BY DAREN DiMICHELE
The Our Lady of Sacred Heart Chargers faced a tough section rival in the Sewickley Academy Panthers Jan. 19 at the Angela Activities Center.
The Panthers used a slow-paced offense with a tenacious defense to try to slow down the Chargers. This proved ineffective in the first quarter as the Chargers raced to a 15-4 lead.
The second quarter was fairly even. Sewickley Academy Coach Win Palmer’s team provided a suffocating defense, and at halftime OLSH led 33-19.
In the third period, the Panthers kept up the defensive pressure to attempt to slow down Jake DiMichele and Dante Spadafora.
The score at the end of the third quarter was 48-27.
With three minutes to go in the game and a sizable lead, OLSH Coach Mike Rodriguez got some playing time for his younger players. The Chargers closed out the game 68-32.
One key to the game was junior Dawson Summers, who made his presence known in his first ever OLSH-Sewickley rivalry game by dominating the paint, fighting hard to make the area under the hoop his own. The junior finished with eight points, a strong performance on the boards, and a few blocked shots.
“All section games are important, so we had to come out ready to play,” said Dawson. “This team is gelling together really well and I enjoy playing with these guys.”
The rest of the Chargers contributed in their own ways, as well. Jake DiMichele had 29 points, Bryson Kirschner had nine points, and Dante Spadafora and Brad Vaughn both finished with five points.
On Jan. 22nd, the Chargers had their mind on the Aliquippa Quips. They wanted to exact revenge from last season when the Quips handed the Chargers their only loss in overtime 73-69.
This was a much anticipated matchup because OLSH is number one in the state in the 2A division and the Quips were ranked number two in 3A with a record of 4-0.
OLSH exploded out of the gate in the first quarter, with dynamic duo Dante Spadafora and Jake DiMichele. The duo combined pulled out 18 points in the first quarter as the Chargers led 24-16. The Chargers connected on four and-ones in the second quarter which resulted in a score of 48-30 in favor of the Chargers.
However, the third quarter is when the Chargers really took command of the game. Their relentless pressure defense didn’t let the Quips score a point until under two minutes left in the quarter and four points in the period. As a result, OLSH led 65-34 going into the fourth quarter.
They went on to win 77-39 to take their record to 7-0. Jake DiMichele had a great all around game with 30 points, while also having 16 rebounds, five blocks and four steals.
Dante Spadafora had 18 points to go along with five assists and three steals. Kirschner had 11 points and Brad Vaughn finished with seven. Rocco Spadafora had a great passing game with six assists.
The Chargers faced off against the South Side Rams on Jan. 23 and Jan. 29 and won both games, 95 - 47 and 81-37, respectively.
They will next face off on Friday, Feb. 12 against Sewickley Academy.