Strong Second Half Helps NA Push Past Central Catholic, 72-52
North Allegheny used 70-percent shooting in the second half to seize control of the game as the Tigers topped the Central Catholic Vikings on Friday night, 72-52, in the Quad-A Conference Boys’ Basketball Game of the Week.
With their playoff hopes hanging by a thread, the Vikings played an intense and spirited defense and held the Tigers to 27-percent shooting in the first half. Additionally, Central Catholic limited North Allegheny’s top scorer, Cole Constantino, to just five points in the opening half.
Central Catholic trailed during most of the first quarter, but grabbed an 18-16 lead on a 3-pointer by junior Matt Bilyak. The lead was short-lived, however, as NA senior Will Sandherr answered with a 3-pointer of his own to give the Tigers a 19-18 advantage. The trey by Sandherr sparked an 11-0 run that sent North Allegheny to the locker room with a 27-18 lead.
In the second half, Central Catholic’s sharpshooters came out hot and knocked down 6 of 10 shots from beyond the arc. The top marksman was senior Sean Whalen who poured in 4 of 6 attempts from the outside for a 12-point performance. The problem for Central Catholic was that North Allegheny was equally hot from the field and buried 4 of 6 three-point attempts. Sandherr continued his strong outing in the second half and finished with a game-high 23 points and eight rebounds to earn the Quad-A Network’s Player of the Game award.
Along with Sandherr, junior Keegan Phillips drained a pair of treys and finished with 10 points. Senior Jordan Lake tallied 13 points and seven rebounds, and Constantino asserted himself in the second half with 12 points for a total of 17 on the evening. For Central Catholic, nine different players touched score sheet but only Whalen notched double digits.
Central Catholic trimmed the NA lead to ten points at two different junctures of the fourth quarter, but could come no closer as the Tigers claimed a 20-point victory.
North Allegheny remains in first place in the Section 3-AAAA standings with a 17-2 overall record and 8-2 section mark. Central Catholic is eliminated from playoff contention with a 6-12 overall record and 3-8 mark in section play.
North Allegheny vs. Shaler Game Summary
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