Dopirak Drops 38 Points On Franklin Regional, NA Comeback Bid Falls Short

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The North Allegheny boys’ basketball team dropped a 61-53 decision to the Franklin Regional Panthers on Thursday night at the Holiday Bash Showcase at UPMC Court.

The Tigers trailed by 12 points at the half and put together a valiant comeback bid in the second half, cutting the deficit to as close as four points in the third quarter. NA was powered by junior forward Joey Dopirak, who finished with a dazzling 38-point performance. The 38-point effort was just nine points shy of the North Allegheny single-game record of 47. However, the Panthers staved off an injury-riddled Tigers team in the fourth quarter to pull out the non-conference win.

In the first half, the trio of Cooper Rankin, Cameron Rowell and Fin Hutchison helped Franklin Regional construct a 35-23 advantage by halftime. Rankin netted 10 of his team-high 22 points in the first half, while Rowell and Hutchison each tallied nine points over the first 16 minutes of play. Hutchison buried a pair of 3-pointers in the first half and Rowell totaled 19 points by game’s end.

Sparked by Dopirak’s big night, North Allegheny opened the second half on a 10-2 run to cut the deficit to 37-34 midway through the third quarter. With several regulars out due to injury, sophomore Blake Craft earned a starting nod and gave an spirited performance with eight points, including six in the second half.

Despite their best efforts, the Tigers could come no closer down the stretch and the visiting Panthers hung on to claim a 61-53 victory.

North Allegheny dips to 3-7 overall with the non-section outcome, while Franklin Regional improves to 7-1. The Tigers will open section play on Wednesday against the New Castle Red Hurricanes.

Boys Basketball vs. Franklin Regional, 12-28-23

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