2016-2017 Game Summaries
by Lee Mohn
North Allegheny’s second-half rally fell just short on Wednesday night as the Canon-McMillan Big Macs held off the Tigers for a 70-67 win in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs. The game was a tale of two halves as NA trailed 43-26 at intermission before staging a furious rally in the second half.
Canon-McMillan could do no wrong in the first 16 minutes of the game knocked down nine 3-pointers while North Allegheny struggled from the field. The CM lead grew to as much as 20 points before the Tigers began their comeback.
Junior guard Curtis Aiken led the Tigers with 26 points and junior Ray Sandherr added 18 points. Canyon Tuman provided a spark off the bench, along with Anthony Hattrup. North Allegheny outscored Canon-McMillan, 25-14, in the final quarter but came up just three points shy of the Big Macs. The Tigers ran out of time as Aiken’s attempt at an 80-foot buzzer beater fell short. CM was paced by R.J. Bell who netted 21 points, and Britton Beachy who tallied 16 points. Curtis Aiken was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game for his efforts in leading the second half charge.
North Allegheny’s season comes to an end with a record of 14-9. Canon-McMillan advances to the WPIAL quarterfinals to face No. 1 Pine-Richland on Saturday. Congratulations to the NA boys’ basketball team and coaching staff for a fine season.
Boys Basketball vs. Canon-McMillan, 2-22-17
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A dominant performance from North Allegheny senior Isaac Barnes helped the Tigers to a 66-50 win over the Blackhawk Cougars in the regular season finale on Monday night. Barned posted a double-double with a game-high 30 points on 13 of 16 shooting from the field. The senior post player also crashed the boards for a game-best 18 rebounds.
North Allegheny junior Curtis Aiken had a strong night as well, netting 25 points and pouring in four 3-pointers. With the outburst by Barnes and Aiken, the Tigers needed only two other players to score points in the win as Luke Carter chipped in with six points and Canyon Tuman added five points. Blackhawk was led by A.J. Long who tallied 22 points.
North Allegheny concludes the regular season with an overall record of 14-8. Blackhawk slips to 8-13 on the season. The Tigers will await their seeding in the Class 6A playoff bracket when the pairings are released on Tuesday night.
North Allegheny bounced back from a loss on Friday night to North Hills with a matinee victory on Saturday against the Gateway Gators, 45-37. The Tigers led wire to wire for the non-section victory against the first-place team in Class 5A, Section 3.
In an eight-point victory for NA, the difference in the game was turnovers. Gateway committed 14 turnovers and North Allegheny led in the points off of turnovers category, 15-7.
Senior Isaac Barnes led the way for North Allegheny with a game-high 19 points. Junior guard Ray Sandherr totaled double figures with 11 points, doing most of his damage from the free-throw line with 7 of 8 shooting. In a losing effort, Gateway was paced by Courtney Jackson’s 14 points. Standout junior forward John Paul Kromka was limited to six points.
North Allegheny jumps to 13-8 overall following the non-section win. Gateway dips to 10-11 overall. The Tigers will take on Blackhawk on the road in the regular season finale on Monday night.
The North Hills Indians rallied from a 13-point deficit in the second half to beat the North Allegheny Tigers on Friday night, 71-63, in the Section 1-AAAAAA finale. Senior Nick Smith led the comeback with a game-high 26 points on 10 of 19 shooting from the field. North Hills also forced North Allegheny into 13 turnovers, nine in the second half, which aided the Indians’ comeback bid.
The Tigers led throughout the entire first half and held a 34-27 lead at intermission. NA’s inside-out game was impressive with senior Isaac Barnes on the inside and senior guard Luke Carter’s hot hand on the outside. Barnes totaled 18 points on the night, while Carter poured in a team-high 22 points, including 6 of 8 shooting from beyond the arc. For his efforts, Carter was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.
Barnes, Carter and junior Curtis Aiken, who chipped in with 12 points and 10 rebounds, helped NA build a 13-point lead with 4:55 remaining in the third quarter. However, North Hills began to chip away and cut the Tigers advantage to 55-51 by the end of the third period. The Indians outscored the Tigers, 20-8, in the final stanza to earn a 71-63 come-from-behind victory. Along with Smith’s big night, Kam Taylor netted 15 points and Andrew Paulauskas added 12 points.
North Allegheny dips to 12-8 overall and 6-6 in Section 1, finishing in fourth place in the section standings. North Hills improves to 16-5 overall and 8-4 in the section, taking second place. The Tigers playoff-bound Tigers will return to the hardwood on Saturday afternoon against the Gateway Gators at 1:30 p.m.
Boys Basketball vs. North Hills, 2-10-17
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In a seesaw affair at North Allegheny, a half-court shot by Seneca Valley’s Payton Skalos struck the back iron at the buzzer as the Tigers held on for a 54-52 victory on Tuesday night. The win is the 19th in a row for NA against Seneca Valley, but more importantly locks up a berth in the Class 6A playoffs.
In a “win and you’re in” scenario for both teams, North Allegheny and Seneca Valley battled through nine ties and nine lead changes. Tied 20-20 in the second quarter, the Tigers opened up a 28-20 lead thanks in part to 3-point connections from Luke Carter and Curtis Aiken. Carter totaled nine points and Aiken netted a game-high 18 points for the Tigers.
Seneca Valley responded with a 9-0 run to end the first half, punctuated on a left-handed hook shot by Mark Smathers before the final horn to give the Raiders a 29-28 lead at intermission. The ebb and flow of the contest continued in the second half and the game was tied 45-45 with 3:45 remaining in the fourth quarter. North Allegheny took a 48-45 lead on a 3-pointer by senior Devin Bluemling with 2:29 left to play and the Tigers never trailed again.
NA held a 52-47 advantage with 29 seconds remaining in the game before Seneca Valley’s Justin Koken drained a 3-pointer from the right corner with 16 seconds to play to cut the score to 52-50. After a 1 for 2 trip to the free-throw line for Aiken, Seneca Valley connected on a floater in the paint by Chris Hart to slice the NA lead to 53-52 with seven seconds on the clock. Following a quick foul, senior Isaac Barnes was sent to the charity stripe, and like Aiken, went 1 for 2 to bring the Tigers advantage to 54-52. With three seconds left, Seneca Valley sprinted up court and Skalos uncorked a half-court try that bounced off the back rim and North Allegheny hung on for the two-point win.
Joining Aiken in double figures was junior Zach Johnson who posted a double-double off the bench with 11 points and 11 rebounds. For his efforts, Johnson was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game. Carter and Barnes added nine points each for the Tigers. For Seneca Valley, Hart paced the Raiders with 13 points and Skalos chipped in with 10.
North Allegheny improves to 12-7 overall and 6-5 in Section 1-AAAAAA. Seneca Valley slips to 12-9 overall and 5-6 in the section. With a playoff spot secured, the Tigers set their sights on second place in the section with a visit to North Hills on Friday night. The game will be broadcast live via the internet on the North Allegheny Sports Network. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
Boys Basketball vs. Seneca Valley, 2-7-17
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