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March 1, 2013

BOYS BASKETBALL: Sailors hope third time is the charm

March 1, 2013 7:00 a.m. MEADVILLE — Lakeview has played West Middlesex this season about as good as anyone who has failed to come away with a win.

But just playing the No. 3 ranked team in the state well isn’t quite what the Sailors are looking for. The Sailors want a win.

Lakeview will get that opportunity tonight when it takes on the Big Reds in its first-ever District 10 Class AA championship game. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. at Slippery Rock University.

Defending District 10 Class AA champion West Middlesex swept the Region 2 series with the Sailors this season.

In the first outing, the Sailors played outstanding defense and allowed just four players to score for the Big Reds in a 46-34 Lakeview loss.

At West Middlesex, again, just four players scored for the Big Reds, but all four scored in double figures as they recorded a 62-47 victory. The 62 points allowed were still well below West Middlesex’s average, which currently stands at 75.9 points per game.

The Big Reds have scored at least 90 points eight times, including a stretch of four straight. That streak came to an end against the Sailors.

“They didn’t press us the first time,” Lakeview coach Gary Burke said. “They pressed us the second time on their small floor down there. They had the home court advantage and it was the first time we had seen their pressure.

“We still played it better than anyone else in District 10. But we’re going to have to play it better.”

The Sailors will also have to find a way to slow down the tandem of Matt Dogan and Trey Staunch, who have been unstoppable this postseason.

The Big Reds advanced to the District 10 title game with a 58-48 win over Fairview on Tuesday night. The win was West Middlesex’s 17th straight and improved its record to 21-3.

Dogan, who ranks fourth on District 10’s all-time scoring list with 2,113 points, had 22 points in the win, while Staunch chipped in with 14.

In the District 10 quarterfinals, West Middlesex topped Iroquois 82-44. Dogan had 27 points and Staunch tallied 26.

Dogan is averaging 24 points per game.

Lakeview, also 21-3 on the year, has a pair of rather prolific scorers itself. Casey Greggs and Dalton Boggs have scored a combined 71 of the Sailors’ 107 points this postseason. They had 22 points each in Tuesday’s win over Mercyhurst Prep.

“It will be an interesting battle,” Burke said. “Both teams are familiar with each other. Nobody is going to back down. We have our work cut out for us, but I am excited about the opportunity.”

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