HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: HOMER-CENTER 60, TUSSEY MOUNTAIN 46
HOMER-CENTER 60, TUSSEY MOUNTAIN 46: Homer-Center’s Darren Carr and Joe Capitosti each eclipsed the 20-point mark to lift the unbeaten Wildcats to an easy win over Tussey Mountain in the opening round of the Richland Holiday Classic.
On the strength of 10 points from Carr and five from Capitosti, the Wildcats carried a three-point lead, 21-18, into the second quarter.
The Wildcats cranked up their defensive intensity in the second quarter, and thanks to a handful of steals from both Carr and Capitosti, outscored the Titans 21-6 to take an 18-point halftime lead, 42-24. Carr scored nine of his season-high 23 points in the second quarter, and Capitosti had 10 of his 21.
“We started getting a little complacent at the end of the first quarter and I wanted to pick up the tempo so I changed to a man-to-man defense in the second,” Rado said. “We forced them into a lot of turnovers and we turned many of those steals into buckets.
“We’ve come a long way defensively, especially Joe and Darren. They’ve been picking off passes and making our transition game go, and this was the best they’ve both looked all year.”
Homer-Center (8-0) squares off with Richland in the championship game at 7:30 p.m. tonight.
PURCHASE LINE 50, HARMONY 22: The Red Dragons got the fast start coach Steve Woodrow was seeking and they were “steady” on the defensive end in dispatching Harmony to reach the championship game of the 35th edition of the Purchase Line Lions Invitational.
Purchase Line limited Harmony to seven points or fewer in each quarter and never let the Owls get untracked. The Red Dragons led 17-6 after the first quarter, 28-11 at halftime and 42-15 entering the fourth quarter.
“They’re kind of struggling and I wanted our guys to get off to a fast start and jump on them early,” Woodrow said. “We wanted to pressure the ball and run our press. We did steady work defensively.”
Dan Learn and Eric Faught scored 11 points apiece to pace the Red Dragons, and Taylor Antisdel added 10 points.
Logan Sral scored eight points to lead the Owls, who struggled mightily from the free throw line (2-for-15).
Purchase Line (3-2) plays Bald Eagle Area in the championship game today, and Harmony plays Clearfield in the consolation game.
BISHOP GUILFOYLE 74, UNITED 52: Bishop Guilfoyle mounted a 9-0 run early in the third quarter and then kept on the throttle to coast to a win over United in the opening round of the Bishop Guilfoyle Holiday Tournament.
The Lions trailed by six points, 36-30, at halftime, before going on a 6-0 spurt in the early minutes of the third quarter to tie the game, 36-36.
But the Marauders followed three consecutive Lions’ turnovers by drilling three straight 3s and going on a 9-0 burst to take a nine-point lead, 45-36.
Bishop Guilfoyle outscored United 20-11 in the fourth quarter.
“They’re a very athletic team and when they put us in bad situations we turned the ball over too many times,” United coach Tyler Stokes said. “They weren’t hitting many 3s in the first half but they exploded as soon as we started turning the ball over in the third quarter.”
Mike Gill led United with a double-double, piling up team-highs in points and rebounds with 17 and 10, respectively. Weylon McGeary chipped in a season-high 16 points.
United (3-3) faces Bishop McCort in the consolation game at 4 p.m. today.
APOLLO-RIDGE 74, SALTSBURG 43: Saltsburg kept up with Apollo-Ridge’s potent offense for a while, but the Vikings turned it up a notch in the second half and got back on the winning track in the opening round of the Apollo Trust Company Christmas Tournament in Spring Church.
One of the highest scoring teams in the WPIAL Class AA ranks a month into the season, the host Vikings kept up a torrid pace that Saltsburg found hard to keep up with. The Trojans stayed within striking distance in the first half, keeping their deficit to a manageable 35-23 at halftime. But Apollo-Ridge clamped down on defense after that and turned it into a big offensive third quarter to carry a 25-point lead, 55-30, into the final quarter.
Tre Tipton had a game-high 19 points to lead four Apollo-Ridge players who scored in double digits. Alex Smith drained four 3s and finished with 16 points, Duane Brown added 13 points and Mitchell Johnston had 11.
Ian Satler hit three 3s and finished with 13 points to lead Saltsburg.
Apollo-Ridge plays Leechburg in the championship game this evening. The Vikings are looking for their second tournament title in the first month of the season having won the Leechburg Tip-off Tournament three weeks ago. Saltsburg plays Harvest Baptist in the consolation game.
WEST SHAMOKIN 78, BEAVER COUNTY CHRISTIAN 48: Zane Clowser posted a double-double, three other West Shamokin players reached double figures in scoring and the Wolves scored a season-high in points to topple Beaver County Christian in the opening round of the West Shamokin Christmas Tournament.
Clowser dished out a game-high five assists, collected a game-tying high 21 points and nabbed a career-best 10 steals. Zac Horner drilled a career-high five 3s and scored 20 points, Scott Przybysz scored a career-high 12 points and grabbed six rebounds, and Ryan Dean chipped in 11 points and five rebounds.
West Shamokin (7-1) faces Clarion-Limestone in the championship game at 7:30 p.m. tonight.