ed note: We are pleased to have the some info from the North Eastern part of the state. We are pleased to have a long time LLHoops fan , Jon K. to contribute. Thanks Jon. Hope you enjoy.
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Welcome back to the NEP Beat.
Boys’ and Girls’ weekly recaps are now posted along with updated schedules through December 23.
Stop back for further updates throughout the week.
1,000th CAREER SCORING POINT
Maya Kornfeld (Holy Redeemer Lady Royals)
BOYS (UNDEFEATED TEAMS) EXHIBITION RECAPS
With the majority of District 2 programs now scheduling challenging non-league slates, it’s become rarer to see more than a few teams make it to the holiday break with an unblemished mark. Dallas moved out to 3-0 after their 56-40 victory over Holy Cross. The Mounts jumped out to a 17-9 lead after the first period and got 16 points from Jay Bittner and 13 from Joey Parsons. Berwick continues to roll along at 4-0 following a 67-46 win over Shamokin. The Bulldogs are getting balanced scoring with four players reaching doubles (Kenny Marshman 19 with 5 triples, Jude Goddard 15, Damon Beckhorn 14, and Matt Champ with 12). Wyoming Area also stayed perfect with a 3-0 mark following wins over Lackawanna Trail (54-22) and Carbondale (45-37). Sam Greenfield hit 14 for the Warriors in the win over Carbondale (Giovanna Mustica netted 14 for the Chargers). And Blue Ridge (3-0) picked up another win as the Raiders got a game-winning triple from Mike Allen (15 points) in a 51-49 win over Windsor. Jeff Morris led the way with 19 points.
BOYS (WVC TEAMS) EXHIBITION RECAPS
It’s hard to imagine a more challenging week of road matchups across eastern PA than what Hazleton Area faced last week. The Cougars used a 14-2 run to erase an 11-point 4th period deficit but came up just short against powerful Scranton Prep, 73-72. Three players reached doubles in the loss - Josh Samec with 21, Jeff Planutis with 17 and Joe Grula with 15. Hazleton then traveled to take on undefeated Central Dauphin East. The Cougars again rallied in the final stanza to take a lead, but dropped the OT loss, 78-74. Grula netted 22 while Samec and Da’Mir Faison each added 11. Frustration quickly turned into jubilation the following afternoon at Williams Allen’s Parkinson’s Awareness Shootout in which Hazleton defeated a highly-regarded Whitehall squad from the EPC, 66-58. They converted their free throws down the stretch to seal the win getting four players into doubles (Samec 19, Planutis 17, Nolan Genasevich 12, and Grula 11). Nanticoke Area picked up wins over Riverside and top rival Hanover Area. In their 59-45 win over the Vikings, Nate Kreitzer hit 19 and Luke Butczynski added 18 (Bill Nash scored 19 for Riverside). In their win over Hanover, the Trojans stormed out to a commanding 39-22 lead at the break, getting 26 from Butczynski and 16 from Kreitzer in the 74-50 victory. Tyler Diggs hit 15 in the loss for the Hawks. Earlier in the week Mike Piscotty scored 18 points as Hanover got a 48-41 win over Wilkes-Barre Coughlin (Charles Cobbs had 13 for the Crusaders). Wilkes-Barre Meyers continues to play in mid-season form. The Mohawks got wins over a tough Central Columbia squad (56-42) and a championship contending Mid Valley team (58-38). Juwane Buckner scored 17 and Levaugn Soules had 16 in their win over CC. Against the Spartans, Meyers ran out to a 21-8 lead behind 17 points from Buckner and 15 from Matt Dessoye. Mid Valley got 13 each from Brad Kalinowski and RJ Gouldsbury.
