Fox Chapel Shuts Down Central For Divisional Title
Updated: Feb 20
Fox Chapel had been building for several years for this very night with a now sensational senior class that compiled a record of 60-6 coming into the evening...That event... A season ending showdown against their divisional rivals Pittsburgh Central Catholic.
Outside of a drubbing by the top ranked team in the Gym Rat PT rankings, North Hills, Fox Chapel had dispatched all comers this season. A Central Catholic victory would mean a shared divisional title.
The line was out the door at The Castle and the buzz in the gym was electric from halftime of the JV game on as the moment of truth for Fox Chapel neared.
Fox Chapel jumped out to an early lead, as it did in the first encounter, leading 20-13 after the first quarter--and Brian Urso's Vikings were playing catch up the rest of the way. Central was able to consistently chip away, but Fox Chapel always had an answer. FC led 43-32 at the half, one which saw over 20 fouls called combined.
Central continued to batter down the doors after Eli Yofan went down with what appeared to be a knee injury in the third, but the senior guard returned after only missing about 90 seconds of the contest. Fox Chapel continued to hold on to a slim lead going to the fourth quarter, where things really heated up.
The teams traded blows like a heavyweight boxing match, with Yofan and Central star Dante DePante playing a game of "anything you can do I can do better" with DePante hitting a major shot to pull Central within striking distance after three.
The game was 67-63 with just one minute to go after back to back layups from Central senior forward Langston Moses, who unfortunately had to exit the game after his second with a bad cramp in his calf--In spite of their best efforts to release it, Moses was unable to return and that provided the Foxes the opening they needed to seal the game away with senior center Colin Kwiatkowski going 4-4 from the line in the final minute and Yofan throwing down an exclamation point dunk at the buzzer to give the Foxes the divisional title outright and a 75-65 victory.
Fox Chapel was able to capitalize on its excellent guard play, led by Yofan, who is a contender for our All WPIAL Team Of The Year as well as our Gym Rat Performance Training Player Of The Year award. Yofan got the job done on both ends, creating turnovers and altering shots on defense and pouring in 21 points on the offensive side throughout the contest. Senior Jake DeMotte added 18 and James Dockey 12. Kwiatkowski added 9 and caused major matchup problems for Debaba Tshiebwe.
With the victory, the Foxes denied Central an opportunity to share a divisional title and have assured themselves to be no worse than the #2 seed in the WPIAL 6A tournament when the brackets are released--An Allderdice upset of North Hills could open the door for Fox Chapel to argue for the top seed, in spite of losing by 30 to NH earlier this year.
Central Catholic will march into the playoffs a battle tested squad determined to prove they belong among the top teams in Allegheny County.
On Satuday, TRB will be attending the Allderdice at North Hills game, with the tip set for 12:30 PM.
On The College Front
Senior Day will be next Saturday at PPU, so it'll be time to pay tribute to the fantastic career of Michelle Burns, who took a sledgehammer to the Pioneers record books during her time at Downtown U. A site will be confirmed this week and we will have it on our social media.
Three Rivers Broadcasting will also air both the Franciscan University WBB and MBB contests from Saint Vincent LIVE on Saturday. The WBB contest tips off at 1PM followed by the MBB game at ~3PM.
Three Rivers Broadcasting would like to thank Gym Rat Performance Training, Carnegie Iron Werks, ReportIt and The Polish Falcons of America for their support of our sports programming and coverage in the winter season.
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