Pine-Richland Makes Close Section Race Even Closer

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Entering Tuesday night’s games, it was a safe bet that the section title race for boys basketball in Section 1-6A was going to come down to the final day between Butler, Central Catholic, and Pine-Richland.

The Rams made sure that it will remain a three-team race until the very end with a 78-65 win at Central Catholic. The win pulls Pine-Richland a half-game behind Butler and Central Catholic for the section lead. It also allowed the Rams to split the season series with the Vikings, who defeated the Rams on the road, 53-52, on Jan. 5.

Central Catholic started fast with a 14-8 lead after the first quarter. That would be the last quarter Pine-Richland trailed. The rams took the lead for good in the second quarter, taking a 34-25 lead into halftime.

A big contributor to Pine-Richland’s win was the return of junior Andrew Kristofic to the starting lineup. Kristofic only returned last week after being sidelined with a broken thumb during football season, but paced the Rams with 24 points. Senior Phil Jurkovec had 17 points in the win.

Seniors Cole Mason and Luke Nedrow both had 20-point games. Mason finished with 24 and Nedrow with 21.

Pine-Richland improves to 15-4 overall and 7-2 in the section. The Rams are back in action on Friday when they host Seneca Valley at 7:30 p.m.

Central Catholic drops to 10-7 overall and 8-2 in the section. The loss snapped its four-game win streak. The Vikings will look to rebound on Friday when they travel to North Allegheny at 7:30 p.m.