WESTERN PA. George Junior completes sweep
Chris Fiore scored 26 points as Grove City lost again to the Tigers.
By BILL ALBRIGHT
VINDICATOR SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
SLIPPERY ROCK -- It was a month later, the venue was different, but the results were the same.
Just prior to the Christmas break, George Junior Republic (13-3) defeated Grove City High, 62-49.
Tuesday at Morrow Field House, the Tigers earned city bragging rights by sweeping the season series with an 80-62 win over the Eagles.
George Jr. coach Bob McConnell wasn't pleased with his team's effort in a win over Greensburg Salem last week, but was much happier Tuesday.
"Offensively and running the fast break, we did a good job tonight," McConnell said. "I thought we did a lot of good things against their zone that we didn't do the first time we played them. I have no complaints with the way we played."
Fiore scores 26: GJR's Chris Fiore scored 18 points in the second half and finished with a game-high 26. Benson Callier added 22 points and eight rebounds, while Tyrea Denmark recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Mike Johnson scored 24 points and Will Anderson added 18 for Grove City (14-4).
"Fiore did a real nice job of getting into the lane all night long," McConnell said. "The guys were very unselfish. They made the extra passes and that led to us getting some easy buckets."
Grove City jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead and held a 17-15 advantage after the first quarter.
Halftime advantage: The second quarter had two ties and six lead changes until the Tigers scored the final nine points to take a 37-29 advantage at the break.
"I thought we moved the ball well in the first half," Grove City coach Don Fee said. "We didn't have too many turnovers and we had some good shots. I wasn't real happy with our defense, but offensively, we made some shots and that is why we were in the game."
The final seconds of the second quarter were a turning point in the game. The Eagles, trailing by five and looking for the last shot of the half, misfired.
Grabbing the rebound and hustling to the other end of the floor, the Tigers completed the five-point turnaround when Benson Callier drilled a 3-pointer to give the Tigers an eight-point lead.
"He [Callier] is getting to the point where he could put us on his back and carry us through some big games," McConnell said. "He played a great game for us tonight, and that was a big shot he hit right before the half."
Fee agreed with McConnell.
"We had a bad play at the end of the half when we should have been holding for the last shot," Fee said. "Sometimes a play like that can swing the momentum. They can come out with the attitude of, 'hey, let's knock them out,' and they pretty much did that."