SHARON — Lakeview seniors Dalton Boggs and Casey Greggs typically garner all the postgame publicity when the Sailors win.
Not so Wednesday evening when junior defensive specialist Zach VanDusen took his turn leading the Sailors to victory when his Sailors (23-4) ‘upset’ the state’s No. 3 team Greensburg Central Catholic (23-3) 49-41 in the PIAA Sweet 16 at Sharon High School.
“Survive and advance,” an elated Sailor coach Gary Burke said. “That’s what we talked about on the bus ride over here. Just heart and grit. I could not be more excited for these kids.”
With the win, Lakeview will get another crack at the state’s top ranked team Beaver Falls — a 53-39 winner over Mercyhurst Prep — Saturday at a site and time to be determined.
“Bring em on,” senior Coty Gander said. “We have to get in the gym and work hard. We’ll have to put a couple extra JV players on the floor to play 5-on-8 or 9 to get ready. We’ll go from there.”
VanDusen limited Zach Herman, who averages 20.7 points a game, to just 9 points, and just 2 in the second half.
Meanwhile, Greggs used his 6-6 length to limit Brian Graytok to 21 points, but many came in transition without Greggs sticking him.
“Our half-court defense was the best I’ve seen it in my 13 years here at Lakeview,” Burke said. “That was the best defensive effort on two kids that together put up 40. Tonight, they put up (as a team) 41. Zach had no help on Herman. He wasn’t allowed to leave Herman at any time. What a tremendous effort on Graytok (by Greggs). He scored most of those in transition. Those kind of things are out of Casey’s hands.
“The other players on the floor knew they had to be in the gaps and stop all penetration. We knew if we stopped their penetration that they’d have a tough time scoring and that’s what happened.”
The game was nip and tuck the entire way with neither team leading by more than final 8-point advantage and featured 10 ties and 13 lead changes.
The Sailors raced out to an early 10-4 lead on the strength of an 8-0 run, but the Centurions battled back to trail 10-9 at the end of one.
The second quarter was all GCC.
The Centurions sank 6-of-10 from the field, while the Sailors made just 2 field goals as Greensburg Central Catholic entered the break with a 22-18 lead.
Lakeview rebounded in the third quarter to knot the score at 32-all before taking control in the fourth quarter behind balanced scoring from Boggs, Greggs, Gander and Brandon Rice.
“Our kids have had a quiet confidence,” Burke said. “They weren’t overzealous and weren’t jumping out of their skin. It was a controlled mentally taxing two practices. At this point in the season, our kids know what to do. They just need to know what to do to change our game.”
The Sailors got a balanced scoring sheet from Coty Gander (15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals), Casey Greggs (14 points, 7 assists, 3 steals and a block), Dalton Boggs (11 points 4 rebounds, 3 assists) and Brandon Rice (6 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists).
“Our kids just don’t give up,” Burke said. “We played a tremendous game as a team. Casey said he didn’t want the season to end and when Casey Greggs says that he’ll do things to make sure it doesn’t end. I couldn’t be happier for these kids.”
Notes: The Sailors handed out 14 assists on 19 field goals and committed just 9 turnovers, while outrebounding the Centurions 36-29. ... Lakeview didn’t make a three-pointer all night, missing all 7 attempts. ... GCC went 15-of-41 from the field, 9-of-14 from the line and just 2-of-18 from downtown. ... Lakeview made 19-of-41 of their field goals and 11-of-18 from the charity stripe.
PIAA CLASS AA PLAYOFFS
LAKEVIEW 10 8 14 17 49
GREENSBURG 9 13 10 9 41
LAKEVIEW — Boggs 5-1-3-11, Greggs 5-4-4-14, Gander 5-5-6-15, B. Rice 3-1-4-7, VanDusen 1-0-1-2, A. Rice 0-0-0-0, Bigley 0-0-0-0, Fowler 0-0-0-0, Doddo 0-0-0-0, J. Drozynski 0-0-0-0. Totals: 19-11-18-49.
GREENSBURG CENTRAL CATHOLIC — Graytok 9-2-4-21. Herman 3-3-3-9, Swann 1-0-0-2, Hyand 0-1-2-1, Bisignani 1-3-4-5, Marshall 1-0-1-2, Sebastiani 0-0-0-0, Guiser 0-0-0-0; 3-pt. goals: Graytok, Herman. Totals: 15-9-14-41.