Double Digit Lead Slips Away Against Erie, 73-62

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Following a 2-1 trip to the Sunshine State for the KSA Tournament in Disney, the North Allegheny boys’ basketball team returned home on Tuesday night and dropped a 73-62 decision to the Erie Royals in non-section action.

The Tigers jumped on the reigning District 10 champions in the first period and raced to a 22-10 lead. Senior guard Anthony Sciote buried a last second 3-pointer to close out the quarter on his way to a game-high 20-point performance. For his efforts, including four 3-pointers, Sciote was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.

As a team, North Allegheny connected on nine 3-pointers on the night and continued its torrid shooting from the perimeter in the second quarter to maintain a double digit lead at the half, 38-28.

Coming out of intermission, Erie made a concerted effort to feed the ball inside to senior forward Jamarius Johnson and he was one of three Royals who sparked a comeback. Johnson chipped away with 10 points in the second half and finished with a 15-point effort. At the end of three quarters, Erie trimmed the deficit to 50-46.

Senior Layveon Gore continued the comeback bid in the fourth quarter and tied the game at 50-50 with a put back 30 seconds into the final stanza and sophomore Charlie Williams’ layup less than a minute later gave Erie its first lead of the game, 52-50.

Sciote immediately answered for North Allegheny to tie the score at 52-52, but the Royals regained the lead at 54-52 thanks to a mid-range jumper from the baseline by Gore with 5:30 left in the game. Thirty seconds later, senior forward Joey Dopirak buried his second of three 3-pointers on the night and North Allegheny leapfrogged back in front, 55-54. Dopirak totaled 18 points for the Tigers.

The one-point lead, however, would be North Allegheny’s last as Erie went on a 19-7 run over the final five minutes of the game and prevailed with a 73-62 victory. Along with Johnson, Gore led the comeback with a team-high 18 points. Williams, who earned a spot start when regular starting point guard Jaheim Mims dislocated his finger during warm ups, was also pivotal to the Royals victory with 15 points and converted on 8-of-10 attempts from the free-throw line. Senior Anthony Blanks also touched double figures for Erie with 12 points.

The non-section loss drops North Allegheny to 3-5 overall, while Erie improves to 5-2. The Tigers look to bounce back on Thursday night with a visit to North Hills.

Boys Basketball vs. Erie, 12-19-23

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