HENRY'S SHOT LIFTS SOUTH FAYETTE TO PIAA TITLE
Mike Lamberti (24) takes a shot against
Devonte Newbill - By Paul Burdick
By Chris Rossetti
STATE COLLEGE – Tyler Henry was in the right place at the right time picking up an offensive rebound off a missed shot by teammate Mike Lamberti and sticking a 5-foot jumper with 29 seconds left to give South Fayette its first state title with a 49-47 win over Philadelphia’s Strawberry Mansion Saturday afternoon at Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center.
“The players thought they had a chance if nobody else did,” South Fayette head coach Rich Bonnaure said. “You don’t come out of District 7 AA without playing a lot of good teams, maybe not as good as (Strawberry Mansion) but pretty darn close. I’m not taking anything away from them, but we’ve played very quick teams, we’ve played good executing teams.”
The game was close throughout with 13 ties and nine lead changes including four ties and two lead changes in the fourth quarter alone.
Strawberry Mansion (28-2) took its first lead since late in the third quarter on a Saadiq Berry layup with 2:09 left that ended a 6-0 run giving the Knights a 45-43 lead.
But South Fayette (24-5) tied the game on two Patrick Zedreck free throws with 2:03 left and then took the lead at 47-45 on a pair of Lamberti charity shots before Strawberry Mansion retied the contest on a jumper by Devonte Newbill with 37 seconds left.
Lamberti then pushed the issue down court before missing a layup with a couple of players around him. The rebound, though, came to Henry who stuck the put back for the lead.
“When the ball bounced off the rim, I thought it would go to him,” Bonnaure said. “He’s a good offensive player. He has a good mid-range game.”
Strawberry Mansion, which has lost in the state title game in two of the last three years, called timeout with 10 seconds left trying to set up a game-tying or game-winning play and did get a decent look from Khalil Meadows as time wound down. But his shot was off, and Josh Patterson rebounded for South Fayette as the clock ran out.
“If he hit it, I guess we go to overtime,” Bonnaure said. “I didn’t want to give up an open three. We knew it would probably come down to a rebound, and when it was in the air I saw a lot of white shirts going to the rim.”
Lamberti led South Fayette with 13 points with Zedreck adding 11.
Newbill was the only Knight in double digitd with 10 points, while Jamal Jones had 15 rebounds.