South Fayette played a junk defense against Montour for just about the entire contest.
No big deal. When the game was there for the taking, Montour's Devin Wilson trashed South Fayette's defense.
Wilson taking over a game and making so many key plays down the stretch is an old storyline at Montour, but it has to be told again after Wilson led Montour past South Fayette, 52-43, in a PIAA Class AAA first-round game Friday night at North Allegheny.
Saint Joseph's University coach Phil Martelli and Villanova coach Jay Wright were on hand to watch Wilson. What they saw was a triple double from Montour's 6-foot-3 senior point guard (Stain Joseph's offered Wilson a scholarship Tuesday). Wilson finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the WPIAL champion Spartans (23-4).
But it was when he scored, when he rebounded and when he dished passes for baskets that was so impressive. South Fayette took a 41-39 lead with 4:33 left. From there, Wilson had 8 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds and 1 blocked shot. He made practically every key play, just like he did in the WPIAL championship last week, and just like he has so many times in his career.
"There have been a lot of really good players come through this area and I think he could be mentioned with some of them," Montour coach Adam Kaufman said. "... He has a drive and a will to win that I've never seen at Montour."
Wilson knew Martelli and Wright were there watching. Wilson has a handful of other scholarship offers and Kansas State and Texas A&M called him this past week. When asked if he felt any pressure with the college coaches in the stands, Wilson said: "I don't really know pressure. It's really not a thing to me. I just play the game I love and do the best I can."
South Fayette got 15 points from C.J. Rudisill and 13 from Evan Bonnaure. For Montour, Justin Hill added 12 points.
But South Fayette's triangle-and-two affected Montour. The Spartans have two excellent 3-point shooters in Kevin Scuilli and Robbie Julian. South Fayette guarded those two man-to-man and the other three defenders played a zone. Scuilli had only four points and Julian didn't score.
Wilson is not known as a great outside shooter and took only two 3-pointers in this game. But in the fourth quarter, he started knifing through South Fayette's defense and also came up with big defensive plays.
"My coaches were telling me to shoot more, but I just wanted to get the best shot for our team," Wilson said. " ... If it gets to the point where I have to start being selfish, that usually comes late in games."
After South Fayette took the two-point lead, Wilson gave a Spartan-like effort.
Wilson scored with 4:22 left to tie it. Blocked a shot at the other end. Made a pretty pass to Justin Hill for a layup to give Montour the lead. Dribbled the ball around for a while before finding Hill for another layup to make it 45-41 with 2:09 left. Rebounded a South Fayette missed 3-pointer. Made two free throws with 1:06 left. Made two more free throws with 45.4 seconds left after South Fayette sliced the deficit to 47-43.
You get the idea how Wilson turned the game into his personal playground? And just for good measure he rebounded two more missed South Fayette shots in the final 30 seconds and made two more free throws. For the game, Wilson was 7 of 15 from the field and 9 of 13 from the free-throw line. He scored 11 points in the fourth quarter.
"You should see him in practice," Kaufman said. "He shoots it well every day -- shot after shot after shot. But he won't shoot it much in games. But that's OK. We made enough shots to win and guarded enough to win."
For more on high school sports, go to Varsity Blog at www.post-gazette.com/varsityblog. Mike White: email@example.com, 412-263-1975 and Twitter: @mwhiteburgh. First Published March 9, 2013 5:00 AM