WHEELING - There was plenty of fun to go around Saturday night at Wheeling Park High School in a basketball game where there were no losers but a huge winner in the Relay For Life organization.
The Pittsburgh Steelers Basketballers team made an appearance at The Palace with the seven-member squad highlighted by speedy wide receiver Antonio Brown and free-agent running back LaGarette Blount, who helped lead the New England Patriots to the AFC championship game a season ago.
However, when the dust had settled, all of the prizes had been awarded and the clock eventually ticked to triple zero, it was the local Relay For Life squad that managed to edge the NFLers by a slim 59-58 score in front of a large turnout of happy fans.
Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown goes up for a shot during the Relay for Life charity game.
"This is a great cause and we are so appreciative of the Steelers coming here for the fifth straight year to help make this happen," Wheeling Park basketball Coach Michael Jebbia said. "It is a whole lot of fun and guys like Antonio Brown, who everyone knows, makes it that much better."
It was Brown who fueled the fire for the Pittsburgh squad in the first half, knocking down a pair of 3s and scoring 12 points as the Steelers led 17-12 at the end of the first quarter and 32-25 at the half.
But Brown, who definitley was not afraid to shoot the ball, ended up scoring just two points in the second half and finished the night hitting 6 of 31 tries from the floor.
D'Jhae Jackson got the local squad going in the third, hitting three quick buckets, and after a Marcus Wheaton hoop for the Steelers, Wheeling Park graduate Nathan Dolan knotted the count with one of his four treys at 34-34.
Blount put the 'Ballers back in front with a 3, before Wheeling Newspapers Sports Editor Shawn Rine gave the Relay For Life team its first lead a short time later with a deep triple to make it 40-37 with 1:41 to go in the third.
The score stayed close the rest of the way, with lead changes and ties the norm before Jebbia's team built a five-point advantage with 1:10 to go.
Derek Moye, a Penn State graduate, hit three late hoops for Pittsburgh, but his heave from just inside half court was just off the mark at the horn.
"It was a good, fun game and served a great purpose," Jebbia added. "Fawn Thomas has done an unbelievable job organizing this event year in and year out and is just tremendous.
"For her it is a year-round thing. I also want to thank all the sponsors who donated supplies and prizes and helped us out in every way needed. And I also can't say enough about how great it was to have Michael Carroll here for the event."
Carroll is a Wheeling Park High School student who has been in a fight with cancer and is also the creator of "Michael's Meanies" which has become a great and well-known project from Carroll.
Moye finished with a team-high 16 points for Pittsburgh while four different Steeler players collected double-figure rebounds. Jackson scored a game-high 18 points for Relay for Life while Nathan Dolan had 16 and his father, Assistant Superintendent of Ohio County Schools Bernie Dolan, had eight rebounds.
In the end it was a great night for all, with one team being outscored, but everyone going home a winner.