Homer-Center missed two shots in the final 5 seconds and fell just short of its second tournament title of the month with a 53-51 loss to host Richland in the championship game of the Richland Holiday Classic on Saturday night.
Seeking to end the opening month of the season undefeated, Homer-Center started the game slowly, fell behind by 10 points at halftime and couldn’t recover. The Wildcats trailed 28-18 at the break before making a second-half charge behind Joe Capitosti, who poured in 31 points.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well in the first half at all,” Homer-Center coach Bob Rado said. “But we made a great comeback, and I’m really pleased with the kids’ efforts to come all the way back.”
Trailing by two, the Wildcats had the ball and missed a shot with about 5 seconds to play. After a Richland turnover on the ensuing inbounds pass, Homer-Center got another crack at a game-winning shot and missed.
Joe Capitosti made 11 field goals, including three 3s, and went 6-for-7 from the free throw line to account for his career-high scoring output. Darren Carr added 11 points for Homer-Center.
Homer-Center (8-1) had already won one tournament, taking the title at its own tip-off tournament on Dec. 7
The Wildcats welcome United on Friday.
SALTSBURG 56, HARVEST BAPTIST 45: Saltsburg bounced back from a 31-point loss in the opening round and a sluggish first half Saturday to pull away from Harvest Baptist for a victory in the consolation game of the Apollo Trust Company Christmas Tournament.
Ian Satler drilled five 3-point field goals and scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Trojans, who made five of their eight 3s in the second half and outscored Harvest Baptist 30-18 after halftime. Satler earned a selection to the all-tournament team.
Steve Richards added a pair of 3s and finished with 14 points, and Nick Porter contributed 10 points for the Trojans.
Saltsburg (3-5) welcomes Ligonier Valley on Jan. 7.
BALD EAGLE 65, PURCHASE LINE 37: The Red Dragons fell behind by double digits in the first quarter and never recovered in a loss in the championship game of the 35th edition of the Purchase Line Lions Invitational.
Eric Faught led the Red Dragons in the losing effort with eight points and 10 rebounds. Alec Sunderlin also added eight points.
Purchase Line (3-3) welcomes Blairsville on Thursday.
WEST SHAMOKIN 68, CLARION-LIMESTONE 55: The Wolves jumped out to a fast start and held on to win the title game of the West Shamokin Christmas Tournament for the first time in five years.
West Shamokin led 29-12 with about a minute remaining in the first half, but allowed Clarion-Limestone to score the final five points of the second quarter. The Wolves held the Lions to just four points in the first quarter.
Four West Shamokin players reached double figures in scoring. Tournament MVP Zac Horner scored a game-high 21 points and finished 12 of 15 from the free throw line.
Ryan Dean added 12 points, and Zane Clowser, who was named to the all-tournament team, finished with 10. Jake Hough posted a double-double with 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
The Wolves (8-1) will play host to Ford City on Friday.
APOLLO-RIDGE 77, LEECHBURG 40: Four Vikings scored in double digits, and host Apollo-Ridge crushed Leechburg in the championship game of the Apollo Trust Company Christmas Tournament.
Duane Brown finished with a game-high 20 points, and tournament MVP Tre Tipton added 18. Maurice Stankus and Alex Smith added 14 each. Mitchell Johnston was also named to the all-tournament team.
Apollo-Ridge (8-1) welcomes Burrell on Friday.