Hornets top Canton 61-44 in District play
By: Ed Weaver / February 23, 2013
For the first time since the 2005-06 season, the Wellsboro boys basketball team advanced past the first round of District IV playoffs. The win was head coach Todd Outman's first District win with the Hornets.
"Coming in to tonight we knew we had to stop (Eddie) Larcom and (Emmett) Watson," Outman said. "Canton goes as those two go, when they win those two are unstoppable. We played great defense on them the entire night and held them to 4 points in the first half and made the other kids try to beat us.
"I told Matt Reese and Jordan Jackson before the game to make sure that tonight wasn't your last game, and they did everything in their power to make sure that didn't happen tonight."
Outman was also very please with Reese's performance on the night.
"Matt's biggest contribution to this team is the way he plays defense. He just bothers people the entire game. He doesn't score a lot, but all the other intangibles that don't show up in the score book is valuable. I honestly don't know how we're going to replace him next year."
Wellsboro jumped out to an early 19-8 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back. Offensively Sophomore Michael Pietropola led four Hornets in double figures with 15 points, all coming from behind the three-point line. Junior Joey Doganiero, Jackson, and Junior Dylan Prough all finished with 12 points on the night.
"Canton is a great team that never quit," said Pietropola. "We came out with fire and intensity tonight knowing that we haven't won a District game in a while, and we're looking to keep up the intensity throughout the rest of playoffs."
"We've wanted to be a different team from the past six year," Prough said. "The players had a lot of team meetings this week and we had a lot of community support that made tonight a lot of fun."
At the end of the first half, Wellsboro had the game in hand as they led 43-17, and continued on to the end for their first District win since beating Towanda in the 2005-06 season.
Rounding out the scoring for Wellsboro was Fershman Dawson Prough with 4 points, Reese with 3 and Sophomore Kieron Smethers with 3. Reese tallied 8 assits on the night to bring his season total to 110 and pulled in 5 rebounds. Prough grabbed a team-high 8 rebounds, while Smethers, Jackson, and Pietropola each recorded 4.
With the win, the Hornets improve to 22-1 on the year and will face East Juniata in the semi-finals next week. Stay tuned to WellsboroAthletics.com for the latest schedules.