Titusville beats George Junior Republic, 89-67, in 4A Quarterfinals - Titusville Herald: Sports

Titusville beats George Junior Republic, 89-67, in 4A Quarterfinals

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Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2019 3:00 am

OIL CITY — Titusville and George Junior came out swinging during Thursday’s District 10 Class 4A Boys Basketball Quarterfinal at Oil City High School, but it was the Rockets who were able to land more of their punches. Titusville defeated George Junior, 89-67, in front of a pro-Brown and Gold crowd to advance to Tuesday’s semifinal round.

George Junior (5-17) had no answer for the post play of Guy Anthony or Cade Skinner’s 3-point shooting. Anthony finished the night with a career-high 40 points for Titusville (17-4) and 13 rebounds to complete the double-double. Skinner chipped in six long-range shots and concluded the contest with 24 points. JaiQuil Johnson also chipped in 10 points for the winning cause.

“It feels good to get the win with the team and getting to play more games,” Anthony said after the win. “It’s something special winning with these guys.”

To the surprise of many, George Junior Republic had the early momentum in the first quarter. After Skinner opened the game with a 3-pointer, the Tigers went on an 8-0 run with two 3’s of their own. Preston Currie, who scored 35 points against Oil City in the first round, connected on one of those buckets and was a big focus in the Rockets defensive game plan.

“We were trying to keep [Currie] under wraps,” Titusville boys coach Craig Mehlenbacher said. “I think he banked in a few 3’s, which is ridiculous. We knew he was their scorer and we needed to contain him.” 

Throughout the evening the Rockets struggled to contain the Tigers’ 3-point game. George Junior connected on nine shots from behind the arc, with Currie making four of them, which kept them in the contest. Fortunately for Titusville, its offense was up to task and was able to keep up with the point output on the scoreboard.

Down by six points, Anthony scored five straight points for the Rockets, including a 3-point play in the post. Cole Culver put the Rockets ahead when he grabbed an offensive carom and made both of his free throws after being fouled on the put-back attempt.

Up 10-8 halfway through the first quarter, the Rockets would never trail again during the game. Titusville easily shattered their season-high in points as a team, scoring 18 more points than the 71 they reached four times throughout the regular season.

“In the second half, we did a good job penetrating to the basket and they couldn’t contain us,” Mehlenbacher said. “Our guards are good at keeping their heads up and finding the bigs underneath.”

Another factor in the contest was the ability to get to the charity stripe. Titusville reached the free throw line 26 times while making 20 of those attempts. George Junior went only 4 of 7 from the line on the night.

The Tigers had some success throughout the contest on offense, and were able to put up 67 points on a Titusville defense that had surrendered only 49.90 points per game heading into Thursday night. Currie finished with a team-high 21 points, while Mason Beiland (14), Bryan Peachlum (13) and Isaac Sanchez (10) also reached double figures.

Although the Rockets were out-rebounded by just one board, 41-40, Mehlenbacher was not pleased with his team’s effort on defense.

“Defensively, we were not good, especially rebounding,” Melenbacher said. “I thought our defense was subpar tonight, to be honest. I know it’s a tough team to rebound against because they spread the floor with four guards out. We talked about still crashing the boards, but we definitely had our struggles.”

Titusville has until Tuesday night to work on fixing those defensive struggles. 

The Rockets will face Grove City in the semifinal round at a site and time to be announced. The Eagles beat the Warren Dragons, 73-53, in the opening game at the Blue Hole on Thursday.

“We know we have a tough challenge ahead with Grove City,” Mehlenbacher said. “They’re a defensive team first and it transitions into their offense. We played well tonight, but we have to keep at it. I think they reminded me a lot of Warren, but they beat them pretty handily.”


George Junior Republic vs. Titusville

District 10 Class 4A Quarterfinal

at Oil City High School

Titusville 89, George Junior Republic 67 


Ross 1 1-2 3, Baez 0 0-0 0, Peachlum 6 1-1 13, Currie 8 1-3 21, Beiland 5 1-1 14, Sanchez 5 0-0 10, Smith 1 0-0 3, DeVore 1 0-0 3, Ireland 0 0-0 0, Portillo 0 0-0 0, Ellington 0 0-0 0. Totals: 27 4-7 67.


Johnson 6 2-2 14, Skinner 7 4-4 24, Roberts 0 0-0 0, Culver 3 2-4 8, Anthony 15 9-11 40, Perez 0 1-2 1, Jones 0 0-0 0, Platt 0 0-1 0, W. Colon 0 0-0 0, Stover 0 0-0 0, E. Colon 0 2-2 2. Totals: 31 20-26 89.

Score by Quarters

George Junior 11 16 18 22 — 67

Titusville 21 20 22 26 — 89

3-point goals — George Junior 9 (Currie 4, Beiland 3, DeVore, Smith), Titusville 7 (Skinner 6, Anthony). Rebounds — GJR 41 (Peachlum 11), TV 40 (Anthony 13). Turnovers — GJR 12, TV 12. Total fouls — GJR 20, TV 8. Fouled out — Currie.

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