A complete defensive gem was seen at Sewickley Academy as Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic’s suffocating zone defense caused fits for Riverside all night long.
It was was a theme across the Class-3A quarterfinals as three of the four games combined to score no more than the 87 points in North Catholic’s 55-32 victory.
The 3-seeded Trojans never trailed in the game, led by as many as 29 points, and forced 21 Panther turnovers.
Kenny Fukon scored 21 for the Trojans, followed by eight a piece for Zach Offi and Vinnie DiNicola. DiNicola recorded a half dozen steals to lead the CWNC defense, which limited the deadly outside shooters of Riverside to only three 3s on the night.
Justin Baust led with 8 points for Riverside (16-8).
This was the first time since the 2007-2008 season Riverside boys basketball had made the WPIAL Quarterfinals. The Panthers can still advance to the PIAA playoffs if North Catholic advances to the WPIAL Championship Game.
The Trojans (19-5) will take on 2-seed Washington, who defeated Aliquippa in a stalemate 43-27 Thursday night, with a trip to the WPIAL Championship on the line. #1 seed Lincoln Park, 71-70 winners Thursday, will square off against 4-seeded Shady Side Academy, 40-37 winners Thursday, in the other WPIAL Class-3A semifinals. Both semifinal games are scheduled for Monday.
In upcoming girls action, the 8-seed Riverside Lady Panthers (18-5) will play the top seeded Bishop Canevin Crusaders (16-5) at North Hills High School on Saturday, February 25th at 12:00pm