Coach Mike Mastroianni was worried that his 21-4 might come out flat after a 10-day layoff following its disappointing loss to Sto Rox on Feb. 25.
The Quakers quickly dissolved those fears by jumping out to a first quarter 23-11 lead over visiting Chestnut Ridge. The team never looked backed, coasting to an 88-49 victory.
“It was hard waiting without knowing if we would be in or not. We believed we were a good enough team to get in the playoffs and make some noise, but we didn’t know if we would get the chance,” said senior Sam Peduto.
The Quakers had three players in double digits, led by Peduto’s 17. Burke Moser chipped in another 15 and Steven Emch added 14.
“Our strength is our balance,” said Moser. “On any given night we have seven guys that can break out and have a big night. It’s good for us because there’s no pressure to feel like you have to carry the team. And it’s a nightmare for teams that guard us because if you try to double any of us, there’s someone waiting to make you pay for it.”
R.J. West led a swarming Quaker defense that created 21 steals, and Sam’s twin brother, Joe Peduto, contributed 8 points and a game-high 5 rebounds.
Chestnut Ridge played spirited challenger and kept the lead at 13 going into halftime, but Quaker Valley came out strong in the third and extended its lead to 30.
By late in the third quarter, QV had cleared the bench and coasted to a 39-point win.
The Quakers now must travel to the University of Pitt-Johnstown, where they will face the 17-7 Bishop McCort Crushers at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Quaker Valley hopes to make it worth the wait.
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