Raiders Get Bounced in First Round of PIAA Playoffs

Raiders Get Bounced in First Round of PIAA Playoffs

John Madeira, Staff Writer

Seneca Valley boys’ varsity basketball’s season ended with a loss in the first round of the PIAA state playoffs.

The Raiders qualified for the PIAA playoffs after a loss in to section rival New Castle in the WPIAL semi-finals.

After a fourth place finish in the historically tough AAAA section 3, the Raiders found themselves with a 12 seed and a rough road ahead if they wanted to take home the WPIAL gold. The first round set up a date with Central Catholic, and the Raiders routed them and moved onto the next round.

The next round the Raiders earned a date with Upper St. Clair, and took care of business there too.

After two wins, the Raiders found themselves in unfamiliar territory against a familiar opponent. In the WPIAL semi-finals, the Raiders suffered their third loss to eventual WPIAL champion New Castle.

Despite the loss, the Raiders had their sights set on the state playoffs, and had a first round match-up with Erie Cathedral Prep.

Senior captain Easton Bazzoli said “The mindset [going into the state playoffs] was that we were going to go in and give it our all and come out with a win.”

The Raiders were led by Bazzoli’s 17 points and Snyder’s 11 points, but still came up short suffering a 79-54 loss.

Bazzoli said “The toughest part for me was noticing towards the end of the game that my high school career was coming to an end. After I did realize that, we still had a great season though.”

Next year, the Raiders will have some big shoes to fill.

Four starters in seniors RJ McCauley, Easton Bazzoli, Zach Spangler, and Alex Snyder will be graduating and going off to college, along with bench players Eric Woods and Dan Cashdollar.

Bazzoli said “I think the team next year will still be a very good team. A lot of the younger players showed a lot of potential and ability this year and I think they will make another big run next year if they just work hard.”

The team will be led next year by the guard play of Matt Darby and TJ Holl.

Holl said that “we will have to have to have our younger kids step up. Our senior class will be solid but with all the current seniors leaving, a lot of guys will need to fill those roles.”

Bazzoli will be continuing his career in college at Cedarville University; a division II school located in Cedarville, Ohio and is a member of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.