Shenango falls to Ridgway in state playoffs

Shenango High's Colin McQuiston dribbles the ball down the court against Ridgway on Saturday in a PIAA Class 2A playoff matchup.

CLARION — The Shenango High boys basketball team came up short Saturday.

The Wildcats were outscored by 13 points over the final six minutes in a 57-49 PIAA Class 2A playoff matchup at Clarion University’s Tippin Gymnasium.

Shenango finishes the season at 19-7.

“We had a successful year,” Wildcats coach Bob McQuiston said. “You always want to do better, though.

“We would like to have won a couple of games in the state playoffs; it was bittersweet. But I’m happy with what we accomplished this year.”

Case Butchelle put Shenango up 46-41 on a 3-pointer two minutes into the fourth quarter. From there, the Elkers outscored the Wildcats, 16-3 to secure the win.

Ridgway (20-7) will play Farrell in the second round Wednesday.

The teams were tied at 40 going to the fourth quarter. The Elkers scored 11 of their 17 fourth-quarter points from the foul line. They were 11 of 16 from the charity stripe in the last eight minutes.

“Give them credit, they made their foul shots at the end,” McQuiston said.

Colin McQuiston, the coach’s son, led all scorers with 21 points. He netted 11 of his tallies in the final frame. Butchelle was next with 11 markers.

Matt Dush and Dan Park scored 19 points each to lead Ridgway.

“My hat is off to their team,” Bob McQuiston said. “They are a very fundamental basketball team. They don’t take bad shots and they don’t get out of position.

“We knew going in they would try to slow it down. We wanted to speed it up. I thought they did a good job of not turning it over. I thought they were prepared for us and we were prepared for them. Our kids played hard; it was a good game.”

The Elkers held a 28-22 lead at the half.

Shenango loses Tyler Barker, Jonah Dess, Brady Hilton, Jason Kraner and Colin McQuiston to graduation. Colin McQuiston finished his career with 1,425 points. Colin averaged around 19 points a game this year and seven or eight assists per contest.

“Colin was a four-year starter,” Bob McQuiston said. “We never had to worry too much the last four years. We didn’t have to worry about pressure or getting into a set. This game was a tough one for me, it was our last one together.

“With Jason, we lose a good athlete. He averaged 13 points per game and he has athleticism. It will be tough to replace those two. I don’t know if you do replace them. We do have four veterans coming back, so we have some pieces to the puzzle coming back.”

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