Quaker Valley boys end Knoch’s 11-game winning streak
Two lengthy dry spells and a rebounding advantage for Quaker Valley spelled doom for Knoch’s 11-game winning streak.
The Knights, No. 5 in this week’s Trib HSSN Class 4A rankings, fell to the No. 2 Quakers, 68-53, on Saturday afternoon in the Pittsburgh Basketball Club showcase at Montour.
Knoch was held scoreless for four minutes in the first half and 4:50 in the second half to end the program’s longest winning streak in 16 seasons.
The Knights (13-4) could only muster two rebounds in the first quarter, and Quaker Valley dominated the boards overall, 14-7, in the first half.
“I thought we really did a good job defensively today,” Quakers coach Mike Mastroianni said. “We emphasized how they’re a really good-shooting team. They usually have four guys on the floor who can shoot.”
Knoch, which clinched a WPIAL playoff berth Friday, got a look at what a future postseason challenge might look like. The Quakers (13-2) were last year’s WPIAL runner-up.
“I think this opened some of our kids’ eyes,” Knights coach Ron McNabb said. “We have some work to do, but I like the way we competed. We were down a lot, but we didn’t quit.”
Quaker Valley led 10-8 with 3:26 left in the first quarter before going on an 11-0 run.
The Quakers then held the Knights scoreless for the final 4:36 of the third period.
Ryan Stowers led Quaker Valley with 27 points — 18 in the first half. The senior swingman, averaging 24.5 points, collected 10 rebounds.
Quaker Valley had a 57-29 advantage at the end of three quarters before the Knights finally found their shooting touch, cutting the deficit to 14 with 2:47 to go.
Jared Schrecengost scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, and freshman Ryan Lang hit a trio of 3-pointers late.
“I thought their offense got a little stagnant early, then they got some flow in the second half and were making their shots,” Mastroianni said. “I thought we did a good job defending, then getting back into help. I thought that was the key to the game.”
“We got good looks early on. We just couldn’t make them,” McNabb said.
Scott Frazer, the Alle-Kiski Valley’s third-leading scorer at 19 points per game, had 14.
Despite Quaker Valley’s domination, both coaches were happy to play what could be a prelude to another meeting in the playoffs next month.
“It gives you idea what other teams are like since you’re locked into your section,” Mastroianni said. “Knoch’s like a high-level playoff team, so you can good a good test.”
Said McNabb: “We wanted to see how we matched up with them. They’re actually ranked in the state. I wanted to let our players see what it takes to get to that next level.”
It was the first game between the schools since 1991.
George Guido is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact George at .