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February 27, 2013

BOYS BASKETBALL: Cards reach title game

February 27, 2013 7:00 a.m. EDINBORO — The three-ball was the winning formula for Cochranton on Tuesday night.

Logan Herzberger gave Cochranton the lead for good with a three-pointer in the second quarter and Nick Dickson added some breathing room with three  consecutive treys in the third quarter as the Cardinals advanced to the District 10 Class A championship game with a 53-34 victory over Eisenhower at Edinboro University’s McComb Field House.

Coach Scott McCurdy’s Cards will play Kennedy Catholic on Friday at a site and time to be determined.

McCurdy & Co. are looking forward to the showdown.

“We feel very confident entering this game,” said McCurdy. “We played Kennedy during the regular season and they barely beat us, 69-65. We know we can play with them.”

McCurdy’s top item on his wish list against KC: a better beginning than the Cardinals’ start against Eisenhower.

“Hopefully, I will see a better performance from us at the beginning against Kennedy,” he said, referring to the Cardinals’ cold 3-for-15 shooting to start the game.

Herzberger to the rescue.

Deciding to take the game over, Herzberger bombed in consecutive 3-pointers within 1:19 apart as the Redbirds overcame an 11-10 deficit to take a 16-11 lead with 2:31 remaining in the first half.

“Those shots by Logan were huge ... he basically jump-started us,” said McCurdy.

Herzberger’s backcourt partner, Dickson, was the go-to guy in the third period.

Showcasing his outside shooting skills, Dickson — the son of former Cardinals’ three-sport standout Dave Dickson — caught fire by draining three straight three-pointers to increase CHS’s lead from 23-18 to 32-19 with 1:02 left in the third quarter.

Dickson’s treys were from three different locations — left wing, right corner and top of the key.

“Nate came alive in the third quarter,” said McCurdy. “There are no secrets he likes to let it fly from three-point range ... and we don’t have any apologies for shooting the three.”

Cochranton shifted into cruise control the rest of the way.

Eisenhower closed to within 43-34 with 2:43 left in the game, but the Cardinals preserved the “W” by making seven-of-eight free throws down the stretch.

Next up: Kennedy Catholic.

“Honestly, I expect a better showing from us,” said McCurdy. “We need to execute better. We hadn’t played in a while and it showed. I’ve been stressing to the boys to take it one game at a time.”

Dickson and Herzberger were quite the 1-2 punch with 15 and 14 points, respectively. The dynamic duo also had solid all-around games: Dickson (seven rebounds, four assists, three steals); Herzberger (four rebounds, four assists, two steals).

Josh Vanderhoof popped in seven points off the bench for the Cards.

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