Monaca, Pa. - Although trailing by 14 within the first five minutes and eleven at the halftime break, the Penn State Greater Allegheny men's basketball team rallied back to get edged out by the Community College of Beaver County Titans, 88-80.
To start the first half, CCBC blew up to a 14-0 lead through the initial five minutes of action.
Senior guard Jashaun Fontanez (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown East) put up the first points with a layup before senior forward Tyler Burkhart (Morgantown, Pa./The Kiski School) mirrored him with a layup. Fontanez drained a three before sophomore point guard Denzel Boyer-London (Coatesville, Pa./Coatesville) and sophomore guard Khari Hicks (East Hills, Pa./Imani Christian Academy) dropped two points a piece, 23-11 CCBC.
Freshman forward Isaiah Fluker (Waldorf, Md./Thomas Stone) put up a layup and one to continue the GA scoring tally. Hicks was next to add two before Burkhart added a free-throw. Fontanez laid on a layup as sophomore forward Curtis Newby (Sharon, Pa./Sharon) placed a layup, 37-21.
Freshman guard Marcus Ball (Warsaw, Va./Rappahannock) slashed a pair of free-throws before freshman forward Scott Przybysz (Elderton, Pa./West Shamokin) and Hicks made successful layups. Fontanez drained a jumper before Newby added a free-throw, 44-30. Hicks closed the gap to 11 with a made trey, 44-33 to head into halftime.
Greater Allegheny came out hot in the second half, eager to close the gap. Hicks hammered down a three-pointer before freshman guard Jordon Payne (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) matched him with a three, closing the deficit to five. Hicks made a jumper as Payne rang another trey, tying the game at 44. Hicks and Payne both extend into the lead over CCBC with back-to-back jumpers. Newby and Fontanez both make layups before Fontanez downs a jumper, 54-50 GA just seven minutes into the second half.
Hicks and Newby add two points a piece while CCBC continued to battle back. Fontanez hacked down a three-pointer as Burkhart and Hicks both drain jumpshots. CCBC ties Greater Allegheny at 65 before the home team slowed down the Lion scoring drive. The Titans ballooned their lead to eight with six minutes left to play.
Fontanez made a layup before junior guard Moe Alli (Edison, N.J./Cardinal McCarrick) slashed both free-throws attempted. Newby made a layup before Fontanez contributed a layup and one, 80-74 home team with just three minutes to play. Newby added four points as Fontanez dropped a pair of free-throws, tying the game at 80.
CCBC went on to hold the Lions to their 80 points while inflating their score eight more tallies, ending the hard-fought battle at a 88-80 setback for the Greater Allegheny Lions.
Fontanez came off the bench and added 23 points with five rebounds, four assists and one steal while contributing nine buckets off the floor and 60% (3-for-5) from the free-throw line. Hicks added 20 points from nine shots from the floor while dishing out four assists and pulling down two boards. Newby added 13 points with eight rebounds, three steals and an assist. Burkhart pulled down nine rebounds while adding five points.
As a team, Greater Allegheny shot 66.7% (10-of-15) from the free-throw line while posting 28 points in the paint and 22 points off second-chance. The largest lead of the game came by the way of four points for GA as CCBC found themselves ahead of the visiting team by 18 points in the first half.
Greater Allegheny (0-5) will go on the road to the Southern State Basketball Classic for a pair of United States Collegiate Athletic Association match-ups. On Friday, GA looks to face Southern State at 8:30 p.m. On Saturday, the men look forward to playing Clark State.