PIAA Eastern Finals 3A
@ Giant Center
Lancaster Catholic 66 Steel High 60
In the rematch of the District 3 championship game, the results were the same but the game was different. Much different....Both Steel High and LCHS were content on getting to the second half as neither team took control in the first half. LCHS went out to a 14-8 lead only to see Steel High to come take the lead, lose the lead and settle for a 26 26 tie at the break. Both Steel High and LCHS played mostly man 3/4 court. No 3-2 zones from the Rollers on this evening. LCHS tried some 3/4 traps but stuck with the man. Steel High took more time to get its shots off than in the last game and was making its foul shots until the end of the game. Catholic did not get to the line early but did make them count down the stretch as they had last Friday vs. Harriton.
the 3rd....Steel High opened the third period with a 1-2-1-1 trap, which was effective in the 2nd stanza. With Tristan Crawford, a silky smooth forward, taking the ball to the hole and gathering off. boards, Steel High started to pull away. The Rollers lead 41-34 midway in the third, and the familiar Roller clap was back. LCHS answered with the three ball. Zach Shedleski hit the first three and Greg Testa hit the second as Catholic cut the lead to 43-40. Two drives by the Rollers righted their ship at 47-40, but LCHS would score the last 4 points on a jumper by Keith Keller and two foul shots by Ryan Purvis. 47 -45 Rollers.
The 4th...Dominick Allen, a 6'3" forward/center for Steel High picked up his fourth on a hard foul on Keller. Keller hit one of 2 to cut the lead to 48-46. Shedleski got fouled the next trip and he tied the game setting up another 4th quarter finish by the " cardiac kids?"...Steel High countered with a bucket and 2 fouls by Gerard Madden. rollers 52-48. ...Mr. Everything for this evening, Purvis gets fouled by Allen, putting Allen out of the game with 4:55 on the clock. He hits both to pull LCHS to within 2 points...then a strange play occurs. Testa gets one of his patented steals, goes the the rack, scores and is fouled....Lots of discussion and some confusion, but Purvis was ruled to have interfered with the goal. NO goal, but Testa gets 2, which he cans both. Tied up at 52....Steel High missed the one plus and Purvis again gets to the line - he makes both at the 3:27 mark to give LCHS a brief lead. A drive by Crawford of the Rollers evens it up and the Giant Center is loud. Both teams fans are into the game now...Another steal by Testa and a layup gives LCHS the lead it would not surrender. With Purvis clearing the boards, Shedleski hits a bomb to extend the lead to 59-54. Steel High misses its next one plus . Testa hits 2 fouls and Keller hits a reverse and the game is pretty much over as the foul game begins. The Rollers cut it to 6 on the last shot , but the Crusaders move into the PIAA finals unbeaten.
Quotable Quotes...LCHS Coach Bill Southward..."we're very happy and will celebrate tonight, but tomorrow we have to go back to work....We've had to battle from behind in three of our 4 state games so far....This is a special group....We were not taking bad shots so I was not worried when the three pointers were not falling...We've been taking them one game at a time..."
Sidelines: ..Attendance at the Giant Center was 5865...A District 3 sweep as Delone girls win 2A and Scotland wins 1A boys....Berks county officials....Easier to out of Hershey tonight as security provided another exit...Can an unbeaten team be the underdog in so many games? ..Many picked the Rollers to win the rematch, as they did when the Crusaders played Harriton. ...This writer does not believe in destiny but does think LCHS plays best down the stretch. LCHS had ZERO turnovers in the fourth compared to 6 by the Rollers. Also, Catholic out-rebounded Steel High 6-3 in the final stanza...Purvis had a double double even though he sat out some of the game with foul trouble as did Mason Weeks....Many local fans/coaches/refs in attendance...Channel 49 covers the games for the locals..Coach Warren Goodling of Hempfield was analyst ....Ex Columbia Coach Gary Sutton was court side getting ready for his annual PNC call for the finals Friday and Sat. ....In our never ending search for good food, the LLHoops.com gang ended up at the Parkside. Great wings and crab soup. A bit smoky but it beats sitting in traffic on the way through Hershey:).