Raiders ousted
Eagle Staff Writer
Written by:
February 19, 2014
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Seneca Valley’s Mike Smith drives past Franklin Regional’s Tyler Hamilton and puts up a shot during a WPIAL Class AAAA first-round boys basketball playoff game Saturday at Plum High School. SV’s season came to an end with a 70-59 loss.

PLUM — It’s not the entire game the Seneca Valley boys basketball team feels like playing over again, just the second quarter.

The Raiders traded punches with Franklin Regional in the other three periods, but were outscored 15-5 in the second, leading to a season-ending 70-59 WPIAL Class AAAA first-round playoff loss Saturday at Plum High School.

SV’s Matt Darby sank a two-point basket that tied the game at 20 with 5:38 left in the first half. After that, the Panthers went on an 11-0 run and led 31-20 at the break.

“We were actually up 18-16 (following Dakota Topf’s 3-pointer early in the period),” said SV coach Victor Giannotta. “Then they (Panthers) have that run to end the half. It was a huge swing.”

The Panthers shot seven-of-nine from the field in the second period, missing just a pair of 3-point attempts. Also working against the Raiders was the team’s eight turnovers in the quarter.

“Defensively, we had several tipped passes and blocked shots in that quarter,” said Franklin Regional coach Brad Midgley. “We were able to strip their bigs a few times and when that ball was on the floor, we did a good job of getting to it.”

The Raiders were forced to play catch-up the entire second half and did manage to make things interesting. They remained within striking distance and cut Franklin’s edge to seven points on two occasions — Zach Snyder’s two free throws made it 59-52 with 2:15 left and T.J. Holl’s conventional 3-point play made the score 64-57 with 1:01 remaining.

After the latter, however, Matt Fisch’s basket was followed by a Raider turnover and Matt Renzi drained two free throws for a 68-57 Panther lead with just 40 seconds on the clock.

Fisch (18 points) and Devin Arrigo (13), both forwards, were able to score clutch baskets in the paint for Franklin Regional (16-6).

Topf hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter, after which the Panthers held a slim 16-15 advantage.

The Raiders turned the ball over 25 times in the contest.

“You can’t win a playoff game with that many turnovers,” said Giannotta. “We knew what Franklin had and they are a good team. We watched them at the Montour Christmas Tournament and knew this would be a tough and physical game.”

Snyder (18), Darby (13) and Topf (13) each scored in double figures for the Raiders, who finish the season with an overall record of 12-11 after making the WPIAL playoffs for the third consecutive year.

“The positive was that we got back to the playoffs,” said Giannotta, “but the disappointing thing is that we didn’t advance.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the kids.”


Matt Renzi 4 5-6 15, Matt Fisch 7 4-4 18, Charan Singh 4 2-2 11, Devin Arrigo 6 1-1 13, Tyler Hamilton 0 2-4 2, Todd Summers 1 0-2 2, Jake Roberge 1 0-2 2, George Brown 1 0-0 2, Colin Jonov 2 0-0 5. Totals: 26 14-21 70.


Zach Snyder 5 8-10 18, Matt Darby 4 4-9 13, Chad Izenas 1 0-0 2, Dakota Topf 4 2-2 13, Mike Smith 2 0-0 4, T.J. Holl 4 1-1 9, Matt Drambel 0 0-0 0, Jack Cook 0 0-0 0, Bryce Schnatterly 0 0-0 0, Sam Barbe 0 0-0 0, Josh Bauer 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 15-22 59.

Franklin Regional 16 15 17 22 — 70

Seneca Valley15 5 17 22 — 59

3-point goals: Seneca Valley 4 (Topf 3, Darby); Franklin Regional 4 (Renzi 2, Singh, Jonov).