The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

High School Sports

February 19, 2014

Conemaugh Township holds off Tussey Mountain in AA

DAVIDSVILLE — A hot start for the Conemaugh Township Indians translated to a playoff victory as the Indians topped Tussey Mountain 67-56 Wednesday night in a District 5 Class AA boys quarterfinal at Conemaugh Township Area High School.   

With the victory, Conemaugh Township (18-5) faces Southern Fulton on Friday night. The Titans finish the season at 12-9.

The Indians started the first quarter hot, racking up a whopping 21-5 edge in first-quarter scoring to stake a commanding lead. Mistakes and facing Conemaugh Township’s full-court press led to the Titans’ early troubles.

The Titans finally found leverage in the second quarter as the Indians ran into foul trouble.

Tussey Mountain took advantage of the free throws and scored a total of 22 points in the second quarter, including two 3-pointers by Parker Cornelius, which brought the Titans within 11 points of Conemaugh Township at the end of the first half.

“We let them hang around by putting them at the line,” Conemaugh Township coach Chuck Lesko said. “They probably had about 13-15 points from the free-throw line.

“That could have been playoff jitters with this group and hopefully they learn from it and move on. This is a good group of kids and hopefully they’re smart enough to learn a good lesson.”

Despite the foul trouble, Conemaugh Townships’s Jake Formica was a huge driving force for the Indians’ offense, scoring a total of 11 points in the first half off of four field goals and three free throws.

Much of the same play went on in the second half of the game; Tussey Mountain marked time with the Indians through the third, trailing 50-37 after three.

The fourth quarter became intense between the two teams, with the Titans looking for a late comeback. Tussey Mountain’s Luke Zelanko scored big for his team in the fourth with seven points, while Conemaugh Township’s Jeff Callihan scored eight.

The Titans outscored the Indians 19-17 in the final quarter.

“District 5 playoffs, when you get into things, especially against Tussey Mountain and (Dave) Bailey,” Lesko said. “It’s going to be tough every night. We knew it was going to be tough and thank God that the kids hung around and got a victory.”

 

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