The Eagles beat Slippery Rock, 57-40, in a Mercer County game.
By BILL ALBRIGHT
GROVE CITY -- For Slippery Rock High, it was a matter of survival. For Grove City, it was an opportunity to lock up a berth in the District 10-AAA playoffs.
When the final issue was decided, Grove City (16-7, 4-1) was in and Slippery Rock (11-11, 2-3) was out as the Eagles flew to a 57-40 win on Tuesday.
"I said to our guys at halftime, 'Hey, they didn't play very well and they are only down by four,' " said Grove City coach Don Fee. "We were making a lot of mistakes and allowing them to hang around. But overall, it was a good win for us and now we are right back in the playoffs and that is where we wanted to be."
Goal shortage: The Rockets continued to struggle offensively; they failed to score a field goal in both the first and fourth quarters.
Slippery Rock coach Chris Burtch said the offensive struggles happened at different times for different reasons.
"I think in the first quarter, it was just a matter of us being so excited, nervous and wanting to come out with a lot of emotion," said Burtch. "They were so fired up in the locker room that it was almost to the point of working themselves into a tizzy and that is the way they played in the first quarter.
"As for what happened in the fourth quarter, that is easy to answer. We were simply exhausted."
The Eagles put the game away in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, running off eight unanswered points to take a 50-36 lead.
"The rest I was able to give our starters made a big difference down the stretch," said Fee. "I thought our kids were a little fresher in the fourth quarter."
The Rockets lost another student this week and Fee thought they played as well as could be expected.
"You have to give them a lot of credit because they have been through so much this week emotionally," said Fee. "They battled and battled, but when we did get the lead into double figures, I think it took the wind out of them a little bit."
Grove City sophomore Mike Johnson led all scorers with 20 points despite being held scoreless in the second quarter. Kevin Persch added 10 points.
Brett Codispot led the Rockets with 11 points.
Reynolds 66, Sharpsville 43: GREENVILLE, Pa. -- Deacon Jones had 22 points and seven assists as Reynolds stayed tied with Wilmington for first place in Class AA of the Mercer County Athletic Conference.
Reynolds will play host to Wilmington on Friday.
Kelvin Young added 15 points and seven assists for Reynolds (11-11, 5-2) and Tom McEntire added 12 points. Steve Sepos grabbed eight rebounds.
Adam Dye led Sharpsville (3-19, 1-6) with 11 points.
Kennedy Catholic 65, West Middlesex 45: WEST MIDDLESEX, Pa. -- Dan McElhinny scored 21 points, including five 3-pointers, to lift Kennedy Catholic over West Middlesex.
Nolan Reimold added 14 points and Ramone Truxon 12 for the Golden Eagles (18-5, 3-0 MCAC), who are the state's top-ranked team in Class A.