up jumper followed by Jake Wickline’s layup made it 57-53.

Chieze’s long three cut it to 57-56 with 1:30 left, but Wickline answered with an acrobatic layup.

Wickline and Marion were difference-makers. Wickline scored 24 points (seven in the last 5 minutes). Marion had 16.

“Jake played another great game and Mason has knocked down big shots all year for us,” Rorick said.

Chieze missed inside, Riverside made two free throws and Murcko’s 3-pointer went long. The Panthers’ led 62-58 with 11 seconds left after Jason Kolesar went 1 of 2 from the line.

Game over, right?


Wickline fouled Chieze on desperation 3-pointer. The senior calmly knocked down all three to make it 62-61.

After Kolesar made 1 of 2 again, the stage was set for the deciding play.

Shenango coach Bob McQuiston said the last play was going to be a high pick-and-roll with Chieze hopefully being able to dump it down to Gaston (21 points, 10 rebounds) or Murcko (13 points, nine rebounds). If neither was open, McQuiston wanted Chieze (15 points) to penetrate for a layup.

He was on his way to do just that, but Wickline fouled him.

On the surface, it looked like just what the Wildcats wanted. Chieze had just knocked down three clutch shots minutes earlier and was 5 for 5 on the night.

But the first attempt hit the back rim. Chieze and Gaston did everything they could to grab the rebound, but it landed in hands of Riverside reserve Shane Rusnock, who was fouled with 3.5 seconds left.

He swished both shots to end it.

McQuiston said his team must recover quickly from last night as Shenango will face Mohawk on Friday.

““We can’t dwell on this,” he said. “Mohawk will be a big, big game.”

“We played hard, right down to the end,” McQuiston continued. “It’s a pass here, a rebound or two here, just little things in a game like this.”
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Shenango 12 19 13 17 0 61
Riverside 10 17 19 19 0 65
Box Scores
Field Goals Attempted Foul Shots Made Foul Shots Three Points Total Points Fouls
Brian Chieze4652150
Rich Gaston8850210
Andrew Watson200260
Mike Murcko5421130
Ryan Tanner211150
Jesse Noca000000
Rick Ferrari000000
Jason Kolesar4640120
Jake Wickline8971240
Mason Marion7002160
Shane Rusnock043030
Mike Vucelich244080
Nico Baldelli120020
Adam Smith000000
Ryan Ard000000
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