Boys Varsity Basketball takes Second in Mars Tip Off

John Madeira, Staff Writer

The Seneca Valley boys’ varsity basketball team took second place in the 2012 edition of the Mars Tip-off Tournament over the weekend.

The tournament featured boys’ basketball teams from Shady Side Academy, Ford City, Mars area, and Seneca Valley.

The first game of the year for the Seneca squad came against Shady Side Academy and the Raiders rolled to an easy victory. The team was led by seniors Ryan McCauley and Easton Bazzoli on the offensive end.

The Raiders also played stifling defense, with point guard Matt Darby and center Alex Snyder forcing turnovers all night through steals and blocked shots.

With the victory over Shady Side Academy, Seneca earned a spot in the championship game against AAA power Mars Area, who had an easy win over Ford City the day before.

Co-Captain Easton Bazzoli said “We played a solid game against Shady Side and we did what we were supposed to do against them. We were confident going into the championship game against Mars and ready to get a win.”

The championship game was an entirely different story for the Raiders.

The Raiders never seemed to get going in the game, but kept it close at the half. The third quarter is when the Fightin’ Planets pulled away, as they stretched their lead to just over 20 points late in the quarter.

The Raiders began to mount a bit of a comeback late in the fourth quarter as they cut the deficit to just nine points, but the hole was too big to dig out of as they fell to the Fightin’ Planets and took home a second place finish.

Bazzoli said “We played an OK first half, but we knew we could have played a lot better so we were optimistic going into the second half. We let them go on a run and didn’t work hard enough on defense. The team knows now that we have to work harder on defense and go all out the entire game, and we are ready to bounce back strong.”