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Trojans bounce back

CRANBERRY TWP — North Catholic’s WPIAL title hopes came to an end on Wednesday night after suffering a 59-37 loss at the hands of Uniontown.

But the Trojans showed great resiliency to extend their season.

The Trojans took down Knoch by a score of 69-52 in a consolation game on Friday night to advance to the PIAA playoffs. North Catholic all-time leading scorer, Max Hurray, scored a game-high 23 points. North Catholic awaits the winner of South Allegheny vs Montour on Tuesday.

“To be who North Catholic is tonight was pretty cool,” Trojans head coach Jim Rocco said. “To qualify for the state tournament is so special and we don’t take that lightly.”

The first half was a back and forth affair. There were plenty of lead changes and neither team attempted a single free throw. But the game started to swing in North Catholic’s favor late in the first half and it never looked back.

“I thought this game came down to the final two minutes of the first half and there was a two-minute spurt there in the third quarter,” Knoch coach Alan Bauman said.

Both teams play an up-tempo style of play, but North Catholic’s full-court press wore down Knoch and got the Knights out of the flow of their offense.

The biggest difference in the game was that North Catholic made 12 treys and Knoch made just two – a 30 point disparity from behind the arc.

“We had a little more mojo tonight, it’s always helpful when you score,” Rocco said. “We were able to score the ball tonight.”

In their loss to Uniontown on Wednesday, Hurray scored 23 of North Catholic’s 37 points in a blowout loss. On Friday night, the Trojans’ depth pieces stepped up big. Jude Rottmann knocked down five threes and Jason Fredricks also reached double figures with 13 points.

North Catholic’s role players will need to deliver similar performances if they want to make a run at a state title.

KNOCH 52

Zane Pacek 8 1-3 17, Teegan Finucan 6 0-0 14, Jackson Bauman 5 2-2 12, Brody Bauman 1 0-0 3, Kaden Spencer 1 0-0 2, Zarian Finucan 1 0-0 2, Vincent DeFelice 1 0-0 2. Totals: 23 3-5 52.

NORTH CATHOLIC 69

Max Hurray 7 4-4 23, Jude Rottmann 5 2-2 17, Jason Fredericks 5 2-2 13, Owen Maddalon 3 0-0 6, Jason Siket 2 0-0 4, Brady Koziara 1 0-0 3, Joe Waskiewicz 1 0-0 2, Eli Stofko 0 1-2 1. Totals: 24 9-10 69.

Knoch 16-8-11-17 — 52

North Catholic 15-17-21-16 — 69

3-point goals: North Catholic 12 (Hurray 5, Rottmann 5, Fredericks, Koziara); Knoch 2 (T. Finucan 2)

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