Grove City 76, Bethany 68


January 16, 1999--
Dave Pifer (Sarver, PA/Freeport) fired in a season-high 21 points, including five three-pointers, as Grove City grabbed first place in the PAC by downing the visiting Bethany Bison, 72-68. The win raised the Wolverines' home record to 3-0 on the season.

Pifer connected on 5 of 7 three-point attempts, as Grove City canned 9 of 18 attempts from behind the arc.

"It was good to get back home," Pifer said. "Everyone is more familiar with these hoops. It’s always better to be at home."

"I think people have been keying on Pifer because of his shooting percentage and last year’s performance," first-year Wolverine coach Steve Lamie said. "He hasn’t been getting clean looks. He wasn’t getting clean looks today, but our kids were looking for him today, I thought. He was getting better passes."

The Wolverines overcame twenty personal fouls whistled against them. Grove City’s centers, Lee Huffman (Gibsonia, PA/Hampton) and Pat Roberts (Home, PA/Marion Center) both battled foul trouble, yet managed to make healthy contributions. Huffman scored 10 points, while Roberts garnered a game-high nine rebounds. Huffman added six caroms, as Grove City won the battle of the boards 43-30.

"We spend a lot of time in practice every day working on (box-out) technique. We do box-out drills non-stop," Pifer said. "We’re never gonna be able to out-jump or out-size teams, so we gotta rely on technique."

Forty personal fouls were called in the game, and both squads took advantage of the physical play at the free-throw line. The teams combined to make 36 of 45 charity tosses.

"It was a football game, it wasn’t a basketball game," Lamie said. "The kids played through it. It was hotly contested. That’s the way things are going to be in the conference, I believe."

Point guard Damon Finazzo (Erie, PA/McDowell) handed out five assists, while Pifer’s four handouts tied his career-high. The 7-6 Wolverines return to action Monday night against Pitt-Bradford. The game was originally scheduled for January 13th, but inclement weather postponed the contest. Tip time is 7:30 pm.

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