Fox Chapel Outlasts Gateway 63-59
By Patrick McKay
The Boy’s version of the Quad A Sports Network Game of the Week featured the seventh-ranked Fox Chapel Foxes at the 10th-ranked Gateway Gators. The game was as close as the rankings and standings show with multiple lead changes throughout the entire contest. Both teams showed explosive athleticism meriting their position in the rankings and displaying the strength of Section 2.
Gateway was without two standout Seniors as Shomari Thomas who was sidelined with a concussion while Brenon Thrift was visiting Temple as a football recruit. The Gators would not back down however and stormed to 17-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. Fox Chapel’s leading scorer Matt D’Amico was held in check in the first half limited to just six points but senior guard Brian Papich stepped up posting 14 points in the first half and Fox Chapel would take a 30-25 lead into halftime.
The second half would feature multiple lead changes at a high fueled pace. Gator senior and Temple football recruit Delvon Randall would lead the charge for the Gator’s in second half where he scored 12 of his 17 points on the evening. It looked like Fox Chapel was going to hold the lead at the end of the third but Randall had two steals and layups in the final seconds of the frame that would bring the score to 42 all. The second steal was off the inbound pass from the first and left Fox Chapel somewhat stunned to start the fourth. Gateway would take the lead in the fourth and momentum but that was short-lived as Fox Chapel seemed to get their bearings and answered the call.
Leading the way for the Foxes was D’Amico who posted 21 points in the second half alone. Gateway left him open and he hit two clutch three pointers to break the momentum and give Fox Chapel a lead they refused to relinquish. D’Amico would finish with 27 points and was named the Quad A Sports Network Player of the Game. Papich would finish with 21 points and also joining him in double figures was Gateway junior Daylon Harris who tallied 17 points as well. Gateway senior forward Thomas Kromka was limited to just 2 field goals and 7 points on the night while Fox Chapel’s Billy Urso finished with five points but none bigger than the two free throws he hit with 10 seconds remaining to give the Foxes a four point lead and the 63-59 victory.
The race for the playoffs in Section 2 will likely come down to the final game of the season as four teams are tied for second place behind the leading Plum Mustangs who sit atop the standings with a 10-2 Section record. Gateway, Fox Chapel, Central Catholic and Franklin Regional all maintain section records of 8-4 at the end of this evening. Gateway will close out the section with games against Central Catholic and at McKeesport next week. Fox Chapel will have their chance at the leader Plum at home Tuesday night and will finish Section play at Central Catholic next Friday.
To listen to our post-game interview with FC head coach Zachary Skrinjar and Player of the Game Matt D’Amico, click here.