North Hills Rallies to Remain Undefeated
Friday night saw a highly anticipated battle between The Gym Rat PT #1 ranked team in 6A, North Hills and the #3 team, North Allegheny in Wexford. The game did not disappoint for the capacity crowd that was in attendance.
North Hills was hot early as Alex Smith and Matt Seidl both hit for 11 in the opening quarter and led 24-18. NH was aided on defense by Royce Parham, who blocked or altered a half dozen attempts at the basket. Senior guard Matt McDonough, who was
honored before the game for scoring 1,000 points, led North Allegheny with 8.
Smith and Seidl continued their hot handed play in the second, but McDonough shot NA back into it with help of Colin Dinkins as both crossed double digits by midway through the quarter and shot North Allegheny back into the game, trailing 35-34 at the break. McDonough led all scorers at the break with 17.
The third was a track meet that saw both teams take runs and the role players step up and get in on the scoring. North Allegheny went on a run to open up at 49-40 lead but North Hills battled back and got the last salvo of the quarter in as Will Blass hit an off balance 3 to send it to the fourth tied at 54.
Early in the fourth, Devin Burgess hit a 3 pointer to give North Hills a 58-56 lead--One it would not relinquish on its way to an impressive 69-59 come from behind victory.
North Hills senior guard Alex Smith led all scorers with 27 points, followed by Seidl with 17. Sensational Sophomore Royce Parham chipped in 16 points, 8 rebounds and 8 blocks. Parham also altered the trajectory of at least a dozen shots over the course of the game.
McDonough led North Allegheny with 20--though he only was able to add 3 points in the second half. Dinkins added 14 and sophomore Joey Dopirak with 13,
For a team that thrives on a fast pace and high octane offense, it was defense that decided the game for North Hills. Defensive toughness is an asset they will need as the season progresses and the playoffs loom, as teams from Eastern Pennsylvania, whom they would see in the 6A state tournament, should they stay the course, play a different style of basketball and bring a defensive intensity that most teams in the Pittsburgh area are not accustomed to.
With the victory, North Hills will hold on to its #1 ranking in the 6A and Overall Power Rankings on Monday, presented by Gym Rat Performance Training.