Story by Ryan Gerazounis, Beaver County Radio
On Thursday night the #1 team in 4A, the Lincoln Park Leopards basketball team had a chance to defend their WPIAL title. Not only that, with a win the Leopards would lock up seven WPIAL titles in the last fourteen years. The only thing standing in their way was the #2 Hampton Talbots. Which 4A powerhouse would be the last team standing at the Petersen Events Center on leap night?
There was no surprise that this championship game between Lincoln Park and Hampton would be competitive from the tip off. All five starters got on the board in the first quarter for the Leopards. However a lack of offensive rebounds and a few early turnovers kept the first quarter closer than Lincoln Park would of liked. At the end of the first quarter they held on to a tight 14-12 lead. In the second quarter Hampton had some costly turnovers that allowed the Leopards to jump out to a 6-0 run and behind the scoring of Brandin Cummings and Meleek Thomas Lincoln Park outscored the Talbots 19-11. Giving them a 33-23 advantage going into the locker room at the half.
As the second half got under way, all the jitters were gone and the top two ranked 4A teams in the WPIAL were back on the floor and ready to battle it out in the second half at the Petersen Events Center. The third quarter was evenly matched between the two teams, so much so that when the period ended both teams scored 14 points each. The score after three was Lincoln Park 47 Hampton 37. Starting off the fourth quarter with the hot hand, six foot eight Liam Mianogna from Hampton scored four points to bring the Talbots to within six of the defending champs. The Lincoln Park Leopards would follow that up with an 8-0 run. A strong final quarter from Meleek Thomas, including two dunks would prove to be too much for Hampton to overcome. As the Leopards were able to hold on and finish off the #2 Hampton Talbots by the final score of 66-51.
With the win on Thursday night at the Petersen Events Center, the Lincoln Park Leopards successfully defended their title and won their seventh WPIAL Championship in fourteen years. The Leopards will wait to see who they play next when the State Playoffs begin.
The leading scorers for Lincoln Park tonight were Meleek Thomas with a game high 21 points and Brandin Cummings with 16. Leading the way for Hampton was Liam Mianogna with 20 points. Vinnie DePaula for Lincoln Park was the only non starter for either team to score, he knocked down a three pointer in the first quarter.
99.3 FM, 1230 WBVP and beavercountyradio.com’s CCBC Players of the Game for Hampton vs Lincoln Park High School Basketball 4A WPIAL Championship
Your CCBC Players of the Game:
Hampton: Liam Mianogna
Lincoln Park: Meleek Thomas
You can see all of the past CCBC Players of the Game for High School Sports by clicking on the CCBC Logo Below:
Pittsburgh Penguins players celebrate Erik Karlsson’s overtime goal as Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko, left, skates off the ice during an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
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FILE – Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Brian Johnson speaks with members of the media at the NFL football team’s training facility in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. The Eagles have fired offensive coordinator Brian Johnson, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
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