JOHNSTOWN >> Southern Fulton's boys basketball team knew what to expect Friday night, and Vincentian Academy didn't disappoint.
The Lions pressed from start to finish and used a 12-man rotation to wear the Indians down in a 71-48 victory in the first round of the PIAA Class A Tournament at the University of Pitt-Johnstown.
"We knew what we were in for," Southern Fulton coach Kent Hendershot said. "We knew the press was coming, but we just didn't execute."
Southern Fulton, which ends its season with a 24-3 record, turned the ball over 25 times and were never able to get in an offensive rhythm.
Vincentian coach George Yokitis said, "That's what we do. We press from start to finish and try to get teams out of their game. I thought we played very well today, and Southern Fulton maybe didn't play as well as normal. But I don't think they see teams like us (that press) very often."
The Indians weathered the Lion storm early and went into halftime trailing 32-27. The Indians scored the first bucket of the second half to cut the deficit to three, but Vincentian (17-9) forced three straight turnovers and went on a 9-1 run to go up by 11. The Lions then went on a 10-0 run to start the fourth quarter to go up 64-41 and put the game away for good.
"We just didn't play well in the second half," said Southern Fulton guard Dylan Gordon, who finished with 13 points and seven rebounds. "We turned the ball over too many times, and things just really seemed to snowball."
Trent Rider led the Indians with 16 points behind four 3-pointers, and Connor Litton recorded a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds, but the rest of the team combined to score just six points. The Lions had nine players score, including a game-high 22 points from Ryan Wolf.
"We have several good guards," Yokitis said. "We were able to spread them out and really take advantage of that in the second half."
Throughout the second half, and especially in the fourth quarter, Vincentian emptied the paint and let its guards go to work. Jamison Nee led the charge, scoring all 14 of his points in the second half, and Wolf also added 12 points. Most of those points came from layups off dribble penetration.
Litton said, "I think fatigue was the biggest problem for us in the second half. They were running 12 guys in and out, and we really only have seven guys. It was tough."
"We needed to slow the game down, and we didn't do that," Hendershot said. "We needed to force them to play our game, but instead we played theirs."
NOTES >> The Lions scored at least 16 points in each quarter, including 22 in the third ... The Indians never scored more than 15 ... SF shot just 17 of 55 (31 percent) from the floor, while Vincentian made 28-for-67 (41.7), despite shooting just 4 of 24 from beyond the arc ... Southern Fulton's only lead of the game came on the first bucket of the second quarter to go up 17-16 ... Vincentian Academy will face Clarion-Limestone in the second round.
Ryan Wolf 8-16 5-6 22, Jamison Nee 5-11 2-2 14, Jay Cortese 4-11 0-0 8, Jack Monahan 2-3 2-2 6, Ian Taylor 3-6 0-0 6, Greg Kaniecki 2-5 1-1 5, Zach McDonough 2-6 0-0 5, David Jen 2-5 0-0 4, Colin Nettleton 0-0 1-3 1, Evin Fitzgerald 0-2 0-0 0, Conner Kreutzer 0-2 0-0 0.
Totals — 28-67 11-14 71.
SOUTHERN FULTON (48)
Trent Rider 6-14 0-0 16, Connor Litton 4-17 5-8 13, Dylan Gordon 4-11 4-4 13, Dristin Mellott 1-4 0-0 2, Zach Clark 0-3 0-0 0, Owen Hawkins 2-4 0-0 4, Carl Potter 0-2 0-0 0, Chase Varner 0-1 0-0 0, Austin Schriever 0 0-0 0, Branden Lynch 0 0-0 0, Mitchell Potter 0 0-0 0.
Totals — 17-55 9-12 48.
3-point goals — VA 4-24 (Nee 2, Wolf, McDonough), SF 5-19 (Rider 4, Gordon).