Nelly Cummings from Lincoln Park jumps for a shot against Highlands at the C.J. Betters RBA Holiday Classic at the Community College of Beaver County in Monaca on Thursday. Lincoln Park won 73-71.
From local dispatches
As strange as it might sound, Lincoln Park, a perennial WPIAL power, had never won a first-round game at the C.J. Betters tournament held at Community College of Beaver County. Three times the Leopards tried and three times they came up short.
Nelly Cummings and the Leopards, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, finally broke the streak with a 73-71 victory against Class 5A No. 1 Highlands (4-3).
“That’s our first win in school history at Betters in the first round,” Lincoln Park coach Mike Bariski said. “That’s a milestone for us.”
Cummings, a 6-foot Bowling Green recruit, came up big with a game-high 35 points and was a perfect 12 for 12 from the free-throw line, eight of which came in the fourth quarter.
“He’s clutch,” Bariski said. “That’s why he’s a Division I player.”
Mitch DeZort led Highlands with 28 points. He banked home a 3-point shot with 7 seconds remaining to pull Highlands within 2 points, but the Leopards (4-2) were able to run out the clock and seal the victory.
Other top boys games
■ Parker Hudson knocked down a 20-foot shot to lift Class 4A No. 4 Central Valley (5-2) to a thrilling 71-69 win against Monessen, the top-ranked squad in Class 1A, at the C.J. Betters tournament. Hudson finished with a game-high 24 points. The Greyhounds (3-3) got 23 points from Justice Rice.
■ Class 6A No. 1 Pine-Richland (6-0) raced to a 22-13 first-quarter lead and cruised to an 80-62 victory against Beaver at the C.J. Betters tournament. The Rams’ Andrew Petcash racked up 21 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists, while teammate Phil Jurkovec had 13 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists. Darius Wise netted 19 points for the Bobcats (4-3).
■ Austin Butler topped 30 points for the second consecutive day, pouring in a game-high 34 points to lead Class 6A No. 3 Latrobe (7-0) past Bonita, Calif., 72-61, at the KSA Disney tournament in Orlando, Fla.
■ At the Montour Showcase, Dom Sliva had a showcase game, as he scored a game-high 36 points and pulled down nine rebounds for Montour (4-2) in its 97-63 triumph over Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (5-3).
■ Boys players with five or more 3-pointers: Mike Allen, Northgate, 6; R.J. Bell, Canon-McMillan, 6; Craig Sauers, Laurel, 6; Dante Delillo, Neshannock, 5; Joel Stutz, Butler, 5; Joey Torris, South Park, 5.
Top girls games
■ Less than a week after scoring her 1,000th career point, Lauren Gilbert and Baldwin had another memorable night, as the Highlanders (5-2) upset Class 6A No. 3 Penn Hills (6-2), 48-46, at the Hempfield tournament. Gilbert scored 21 points to pace Baldwin, which used a 22-point third-quarter burst to take control of the game. Penn Hills’ Tayonna Robertson poured in a game-high 24 points.
■ In a rematch of the 2016 WPIAL Class AAAA championship, North Allegheny, now in 6A and ranked No. 1, took down fifth-ranked Norwin, 50-40, at the North Allegheny tournament. Hailey Zeise’s 12 points led three Tigers in double figures. North Allegheny (9-0) has defeated the Knights (5-4) twice this season after that championship loss.
Stars of the night
■ Sarah Fischer, a senior guard at Ambridge, eclipsed 1,000 career points in her 20-point effort in a 71-49 triumph against Franklin Regional at the North Allegheny tournament.
■ Senior guard Madison Amalia converteded seven 3-pointers and Blackhawk set a school record by making 14 3s in a 66-60 loss to Hoover, Ohio, at the Mt. Lebanon tournament.
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