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DISTRICT 10-AA BOYS Wilmington ousted from playoffs by Mercyhurst Prep



Published: Fri, February 22, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Greyhounds end 8-17.

By BILL ALBRIGHT

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

SLIPPERY ROCK -- It was one-and-done for the Wilmington High boys basketball team, as the Greyhounds dropped a 57-30 verdict to Mercyhurst Prep in the opening round of the District 10-AA playoffs on Thursday night at Morrow Field House.

Coach Pat Flaherty wanted the Lakers to force the tempo.

"We try to get a lot off our rebounds and from our defense," explained Flaherty. "We are not exactly a quick-shooting team, but we like to get the tempo going. If a team doesn't get back on us, we try and get some cheap buckets, but if it isn't there, we like to be smart enough to run our offense."

Depth important: The Lakers (21-4) rotated nine players and everyone made some contribution to the winning effort.

"The kids off the bench have been doing a great job for us and they did it again tonight," said Flaherty. "If we are going to be able to do something down the road, we are going to need that [depth]."

Wilmington coach Nick Cannone knew the Lakers were a very quality team.

"I saw them on tape and they are even better in person than they are on tape, especially with the way they play defense," he said. "They give you some shots, but the bottom line is that you still have to shoot the ball well. We had some good looks, and if we make some 3s early that they were giving us, you get a little bounce in your step defensively.

"But we just couldn't make a couple of baskets there that would have kept us in the game, and if we could have done that, I think it would have helped our defense. They are so well-schooled that you have to have five guys working hard all of the time to try and stop that offense. They don't do anything fancy, but what they do is execute it so well it is almost impossible to stop."

Despite the lopsided defeat, Nick Cannone thought his team achieved a lot of good things during the season.

"This was one of my most rewarding seasons as a coach," he said. "We had some returnees coming back, and after we started 1-8, they showed me they were solid kids just by the way they responded to the situation. They could have folded it up, but they hung in there, worked hard, grew as a team and as individuals, and that is what coaching is about to me."

The Lakers were led by Brian Blaszczyk with 13 points, while John Nies and Doug Merski each added 11.

For Wilmington (8-17), Quay Rosengarth paced the offense with 10 points.

Prep moved to the semifinal round to meet French Creek Valley representative Lakeview. The Sailors defeated Iroquois 59-56 in triple overtime to advance.

Eisenhower 55, Reynolds 54: EDINBORO, Pa. -- Reynolds coach Don Andres thought a shot by Deacon Jones at the buzzer was a 3-pointer.

The officials ran off the floor following the contest, allowing Eisenhower a victory over the Raiders in a first-round District 10 Class AA game at Edinboro State University.

"The officials said Jones' foot touched the 3-point line," Andres said, allowing only a 2-point basket."

Reynolds (11-12) was down by nine points with 2 minutes, 16 seconds remaining.

Jones took scoring honors with 24 points.

Robert Irwin paced Eisenhower (25-0) with 21 points. Chad Curtis added 13 and Ryan McIntosh finished with 10.




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