Jacob Barnett stole a pass and scored a layup to put Purchase Line in front, and he was standing at the free throw line trying to guarantee his team couldn’t lose in regulation when the unthinkable happened.
A Purchase Line player committed a lane violation with Barnett at the line for the first of a one-and-one free throw situation with 3.5 seconds left. Barnett didn’t get a second shot, but the Red Dragons held on for a 64-63 win when United’s Austin Kovalcik came up short on a jumper at the buzzer.
It was a shootout between Barnett and Kovalcik. Kovalcik, a 6-foot-2 junior, won that one, 29-27. He scored 15 points in the first half and 14 in the second.
Barnett, a 6-3 senior who surpassed 1,000 career points last week, and his teammate won the game. He scored nine points in each of the first and fourth quarters and chalked up nine combined in the second and third.
Isaac Huey also reached double figures for Purchase Line with 16 points, and Mello Sanchez scored 11. Hunter Antisdel chipped in eight.
Aiden Ringler scored 13 points for United.
Both teams play Wednesday. United (7-7, 4-4) plays host to Penns Manor, and Purchase Line (5-6, 3-4) welcomes Ligonier Valley.
PENNS MANOR 64, SALTSBURG 57: Garrett Grimaldi fueled a fast start on his way to career-high 30 points in Penns Manor’s victory over Saltsburg at home in a Heritage Conference game.
Penns Manor (6-7, 3-5) led 18-12 after the first quarter and stretched the margin to 12 points by halftime at 37-25. Grimaldi scored eight points in the first quarter and 10 in the second. The 6-foot-4 senior finished with 14 field goals and also yanked down 19 rebounds.
Saltsburg (9-4, 4-3) outscored the Comets 32-27 in the second half.
“We started fast, which we’ve struggled on all year,” Penns Manor coach Andy Lansberry said. “I feel like we’ve been really close the last three or four games, and tonight was a total team effort. We’ve come close so many times this year, and I hope this game is a breakthrough and we can make a nice little run.”
Lansberry looked over the scoresheet and said, “Yeah, Garrett had 30, but I’m seeing four, five, four, four, four (from other players). It was a total team effort.
“I also thought we got out and ran and got a lot of points in transition. We started fast with 18 in the first quarter and that just carried on the rest of the game.”
Saltsburg made seven 3-point field goals, but Lansberry estimated the Trojans shot more than 30.
“We played tremendous defense,” Lansberry said. “Our whole goal was to try to get them off the 3-point line. They hit some hard shots and we tried to make it as difficult as we could, and that was the difference.
Tristan Roessler paced Saltsburg with 16 points. Dylian Palmer scored 11. Josh Gibbons and Brady Yard had eight apiece.
Both teams play Wednesday, Saltsburg (9-4, 4-3) at home against Northern Cambria and Penns Manor (6-7, 3-5) on the road against United.
HOMER-CENTER 60, NORTHERN CAMBRIA 40: Homer-Center took control early in coach Bob Rado’s 498th career victory.
The Wildcats led 18-5 after the first quarter and held a 17-point advantage, 36-19, at halftime. They outscored the Colts 24-21 in the second half.
Jaden Evanick led Homer-Center with 19 points. Ryan Sardone contributed 12 and Jon Gearhart scored 11.
“It was just a total team effort,” Homer-Center assistant coach Paul Pohley said. “We had balanced scoring and played great defense.”
Rado, in his 37th year of coaching at his third school, is 498-360. He also coached at Marion Center and Indiana.
The Wildcats (9-4, 6-2) play at Marion Center on Wednesday and visit Saltsburg on Friday.
Zach Taylor led Northern Cambria with 17 points. Matt Sedlock had 10.
The Colts outshot Homer-Center from 3-point range, 9-2, but Northern Cambria had only four 2-point field goals compared to Homer-Center’s 22.
Northern Cambria (4-8, 1-6) plays at Saltsburg on Wednesday.
LIGONIER VALLEY 69, WEST SHAMOKIN 53: In a rematch of last year’s Heritage Conference championship game, West Shamokin gave the defending champion all it could handle going into the fourth quarter.
West Shamokin trailed by three points, 47-44, going into the final period, rebounding from an early 16-7 hole to pull within one, 25-24, at halftime and then nearly matching the Rams in the third quarter. Ligonier Valley (11-2, 7-0) outscored the Wolves 22-9 in the fourth quarter to pull away, handing West Shamokin (10-3, 6-2) its second straight loss.
“We struggled in the fourth,” West Shamokin coach Judd McCullough said. “The tempo of the game was in our favor until the fourth. They were able to create some turnovers and went on a run and we didn’t recover. They are very active and anticipate well. We have to be stronger with the ball. But I’m proud of the way our guys battled tonight.”
Kyle Silk lifted Ligonier Valley in the second half, scoring 20 of his game-high 22 points. He scored 11 in the third quarter and nine in the fourth. Michael Marinchak scored 15 of his 19 in the second half, with nine coming in the fourth quarter. Matthew Marinchak scored 15 of his 19 points in the first half.
Trevor Smulik and Eric Spencer combined for seven 3-pointers for West Shamokin and scored 15 points apiece. Justin Smulik and Trevor Smulik combined for 15 rebounds. Bo Swartz and Nate Zik split eight assists evenly.
Ligonier Valley, a 66-42 winner in last year’s championship game, plays at Purchase Line on Wednesday. West Shamokin plays host to Blairsville on Wednesday.
MARION CENTER 55, BLAIRSVILLE 45: In a Heritage Conference game that was close throughout, Marion Center pulled away late at Blairsville.
Marion Center led 25-23 at halftime and 36-30 going into the fourth quarter. The Stingers outscored Blairsville 19-15 in the final period behind Conner Fairman, who scored eight of his game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter.
Three other Stingers joined Fairman in double figures. Justin Peterson scored 14 and was followed by Preston Fox with 11 points and Seth Carneal with 10.
Braden Staats scored 13 points for Blairsville and Cameron Reaugh had 10. Jessie Klingensmith added eight.
Both teams play Wednesday. Marion Center (6-8, 5-4) plays host to Homer-Center, and Blairsville (0-12, 0-10) visits West Shamokin
FREEPORT 54, INDIANA 43: Freeport surged past Indiana in the third quarter of a WPIAL Class 4A Section 1 game.
Indiana led 24-22 at halftime, but Freeport took the lead during a 19-7 third quarter.
Hope Cook scored 14 points and Eve Fiala finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds for Indiana. Alexis Bonatch hit a pair of 3-pointers and finished with eight points.
Indiana (9-5, 4-3) plays host to Armstrong this evening in a girls-boys doubleheader that tips off at 6 p.m.
WEST SHAMOKIN 69, NORTHERN CAMBRIA 18: West Shamokin took a 26-2 lead in the first quarter and cruised past winless Northern Cambria in a Heritage Conference makeup game at home.
Lydia McIlwain led West Shamokin with 18 points, six rebounds and four steals. Lexie Young posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Sophie Fusaro scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds. Shelby Cessna turned in eight points, eight assists and seven steals, and Abby Oesterling finished with nine points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists. Ally Schulteis chipped in eight points.
“We gave good effort and moved the basketball well and were patient for good shots,” West Shamokin coach Frank Nagy said. “Tonight we shot a high percentage compared to other nights. It was just a good overall effort.”
Emma Kollar scored eight points for Northern Cambria.
Both teams play this evening, West Shamokin (8-5, 5-2) at Ligonier Valley and Northern Cambria (0-11) at Blairsville.