CLARION - The Ridgway Elkers defeated the Sewickley Academy Panthers by a 48-40 score to advance to the second round of the PIAA Class A boys’ tournament.
The Elkers will meet the Kennedy Catholic squad next Tuesday at a site and time to be announced. Kennedy Catholic defeated Cornell by a 64-53 score.
The Elkers were able to use a pressing defense in the first half of last night’s contest to build a 10-4 lead after the first eight minutes and take a 21-12 halftime lead.
In the second half, Sewickley outscored the Elkers by a 28-27 margin to cut Ridgway’s final margin of victory to 48-40.
“Right away we thought we could apply pressure on their guards,” said Elker coach Anthony Allegretto.
“They made adjustments at halftime and were able to attack us better,” said the coach. The Elkers forced 15 Panther turnovers in the first half. In the second half each team had seven turnovers.
“Alex Oknefski stepped up tonight and Jesse Reynolds played a great game,” said Allegretto.
While Ridgway led by nine at the half, the Panthers came out and scored the first six points of the second half to cut Ridgway’s lead to two, 21-19.
“We responded (with their run) by letting Eric (Matheson) got one-on-one. He has been our leader for four years now,” said the coach.
“We played such a good gap defense in the first half and then they spread out out a little in the second half,” noted Allegretto.
“I thought we were a little nervous before the game even though it’s our third straight one here. But it is the state playoffs,” added Allegretto.
The Elkers were led by Eric Matheson with 23 points on six field goals and an 11 for 12 night from the foul line. Jesse Reynolds added 17 points on six field goals and a five for five night from the foul line.
Sewickley was led by Carrington Motley with 17 points on three twos, one three and an eight for 10 night from the foul line. Keenan Hickton added 11 points on two twos, one three and a five for six night from the foul line.
Pick up a copy of the Saturday, March 10, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.