Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Riggleman leads Mapletown into the playoffs

Mapletown senior Dereck Riggleman
For the second straight year, Mapletown has snuck into the Class A WPIAL playoffs. The Maples' rise should come as no surprise. They have one of the most dynamic scoring threats in the area – senior Dereck Riggleman – and three other seniors who returned from last year's squad that was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs at the hands of Lincoln Park.

On Tuesday night, Riggleman scored 31 points and Mapletown (3-5, 7-10) defeated Avella, 63-60, to secure Section 3-A's final playoff spot. The Maples outscored the Eagles 21-11 in the final quarter and the game came down to the wire.

Avella had possession with only seconds remaining and heaved a desperation half-court shot to attempt to tie the game. It did not fall as Mapletown secured their spot in the postseason.

The Maples are not limited to one player's scoring output. Junior Ben Boone has been consistent all season long with senior Eric Atwood contributing as well, but it is Riggleman who time and time again, has dug Mapletown out of tough games.

The 6-1 senior is averaging 25.4 points per game. Consider this: the Maples are playoff-bound despite almost losing to Geibel (1-8, 2-15) on Jan. 9. It was Riggleman who saved the day. He scored a career-high 51 points to reach 1,000 on his career and lead Mapletown to a 66-60 win.

  • Monessen has locked up the Section 3-A title with a 94-55 win over Carmichaels Tuesday night. One again, the Greyhounds were relentless on defense – pressuring the Mikes on the backend and creating turnovers when they needed them the most.
  • Senior Justice Rawlins got into foul trouble early in the matchup, which raised a cause for             concern, but Monessen’s deep bench made up for the loss. With their most physically imposing player watching from a metal chair, the Greyhounds’ guards played trap defense and unlike their last matchup with Carmichaels, did not force shot. They took what was given to them and the result was a resounding victory.
  • ·The loss puts Carmichaels in quite a predicament. The Mikes face Clairton Thursday night on the road. If Carmichaels falls to the Bears, they will fall into third place in the section. That would not be good. Class A is extremely deep this season and for a team like the Mikes, leveraging a matchup against a lesser opponent is crucial. It will be interesting to see how Carmichaels bounces back.  They defeated Clairton, 72-63, on Jan. 30 at home.
  • The California girls basketball team made history with a 58-16 win over Mapletown on Tuesday night. The Trojans clinched at least a share of the Section 3-A title. It is their first section championship since 1982.
  • Freshman Kylie Huffman scored 20 points to lead California to the pivotal win, but the road to separating themselves from Avella is not over. The Trojans face the Eagles on Friday and if California wins, they take home sole possession of the section title.

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