Powell scores 32 as Stuart Hall wins 

Performances don’t come much bigger than Stephen Powell’s in Thursday’s Bay Counties League West boys’ basketball semifinals.

The Stuart Hall sophomore not only scored 32 points, but brought down eight rebounds and had seven steals to lift the second-seeded Knights over University 58-54.

Stuart Hall (22-5) advances to play Lick-Wilmerding in Saturday’s final, set for 8 p.m. at Kezar Pavilion. University is 21-7.

"I had to turn it on because it was the semifinals," Powell said. "Coach [Charles Johnson] told me, ‘You gotta take the team to the championship,’ so that’s what I did."

Powell scored 13 points in the first quarter to put the Knights up 18-15. Stuart Hall stretched their lead to 34-28 at the half by dominating the boards, out-rebounding the Red Devils 10-5 in the second quarter.

University then turned on the defensive pressure in the third quarter, led by feisty point guard Shimon Lin. Evan Saunders hit a 3-pointer with 1:23 remaining in the third quarter to tie the game 41-41. The Knights outscored the Red Devils 13-9 in the quarter and entered the fourth trailing just 43-41.

Saunders made 10 points down the stretch and Thomas Bosc nailed two free throws with 38.6 seconds left in the game to put University within 56-54. But in the final moments, University’s 3-point attempts did not fall and Powell stole the ball with 20 seconds remaining.

Johnson recognized the defensive efforts of Kris Suzuki, calling him "the glue to the team."

Lick-Wilmerding 40, Crystal Springs Uplands 36

Junior Marcus Wells had 11 points and seven rebounds to lead the top-seeded Tigers (21-6) over the No. 4 Gryphons (15-13).

Lick-Wilmerding beat the Gryphons for the third time this season, but this one was a lot closer than the previous two double-digit decisions. Crystal Springs Uplands led by two going into the fourth quarter, but was only able to muster four points in the final period.

The Tigers advance to play Stuart Hall in Saturday’s final, set for 8 p.m. at Kezar Pavilion.

"We just needed to make free throws and play defense and we did that," Lick-Wilmerding assistant coach James Woods said. "We need to come out in the first quarter quicker [on Saturday]."

— Colleen Farrell

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