HIGH SCHOOL BOYS' BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Heritage Conference showdown set
Second-place Homer-Center bounced back from its first conference loss and set up a pivotal showdown Monday by easing past visiting Purchase Line, 63-41, in a Heritage Conference boys’ basketball game Friday.
The Wildcats (18-2, 12-1 conference) travel to Blairsville to take on the first-place Bobcats for a chance to forge a tie atop the conference standings. Blairsville won the first meeting, 65-51, last Saturday.
“We had to get that rough taste out of our mouth after the loss to Blairsville,” Homer-Center assistant coach Rickey Miller said. “We bounced back well. Now we’ve got to set our sites on Blairsville and hopefully pulling out a win Monday.”
Homer-Center’s Joe Capitosti led all scorers with 19 points. Robert Della Penna tacked on 11 points.
Purchase Line’s Taylor Antisdel scored eight points.
Purchase Line (5-12, 3-11) plays host to Harmony on Wednesday.
BLAIRSVILLE 58, WESTMONT HILLTOP 42: Three Blairsville players reached double figures in scoring, and the Bobcats reeled off their 11th straight win by thumping visiting Westmont Hilltop in a non-conference game.
The Bobcats jumped out to a five-point halftime lead, 25-20, before outscoring the Hilltoppers 18-7 in the third quarter to carry a 16-point lead, 43-27, into the fourth.
Blairsville’s Colton McMillan led all scorers with 15 points. Cameron Livingston scored 14 points, and Troy Williams added 11.
Blairsville (17-1) plays host to Homer-Center on Monday.
MARION CENTER 65, SALTSBURG 44: Todd Fetsko scored a game-high 28 points, two other Marion Center players reached double figures in scoring, and the Stingers shut down host Saltsburg for a win in a Heritage Conference game.
Jake Bothell added 13 points, and Tim Betts scored 10 for Marion Center.
Saltsburg guard Ian Satler needed 12 points to reach 1,000 for his career, and the senior sharpshooter did just that. He sank a pair of free throws midway through the second quarter to hit the milestone, and then he was held scoreless in the second half.
“He’s had a heck of a year so far,” Saltsburg coach Don Stitt Jr. said. “He was a little jittery thinking about getting to 1,000, and he forced some shots early, but Marion Center’s a good defensive team. This year he’s definitely taken his offensive game a step forward.”
Steve Richards chipped in 14 points for Saltsburg. Freshman Nick Porter added 11 points.
Saltsburg (8-9) travels to Deer Lakes on Monday, and Marion Center (13-6) plays host to Penns Manor on Tuesday.
LIGONIER VALLEY 59, UNITED 47: Ligonier Valley freshman Collin Smith scored 27 points, Jordan Jones added 16 points, and the Rams smothered United early en route to a win in a Heritage Conference game in Armagh.
A night after he scored a career-high 30 points, Smith made 10 field goals and 6 of 8 free throws to pace the Rams.
“He definitely doesn’t look like a freshman,” United coach Tyler Stokes said. “He handles everything well. He’s got a good outside game and a good inside game, and he displayed both of those tonight. I’d say he’s going to be a good ballplayer, but he already is.”
Weylon McGeary led United with 14 points. Jake Beacker scored 11 points, and James Currie had eight points and 10 rebounds.
United (7-12) travels to Glendale today, and Ligonier Valley plays host to Jeannette on Monday.
WEST SHAMOKIN 47, VALLEY 38: West Shamokin point guard Zane Clowser scored a game-high 17 points and sparked big runs in the second and fourth quarters to power the Wolves to a win over visiting Valley in a WPIAL non-section game.
Jake Hough chipped in eight points and eight rebounds for West Shamokin. Adam Crise added eight points and five rebounds, and Clowser nabbed a game-best six steals.
West Shamokin (16-4) travels to Karns City today.