First Posted: 2/3/2013
Pittston Area’s defense shut down Dallas at the start.
The offense took care of the rest.
The result was a 66-46 Wyoming Valley Conference Division I boys basketball romp on a night when the Patriots shot better than 50 percent and opened the lead to as many as 29 points.
I thought we moved the ball well against the zone, Pittston Area coach Alan Kiesinger said. I thought we were patient against it and we were able to do some damage with the interior passing.
Mason Gross scored 17 points and blocked four shots to lead the Patriots. He was also part of that passing, drawing attention at the high post and hitting teammates for easy shots with his four assists.
He’s able to dump the ball off to (James) Tobisch or another cutter, Kiesinger said.
Before the offense got rolling, the Patriots were able to take charge by shutting down the Mountaineers for an 11-2 lead after one quarter.
We wanted to jam up the lane, Kiesinger said. Last game we played against them, they hurt us with penetration. We really tried to take the drives away.
Matt Ross, who had 16 points in the first meeting when Pittston Area did not take charge until late, managed just one field goal while scoring 11.
Jay Crawford did a terrific job on the Ross kid, Kiesinger said.
Tyler McGarry hit three 3-pointers in the second quarter, including two in a 16-6 burst to end the half and take a 32-17 lead.
McGarry, Tobisch and Michael Schwab all finished with 11 points.
The play of Michael Schwab was outstanding, Kiesinger said.
Schwab grabbed a team-high nine rebounds and ran the offense with five assists and just one turnover despite Dallas attempts to pressure the ball-handler.
The Patriots blew the game open by outscoring the Mountaineers, 29-10, for a stretch of nearly 11 minutes spanning both halves.
Gross had seven points, three rebounds, two blocked shots and an assist in the first 5:36 of the second half when Pittston Area extended the lead to 45-21. He added another basket before the quarter was over and compiled the 17-point effort without stepping on the floor in the final eight minutes.
Pittston Area shot 14-for-24 (58.3 percent) in the middle two quarters.
The Patriots built the lead all the way to 62-33 midway through the fourth quarter on a three-point play by Kyle Gattuso and a free throw by Carmen LoBrutto shortly after both teams began emptying their benches.
Pittston Area improved to 7-3 in the division and 11-7 overall.
Sal Biasi scored 19 points to lead Hazleton Area to a 67-45 victory over visiting Pittston Area Tuesday.
Mason Gross led the Patriots with nine points.
The Cougars led 16-11 after one quarter and stretched the advantage to 31-20 at halftime and 51-37 after three quarters.
Mathematically, at least, the Patriots (7-3) have a shot at the Division 1 title, though it is a long shot. With four games left, they are one game behind second place Hazleton (8-2), two behind division leader Valley West (9-1) and ½ game ahead of Crestwood (6-3.)
The Patriots would likely have to win out, that means beating Valley West and hope Valley West loses one other game. In addition to PA, Valley West has Dallas, Berwick, likely wins, and Hazleton.
In the District 2 seeding standings, Valley West and Hazleton are 4A, so the Patriots, 3A,won’t have to play them in the District tournament. Right now th Patriots are third in the District 2 3A standings behind GAR and Abington Heights.
The tournament is open. The Warriors are 12th out of the 17 eligible teams in 3A.
Bart Chupka led a fourth-quarter rally to carry Wyoming Area to its second WVC win of the season, 50-46 over Northwest.
Chupka scored 11 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter to help the Warriors overcome a 39-35 deficit.
Jordan Zezza also had 17 points.
Devon Mazonkey had 16 points and Tyler Meininger added 11 for the Rangers.
Nanticoke took charge early Friday night on the way to a 58-43 WVC Division II victory over Wyoming Area.
The Trojans led 14-6 after one quarter and 27-17 at halftime.
Mike Malshefski scored 19 points to lead Nanticoke.
Bart Chupka scored 15 points and Jordan Zezza added 11 for the Warriors.
WA at Meyers
PA at Tunkhannock
PA at Crestwood
WA at GAR
Valley West … 9-1
Pittston Area … 7-3
Tunkhannock … 5-5
Lake Lehman … 4-4
Holy Redeemer … 4-5
Wyoming Area … 2-7