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Northern Tier West Sports Report
McSHERRYSTOWN, PA — North Penn-Mansfield used a big fourth quarter .. including 14 of Karson Dominick’s game-high 26 points .. and Brody Burleigh scored with 22 seconds left as the Tigers took their final lead and held on for a 68-65 win over Delone Catholic in the first round of the PIAA Class AAA Championships here Saturday.

In a tightly contested game that featured 18 ties .. including six in the final frame .. the last one came with just 56 seconds left, and was short-lived as the Squires hit a second free throw to take a 62-61 lead. 

With 28 seconds left, the Tigers had the ball under their basket, but used a timeout to avoid a violation. It was a well-spent T.O. by Coach Kipper Burleigh, as son Brody inbounded the ball and, after getting the ball back in the high post, drove to his left and finished, with a foul.

“After we couldn’t get the ball in, Coach drew that play up on the spot,” said junior Dominick after the game, “It worked perfectly. It was a big swing.”

With Burleigh’s good free throw, the Tigers took a 64-62 lead and used four free throws from Dominick to negate a late Delone Catholic three and claim the State Playoff win.

“This has been an amazing experience for our team,” said Dominick. “It’s the first state game our group of guys have won.”

A scoreless third quarter for Dominick saw sophomore Alex Davis add seven of his 23 total points in the frame, but it wouldn’t be enough to keep DC from turning a two-point deficit into a two-point lead, using three of their 12 three pointers in the game to go up 47-45.

After a Squire free throw, Davis would tie it up for the first of six times in the quarter with an ‘and-1’ with 6:42 left. A DC basket and a Dominick score off a nice feed from Sammy Lawrence left the score knotted at 50.

A pair of Delone Catholic threes sandwiched around a Dominick three left the Squires up 56-53 with 4:31 left, before Davis completed the ‘old fashioned’ three-point play to tie it at 56 with 4:13 remaining.

Delone went up two with a pair of free throws, and Dominick gave the Tigers back the lead with a three at 59-58. The Squires again were good on two free throws, and Dominick again gave NPM back a lead, hitting a runner to put the Tigers up 61-60. 

Two more Delone Catholic free throws would set up Coach Burleigh’s play call and Brody Burleigh and the rest of the Tigers’ execution of the call to get the basket, and the win.

Burleigh would join Dominick and Davis in double figures with 11 points, while Cooper Shaw added five points and Lawrence had three points.

Davis came out of the gate aggressive and after Dominick started the game off with his only points of the quarter, Davis would score the last five Tiger points in the 13-12 Delone Catholic first. Davis continued his run into the second quarter, hitting a jumper and a free throw to tie the game at 15.

Following a Squire three, Dominick hit a runner and after another DC basket, Burleigh finished, got the ‘and-1’ call on a nice behind-the-back feed from Andrew Green and tied the game at 20 with the free throw.

Dominick hit a three before DC went on a 5-0 run, followed by a Dominick follow on his own miss and another three to give the Tigers a 28-25 lead with 1:25 left in the half. The Squires scored a two point and a three point basket and Davis scored to again tie the score, 30-all.

Lawrence would find Shaw inside before the halftime buzzer, giving the Tigers a 32-30 lead going into the locker rooms and closing out a first half that saw nine ties and no lead over three points by either team.

North Penn-Mansfield, now 25-3 on the season, advances to the Class 3A State Sweet Sixteen with the win. 

“I’m excited for the next round with this team”, says Dominick. “We’re like a family and play so well together.  It feels great to still be playing.”

The Tigers will play District 11 champ Executive Education (21-4) on Wednesday at a location yet to be announced.


PHOTOS: Lance Larcom

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