Wilkes-Barre GAR rallied in the third quarter and secured an eventual 53-50 win over Scranton. The Grenadiers were led by Andrew Campbell (with 15), Keyshawn Palmer (with 13) and Herman Suazo (with 12). The Knights got a combined 30 points from Ky’Ron Harbin and Jacob Watts. Holy Redeemer got a shot at the buzzer from Joe Layaou to nip Holy Cross, 47-46, as Jason Stachokus scored 10 for the Royals (Tyler Mozeleski hit 13 for the Crusaders). Crestwood overpowered Delaware Valley 67-22 as Kyle Richards hit 16 while Lance Blass and Noah Jackson each added a dozen (Shane Acoveno had 14 for the Warriors). The Comets then battled Williamsport before the Millionaires rallied from a 36-29 deficit entering the final period to grab a 48-42 victory. Crestwood got 14 from Richards, 12 from Kyle Gegaris, and 11 from Blass. Port was led by Stanley Scott with 13. Wyoming Seminary split a pair of games, getting by Susquehanna (50-37) before Central Columbia rallied for a 57-56 win. Jeremy Callahan and Nicholas Ganter combined for 27 in the win over the Sabers. Callahan then netted 22 more while Dimitri Gnall hit 19 in the close loss to CC. Pittston Area continues to show that they will be a factor in conference play as the Patriots topped North Pocono 53-47 behind 26 points from Matt McGlynn and Alex McAndrew. Nate Ildefonso had 14 for the Trojans in the loss. Tunkhannock placed four players in doubles (Evan Turner 16, Sean Harder 13, Ethan Hoefert 11, and Tyler Faux 11) in a 67-44 win over Montrose. And MMI Prep dropped a 55-34 loss to Marian Catholic as the Colts used a 16-5 run in the third period to pull away.
BOYS (LACKAWANNA TEAMS) EXHIBITION RECAPS
Scranton Prep, one of several District 2 teams playing a very robust non-league slate, hosted WVC Division 1 favorite Hazleton Area last Wednesday. These two teams slugged it out last year going to overtime, and this year’s rematch in Scranton was just as close. The Cavaliers weathered a double-digit final period comeback by the Cougars, getting a free throw late by Paddy Casey (16 points) to get the 73-72 win. Logan Bailey added 14 and Brett Para chipped in 13. Saturday brought a road trip to the Philly area to battle one of the premier teams in this year’s juggernaut-filled Catholic League, Archbishop Wood. The Vikings return six of their top seven players, including a sensational senior guard Tyree Pickron and junior wing Collin Gillespie, who teamed up to score 55 points in the 86-65 Wood win over the Cavs. Prep got 16 points from Bailey and 10 from Para. Likewise, Abington Heights battled a pair of highly-regarded statewide squads. The Comets hosted Williamsport last Wednesday. What began with a clank-off-rim third period triple helped erase a 3-point deficit and ignite a 14-0 Millionaire run that gave them a 58-47 win. Darrel Wilson (18 points) and Qayyim Ali (17 points and 13 boards) led the Billtown attack. Though Abington found success going inside early, they struggled at times to get back to that advantage later in the game. George Tinsley and Evan Maxwell combined to score 22 points. On Saturday, at Muhlenberg College, the Comets rebounded in a well-played win over LaSalle College HS, another well-respected Philly Catholic League squad. Trey Koehler netted 21 while Tinsley and Maxwell combined for 23. The Comets finished their week with a stellar effort against Holy Redeemer taking a 20-point halftime lead on their way posting to a 62-29 victory. Koehler hit 18 in the win.
Another Lackawanna League Division 1 team to keep a close eye on this year is West Scranton. The Invaders had several impressive wins last week following a 35-34 loss to Dunmore. Blake Carlton netted 15 while DeShawn Minnick and Cole Stetzar each added 10 as West controlled the middle periods en route to a 51-37 win over Pittston Area (Chris Klein had 13 for the Pats). Then, in the weather-delayed championship game of the Finan Tournament, the Invaders played great defense and got 23 combined points from Stetzar and Shaun Fanning in a 65-33 win over Carbondale. Monday night they knocked previously unbeaten Nanticoke Area 44-30 as Minnick and Matt Williams combined to score 22 points. Dunmore followed their low-scoring win over West by defeating Wallenpaupack 58-49 as the Bucks used a 19-5 run in the second quarter to take the lead. They got 16 from Conor Walsh and 15 from Michael Dougherty. Paupack got 17 points each from Mitch Guerrieri and Elijah Rosenthal. Holy Cross got 18 points from Malachi Phillips in a 49-28 win over Valley View. The Cougars then bounced back to get wins over Old Forge (62-53) and Lackawanna Trail (46-18). In the win over the Blue Devils, Marc Kudrich netted 19 and Dixon Black added 14. Old Forge got 19 from Kevin Walsh and 14 from Ben Grochowski. Scranton picked up wins over Wyoming Valley West (67-52) and Riverside (45-12). Matt Hart led the way for the Knights with 21 in the win over WVW (Aaron Austin, Draig Ruff, and Sean Judge combined for 41 for the Spartans). Honesdale notched three wins, including the consolation of the Finan Tourney. Anthony DeGori connect on 6 triples (28 points) in a 49-38 win over Riverside (Marcos Echeverria had 14 for the Vikes). DeGori then scored 13 and Jack Rickard added 12 in their 59-47 win over Forest City in the Finan consy (Jared Paulin and Jordan Non combined for 31 for the Foresters). DeGori then hit 18 points as the Hornets topped Tunkhannock 44-41 (Tyler Faux had 13 for the Tigers).
