Bethel Park Holds Off North Allegheny In WPIAL First Round
With strong starts to both halves, sixth-seeded Bethel Park withstood a fourth quarter rally from 11th-seeded North Allegheny on Tuesday night at North Hills, 53-50, in the opening round of the Class 6A playoffs.
Both teams had a tough time finding their rhythm in the first quarter, with the Black Hawks taking a 12-6 lead after one quarter.
In the second quarter, the contest turned into a track meet with both teams developing a hot hand. For Bethel Park, first-team all-section pick Ryan Meis led the way with nine points in the first half to help the Black Hawks to a 26-25 lead at intermission. North Allegheny senior Zach Andreykovich helped the Tigers keep pace with 11 first-half points and three 3-pointers.
Throughout the night, Bethel Park held a commanding advantage in rebounding, especially on the offensive glass, and that contributed to a strong third quarter for the Black Hawks. Bethel Park built a 43-31 lead with 1:40 remaining in the third and senior First-team selection Tommy DiRienzo tallied six points and four rebounds in the stanza. For the night, DiRienzo totaled 14 points and nine rebounds, including seven offensive boards. As a team, BP outrebounded NA, 28-16, with 13 of the offensive variety.
Despite facing a 12-point deficit, North Allegheny staged a rally and used a 10-2 run to trim the score to 45-41, Bethel Park, with five minutes remaining in the fourth period.
While the rally drew NA close, Bethel Park managed to stave off the Tigers the rest of the way and claimed a 53-50 victory. Meis paced the Black Hawks with a game-high 24 points. Bethel Park improves to 14-8 overall and advances to face Section 2 rival Mt. Lebanon in the WPIAL quarterfinals on Saturday at Canon-McMillan at 3:15 p.m.