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Baumann and Freeport

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Sto-Rox rolls over Freeport in quarterfinals


Rolling along

Jasmine Gehris/Tribune-Review


By Bill Beckner Jr.

Tribune-Review Media Service

Sunday, March 14, 2004



Both Sto-Rox and Freeport fell short of earning a trip to the Palumbo Center for the WPIAL finals, but they got there to play one another in Saturday's PIAA Class AA quarterfinals.

It is Sto-Rox that enjoyed the experience most, rolling to a 66-44 victory.


Sto-Rox (25-3) will play Beaver Falls (26-4), an 80-61 winner over Keystone yesterday, on Wednesday at a site and time to be determined.


"We love playing here," said Sto-Rox senior guard-forward John Geiger, who scored a game-high 18 points, 16 in the first half, including four 3-pointers. "Last year, we lost in the WPIAL final but came back in states. This year, we're doing the same thing. We know what to look for now."


Sto-Rox defeated Beaver Falls in last year's WPIAL semifinals before losing to Aliquippa in the finals and Camp Hill Trinity in the state title game.


Beaver Falls that stopped the Vikings short of the WPIAL title game this season, beating them, 50-46, in the district semifinals.


The playoff experience is paying dividends. Geiger, Davon Huger and Mike Harper, all seniors, combined to outscore the Yellowjackets (18-7). Huger had 15 points and Harper 13 and both altered shots by the smaller Yellowjackets on the defensive end.


The Vikings forced Freeport to all but abandon its 3-point shooting and attempt to penetrate against the 6-7 Huger and 6-4 Harper.


"We talked about not giving them any threes early," said Sto-Rox coach Bill Minear. "We've started fast and had some second-quarter lulls in the playoffs. But today, we played three pretty solid quarters."


Freeport made only 3 of 7 3-point attempts after making 9-of-19 in Wednesday's 85-70 win over Shenango.


"Huger did a great job influencing our shooting early," Freeport coach Garrie Davies said. "They're deceptive. You think they're bigger, so they're not going to keep pressuring you (outside). Huger gave us no where to go. We were playing east to west, and we try to force teams to play that way."


Geiger made 4 of 5 shots from behind the arc in the first half to spark the Vikings.


"John's too good a shooter to keep inside," Minear said. "He's our leading three-point shooter."


After allowing Freeport to hang around for a quarter and a half, the Vikings used a 10-0 run to take a 39-21 lead into halftime, then a 12-0 run to build a 29-point advantage after three quarters. The mercy rule and running clock were activated early in the fourth.


David Bauman, an Albany State recruit, led Freeport with 14 points. Chuck Chelecki added 11 and Brent Ferko, who was averaging 25 points per game in the playoffs, had 10.


Point guard Adam DiMichele, who was Sto-Rox's leading scorer with 14 points in a 58-53 win over Aliquippa Wednesday at Palumbo, had four points, but frustrated the Yellowjackets on defense.


"Sto-Rox is so poised, especially DiMichele," Davies said. "He saw the things we were going to do. He sees things coming."

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