Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bf Stays the Course after Wpial Classic

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bf Stays the Course after Wpial Classic

Article excerpt

Some say it was the greatest WPIAL championship game ever played.

Twenty years from now, probably everyone from Beaver County will claim to have been at the Palumbo Center last Saturday night.

The stars seemed aligned for the WPIAL Class AA title game to be one for the ages. The top two seeds. Two bitter rivals. A championship rematch from last season. A prime-time tip-off.

The hype proved not to disappoint a bit. A packed house. Three overtimes. Three buzzer-beating shots.

The final result: A 79-78 Beaver Falls victory, its first title since 1994.

"'Wow!' is the only way to put it," Tigers coach Doug Biega said. "If you tried to mix something up in a pot and make up a recipe for a perfect championship, I'm not sure you could top that. To beat the defending champion the way we did is beyond description, really."

Junior guard Lance Jeter banked in a running 30-footer as time expired in the third overtime for the win, which happened to follow by 12 game minutes his 3-pointer at the end of regulation to send the game to overtime. He was not surprised by the game's dramatics.

"I expect that when us and Aliquippa get together," Jeter said. "These are two great teams, both with great traditions of wining. I expect that from two powerhouses."

The game was so good, it's impossible not to envision and yearn for a fourth matchup with the Quips, March 16 with the PIAA western region title on the line. Can each team win its next three to allow that to play out?

"Boy, I hope not," said Biega, who was an assistant at Aliquippa for five seasons. "I hope we don't have to play them again. They are so good and so big and so fast.

"But we absolutely have our work cut out for us just to get there. [PIAA first-round opponent] Washington is an exceptional team. We can't have any hangover from this game. We need to get things going to get ready for Washington."

Such is the problem facing Beaver Falls (24-3). Biega conceded that a WPIAL championship is more prestigious than a PIAA title in these parts -- particularly when the title game involves such long- standing rivals. …

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