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NORTH ALLEGHENY
VARSITY BOYS' BASKETBALL
 

TIGERS LOSE HEARTBREAKER TO BUTLER, 63-61 IN OVERTIME

 

(2/26/12) The North Allegheny Tigers fell in a heartbreaker on Saturday afternoon to the Butler Golden Tornado, dropping a 63-61 decision in overtime in the WPIAL quarterfinals.  North Allegheny led throughout most of regulation, but Nate Snodgrass hit a three-point buzzer beater to force overtime and knocked down the game winning shot with just two seconds remaining in the extra period.  The Tigers nearly won the game themselves in the final two seconds of OT, but the ball did not bounce NAís way.  A long inbounds pass from R.J. Colabrese deflected to Ricky Minsterman who had just enough time and space to put up a desperation three pointer from about 24 feet out.  The shot banked off the glass, spun around the inside of the rim and fell out, giving the Cinderella Golden Tornado a trip to the WPIAL semifinals.

The back and forth nature of the game began early on as North Allegheny and Butler traded baskets well into the second quarter with the contest tied, 18-18.  Led by Minstermanís 5-of-6 shooting and 10 point effort in the first half, the Tigers went on a 10-3 run to claim a 28-21 lead by halftime.  Along with Minsterman, the Tigers used eight different scorers to build their halftime advantage and shot 57-percent from the field in the first half.  North Alleghenyís defense also did a great job of slowing down the Golden Tornado by holding them to 29-percent shooting for the half.  The only player to damage the Tigers was Cody West who dropped in six treys for 18 of Butlerís 21 points.  Aside from West, Butler hit only 1-of-14 shots in the first half.

In the second half, North Allegheny continued their well-balanced attack and increased their lead to 35-26 in the third quarter for their largest lead of the game.  Three Tigers finished in double-digits, Minsterman (11 points), Colabrese (14 points) and J.C. Howard (11 points).  David Haus was another key contributor with nine points and six rebounds.  While Butler erased the NA advantage by the start of the fourth quarter, the Tigers again led late and did everything they could to put themselves in position to advance to the semifinals.  With clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch, Colabrese buried 4-for-4 at the free-throw line and Sean Hennigan hit a pair of free-throws in bonus shot situations in the final minute.  For his all-around performance and clutch work from the charity stripe, R.J. Colabrese was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.    

However, Butlerís Nate Snodgrass would not allow the Tigers to escape Ambridge with a victory.  Snodgrass, who scored just two points in the first half, poured in 34 on the day, including the last five points that were scored in the game.  With NA leading 61-58 and a defender draped over him, Snodgrass hit a leaning three-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.  After a missed shot by Howard to start the extra period, Butler decided to wind over three minutes off the clock to set up a last shot opportunity.  With 19 seconds remaining in OT, Hennigan nearly created a steal from Snodgrass but the Butler guard dove on top of the loose ball along with two Tigers to force a tie-up and the possession arrow was with the Golden Tornado.  Upon the inbounds pass, Snodgrass trickled more time off the clock before hitting a pull-up 16-foot jumper to give Butler a 63-61 lead with two seconds remaining.  That set the stage for Minstermanís last-ditch effort that narrowly fell off the rim.

North Allegheny falls to 16-7 for the season, while the 15th-seeded Golden Tornado improve to 13-11 and advance to face the defending WPIAL champions, the Gateway Gators, in the semifinals.  The Tigers do still have hope for a trip to the state playoffs, but they will need Butler to win the WPIAL crown to pull NA into the PIAA Tournament.  For the WPIAL Boys bracket, click the Quad-A link.  

GAME SUMMARY
BUTLER - 63    NORTH ALLEGHENY - 61 (OT)

 

SCORE BY QUARTERS1234OTFINAL
NORTH ALLEGHENY16121716061
Butler1291921263

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WPIAL BOYS' BASKETBALL - 2011-12

The Tigers will compete again in the WPIAL in Class AAAA along with 29 other teams.  The top four teams in each section will enter the WPIAL Basketball Tournament scheduled to begin on February 17, 2012.  All playoff entries will be determined by section record only and will be determined by the best section won-loss record.  Teams that tie for first place will not have the tie broken and ALL tied teams will be declared section champions, will receive a section winner's plaque, and will be entered into the WPIAL tournament.  If four or more teams tie for first place, only those teams will qualify for post-season play. 

In the event of a multiple tie (two or more teams) for a playoff position, head-to-head competition will be the first determinant.  If head-to-head does not break the tie, the following tie-breaking system will be used.  If three or more teams are tied for third place and the tie breaking system identifies one team as the third place team, the remaining teams will then be tied for fourth place and the process begins all over with head-to-head competition being the first determinant for establishing the fourth place team.  If a tie cannot be broken, all tied teams will enter the playoffs.

TIE-BREAKER SYSTEM

1.  Section won-loss records of the tied teams will be compiled.
2.  The team(s) with the best numerical head-to-head section record among the tied teams will enter post-season play.
3.  If the tie cannot be broken, all tied teams will enter post-season play.
 

WPIAL BOYS' BASKETBALL ALIGNMENT
QUAD A - 30 TEAMS

SECTION 1SECTION 2SECTION 3SECTION 4
Albert GallatinFox ChapelNORTH ALLEGHENYBaldwin
ConnellsvilleFranklin RegionalButlerBethel Park
HempfieldGatewayCentral CatholicCanon-McMillan
KiskiMcKeesportNorth HillsChartiers Valley
LatrobePenn HillsPine-RichlandMoon
Laurel HighlandsPlumSeneca ValleyMt. Lebanon
NorwinWoodland HillsShalerPeters Twp.
Penn-Trafford--Upper St. Clair

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Any questions or comments should be directed to Athletic Director
Bob Bozzuto at:  bbozzuto@northallegheny.org
 

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