BC knocked out in final seconds

GREENSBURG — It was a brutal way to end an otherwise splendid boys basketball season.

So tough for Bishop Carroll’s players and coaches, in fact, that the Huskies took quite a long time afterward to realize the stunning outcome of their one-point PIAA Class 1A second-round loss to Monessen on Tuesday night at Greensburg Salem High School.

Freshman Devin Whitlock’s driving layup in traffic with 12 seconds left lifted WPIAL fourth-place finisher Monessen to a 63-62 victory over District 6 runner-up Bishop Carroll, sending the Greyhounds to the quarterfinals Friday against WPIAL champion Nazareth Prep at the site to be determined.

Whitlock, a 5-foot-7 guard who also was the starting quarterback for the Monessen football team, played fearless, continually getting inside the Bishop Carroll defense. He was 6-for-8 from the free-throw line.

“Devin, from the first day we saw him, showed he’s a fearless kid,” first-year Monessen coach Dan Bosnic said. “He just continues to attack you. He fought through foul trouble and showed great competitiveness.”

Finally, for Bishop Carroll, after a long period of near-silence, the Huskies picked up their belongings and slowly prepared to return home.

“It’s tough to take,” Bishop Carroll senior guard Tristan McDannell said, barely audible to his listeners.

BC coach Cosie Aliquo sat alone in a corner of the team’s quiet locker room, the shock of the outcome apparently too much for him to discuss.

“We were up — by a lot — and they fought back,” said McDannell, whose potential game-winning layup with 4 seconds left rolled off the rim. “We got in foul trouble, a couple crucial turnovers, and that was that.”

McDannell returned from a leg injury he suffered in the District 6 championship game to score 22 points in BC’s PIAA opening-round victory against North Clarion.

Against Monessen, he led the Huskies with 20 points. Nolan Burk added 19 for Bishop Carroll (20-6).

Bishop Carroll led Monessen (17-9) for nearly the entire game. But the Greyhounds rallied from a 29-23 halftime deficit to overtake the Huskies late.

“Our kids showed great heart and really battled,” Bosnic said. “We were fortunate enough to get a score there at the end that was the difference in the game.”

Monessen took its first lead of the game at 61-60 with 53 seconds left on two free throws by Dishon Howell, who scored 15 points.

Carson Ertter’s two free throws pushed Bishop Carroll back in front, 62-61, setting the stage for the furious finish.

The loss doesn’t erase another stellar season for Bishop Carroll, which was playing in the PIAA second round for the fifth time in seven years. The Huskies handed Monessen a loss in the 2014 state playoffs.

“A 20-win season. You can’t ask for much more than that,” McDannell said, still speaking barely above a whisper. “It’s a great effort by all of us. The chips just didn’t fall this year.”

Darnel Howell added 12 points for Monessen, which outscored Bishop Carroll in the second half, 40-33.

“Bishop Carroll did a great job, offensively,” Bosnic said. “They attacked us off the dribble, and McDannell is a good finisher. They hurt us inside in the first half, but we cleaned it up. Our pressure really picked up and and they didn’t get those second opportunities late in the game.”

MONESSEN (63): Whitlock 8 6-8 23, Payne 1 0-0 2, Dar. Howell 6 0-1 12, DaW. Howell 1 1-3 3, Lowe 0 0-0 0, Di. Howell 6 2-2 15, Smith 0 4-6 4, Tucker 2 0-0 4. Totals — 24 13-20 63.

BISHOP CARROLL (62): Ertter 2 5-6 9, Karlheim 1 3-5 5, McDannell 8 1-2 20, Burk 9 1-2 19, Semelsberger 3 0-0 9, Dobroski 0 0-0 0, Gottshall 0 0-0 0. Totals — 23 10-15 62.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Monessen 11 12 20 20–63

Bishop Carroll 15 14 20 13–62

3-point goals: Monessen 2 (Whitlock, Di. Howell); Bishop Carroll 6 (McDannell 3, Semelsberger 3).

Records: Monessen (17-9); Bishop Carroll (20-6).

Officials: Dom DeFrancis, Art Woods, Don Pettigrew.

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