Joey Dopirak Eclipses 1,000 points, NA Clinches Playoff Berth With Win Over Pine-Richland

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Senior Joey Dopirak surpassed the 1,000-point plateau and the North Allegheny boys’ basketball clinched a WPIAL playoff spot with a 72-53 triumph over the Pine-Richland Rams on Tuesday night at UPMC Court. Dopirak posted a team-high 25 points and now sits with 1,006 in his North Allegheny career. He is the ninth player in program history to eclipse the 1,000-point milestone.

Dopirak was one of two Tigers who had big nights to spearhead a wire-to-wire victory against the Rams. Senior guard Anthony Sciote poured in six 3-pointers and netted 22 points to earn Wright Automotive Co-Player of the Game honors along with Dopirak.

Facing a short-handed Pine-Richland team that was without five players due to injury or illness, North Allegheny capitalized by building a 14-5 lead in the first and held a 34-18 advantage by halftime.

Joey Dopirak celebrates his 1,000th career point. (Photo by Hannah Noel).

In the second half, the Rams trimmed the deficit from 16 to eight points when sophomore Eli Catalano knocked down a corner 3-pointer with 1:48 remaining in the third quarter to cut the NA lead to 47-39. Senior Carson Baer led the comeback bid for PR with a team-high 14 points and senior Vasili Balouris added 11 points.

That was a close as the rally would get for the Rams, however, as the Tigers pulled away in the fourth quarter en route to a 72-53 win. Along with Dopirak and Sciote, senior Ty Iwanonkiw touched double figures with 12 points.

The victory not only clinches a playoff berth but also keeps NA in a tie for second place with Butler. The Tigers improve to 8-10 overall and 5-2 in Section 1-6A, while Pine-Richland falls to 6-11 overall and 2-5 in the section. NA will host Butler on Friday night at 8:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live by the North Allegheny Sports Network.

(Above photo by Hannah Noel).

Boys Basketball vs. Pine-Richland, 1-30-24

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