North Hills Thumps North Allegheny
Updated: Mar 13, 2022
Legendary high school basketball coach Bob Hurley had a saying at Saint Anthony's that resonated among the basketball elite. "Five beats one"... He most famously used it towards taunting fans at a showcase event at the Trenton hockey arena way back in 2001, prior to throttling nationally ranked and undefeated Camden High, led by DaJuan Wagner...Yes, that NBA star, DaJuan Wagner.
There wasn't an obnoxious taunt from the crowd at North Hills on Tuesday night, but the Indians displayed their own version of "Five Beats One" as all five of their starters reached double digits and outscored NA star Matt McDonough in a convincing 75-52 victory in the second round of the North Allegheny series for the 2021-2022 season, improving to a perfect 14-0.
The game started at a sprinter's pace and saw teams trading baskets throughout the first half with very little regard to defense--North Hills led 37-34 at the break behind a monster half from senior guard Alex Smith, though Matt McDonough matched him shot for shot throughout the half. Super Sophomore Royce Parham spent nearly the entire half on the bench after being saddled with two first quarter fouls.
In the third quarter, North Hills turned on the propane as they raced out to a 26-12 quarter, taking a close game a blowing it wide open utilizing balanced scoring and the re-insertion of Parham into the defensive paint, which entirely negated North Allegheny's ability to attack the basket. Will Blass dropped a three from just across half court as time ran out to shove an emotional dagger into North Allegheny's chances of making a run to start the fourth.
The result was never in doubt from there as the Indians tightened their grip on first place in the division. Smith led the way with 25, Parham added 15 in what was essentially one half of play, Blass 13, Matt Seidl and Devin Burgess both poured in 11. McDonough led North Allegheny, who falls to 9-6, with 20 points.
North Hills now faces the "tough tests" of the season in the coming weeks, as they'll tangle with Upper Saint Clair, Allderdice and Mars We'll know just how good the Indians are in the next 10 days or so, as 'Dice has played a very difficult slate, Mars is currently 13-1 and USC has taken several top teams to the limit, including Fox Chapel on Monday.
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