Riding High

North Catholic tops No. 1 ranked Vincentian, 77-67

January 6, 2020 Cranberry Local Sports

North Catholic's Ryan Feczko (11) pushes past Vincentian Academy's Trey Champine during the Trojans' 77-67 basketball win at the Don Graham Classic.

Boys

CRANBERRY TWP — Isaac DeGregorio said it was fun.

North Catholic's 77-67 boys basketball win over Vincentian Saturday night at the Don Graham Classic was intense at the same time.

“It was non-section, but they're our rival and we've been tweeting back and fourth about this game before the season even started,” North Catholic's senior point guard said.

“It was fun out there, but there was a lot of pride involved, too.”

North Catholic's gym was packed to see the battle between the host Trojans — one of the top three ranked teams in WPIAL Class 3A — and the Royals, who are the top-rankded team in Pennsylvania in Class 1A.

Vincentian (6-3) had lost only to Kennedy Catholic by seven points and to the Community School of Naples in Florida prior to Saturday.

The lead changed hands nine times in the first half. North Catholic (9-2) took the lead for good with a 10-0 run in the third quarter. Trailing 55-51, the Trojans got a trey from DeGregorio, and offensive rebound and stick-back by Ethan Embleton, another trey by DeGregorio and lay-up by Embleton to take control.

Vincentian had seven turnovers in the third quarter. North Catholic had none while scoring 26 points in the period.

“Our press forced some turnovers and turned the game in our favor,” North Catholic coach Dave DeGregorio said. “We were able to convert a couple of quick lay-ups.

“One of the biggest improvements in Isaac's game this year is he's not turning the ball over. That's helped to make us a better team.”

DeGregorio sank four of his seven treys in the third quarter as the Trojans jumped in front. North Catholic used a 13-2 run in the fourth quarter — turning a 60-58 lead with 7:40 to play into a 73-60 edge with 3:33 left — to put away the win.

“Win or lose, you play these games for this type of atmosphere and competition,” Coach DeGregorio said. “Both teams benefitted from that and became better teams today regardless of the outcome.”

Isaac DeGregorio scored 25 points, had seven assists and five rebounds in being named the game's MVP. Ryan Feczko had 15 points and three assists, Andrew Ammerman 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Vincentian lost the game despite placing five players in double figures. Alex Griggs had 16 points and four rebounds, Priest Ryan 15 points and five boards. Ryan received the game's Sixth Man Award.

Matt McDonough had 13 points and five assists, Ethan Embleton 13 points, Angelo Reeves 10 points and 10 rebounds.

VINCENTIAN 67

Nathan Cullo 0-1 0-0 0, Alex Griggs 8-18 0-2 16, Matt McDonough 5-11 0-0 13, Angelo Reeves 5-9 0-0 10, Ethan Embleton 5-7 2-3 13, Priest Ryan 4-9 7-8 15, Trey Champine 0-1 0-2 0. Totals: 27-56 9-15 67.

NORTH CATHOLIC 77

Jackson Paschall 3-6 2-2 8, Isaiah Jackson 2-6 0-0 6, Ryan Peczko 6-12 1-1 15, Jake Tomer 1-4 2-2 4, Isaac DeGregorio 7-15 4-4 25, Anthony Serventi 0-4 0-0 0, Hans Rottmann 1-3 2-2 5, Andrew Ammerman 7-10 0-4 14. Totals: 27-60 11-14 77.

Vincentian 21 15 19 12 — 67

North Catholic19 15 26 17 — 77

3-point goals: McDonough 3, Embleton; Jackson 2, Feczko 2, Rottmann, DeGregorio 7

Tuesday: Carlynton at North Catholic

North Catholic's Emma Pospisil (2) drives to the hoop past Chartiers Valley's Helene Cowan during the Trojanettes' 72-44 loss.

Girls

Chartiers Valley 72, North Catholic 44 — This battle of unbeatens was over quickly.

The Colts (10-0), defending PIAA Class 5A champions, took an 8-0 lead just 90 seconds into the contest and were never threatened in winning their 40th consecutive game.

“They're on that streak for a reason,” Trojanettes coach Molly Rottmann said. “We didn't rise to the occasion today. We didn't respond to the challenge.

“We just didn't play well, but Chartiers Valley had a lot to do with that.”

Perri Page, a sophomore forward and Chartiers Valley's fourth-leading scorer, tallied 27 points and 11 rebounds in being named the game's MVP. She scored 14 points in the first quarter.

“When someone like that goes off, they just became that much tougher to defend,” Rottmann said.

Aislin Malcolm, a Pitt recruit, scored 24 points and had seven rebounds for the Colts. Megan McConnell, a Duquesne recruit, had nine points, five assists and four rebounds, Hallie Cowan eight points and five assists.

“You never know who our leading scorer will be from game to game,” Chartiers Valley coach Tim McConnell said. “One day it's Megan, then Perri or Aislin or Hallie.

“That's what makes us hard to defend. And these are unselfish girls who are playing together.”

McConnell said his team's winning streak never comes up.

“We don't even talk about that streak,” he said. “Last year was last year. This is this year's team.

“Playing a team the caliber of North Catholic, we knew we had to come in here focused and ready to play from the opening tip.”

Kylee Lewandowski led the Trojanettes (7-1) with 15 points, four rebounds and two steals. Emma Pospisil had 12 points, Cassie Foster 10. Belle O'Hara received the game's Sixth Player Award.

“I'm not worried about our won-loss record as much as I am about our team getting better,” Rottmann said. “You learn a lot about yourself in a game like this against a team like this.

“We'll look at the film, talk about our mistakes and work on fixing them.”

CHARTIERS VALLEY 72

Megan McConnell 1-6 7-8 9, Helene Cowan 2-3 0-0 4, Zoe Mangan 0-1 0-0 0, Amaleen Malcolm 0-1 0-0 0, Hallie Cowan 3-8 0-0 8, Aislin Malcolm 10-17 0-0 24, Perri Page 9-15 5-5 27, Abby Vaites 0-3 0-0 0. Totals: 25-53 12-13 72.

NORTH CATHOLIC 44

Emma Pospisil 5-10 0-0 12, Cassie Foster 2-8 6-6 10, Dacia Lewandowski 0-1 0-0 o, Kylee Lewandowski 5-15 3-4 15, Lucy Waskiewicz 0-0 0-0m0, Tess Myers 1-15 0-0 3, Beklle O'Hara 1-1 0-0 2, Sarah Berardelli 0-1 2-2 2. Totals: 14-51 11-12 44.

Chartiers Valley 24 15 24 9 — 72

North Catholic 11 5 11 17 — 44

3-point goals: H.Cowan 2, Ais.Malcolm 4, Page 4; Pospisil 2, K.Lewandowski 2, Myers

JV: North Catholic, 54-33 (NC: Dacia Lewandowski 14, Anastasia Peterson 11, Anna Waskiewicz 11, Tori Brevna 10)

Monday: Greensburg Salem at North Catholic

John Enrietto

John Enrietto

I graduated with a Journalism degree from Ohio University in 1979. I started at the Eagle on August 24, 1997. My awards include 2nd place in feature writing from Ohio Associated Press (while working for the Steubenville Herald-Star), media award from Lernerville Speedway and 3rd place in a Pennsylvania AP contest for story feature.