NA Falls At Baldwin in WPIAL Quarterfinals, 55-49

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Facing a Baldwin boys’ basketball team that was hosting its first ever WPIAL playoff game in program history, the North Allegheny Tigers fell in the quarterfinal round of the Class 6A playoffs on Friday night, 55-49. For the Fighting Highlanders, the victory was its first playoff win since 2003.

The contest was a rematch of the 2022 WPIAL quarterfinals when NA defeated Baldwin on its home floor, 71-59, at UPMC Court. In the first half, it looked like history might repeat itself as the Tigers built a 23-17 lead by the late stages of the first half. Leading the way in the early going was senior Ty Iwanonkiw, who netted 11 of his 13 points over the first 16 minutes of play. Senior forward Joey Dopirak added six point of his nine points in the first half.

Baldwin, however, ended the second quarter on a 6-0 run and tied the game at 23-23 going into halftime. The Fighting Highlanders sparked the run with an opportunistic defense that turned turnovers into points. It was more of the same in the second half as Baldwin capitalized on NA miscues and constructed a nine point point, 40-31, late in the third quarter. The Fighting Highlanders were paced by junior guard Nate Wesling and his team-high 19 points.

Despite the deficit, the Tigers clawed back to within three points two different times in the second half, including 43-40 early in the fourth period. Senior guard Anthony Sciote was the catalyst with a game-high 20 points, including four 3-pointers. Scoring all 20 of his points after halftime, Sciote was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.

While Sciote’s spirited play sparked the Tigers, it ultimately wasn’t enough as Baldwin hit critical free throws down the stretch to claim a 55-49 victory.

The loss ends North Allegheny’s season with an 11-12 overall record. Baldwin improves to 17-6 and advances to the WPIAL semifinals. Congratulations to head coach Dave DeGregorio and the entire North Allegheny boys’ basketball team for a return trip to the playoffs and another tremendous season.

Boys Basketball vs. Baldwin, 2-23-24

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