The Cranberry Eagle
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Article published March 13, 2013

Red-hot Prep pulls away from SV in PIAA playoff
Ramblers outs Raiders, 79-54

Derek Pyda
Butler Eagle

EDINBORO — No defensive scheme can hold up under the pressure of a team making over two-thirds of its attempts from the field.

That was the manner in which Seneca Valley’s season came to an end Saturday night.
Cathedral Prep shot a scorching 69 percent (29-of-42) from the floor and thumped the Raiders 79-54 in a PIAA Class AAAA first-round boys basketball playoff at General McLane High School.
“Unfortunately, we ran into a hot-shooting team,” said Raiders’ coach Victor Giannotta. “They are very athletic and strong. Our kids fought hard, but we were just in too deep of a hole.”
At the center of the Ramblers’ lethal offense was an 11-of-15 effort from 3-point range and they unveiled their pinpoint outside shooting early on.
Despite eight turnovers in the first period, Prep led 13-11 after eight minutes of play, thanks in large part to a trio of trifectas from junior guard Matt Harris.
“We didn’t capitalize on early opportunities,” Giannotta said of the Ramblers’ six turnovers in their first seven possessions.
Sheldon Zablotny, who has over 1,300 points in his varsity career, was held in check in the opening half, scoring just three points in that span.
“Seneca Valley did a good job with their box-and-one defense on Sheldon,” said Prep coach Mark Majewski, “but we have several good shooters and we proved that tonight.”
Harris was the only Rambler to drain a 3-pointer in the first quarter. In the second period, however, Zablotny, Dan Blazek and Matt Hess all joined in from the outside. Blazek drained his second 3-pointer just before halftime, pushing Prep’s edge to 31-20.
By the break, Prep had made eight of its 10 attempts from beyond the arc.
At the other end of the floor, SV’s offense struggled to find its groove. The Raiders (17-9) hit just eight of their 27 attempts from the field in the first two quarters.
“We may not be as big as some teams, but we like to put pressure on shooters and make them feel uneasy,” said Majewski. “We’ve stressed that all year.”
Needing a fast start to the second half, the Raiders met with more frustration. Their first two possessions ended in a turnover and Prep’s Chris Francis and Hess turned them into four points and a 35-20 lead. SV never cut its deficit to single digits for the duration of the game.
Zablotny hit his stride, scoring 12 points in the final two quarters.
But it was Harris who helped the Ramblers (22-2) take control earlier in the game. All 17 of his points came in the game’s first 16 minutes, including a team-leading four 3-pointers.
He entered the game averaging 13.7 points per contest.
“We needed him tonight and he stepped up and made shots,” said Majewski. “He changed the tempo of the game.”
Easton Bazzoli paced Seneca Valley with 17 points and Alex Snyder scored 11.
They were joined by R.J. McCauley, Eric Woods and Dan Cashdollar as seniors playing their final high school game.
“Between their attitude and effort, I couldn’t be more proud of our seniors,” said Giannotta.
SENECA VALLEY 54
Matt Darby 2 4-5 8, Easton Bazzoli 4 8-12 17, Dan Cashdollar 1 0-0 2, Mike Smith 1 2-2 4, T.J. Holl 1 2-2 4, Eric Woods 1 0-0 3, R.J. McCauley 2 0-0 4, Bryce Schnatterly 0 1-2 1, Alex Snyder 5 1-4 11, Zach Snyder 0 0-0 0, Chad Izenas 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 18-27 54.
CATHEDRAL PREP 79
Sheldon Zablotny 6 0-0 15, Jeremy Lynch 1 0-0 2, Chris Francis 5 1-2 11, Marlon Tyree 2 0-0 4, Dan Blazek 3 0-0 8, Jarrett Pound 1 4-4 6, Matt Harris 5 3-4 17, Conor Colpoys 3 0-0 6, Matt Viera 0 2-2 2, Matt Hess 3 0-0 8, Joe Causgrove 0 0-1 0, Anthony Pearson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 29 10-13 79.
Seneca Valley 11 9 18 16—54
Cathedral Prep13 18 24 24—79
3-point goals: Seneca Valley 2 (Bazzoli, Woods); Cathedral Prep 11 (Harris 4, Zablotny 3, Blazek 2, Hess 2)