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ARCHBISHOP WOOD DEFEATS MECHANICSBURG AND ADVANCES by: James Nelson Stewart

ARCHBISHOP WOOD DEFEATS MECHANICSBURG AND ADVANCES TO RD. 3 by: James Nelson Stewart

Archbishop Wood Vs Mechanicsburg (3/16/17) PIAA CLASS 5A Rd. 2

In a classic David (Mechanicsburg) vs Goliath (Wood) matchup, David came in with no fear and they hit Goliath with a few rocks as they jumped out to a 11-6 lead.  Then Goliath struck back and struck fast and furious, closing the 1st quarter on a 21-4 run.  In typical Wood fashion, Collin Gillespie started the run but was not the only player to contribute during this run.  Cerutti, Pickron and Funk hit threes and Wallace came off the bench contributing rebounds and layups.  The run could have been more if Wood could have converted on their free throws as they missed 5 of their first 6 tries.  Archbishop Wood, think High School’s version of the Golden State Warriors, are a very unselfish group whose players sacrifice personal stats for the greater good of TEAM. The prohibitive 5A favorites have a great interior defensive presence in 6-10 (still growing) Seth Pinckney, who blocked 5 shots but altered a dozen more.  Local college coaches Fran Dunphy (Temple) and Dr. John Giannini (LaSalle) were in the house no doubt looking at this big man prospect.  But the leader of this group is Collin Gillespie (Villanova Commit), who led Wood with 24 points in 3 quarters, as the starters for Wood sat the 4th quarter with the game well in hand.  Wood is the best team in PA still playing regardless of classification.  Coach John Mosco has this team ready to make history.

What makes RAW Sports different is that we cover the game from the fans perspective also.  I would be remiss in not mentioning Mechanicsburg’s incredible effort that earned them a fan in this writer.  Even though they were outmanned at probably every position, they did not make it easy for Wood.  Sometimes I think we overstate effort but not in this case.  These young men left it on the floor.  They would literally run through the wall for each other as #10 Austin Laudenslager did run into the wall trying to save the ball for Mechanicsburg with them down by over 25 points at the time.  #20 Cole Alioth, Wheaton College Recruit, played extremely hard and extremely well with 23 points and 13 rebounds plus a handful of steals.  But like one parent told me after the game, this team brought their community together with how they played.  And the fans cheered as hard when they were up 11-6 to when they were down by more than 30 points.  This is the essence of High School basketball in Pennsylvania and Mechanicsburg’s fans were incredible and I wish them luck in the future.  I told J Troutman, a Junior soccer player at Mechanicsburg, that I would mention him as he said he enjoyed what Raw Sports is doing for Pennsylvania’s athletes.  So let’s make sure we check him out next year as he strives for greatness.