by Malik Vincent
For New Pittsburgh Courier
Neither of the City’s second round or quarterfinal qualifiers was able to advance in the PIAA State Playoffs as Perry and Allderdice lost in AAA and AAAA, respectively.
Allderdice, the league champions, was knocked off by Butler on March 16 at North Allegheny High School.
Junior post player Ben Mickens led Allderdice (18-8) with 17 points. Senior Eric Mallinger closed out his high school basketball career with 10 points for the Dragons.
“Eric was able to make shots despite being fouled all game,” Allderdice coach Andre McDonald said. “He had a black eye and everything, and still wasn’t getting calls, himself. But he still played a great game and ended his career right. I still, personally, think we should have won that game.”
In a game that was tied at 21 at the half, they were the outscored 19-7 in the third quarter, which mainly put things out of reach for the Dragons, for what was essentially a home game, geographically, for the North-bordering Butler team.
Butler big man, Bobby Swartwout, proved to be too much for Allderdice’s smaller, leaner team.
The 6-foot-6, 270 pound senior led the Golden Tornadoes with a game-high 19 points.
“With a guy with that kind of size, it’s hard to do anything in the middle,” McDonald added. “(Swartwout) was too big for us to do anything with.”
Cody Herald and Nate Snodgrass also scored in double-figures for Butler with 15 and 12 points, respectively. When asked, McDonald mentioned that the possible merger of the City League and the WPIAL is a highly-discussed topic among his players and staff.
“We understand that we need to win games like this so that can gain more of what we need to be in the WPIAL,” he said. “It’s something that we talk about quite a bit. We understand, as we move forward that these are the types of games that we need to win.”
Also, after traveling to Slippery Rock University on March 15 and knocking off Franklin, 67-53 in the second round of the PIAA playoffs, Perry dropped it’s quarterfinal match against Montour last Friday at North Allegheny.
Despite Perry senior Greg McGhee putting up a game-high 26 points, the Spartans forced Perry (23-5) into too many turnovers (six in the final six minutes of the game).
“It was frustrating,” McGhee said. “We had never made it that far in State’s so we were unfamiliar with how things were going to go and I think that contributed to the way that we played.”
Fellow senior Marcus Smith added 14 for the Commodores.
Austin Heter led Montour with 15 points. Devin Wilson and Dillon Buechel rounded out their players in double-figures with 14 and 12 points, each. The Spartans were frustrated by Perry’s quickness in the early going. They forced nine takeaways in the first quarter. But they pulled ahead for good starting at the beginning of the fourth quarter, after leading 36-34 at the end of the third.
“A lot of people were disappointed,” McGhee added. “I was. It was my last-ever high school basketball game to lose, and was very upsetting to me and my teammates.”
(Malik Vincent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)