'Playoff' climate is key to win at Pittsburgh Basketball Club Classic

Written by Mike White on .

Mike White recaps this past weekend's Pittsburgh Basketball Classic tournament:

2013 0128 LPark Kellum"It was only a non-section contest on a Sunday evening, but don't tell Seneca Valley it wasn't an important win.

Seneca Valley defeated Lincoln Park, 66-64, in overtime in the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Classic at La Roche College. Easton Bazzoli's two free throws with five seconds left gave the Raiders a win in one of six games at the day-long event.

Seneca Valley is the Post-Gazette's No. 4-ranked WPIAL Class AAAA team. Lincoln Park is only a Class A team, but the Leopards are No. 1 in the smallest classification and have plenty of talent and size. Juniors Elijah Minnie and Ryan Skovranko are 6 feet 8 and 6-6, respectively.

The win certainly could help Seneca Valley's reputation when the WPIAL does playoff seedings in a few weeks.

"We treated it like a playoff game. That's what we told the kids in the locker room," Seneca Valley coach Victor Giannotta said. "It was a neutral floor and Lincoln Park would be a [Class AAAA] playoff team if they were in our class. They're well-coached and they have some extremely talented players.""

(Photo: Lincoln Park's Antonio Kellum drives to the basket during his team''s 66-64 overtime loss to Seneca Valley Sunday in the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Classic at La Roche College. Julia Rendleman/Post-Gazette.)