On night historic senior class is honored, OLSH pulls away late for tough win over South Park
A historic Our Lady of Sacred Heart (15-4, 5-2) senior class was honored on Friday as their team defeated South Park (6-11, 2-6) on senior night, 57-49. The current class of seniors have won the last three WPIAL AA titles and last two state championships.
“We’re going to miss those guys,” said Our Lady of Sacred Heart head coach Mike Rodriguez, who then proceeded to name each senior. “Once you start mentioning them, you have to mention them all because they’re such a big part of our program.”
Our Lady of Sacred Heart scored the first point, but the game’s first run was by South Park. The visiting team jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the game’s first four minutes before Rocco Spadafora hit back-to-back three-pointers in a one-minute span to give Our Lady of Sacred Heart a 7-5 lead.
With South Park having success finding shots on the inside, they’d go on a 7-0 run primarily feeding big men Jack Ozimeck and Luke Scarff. At the end of the quarter the team that appeared in the last seven WPIAL AA title games was trailing 12-9.
“It was definitely hard to drive through their defense,” said Spadafora, “so I tried to stick with the three and keep shooting.”
Spadafora scored to start the second quarter and bring Our Lady of Sacred Heart within a point. He had scored eight of his team’s first 11 points. A layup by Dereon Greer gave them the lead at 13-12 with a little over 6:30 left in the half.
The two teams continued to trade leads in the second quarter. Overall there were seven lead changes in the first half and the game’s largest lead was just five points accomplished by both teams.
Our Lady of Sacred Heart did get the lead back for the final time of the half after going on a 6-0 run to make the score 19-14. Both teams would each make one more basket and they’d go into halftime with the score at 21-17 in favor of Our Lady of Sacred Heart.
Our Lady of Sacred hit a pair of three-pointers to start the second half that gave them the game’s first double-digit lead at 27-17. At this point they were on a 14-3 run since being down 14-13 midway through the second quarter.
A 7-0 run, including a five-point stretch in which Our Lady of Sacred Heart didn’t possess the ball offensively due to a pair of defensive fouls, brought South Park back within a basket at 27-24.
The program that’s won five consecutive section titles though didn’t buckle and lose the lead. They’d control the quarter from then on with a three-pointer by BJ Vaughn as the clock expired in the quarter giving them another double-digit lead at 42-32 heading into the final quarter.
South Park would gain momentum in the fourth quarter but anytime they appeared to be on the verge of breaking through, Our Lady of Sacred Heart would respond with a basket. Ultimately, they kept it close but never pulled back within one score and fell 57-49.
Spadafora and Vaughn were the game’s leading scorers with 17 points each. They were joined in the double-digit club by South Park’s Scarff, Tyler Susan and Harper Conroy.
The seven man senior class for Our Lady of Sacred Heart - Spadafora, Vaughn, Gianni Messner, Austin Hansen, Rocco Caldonato, Garret Zug and Bryson Kirschner - currently sits with a four-year record of 78-5 overall and 38-2 in section play. An incredible stretch that includes three section and WPIAL titles as well as two state championships.
Spadafora, who denied feeling emotional tonight, but suggested that’d happen when the season ends, is still looking forward to what else this class can accomplish together.
“I want to end off with WPIAL and state championships,” said Spadafora. “So we’re going to try as hard as we can, and everything in my power to get that.”
Our Lady of Sacred Heart has two more games left in their regular season. The next is a non-section game on the road against Seton LaSalle on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. They finish their season against section opponent Keystone Oaks at home next Friday at 7:30 p.m.
This article originally appeared on USATNetwork: On night historic senior class is honored, OLSH pulls away late for tough win over South Park