The team that relied so heavily on 3-point shooting went cold yesterday and was knocked out of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.
Highlands, which averages 10 3-pointers a game, was defeated by Greensburg Salem, 54-46, in a quarterfinal game at Baldwin.
It was the lowest offensive output of the season for Highlands (20-5), which came in averaging 76 points a game. The win puts Greensburg Salem (21-5) into the semifinals for the first time since 1955.
Highlands made only 19 percent (5 of 27) from 3-point range. Senior guard Reece Mabery, who was averaging 20 points, was held to nine. Junior guard Damon Porter, who averages 17, scored only seven.
Greensburg Salem's sticky, full-court, man-to-man defense had something to do with the Golden Rams' shooting woes.
Greensburg Salem had four players in double figures. Junior point guard Chris Klimchock and senior forward Aaron Allen had 15 points apiece. Klimchock was superb in the fourth quarter when Greensburg Salem grabbed the lead. He was 7 of 8 from the free-throw line.
Sophomore forward Jake Matthews and senior guard Reggie Hainsworth added 10 points apiece. Guard Larry Alexander led Highlands with 11.
Highlands held a 35-34 lead after three quarters, but Greensburg Salem went on a 14-5 run to start the final quarter and take control.
Highlands was 4 of 16 from the field in the final quarter and 0 of 9 from 3-point range.
• Chartiers Valley 64, Steel Valley 45: Top-seeded Chartiers Valley (24-2) continued to overcome injuries to two standout players, advancing to the semifinals with a win against Steel Valley (17-6) at North Allegheny. Teagan Lindsey paced the Colts with 19 points, including 14 in the first half. Chartiers Valley's Eli Maravich played for the first time in more than a month after being out with a leg injury, and scored six points. Teammate T.J. McConnell played again with an injured wrist and finished with seven points. Ryan Sabo led Steel Valley with 16 points.
• Hopewell 77, Keystone Oaks 66: Mark Javens had a big second half for Hopewell (20-5), enabling the Vikings to come from behind to beat Keystone Oaks (15-11) at North Allegheny. With Hopewell trailing by three points at the half, Javens scored 20 of his game-high 29 points after the break to help the Vikings pull away. Corey Bellovich scored 25 points for the Golden Eagles and Jimmy Taylor added 24, but both did most of their scoring in the first half.
• Blackhawk 56, Ambridge 28: At North Hills, red-hot Blackhawk (21-5) surged to its 19th consecutive victory by defeating Ambridge (10-16) for the third time this season. Antoine Childs scored 17 of his 23 points in the first half for Blackhawk, helping the Cougars race to a 16-point halftime advantage. Childs made 9 of 12 free throws and also had eight rebounds.
• Beaver Falls 57, Greensburg Central Catholic 49: No. 1-seeded Beaver Falls (21-3) overcame a sluggish start to defeat Greensburg Central Catholic (18-9) at Ringgold. The Tigers trailed by 12 points at halftime, but rallied with a 14-3 third-quarter advantage. David Phillips led the Tigers with 16 points and scored 11 in the fourth quarter. Todd Thomas and Kenny Cottman scored 14 points apiece for Beaver Falls. Chris Tamasy led the Centurions with 16 points.
• North Catholic 46, Riverside 44: North Catholic (23-3) survived a late push by Riverside (24-2) in a thriller at Ambridge. With the score tied with just over a minute left, Joe Long's layup put North Catholic ahead for good, 45-43. Riverside's Jason Kolesar missed a shot in the closing seconds which would have tied it. Henry Pwono led North Catholic with 14 points. The Trojans won despite making just 3 of 10 free throws in the fourth quarter. Jake Wickline scored 16 points for the Panthers.
• Bishop Canevin 60, Monessen 48: Despite entering the playoffs with a less than stellar record, Bishop Canevin (15-12) inched within a game of a championship berth with an upset of Monessen (19-6) at Ringgold. Brian Billigen had another strong effort for the Crusaders with four 3-pointers among his 24 points. Billigen scored 10 points in the fourth quarter when the Crusaders outscored the Greyhounds, 17-7. Tim Tyree had a team-high 15 points for Monessen.