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