Central Catholic Scores Bounce Back Win; Burns nearing rarified air at Point Park University
Updated: Feb 20, 2022
Coming into this week, Pittsburgh Central Catholic appeared to be the main threat to North Hills in Class 6A of the WPIAL. They had played well in a Christmas tournament in Philadelphia and scored a statement win against North Catholic on the weekend.
That all changed this week as they struggled in a defeat at Fox Chapel--Who now appear to be the top challenger for North Hills this season--and also suffered a double digit loss to Penn Hills on Friday night. Saturday afternoon's game at Pine Richland, a deceptively talented team who are far better than their battle-hardened record shows, was a possible "make or break" moment in the Vikings season.
The question was this: Could Brian Urso pull his team together to break the bad karma or would Pine Richland score the victory it needed to propel itself forward in the second half of the season?
The teams traded scores throughout the first quarter, but Central held a 21-15 advantage after the first and continued to hold on to a slim 33-30 lead at the break. Pine's Jameson O'Toole led all scorers at the half with 10 points and Dante DePante led the Vikings with 9 points, including a beautiful pull up from beyond the arc near the end of the first quarter.
The see-saw battle began to see spacing late in the third, as Randy Wilkerson, who had a fantastic game, hit a pull up jumper at the foul line to spark a Central Catholic run that included 5 straight points from DePante, as the Vikings opened up a 49-38 lead after three.
Central Catholic was able to maintain their lead and expand upon it late in the fourth, and a Debaba Tshiebwe hammer was the exclamation point on a much needed 75-61 victory for Central Catholic,.
DePante led the Vikings and all scorers with 24 points, including a 10-10 performance on the free throw line; Wilkerson poured in 23, including 4 three pointers.
O'Toole led Pine Richland with 16.
We also caught DePante having some fun with his team after the game, at right.
Point Park Women Update
Point Park University Women's Basketball team scored a 77-64 victory over visiting Saint Mary of the Woods in a contest played at CCBC. Senior guard Michelle Burns continued her march towards the record book by leading the way for the Pioneers with 25 points, including going a perfect 9-9 from the free throw line.
Burns is now just 11 points away from moving into third on the all time scoring list at the university and sits 29 points away from 1,700 for her incredible and record setting career.
With the next three games on the road--Monday at Brescia(KY) at 5PM, Friday at IU Southeast at 5:30 PM and Sunday at RV Midway University at 3PM--Burns will likely eclipse both landmarks away from home, as the next home contest is not until February 5th against Ohio Christian.
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