BUTLER, Pa. - Although two players fouled out and they had to play the final minutes with only four players, the Westmoreland County Community College men's basketball team battled to the end with Butler County Community College before falling 91-87.
The Pioneers, who will be the top seed for the upcoming WPCC Tournament, took a 53-40 lead at halftime. The Wolfpack rallied early in the second half to get within one at 68-67, but over the next few minutes, Garrett Dhans and Xavier Johnson were whistled fo their fifth fouls, leaving Westmoreland with only four players.
Despite being short-handed, the Wolfpack stayed right with Butler through the end of the game. It was a 90-84 Pioneer lead with two minutes to play when a Westmoreland trey made it a one-possession game. Butler finally put the game away with a free throw to push the final margin to four points and escape with the narrow win.
Pacing the Wolfpack was Dipo Olaleye with strong numbers across the board. In addition to scoring 28 points, he also grabbed seven rebounds, passed out six assists and made six steals. Forward Michael Yuricha just missed a double-double, as he fired in 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting and added eight boards, six assists, and three blocks.
Rounding out the top scorers was Luke Stein with 19 points, while Johnson hit for 10 and gave out nine assists.
With the regular season now complete, the Wolfpack will begin WPCC Tournament play Friday as the fifth seed. They will play at fourth-seeded CCAC-Boyce in a first round game, with tip-off slated for 6 pm. The winner of the contest will advance to the semifinals, which will be Saturday at 1 pm at top-seeded Butler.