Moon heads to WPIAL Championship

Preston Moore, Moon Sports Beat Writer

ROSS TOWNSHIP — Midway through the fourth quarter, the Moon Tigers student-section erupted with the infamous, “Warm up the bus” chant after a dominant game from their team. Moon dominated on both sides of the ball and the chants could’ve easily began after the second quarter ended.

The game started out slow for the Tigers as they succumbed to a 8-2 run from their opponents who came out looking great on offense. Penn Hills came out in a 2-3 zone which seems to be a common tactic for team facing Moon. The Tigers found their groove midway through the first going on a run of their own thanks to great defensive play led by Donovan Johnson. Johnson served as a catalyst in the quarter racking up seven points, two steals and two blocks. The Tigers answered the 8-2 run of the Indians with an 8-0 run of their own to finish out the quarter. The Tigers finished the quarter on top, 16-10.

The game started to take a turn for the worse for Penn Hills during the second quarter. Moon absolutely dominated on both defense and offense. The Tigers scored 18 straight unanswered points as the Indians were floundering on both sides of the ball. The defensive intensity picked up for Moon as they realized they could put the game away at that very moment. Penn Hills finally broke the 18-0 run of Moon and got back into the scoring column with a layup. The Indians finished out the half without motivation, hoping for a better second half. The Tigers cruised through both quarters on top, 32-16.

The third quarter saw a much more motivated Penn Hills team. The Indians started full court pressing which forced a few turnovers. Penn Hills went on an 11-0 run midway through the quarter which revived a Penn Hills crowd that was previously uninspired. The Indians looked like a completely different team during the run, but Moon quickly recovered from the scoring outbreak. It was a case of too little too late for the Indians.

Moon started the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run trying to put the game out of reach. The rest of the game consisted of back and forth by both teams but Penn Hills could not keep up with the high octane offense of Moon. Moon found themselves up comfortably by 20 points around the two minute mark when they put their JV squad into the game to preserve their starters. Moon coasted to a victory to send themselves to the WPIAL Championship game. The final score ended up Moon 59, Penn Hills 46.

The Moon Tigers will face the Mars Planets in a “Battle of the Galaxy” on Friday night at the Petersen Events Center at 9:00 p.m. for the chance at a yet another WPIAL title.