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La Salle gets by William Allen, advances to PIAA-6A quarterfinals

La Salle's Jack Rothenberg (43) congratulates teammate Allen Powell (1) after Powell hit a three-point shot in the first quarter of the Explorers' PIAA-6A second round game agianst William Allen at Reading High School on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group)

READING >> La Salle had things clicking in the first half Wednesday night.

“Everything was working,” said senior Allen Powell. “The shots were falling. We were cutting hard to the basket. We had a lot of good back screens, making it easy for layups.”

And by the way, Powell also drained three consecutive three pointers in consecutive trips down the court, his hot shooting helping to lead the way to a commanding 70-53 victory over William Allen in the second round of the PIAA-6A Tournament.

“I was feeling good,” said Powell, who hit four 3-pointers in all and finished with a game-high 22 points. “I’ve been in a slump a little bit but I broke out of that tonight.”

La Salle’s Allen Powell (1) shoots in the first quarter against William Allen during their PIAA-6A second round game at Reading High School on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group)

Konrad Kiszka had 18 points and Jake Timby added 13 as La Salle (25-3) advances to the quarterfinals on Saturday and a rematch with Roman Catholic, which defeated the Explorers in the Philadelphia Catholic League Final.

“The main thing is you gotta believe,” Explorers coach Mike McKee said. “They’re a really terrific team and they have really good senior players.”

The Explorers got out to a fast start, with Powell’s flurry of threes pushing La Salle to a 13-4 lead.

“(Allen) got off to a really good start,” McKee said. “Konrad is such a good passer and we share the ball really well. They know (Allen’s) a good shooter so they’re smart enough to find him when he’s open in good spots.”

La Salle’s Konrad Kiszka (10) makes the dunk in the second quarter against William Allen during their PIAA-6A second round game at Reading High School on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group)

A drive by Powell followed by Kiszka’s spin move down the lane added up to a 19-9 advantage for La Salle at the end of the first quarter.

Kiszka continued to penetrate, his basket stretching the margin to 21-9 early in the second. The gap would widen to 15 when crisp ball movement created a wide-open three for Zach Crisler.

Nathan Ellis’ blocked shot and coast-to-coast layup gave the Canaries (18-10) some life, but Kiszka’s dunk followed by another three by Powell — his fourth of the first half — ensured a 40-29 La Salle cushion at the break.

Powell’s 14 first-half points led all scorers, with Kiszka adding 10.

Another dunk by Kiszka, a three by Powell and a three-point play by Timby kept the Explorers on pace in the third, as they went into the final eight minutes with a 12-point lead.

La Salle’s Zach Crisler (21) take it to the basket in the first quarter against William Allen’s (12) Evan Wilt (12) during their PIAA-6A second round game at Reading High School on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group)

In the fourth, La Salle was never threatened. Jack Rothenberg and Manny Freyre combined for eight points off the bench.

A’quele Adderley’s 17 points led William Allen.

“We got off to a better start than we did the last game (in the win over Reading),” McKee said. “We put some pressure on their defense, and then they gotta start worrying about us driving and doing those things. So that’s a good sign for us.”

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