Friday, December 7, 2012

Glover powers Burgettstown to win

Turnovers are typically omnipresent this time of year in high school basketball, and the Burgettstown-Waynesburg game that kicked off the boys portion of the EQT Energy Classic Friday night was no exception.

The teams combined for 42 turnovers – 23 by Burgettstown, 19 for the Raiders – but the Blue Devils got 22 points from senior forward Ryan Glover and did enough down the stretch for a 67-57 win at Canon-McMillan.

“We’re trying to up the tempo a little on our side,” Burgettstown coach Rich Tranquill said. “We had a few turnovers, but they came out in the second half and really upped the pressure. Their guards put a lot of pressure up front. They did a nice job. We struggled with it. A lot of credit to our guys, we were able to break it and finish the game.

“Even though it wasn’t pretty, we still finished the game.”

Indeed they did. And this could be an important win for Tranquill's young team.

Burgettstown lost point guard Eric Hutchinson and forward Mike LaRocka from last year’s 7-15 group. Hutchinson led the team in assists, while LaRocka was the Blue Devils’ leading scorer and rebounder before getting injured halfway through the season.

And not only was Burgettstown breaking in a couple new starters, but the Blue Devils had to contend with the EQT Classic – which can seem like a college atmosphere at times, with plenty of people, the band blasting and a rocking PA system.

“We have some guys who are coming in who are playing at this level for the first time,” Tranquill said. “It’s a pretty big stage for them. This tournament is phenomenal, so playing at this stage, in front of the crowds and everything that’s going on, obviously they had some nerves.

“But again, they ultimately did what they had to do. They faced some adversity and worked through the turnovers.”

Forward Ryan Glover led Burgettstown with 22 points, while center Josh Mack finished with eight points and 12 rebounds. Guards Jonathan Sabo and Logan Triebsch reached double figures with 10 points apiece.

Glover’s game was especially impressive, as the 6-1 senior gave Burgettstown an inside-outside presence to bridge Mack (who’s 6-4, 300 pounds) and the guard combo of Sabo and Treibsch.

“He’s an extremely hard worker,” Tranquill said of Glover. “For being 6-1, he’s one of the best big men that I’ve seen, especially in our section. He plays a lot bigger than what he is. Defensively, he’s all over the place. Offensively he does a lot of things down low. Just a hard-working kid.”

Waynesburg got 21 points from guard Dominick Sarra and 11 from backcourt mate John Glen Davis.

Burgettstown led by 10 at halftime but stretched its lead to 21 with a 14-2 run during the first half of the third quarter and surged ahead, 44-23, after a pair of Glover free throws.

Waynesburg wouldn’t threaten until Corey Dispenza and Wes Bristor hit 3-pointers 14 seconds apart to pull Waynesburg within 11 late before Burgettstown got a basket from Glover and recovered.

Burgettstown advances to the semifinals and will Canon-McMillan, a 65-26 winner over Blairsville in the late game.

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