Gallagher propels Laurel Highlands to upset win
It was one and done for the top-seeded Penn Hills Indians as they fell to Rodney Gallagher and the number eight seed Laurel Highlands Mustangs, 62-60, at Norwin High School Friday night. Gallagher’s go-ahead bucket with 3.5 seconds left in the game proved to be the winner for the Mustangs.
Laurel Highlands controlled the pace early and led 11-10 after a quarter of play. Trailing 11-7, Penn Hills’ Deondre Mitchell hit a three at the buzzer to cut the deficit to one. The Mustangs controlled the second quarter as well, slowing down the explosive Penn Hills’ offense and led 29-28 at the half.
Laurel Highlands led 42-39 after three quarters. With 3:33 left in the game, Penn Hills was able to tie the game 53-53. Trailing 60-57 with under a minute to go, Penn Hills tied the game once again behind a Eddie Daniels 3-pointer but then Laurel Highlands got Gallagher the ball and he won the game and sent Laurel Highlands to the semifinals with a 62-60 win.
Gallagher led the way with 20 points. Tayvaughn Long added 18 points while Keandre Cook pitched in 11 points.
Wes Kropp led Penn Hills with 11 points.
Laurel Highlands improve to 15-8 and advance to the WPIAL Semifinals. Up next for the Mustangs will be the third-seeded Jaguars of Thomas Jefferson, Tuesday at a site and time to be determined. Thomas Jefferson defeated West Allegheny 54-43 in the WPIAL Quarterfinals.
Penn Hills falls to 18-5 overall. Hope is still alive for the Indians as they would advance to the state playoffs if Laurel Highlands defeats Thomas Jefferson and makes the WPIAL Championship.