WILKES-BARRE – Pittston Area got hot from 3-point range in the second half Thursday night, but the Patriots were never able to overcome the damage done by scoring just three points in the final 9:20 of the first half.
“We just couldn’t score the ball in the first half,” Patriots coach Alan Kiesinger said after the 48-40 Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 loss on Senior Night at Coughlin in the regular-season finale.
The Patriots missed all five of their 3-point attempts in the first quarter. They followed that up by going 1-for-8 with five turnovers in a three-point second quarter to fall behind, 20-11, at the break.
Devin Rajza had 10 points in the first half for Coughlin, then opened the second half with a 3-pointer to finish as the game’s high scorer and build the biggest lead of the night.
The Patriots cut the 12-point deficit to as little as four late in the third quarter and got within five three times in the fourth quarter.
Coughlin, however, had the ideal approach to protecting the lead.
Jose Rivera spent much of the second half dribbling the ball, spreading out the Pittston Area defense. When the Patriots chased him, Rivera went around them then dished off for four of his game-high seven assists.
With Rivera in control, the Crusaders turned the ball over just one time in the second half.
“He’s extremely solid with the ball and extremely quick,” Kiesinger said. “He’s a tough assignment for anyone on our team.”
Elisha McAllister added 11 points and eight rebounds while helping Coughlin to a 32-25 edge on the boards.
The Crusaders also had the advantage at the foul line where they were 11-for-19 while the Patriots were 1-for-2. Until the final 42 seconds of the fourth quarter, Coughlin had been called for just two fouls, none in the second half.
Pittston Area got back in the game by making its first four 3-point attempts of the second half, including three by Chris Klein.
Klein added another in the fourth quarter to lead the team with 12 points.
Matt McGlynn went 3-for-7 on 3-pointers to add 11 points. He also helped move the ball to teammates against the zone, picking up four second-half assists.
Jordan Black had nine points and a team-high six rebounds. Dylan Osticco led the Patriots with five assists.
After going 4-4 in non-league play, Pittston Area went 3-11 in Division 1 to place seventh out of eight teams and enter the playoffs with a 7-15 record.
Wyoming Area 50, Lake-Lehman 38
Matt Wright, P.J. Angeli and Kyre Zielinski led a second-half comeback that carried Wyoming Area to a 50-38 victory over Lake-Lehman Thursday in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 season finale.
Wright, who finished with 10 points, and Angeli, who finished with seven, did all of their scoring in the second half. Zielinski added seven of his team-high 11 while helping the Warriors back from a 17-15 deficit.
Cole Spencer led Lake-Lehman with 13 points.
Wyoming Area finished 6-7 in the WVC and closed out the regular season with a 9-13 overall record. The Warriors placed third in the five-team division.
Pittston Area 72, Dallas 69
Jordan Black made all eight of his free throws in the second overtime to finish with a game-high 26 points and lift Pittston Area to a 72-69 victory Tuesday night in a WVC Division 1 game at Dallas.
The Patriots rallied from a 39-30 deficit in the fourth quarter to force overtime tied at 49-49. The teams were tied again, 58-58, setting up the second overtime.
Black finished 14-for-16 and the Patriots were 29-for-38 from the line in the game.
Dylan Osticco added 15 points and Matt McGlynn got all 12 of his points by hitting four 3-pointers.
Jay Bittner led Dallas with 25 points.
Wyoming Seminary 51, Wyoming Area 43
Wyoming Seminary held visiting Wyoming Area to two points in overtime to pull out a 51-43 victory in a WVC Division 2-3 crossover game Tuesday night.
Kyle Musto hit a pair of 3-pointers and led Wyoming Area with eight points.
Hazleton Area 68, Pittston Area 47
Bobby Planutis scored 25 points Feb. 6 in a 68-47 road win that helped Hazleton Area clinch at least a tie for the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 title that it later secured outright.
Dylan Osticco scored 12 points and Matt McGlynn added 11 for Pittston Area. McGlynn, with three, and Osticco, with two, accounted for all five made 3-pointers by the Patriots.
Meyers 71, Wyoming Area 42
Division 3 champion Meyers held Wyoming Area to 12 first-half points Feb. 6 on the way to a 71-42 rout over visiting Wyoming Area.
Tony Saitta led Wyoming Area with 13 points.
Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or email [email protected].