The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Breaking News

High School Sports

March 2, 2014

Richland boys defeat Central for District 6-AA crown

LORETTO — Matt Shaffer certainly did his part to update the décor at the Richland High School Sports Center.

The 6-foot-2 Rams senior had a monster effort in Richland’s 59-43 victory over Central in the District 6 Class AA championship game at DeGol Arena on Saturday night.

Shaffer had 24 points, 12 rebounds, a blocked shot and a steal. Those numbers helped Richland earn its first district title in boys’ basketball since 1975. A banner commemorating the milestone soon will hang in the Rams’ gym.

“It feels good to be able to get redemption and put a banner up,” said Shaffer, who quarterbacked the Richland football team that lost to Central in the 6-AA title game in November. “I love every single one of these guys and we all love playing together. After all of those pick-up games and practices, it paid off and it feels good.”

District 6-AA top-seeded Richland (20-5) advances to play the District 7 sixth-place team on March 8. Central (17-8), which entered the tournament as 6-AA’s seventh seed, will face the WPIAL third-place squad.

“We were looking at the banners in the gymnasium,” Richland coach Greg Burke said. “It’s been since 1975. We had an opportunity to do something that hasn’t been done in a long, long time. The football team had the opportunity the last couple of years to do things that hadn’t been done in a long time. We wanted to take advantage of our opportunity.”

Richland’s football team won a 6-AA title in 2012 and advanced deep into the state playoffs.

Burke hopes the basketball team – which made its second 6-AA final appearance in four years

 – will start its own run.

The Rams broke open a tight game with the combination of Shaffer and 6-4 sophomore Ryan Ball  in the paint; the hot outside shooting of Aaron Miller and Jacob Lushko; and Kyle Flick’s role as a floor general.

“We told them we wanted to get the ball down low first and be able to kick out to our guards,” Burke said.

“When you get the basketball down to Matt Shaffer and Ryan Ball, and (Central) has to collapse in the lane, and you’ve got people like Aaron Miller and Jacob Lushko who can stand on the outside and shoot with anybody in this area, it’s pretty hard to defend.”

Miller hit four 3-pointers and scored 15 points. Lushko made three 3-pointers for nine points.

“All these years, Lushko and me, all we do is work on 3’s,” said Miller, a senior. “Shaffer worked really hard inside the hole. Ryan Ball is key in rebounding. Flick, he pushes the ball so well and finds everybody on the corners. He found me and Jake a lot in this game and we were pretty effective from the 3-point range.”

Richland’s defense held Central without a fourth-quarter point until Zach Slegenweit’s free throws at 4:10. Central only had two fourth-quarter field goals, both in the closing minutes.

“It was our whole game plan,” Shaffer said of the defense. “We owe it to coach, watching film. Obviously it’s a great team over there. Austin Cunningham is one of the best players on the court. We stuck together. We played as a team and it showed.”

Cunningham, the quarterback on the Scarlet Dragons’ football team, had 12 points. Slagenweit had 13.

“I think our defensive pressure showed, and our intensity and willingness to get up and down the court,” Burke said.

Richland led 12-7 after one quarter as all five starters had a field goal.

Shaffer worked the boards in the second quarter, grabbing six rebounds and scoring five of his seven first-half points. His conventional 3-point play with 43.6 seconds gave Richland an 11-point lead, 26-15, that stood at intermission.

“That was one of his best all year,” Burke said of Shaffer. “Day-in and day-out, from the first day of practice to today’s shoot-around, Matt is the hardest worker in practice. His strength and his ability to share the basketball is big. He gives it and he gets it back.”

The Rams led 38-25 after three quarters.

The final quarter, especially the last 3 minutes, resembled a NBA game. It took approximately 30 minutes to finish the stretch run due to timeouts and fouls by both teams.

Shaffer’s conventional three-point play gave the Rams a 22-point advantage, 47-25, with 4:29 remaining.

Central got within 11 points late in the game, but Richland never really was threatened.

“No words come to mind to describe this feeling. I’ve never had an experience like this before,” Miller said. “It was against Central-Martinsburg, the team that beat us in football. It was so rewarding to win it against them.”

Mike Mastovich is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/masty81.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
High School Sports
  • Blairsville pegged as team to beat

    As Heritage Conference football coaches assembled at United High School during Wednesday’s media day event at Thomas J. Madill Field, the near-consensus opinion is that Blairsville – under second-year coach Rick Artley – is going to be the team to beat once the season begins on Aug. 29.
    After the Bobcats, the forecasted picture gets a little foggier.

    July 30, 2014

  • coleman2 McCort pitcher wins May Award

    Bishop McCort High School’s Brad Coleman earned the May Point Stadium Award nomination based on his performance in a District 6 Class A playoff victory on May 22.
    Coleman pitched a seven-inning, complete game in a 7-2 win over Homer-Center in the 6-A semifinal round. With the win, McCort clinched its fourth consecutive state tournament playoff berth.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • maddison 4 Richland pole vaulter decides on Red Flash

    Maddison Feather has sailed to great heights throughout her scholastic career at Richland High School.
    Feather – a pole vaulter – takes away a District 6 title and an appearance in the PIAA championship meet from her senior season with the Rams.

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • mccort27 Area players get PHSBCA nods

    Brad Coleman and Alex Sobecky were part of an amazing four-year run by the Bishop McCort High School baseball team.
    Jack Shirk is an underclassman who stood out on a Richland squad that also has been one of the best in the LHAC in recent seasons.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • lantzy22 color Cory Isenberg | Big numbers posted all around in Lantzy game

    The South’s 48-18 victory over the North in Friday night’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game was an entertaining evening of football for the reported crowd of close to 4,500 at Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium.
    The point total for the Rebels equaled the output of the South squad in the 30th edition of the game but is behind the 51 scored by the Yankees in the 1992 contest and the 50 points tallied by the South in the 39th game.

    June 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • lantzy Local stars shine in Ken Lantzy Finest 40 game

    While the Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star Game brings football standouts from across the region to Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium, Friday night’s contest took on a distinct Richland flavor as the South toppled the North 48-18 in the 44th edition of the summer football contest.

    June 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • jerry Former coach honored for long service

    The venerable Jerry Page, former coach of Laurel Valley, always preached that football was so much more than just a game.
    Page, whose son Greg of Homer-Center was the North squad coach Friday at the 44th Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game, was honored prior to the start of the game.

    June 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • north20 North offense shows big gains during Lantzy practices

    As the North offense prepared for tonight’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game at Trojan Stadium on the campus of Greater Johnstown High School, tightening up issues with timing and terminology was at the top of the unit’s to-do list.
    If the North’s offense takes the field and operates with machine-like precision tonight, it can thank the intersquad scrimmage on Tuesday as the breakthrough point of the group’s progress during the week.

    June 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • soff Three quality quarterbacks bolster South’s chances in Lantzy Game

    The South squad has an impressive arsenal of offensive talent on hand for Friday’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star Game, set for 7 p.m. at Trojan Stadium.
    The Rebels have three skilled quarterbacks on the roster who have combined for nearly 5,000 yards passing and another 2,000 yards on the ground.

    June 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • South D.JPG South changes defense after last year’s loss

    After being thrashed 41-7 last year by the North, the South is hoping to rise again as it prepares for Friday’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star Game set for 7 p.m. at Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium.
    On defense, those plans will evolve around the change in defensive schemes that has been instituted with teams now required to run a 4-3.

    June 17, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you think pet obituaries should be included with death notices?

Yes, my pet is considered a member of the family.
No, pet obituaries are inappropriate.
Pet obituaries should be placed on a different page in the newspaper.
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads