ROBINSON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Central Valley was hoping the third time was the charm.
Instead, Montour had three of a kind.
The Spartans beat the Warriors for a third time this season on Monday, defending their home gym with a 57-49 victory, sweeping Central Valley and earning a spot in the WPIAL Class-4A semifinal.
“We’ve played them three times and every time it’s been close” Montour coach Bill Minear said. “We’ll get a chance to put them away, we don’t capitalize and then they make a big shot or steal.”
But it sure wasn’t easy. Central Valley made Montour stubborn with their zone defense and the visitors trailed by just three after three quarters. In the fourth, Montour went up by 11, but the Warriors went to a full-court press and hit some timely 3-pointers to keep it close until the final whistle.
“Both games we’d be up by a bit, but then they’d close the gap,” Minear said. “Brandon Ambrose is a great coach; he does a great job.”
Both teams shot 51% from the field but Montour just had more possessions and took it away late.
Central Valley’s Jayvin Thompson threw up a half-court shot off the boards and in, beating the buzzer at the end of the first quarter. The Warriors were off to a good start going up 16-12. The game stayed tight, as the Warriors stayed ahead 26-24 at half.
“In our section you can’t take anyone lightly”, Brandon Graham of Central Valley said.
In the second half, Isayh Mosely began to make some shots in the paint as Montour took the lead.
“We felt like we had a good matchup for him. We went to him in their zone,” Minear said. “He took advantage of it.”
Finally, the Spartans had their first lead at the end of quarter specifically, going up 38-35. And, at one point in the fourth going up by 11 points. But the Warriors wouldn’t go down without a fight.
Montour’s Vason Stevenson finished with 14 points including eight free throws. Mosley finished with 21 points and five boards.
No. 3 Montour (14-7) now advances to the semifinal against No. 2 Lincoln Park. The showdown of Section 2 in Class-4A will be played at Lincoln Park on March 11. The winner goes to the WPIAL Final.