BP boys escape CM clutches
By Eleanor Bailey
Night and day. That was the difference between Bethel Park’s first- and second-half play against Canon-McMillan in WPIAL Quad-A boys’ basketball as the Hawks shook off a sluggish start and soared past the Big Macs, 62-49, in Section 4 action.
“I’m not sure what that (first half) was all about,” said BP head coach Ben O’Connor. “We did not play with any sense of urgency and we lacked focus.”
The Big Macs limited BP’s offensive output in the first two frames as they opened up a 27-20 advantage. However, the Hawks scored as many points in the third quarter as they did in the first 16 minutes of action and capped the contest with a 22-point final frame. They used a 15-1 run to break open the contest.
Cody Gilchrist spearheaded BP’s second-half uprising. His bucket with 1:41 to play in the third quarter knotted the game at 33. Gilchrist finished with a team-high 17 points.
Wyatt Hagerty’s two free throws put BP in the driver’s seat for good, 35-33, with 1:09 left in the third frame. Hagerty finished with 11 markers.
Josh Kracfynzski also provided 11 tallies, including seven in the final frame. On back-to-back 3-point field goals by Kracfynzski, the Hawks expanded their advantage to 53-39 with under five minutes to play.
The Hawks buried six treys in the game. Kenny Gilmore, Jake Murphy, Bobby Huntington and Joey Mascaro each connected on a long range shot during a critical point in the contest.
Brett Haney propelled the Big Macs with his sharpshooting. He drained four shots from beyond the arc. He finished with a game-high 25 markers, 15 of which came in the first half of play.
Sam Bohn also finished in double figures with 11 points. Jake Cadez followed with seven tallies.
The Big Macs buried seven 3-pointers, five in the first half. Seth Petras, Bohn and Haney had treys in the first frame. Haney’s back-to-back buckets from beyond the arc propelled CM into the seven-point lead at intermission.
With the win, BP improved to 13-1 overall. The Hawks were undefeated in the section heading into their battle with rival Upper St. Clair on Tuesday, Jan. 22.
The loss evened CM’s record to 8-8 overall. The Big Macs slipped to 3-5 in the section.