First Posted: 1/6/2013

The Pittston Area Patriots shared the ball and took turns with the responsibility of leading the offense.

The result Thursday night was a balanced effort and a comfortable win in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 boys basketball opener.

Mason Gross scored 15 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked three shots while leading four players in double figures in scoring during a 65-49 victory over Berwick.

Tyler McGarry added 13 points while Michael Schwab and James Tobisch had 11 points each.

Jayson Crawford contributed six assists, including five in the first half, and three steals. Schwab added five assists and three steals.

The Patriots connected on better than 50 percent of their shots from the floor by getting the ball into prime shooting areas.

A lot of it is the guards moving the ball, Patriots coach Alan Kiesinger said. A lot of it is big guys getting into position.

Pittston Area outscored Berwick, 44-27, by taking advantage of the shots when they had them.

In our past games, we gave up some open looks, especially inside the lane, Kiesinger said.

The win moved Pittston Area back above .500 overall at 5-4 and got the league schedule off to a positive start.

Everybody in the last week and a half has been trying to get ready for the start of league play, Kiesinger said. Berwick is always tough on the defensive end.

The Patriots handled pressure from the Bulldogs, turning the ball over just eight times in the first three quarters before the contest became a little more sloppy once it was decided.

Gross got the offense started. Emmett and McGarry provided the surge that put the Patriots in front. Gross and Schwab then helped put Berwick away.

Berwick had three leads in the first quarter, but Gross had six points in the first 4:32 while his teammates were struggling offensively.

Emmett put Pittston Area ahead to stay with a 19-footer from the right side with a second left in the first quarter. He had five more points when Pittston Area added the first nine of the second quarter for a 22-12 lead.

McGarry converted a rebound to end that outburst. He finished the second quarter 4-for-4 for nine points, helping the Patriots to a 33-22 halftime lead.

Gross made his last three shots from the floor and his last three from the line while scoring nine more points in the second half. Schwab hit his only two second-half shots from the floor and his last three free throws while adding seven points.

Zach Ladonis led the Bulldogs (1-7) with 12 points and seven rebounds.

The Patriots played at home last night versus Hazleton. That game was too late for our deadline.

Nanticoke 44, WA 31

Tyler Myers scored 11 points and Nanticoke pulled away in the second half to defeat Wyoming Area, 44-31, Friday night in the WVC Division 2 opener for both teams.

The Trojans led 19-18 at halftime.

Bart Chupka led Wyoming Area with 11 points. Jordan Zezza added eight.

The Warriors were just 3-for-9 from the line and did not hit a shot from 3-point range.

This week

Tuesday

PA at Dallas

Hanover at WA

Friday

Tunkhannock at PA

WA at Lake Lehman

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