Apollo-Ridge made a nice run in the playoffs last season, and the Vikings hope they started another one Saturday.
Down by one at the half, the Vikings caught fire and outscored California 28-6 in the third quarter en route to a 52-38 victory in a WPIAL Class AA first-round playoff game at Elizabeth Forward High School.
Duane Brown and Alex Smith scored 13 points apiece for the Vikings, who improved to 19-3 and advanced to face Quaker Valley (20-2) in the second round at a site and time to be announced.
Tre Tipton added 10 points for Apollo-Ridge, and Dominic Shrecengost had nine.
Last year, Apollo-Ridge went on a surprising run to the WPIAL semifinals, where it lost to top-ranked Beaver Falls after upsetting three straight teams.
LAUREL 46, WEST SHAMOKIN 45: The Wolves couldn’t find their rhythm and fell just short in a WPIAL Class AA first-round playoff game at North Allegheny High School.
West Shamokin, which ended its season with a 17-6 record, got 15 points from both Zac Horner and Jake Hough but only two from leading scorer Zane Clowser.
“It was rough game all around,” West Shamokin coach Mike Nagy said. “We couldn’t get in the flow of the game. We missed some easy shots early and it came back to bite us.”
Hough also had 10 rebounds, and Horner had three assists. The Wolves were down by just four at halftime before digging themselves a deeper hole in the third.
“They actually went up by 11 in the third quarter, 37-26, but we didn’t give up,” Nagy said. “We started pressing and trapping, and we chipped away at it. We had some good opportunities, but unfortunately we were 3 of 8 from the foul line in the fourth quarter.”
West Shamokin had an opportunity for a shot with a couple seconds left, but had to go the length of the court and couldn’t get the shot off.
Scott Siddall made three 3-pointers and scored a game-high 16 points for Laurel.