By Mike White | Friday, March 26, 2010
Live blog from PIAA basketball Class AAA championship - Chartiers Valley vs. Neumann-Goretti
FINAL NEUMANN-GORETTI 65, CHARTIERS VALLEY 63 - McConnell missed off-balance 3 and Steve Burda couldn't get rebound shot off.
9:33 p.m. - One free throw by N-G Tyreek Duren. Timeout 13.1. Neumann-Goretti leads 65-63. Terrific game. One of best seen in final for a while.
9:30 p.m. - Wow. T.J. McConnell 3-pointer and CV has cut it to 64-63 with 15 seconds left. Timeout.
9:27 p.m. - Timeout. 37.8 seconds left. Steve Burda just hit 3. Neumann-Goretti leads, 63-60.
9:23 p.m. - Timeout. 1:35 left. Neumann-Goretti leads, 59-57, and has ball.
9:18 p.m. - Surprised N-G not running a second defender at McConnell to try and get him to give up ball.
9:17 p.m. - Great game!!!! timeout and we're tied, 55-55, with 3:50 left.
9:11 p.m. - McConnell has been terrific and Capers is getting to the basket. Timeout and Char Valley leads, 54-53, with 6:14 left. McConnell now has 28.
9:06 p.m. - End of the third and it's Neumann-Goretti 50, Char Valley 48. As hot as Matt Noszka was in semis, is as cold as he is tonight. 1 for 8 from 3.
9:05 p.m. - In fact, McConnell has outplayed Chennault.
9:03 p.m. - Tony Chennault of N-G is going to Wake Forest. T.J. McConnell has showed just as much. Somewhere, Ron Everhart should be happy.
8:59 p.m. - Timeout and it's 46-40 Neumann-Goretti. McConnell has eight points this quarter. I just don't know if Char Valley has enough besides him to pull this out.
8:55 p.m. - T.J. McConnell is getting to basket with ease. Scores on another drive.
8:54 p.m. - Char Valley took a brief lead on a T.J. McConnell basket, but N-G scored and it's 37-36 with 5:45 left in the third.
I was in locker room at halftime and Char Valley coach Tim McConnell said at halftime that his team prides itself on being so well-conditioned. But can the wear down a team like this? He wants more backdoors in this half. T.J. McConnell feels like he can continue to get to the basket. Can he finish? CV needs Matt Noszka to shoot better. He was 1 for 6 from 3-point range in first half.
FIRST-HALF STATS: T.J. McConnell has 12 for Char Valley, 10 in the second half. Mustafaa Jones has nine and 8 for Tony Chennault. Char Valley 3 of 11 from 3-point range. N-G 4 of 15 from 3. McConnell also has 10 rebounds. Already a double-double.
8:39 p.m. - HALFTIME NEUMANN-GORETTI 32, CHARTIERS VALLEY 30
8:36 p.m. - Char Valley playing differently than usual. No pressing. Soft man to man.
8:31 p.m. - Char Valley on a run. Cuts lead to 23-20.
8:28 p.m.- CV made a little run, but Mustaafa Jones hits 3 and N-G leads by 10 again.
8:23 p.m. - End of the first quarter and Neumann-Goretti leads Chartiers Valley, 20-8. T.J. McConnell only 1 for 8 from field. Neumann-Goretti got 15 shots in first quarter and made 8.
8:21 p.m. - Char Valley might be in trouble. Another breakout and Neumann-Goretti leads, 18-8. Char Valley four turnovers so far.
8:19 p.m. - As usual, a Phila. Catholic school brings few fans. Nice turnout by CV students and fans. Attendance for first doubleheader this afternoon was 5,026.
8:18 p.m. - Wow. Missed dunk by N-G's Dan Stewart.
8:17 p.m. - T.J. McConnell having trouble finishing. Has missed a few inside shots.
8:15 p.m. - Timeout. Neumann-Goretti leads Char Valley, 13-7, with 2:28 left in first quarter. Neumann-Goretti gets it out and goes.
8:12 p.m. - Neumann-Goretti playing fast. Rely on 3's. It's 7-5 N-G with 4:42 left in first.
8:10 p.m. - Tipoff just moments away. Neumann-Goretti certainly passes the eyeball test. Impressive looking bunch. But CV has a chance because Neumman-Goretti isn't overly big. Look for Char Valley to hold the ball a little.
Below, Chartiers Valley coach Tim McConnell addresses his team in the locker room before the game. He wrote on a blackboard some of the greatest upsets in sports history - including 1980 USA hockey team, 1969 New York Jets and this year's Northern Iowa team. Needless to say, Char Valley is considered the underdog.
FINAL SCORE GIRLS' CLASS AAAA FINAL: Mt. Lebanon 70, Archbishop Ryan 43
Blowout city. Mt. Lebanon becomes first WPIAL team to win two PIAA Class AAAA titles in a row. Madison Cable makes 13 of 19 shots and scores 30 for Mt. Lebanon, which led by 30-20 at halftime. Lauren Arbogast added 12. Archbishop Ryan had 26 turnovers.