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Boys Basketball: Park Boys Get Past Logan

Saseen leads the way with team-high 17

February 12, 2012
By TRACY WATSON , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - Wheeling Park sophomore Luke Saseen was not running around with a cape on his back or leaping any tall buildings Saturday night.

However, it was Saseen who rose up and helped save the day for the Patriots in a battle of West Virginia Class AAA ranked clubs against Logan at the Palace on the Hill.

Saseen scored a team-high 17 points, all in the second half, and hit 9 of 11 free throws while his teammates struggled from the line and Park held off the Wildcats' attempt to take control in the third quarter to record a 61-53 victory to help cap off Hall of Fame night festivities at Wheeling Park High School.

The victory not only moves Coach Michael Jebbia's team to 13-5, it finishes off a weekend of revenge in which his Red, White and Blue turned the tables on Parkersburg South on Friday night and Logan (13-4) last night.

It also sends the Patriots into a very tough two-game stretch with a little confidence.

Park will travel to Morgantown on Tuesday night to battle the No. 2 Mohigans in an OVAC semifinal game before taking on W.Va.'s top-ranked club, South Charleston, on Wednesday.

"We really needed this one with what is ahead of us next week," Jebbia said. "The two top-ranked teams in the state on the road is what is next for us, but the kids know there is still a lot ahead for us and we can still control our fate."

It looked like the Patriots might run away early on with seven consecutive Boo Lathon points giving the hosts an 11-4 lead with 2:15 showing in the opening quarter. However, Coach Mark Hatcher's team tallied the final six of to cut the margin to 11-10.

With Errin Baynes sitting on the bench with two fouls, Logan managed to keep things close the remainder of the half, trailing 28-22 at the break.

The Wildcats' only two leads came in the third as a Da'Jon Streeter deuce gave the visitors a 32-31 upper hand before a pair of Steven Browning charity tosses again put them ahead, this time 34-33 at 4:33.

Saseen then tallied five in a row of his own to put the Park back in front for good, while Emil Popicg's only basket of the game, with three ticks showing in the third, made it 45-40 after three.

Logan managed to keep the game manageable in the fourth, before Park put things away, scoring the final six points of the contest. Leading 50-49 with 3 minutes to play, Park actually finished on an 11-4 spurt.

"Luke Saseen was real special (Saturday)," Jebbia added. "But he has had some games like this. He has also had some injuries and we are just bringing him back, but he really put us over the top. I had a short, very positive talk with him before the game, and I think it really helped.

"I also can't say enough about the senior leadership that was around him. You know, people are going to lean on Boo and Errin, and luckily Luke was there to pick things up (Saturday).

"These kids really stuck together when things looked like they might sway the other way, and that is also something that I am very proud of."

While Saseen finished with 17, Lathon added another double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds and Baynes finished with eight. Lee Peluchette also contributed seven tallies, including five big points in the second period.

Browning scored a game-high 24 points and added 11 caroms for the Wildcats while Streeter added 14 and Keaton Johnson 10 in a losing effort.

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