Summit rallies past Shenango
Shenango (64) Vs. Summit Academy (70)
Jan 29, 2011
By DAN IRWIN
On Tuesday, Summit Academy was missing foul shots.
Last night, the Knights were lacking their two big men.
But down the stretch of its WPIAL Section 2-AA clash against Shenango, Summit rectified both problems to overcome an early 12-point deficit and post a 70-64 home court win.
The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for the Wildcats, who dropped to 4-5 in the conference and 11-7 overall. Summit (7-2, 10-6) moved back into a first-place tie with Neshannock, which lost last night to Riverside. Shenango fell back to fifth place, one game back of Shenango, which beat Mohawk last night.
Though Shenango jumped out to an early 14-2 lead, the Knights trailed by only one, 17-16, by the end of the first quarter. From then on, things remained tight until midway through the final period, when the two teams were deadlocked at 57.
At that point, Summit went on an 8-2 run to open up a 65-59 lead with 1:20 to go, and Shenango never got closer than four over the final 80 seconds.
Senior Dale Johnson accounted for six points in that deciding flourish, and proved to be just the inside muscle the Knights needed. He finished with a team-high 14 points, despite not scoring his first bucket until there was 2:02 left in the third period.
“They were penetrating the gaps against our zone pretty well,” Shenango coach Bob McQuiston said. “We were stepping up and they did a good job dishing the ball down inside. We had to switch to a man at that point.
“They got us two or three times with him (Johnson) cutting to the basket. They recognized it and got the ball to him, and he finished the plays.”
Summit coach Art McCray couldn’t have asked for a more clutch performance, being that 6-foot-3 Tevin Allison and 6-2 David Murray both were on home passes for the weekend. And it couldn’t have come from a more unlikely source.
“I’m really surprised,” McCray said of Johnson, “because Dale wasn’t able to go yesterday in practice. I was really concerned about him. He has an ankle injury. We’re going to treat that tonight and the rest of the weekend.”
The Knights also canned four of six free throws in the final 22 seconds to preserve the win. Though they were just seven of 17 overall from the stripe, it was still a marked improvement over their 10-of-34 effort three nights earlier in an overtime loss at Neshannock.
“We were in the gym, next day, that’s all we did,” McCray said. “That’s all we did was work on our free throws. And I don’t know, maybe it hurt us because we didn’t work on our usual pressure stuff and we gave up way more points than what I wanted to give up.
“But I think our guys were a little more under control this game. They understood the situation, without our post men, we needed to pull it back some and force them to try to come out. They wanted to sag on us, and we were able to do that at the end.”
Shenango got 22 points from Jeff Williams, 14 from Jordan O’Hara and 12 from Brett Chieze. What they didn’t get, though, was a lot of opportunities from the foul line.
“We’ve got to get to the line more,” McQuiston noted. “We’ve been getting to the line 20 times a game; we got to the line six times tonight. They’re in the double bonus in the second half, and we don’t get to the one-and-one. That’s tough.
“We’ve got to look to attack a little more on offense, and I don’t think we did that enough in the second half.”