The Ellwood City Wolverines erased two 21-point deficits in the first half Thursday night in their dramatic 55-51 comeback victory against Union Area in the opening game of their Neshannock Christmas tournament.
After trailing 22-3 as early as the first quarter and 29-8 midway thru the second quarter, the Wolverines gained their composure and slowly chipped away at the lead that melted to single digits in the third quarter. After a jolting 10-0 run to start the fourth quarter, the Wolverines took their first lead at 40-37 by way of a Broc Boariu 3-pointer.
The lead stretched to as many as nine points for Ellwood City before Union Area battled back to tie the game at 51 a piece with less than a minute in regulation before Sean Busby connected on a critical layup and Rick Pitrelli iced the game with two free throws for the Wolverines.
Anthony Roth scored a game high 16 points for Ellwood City with double-digit scoring help from Luca Botti (14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists) and Boariu who finished with two three-pointers and 10 points.
Also contributing for Lincoln were Rick Pitrelli (7 points, 8 rebounds, 1 steal), Sean Busby (6 points, 7 rebounds, team-high 4 assists), and Ryan Busby (2 points).
Boariu was a big defensive contributor as well, racking up eight rebounds, one steal and one block. Ellwood City finished the game with 38 rebounds (7 offensive / 31 defensive), two blocks and five steals.
Union Area forced 10 first quarter turnovers and used six 3-pointers to jump out to their early 1st quarter lead. Tre Charles led the Scotties with 16 points while Matt Costello connected on four 3-pointers in defeat. After the hot shooting start, Union Area cooled off and finished the game 10-42 from deep.
Ellwood City next plays Wilmington Area Friday night at 7:00pm in the championship game of the Neshannock Holiday Tournament.
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Lady Wolverines Fall To Red Hurricanes in New Castle Holiday Tournament Championship
The Ellwood City Lady Wolverines rallied late but could not overcome a double-digit 4th quarter defect in falling to New Castle 33-30 Thursday afternoon.
The Lady Wolverines used 17 steals to pressure their way back into the contest and were led offensively by Natalia Greco who finished with a team-high 12 points (4 rebounds, 5 steals). Maria Ioanilli finished with six rebounds (4 offensive) and 3 steals for Ellwood City.
The Lady Wolverines (3-6 overall) next travels for a non-conference game at Farrell (PA) on Tuesday, January 2 @ 7:30pm.