Hampton rebounds for first-round PIAA win

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Twos were wild with four sets of twin brothers between the two teams, but the major difference in Hampton vs. Allderdice was 3s.

As in Hampton's 1-3-1 zone defense.

As in Hampton's 3-2 defense.

As in Allderdice's cold shooting from 3-point range.

Add up all the 3s and it equaled a Hampton 58-43 victory in a PIAA Class AAAA first-round playoff game Saturday at Obama Academy.

And the win came one day after Hampton played a game of Wiffle ball in its gym before practice. How long did the game last? Three innings.

"Just to loosen things up and have some fun," Hampton coach Joe Lafko said.

Hampton had some fun, bouncing back from a loss to New Castle in a WPIAL title game for the third consecutive year. The Talbots (23-4) used their size and zone defenses to take out City League champion Allderidce (19-6).

"They're so wide and tall," Allderdice coach Buddy Valinsky said. "There aren't many teams out there that big."

Allderdice started fast against Hampton's man-to-man defense, making three of its first four 3-point shots. But Hampton switched to its zone defenses later in the half and Allderdice had trouble getting good shots -- and making 3-pointers. Hampton's 1-3-1 was particularly effective with 6-foot-2 David Huber on top and 6-8 Ryan Luther and 6-7 Collin Luther on the wings.

"I think our zones slowed them down," Lafko said. "It made them extend their offense out a little farther and I think it forced them to take shots a little deeper than they wanted."

Three 3-pointers helped Allderdice take a 9-6 lead in the first quarter. But from that point, until JaVaughn Moultrie's 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter, Allderdice made only 1 of 11 behind the arc. For the game, Allderdice shot only 33 percent (14 of 43) from the field and 30 percent (6 of 20) from 3-point range and had its lowest offensive output this season.

"We had to make nine or so 3-pointers because their length was going to push us out on offense," Valinsky said. "We got cold and then we got a little colder."

Hampton, meanwhile, shot 53 percent (9 of 17) from the field in the second half and most of the shots were in the lane. Ryan Luther led Hampton with 16 points, going 5 for 5 from the field and 2 for 2 from the free-throw line in the second half. Huber, a junior forward, fueled Hampton in the first half with 13 of his 15 points. Huber had three 3-pointers in the first quarter.

Hampton led, 31-19, at halftime before Allderdice scored the first six points of the second half. But Hampton went on an 11-2 run to take control.

Hampton certainly didn't seem to lack energy after the WPIAL title loss.

"Some teams when they get through the WPIAL, they're done," Lafko said. "This group likes each other and has a lot of fun playing together. They want to keep playing."

Despite the loss, the future looks bright for Allderdice. Three sophomores and a junior started, including 10th-grader Ramon Creighton, who scored 16 points.

"You're excited, but I've been through this before, having some young talent," Valinsky said. "Then next year, half of them don't come back because they go somewhere else."

For more on high school sports, go to "Varsity Blog" at www.post-gazette.com/varsityblog. Mike White: mwhite@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1975 and Twitter @mwhiteburgh.

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