Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Second-Half Magic Hot Shooting Lifts City League's Allderdice into Piaa Quarterfinals

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Second-Half Magic Hot Shooting Lifts City League's Allderdice into Piaa Quarterfinals

Article excerpt

The locker-room halftime chat was over, but as Allderdice warmed up for the second half, coach Buddy Valinsky was still going over X's and O's. With a few players gathered around him, Valinsky was on the court at the free-throw line, moving magnets around on a board with a basketball court on it.

But Valinsky could have tossed that board in the trash. Forget the play diagrams and complicated strategies. The Allderdice-Penn Hills game came down to the basics.

Allderdice made shots in the second half and Penn Hills didn't.

Allderdice, kings of the Pittsburgh City League, trailed by seven points at halftime of Wednesday night's PIAA Class 6A second-round game. Dragons are supposed to breathe fire, but these Dragons torched Penn Hills with a hot hand. Allderdice shot 67 percent from the field in the second half and defeated WPIAL champion Penn Hills, 44-41.

"Hey, you can draw things up, but the kids still have to make the shots," said Valinsky. "Then you don't draw it up, and they make everything. The bottom line is these kids are winners."

Yes, and that's why the Dragons move on to the PIAA quarterfinals for the third time in four seasons. They will play Pine-Richland Saturday at a site and time to be determined.

"We were way under the number I thought we needed to hit to win," said Valinsky. "It was 60. I looked at all of Penn Hills' scores and no one gets 60 on them. They get maybe 50 and then Penn Hills gets 52 or 54. So what do I know? We scored 44 and won."

The score might make one think Allderdice-Penn Hills wasn't the best of games to watch. But the atmosphere inside a packed Baldwin High School gym was electric and intense play oozed from both teams. The outcome wasn't decided until Cam Wiley's 3-pointer from the right corner grazed off the rim at the final buzzer. Wiley's shot came after Allderdice's Tyler Williams missed a one-and-one free throw with 4.7 seconds left. "It was crazy," Valinsky said of the game's atmosphere. …

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