Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

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Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

72pt-1 19pt-3 19pt-3 19pt-3

Article excerpt

When Lincoln Park beat North Catholic in the WPIAL Class 3A championship a year ago, the Leopards did a swell job holding down North Catholic leading scorer Isaac DeGregorio.

Lincoln Park did a pretty good against DeGregorio in the championship rematch Thursday night. But the difference this time was DeGregorio had a little more help- and North Catholic had a lot more defense.

North Catholic won the title with a 65-56 victory against Lincoln Park at Petersen Events Center. The score was tied late in the third quarter.

It was North Catholic's fourth WPIAL championship since 2009, but the first three were under coach Dave Long. This one came under Dave DeGregorio, in his second year as coach.

Isaac DeGregorio, a senior point guard and the coach's son, had 19 points, but 12 came from the free-throw line and he had only 9 points through three quarters. North Catholic (24-2), the No. 2 seed for the tournament, got 14 points from senior forward Jackson Paschall and 11 from senior forward Jake Tomer. DeGreogrio was key with playmaking and free-throw shooting, making 12 of 12, including 10 of 10 in the fourth quarter. He had only 14 a year ago when North Catholic lost to Lincoln Park, 62-50.

Defensively, North Catholic this time held Lincoln Park to its fourth-lowest offensive output of the season. Lincoln Park (21-5), the No. 1 seed, came in averaging 66 points, but had only 43 with two minutes left in the game.

"Our kids have really taken pride in playing defense this year," Dave DeGregorio said. "We give out a defensive player of the game every game. Our defense, we're able to turn you over in the full court, but not give up much at the back end."

Lincoln Park had 20 turnovers. Andre Wilder, a 6-foot-6 senior forward, scored 16 points, but he had only five after halftime. Senior forward Tanner Mathos had 12, but only two in the second half. Senior point guard Isaiah Smith, who averages 14 points, was held to 8 and had only one basket until the final 1:30.

"This year, our half-court defense has been crazy," Isaac DeGregorio said. …

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