Tornado turn momentum
Gritty 4th period turns back Titans in 67-57 victory
BUTLER TWP — Shaler had the momentum — and
The Golden Tornado led the Titans throughout their Section 3-AAAA boys basketball clash Friday night in the
But his teammates gutted out a 67-57 victory.
“We showed a lot of resiliency out there. A lot of guys took part in this win,” Tornado coach Matt Clement said.
After Pusateri left, Luke Tincha sank a baseline jumper and Nick Patten drained a trey to give the Tornado a 51-45 lead with six minutes left. Shaler (6-7, 0-6) pulled within three, but a Seth Cook lay-up and two Patten free throws hiked the
“Tincha and Patten getting those buckets when the game got close were huge plays in this game,” Clement said.
The Titans never got closer than six the rest of the way.
“Games like this are decided late. The team that makes the plays late wins the game, the team that doesn't, loses,” Shaler coach Paul Holzshu said. “We've been on the wrong end so far this year.”
Cook paced the Tornado with 26 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. His thoughts after the game were on the well-being of Pusateri.
“Dom is the heart and soul of what we're trying to do here,” Cook said. “Losing him would be devastating. It would kill us. Hopefully, his ankle heals quickly.”
Clement echoed those sentiments.
“Dom brings the intensity, the energy,” Clement said. “He is the epitomy of a high school basketball player. He absolutely hates it when we lose.
“I love that kid as if he was my own son. I'm hoping and praying this is just a scare and he's able to play more basketball for us this year.
“As for Seth, I challenged him after our loss at North Hills and again before the start of this game. I told him he could have a huge game and he responded,” Clement added.
“This was a team we believed we could out-rebound and that was our focus coming in,” Cook said. “We wanted to beat them down the floor and get some easy lay-ups the other way, too.”
The Tornado stuck back five offensive rebounds in the first half.
“I think this is the first time I've used it and we won with it,” Clement said. “The kids worked hard at it.”
Geno Thorpe scored 32 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Shaler. Greg Lydon contributed 14 points for the Titans.
“Geno is our only player on the floor with any kind of varsity experience from last year,” Holzshu said. “This is a tough section to compete in — great coaches, great players — when you're in that situation.
“I can't fault the effort of our players. We played hard.
“They're all big for us now,” Clement said. “If we go down there and win, our foot is right back in this thing. But it won't be easy.”
Louis Ferraro 1-2 1-2 3, Geno Thorpe 10-18 9-10 32, Zach Weaver 2-9 2-2 6, Bill Reinheimer 0-4 0-0 0, Greg Lydon 6-14 1-1 14, Chris Basile 0-0 0-0 0, Jake Potock 0-1 2-2 2. Totals: 19-47 15-17 57.
Dom Pusateri 3-12 2-2 10, Seth Cook 9-10 8-9 26, Keenan Krause 2-4 5-9 9, Zach Neudorfer 1-2 0-0 3, Shae Stobert 0-0 0-0 0, Arum Krause 0-3 0-0 0, Nick Patten 3-6 3-4 11, Luke Hartung 1-3 0-0 2, Mark Gross 2-2 0-0 4, Luke Tincha 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 22-43 18-21 67.
Shaler 11 12 20 14—57
Butler19 11 16 21—67
3-point goals: Thorpe 3, Lydon; Pusateri 2, Neudorfer, Patten 2