Susquehanna rallied in the final period getting a big trey from Garret Grasgruber (16 points) and 17 from Mason Dixon as the Sabers nipped Northwest Area 54-52. Sam Saxe (22) and Jaxson Yaple (15) paced the Rangers. Mid Valley played exceptional defense and got balanced scoring in a 64-33 win over North Pocono. The Spartans were led by Noah Tanner (19), Brad Kalinowski (18), Brendan Davies (12), and RJ Gouldsbury (11). Anthony Kosiba had a dozen points for the Trojans. Wallenpaupack split a pair of games, losing to East Stroudsburg South, but bouncing back to defeat Forest City 45-39. Shane Acoveno hit 25 points as Del-Val got by Pocono Mountain East, 69-56. Reirdan Reyan netted 31 points (with 5 triples) but Elk Lake came up short to Wyalusing 65-53. Montrose defeated Towanda 59-50 as Brennan Gilhool led the way with 14 for the Meteors. In the Cal King Tourney at Lackawanna Trail, the host Lions advanced with a 47-41 win over Lake-Lehman as Travis Ankoff scored 15 (Cole Spencer had 14 for the Black Knights). Western Wayne also advanced with a 49-32 victory over Lakeland. The Wildcats got 24 points (including 5 triples) from Zach Rovinsky. The championship matchup was filled with drama as Ankoff hit a triple to send the game to overtime where the Lackawanna Trail came away with the 40-36 win over Western Wayne. The Lions got 12 each from Josh Rzucidlo and Shawn Jones. The Wildcats got 21 points (on 7 treys) from Dahlton Frisbie. Lakeland took the consolation as Jason Curnow led the way with 25 points in a 68-40 win over Lake-Lehman.
BOYS LLHOOPS PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Anthony DeGori (6-0 junior guard) has Honesdale on a 3-game winning streak. He scored 28 points (including 6 triples) in a 49-38 win over Riverside. The junior guard then hit 13 points as the Hornets captured the consolation game of the Finan Tourney, 59-47 over Forest City. On Monday night, he netted 18 points (with 4 treys) in a 44-41 win over Tunkhannock.
Juwane Buckner (5-9 junior guard) has been one of several key pieces to the early success of Wilkes-Barre Meyers this season. He scored 17 points as the Mohawks defeated a solid Central Columbia squad, 56-42. The junir guard then added 17 more as Meyers came away with an impressive win over highly-regarded Mid Valley, 58-38.
UPCOMING DISTRICT 2 BOYS GAMES
West Scranton at Mid Valley
Dallas at Wyoming Valley West (WVC)
Crestwood at Pittston Area (WVC)
Holy Redeemer at Wilkes-Barre GAR (WVC)
Wyoming Seminary at Nanticoke Area (WVC)
Northwest Area at Wyoming Area (WVC)
Hazleton Area at Wilkes-Barre Coughlin (WVC)
Hanover Area at Berwick (WVC)
Lake-Lehman at Wilkes-Barre Meyers (WVC)
MMI Prep at Tunkhannock (WVC)
North Pocono at Blue Ridge
Williamsport at Scranton Prep
Central Columbia at Berwick
Riverside at Abington Heights
Dunmore at Valley View
Notre Dame East Stroudsburg at Old Forge
Wallenpaupack at Wilkes-Barre Coughlin
Honesdale at Blue Ridge
Burke Catholic at Delaware Valley
IN THE AIR TONIGHT
Division play began this week in the realigned Wyoming Valley Conference. The 18 school conference maintained three divisions, but went from one eight-team big school division and two five-team divisions to being even with six teams in each division. Both Berwick and Tunkhannock moved from Division 1 to Division 2 in both boys and girls hoops. Several teams moved from Division 2 to 3 (Hanover Area boys’ and girls’, Wilkes-Barre GAR girls’ and Lake-Lehman boys’ teams). Wilkes-Barre Meyers boys’ and Holy Redeemer girls’ squads moved from Division 3 to Division 2.
More importantly is that the number of conference games was increased under the new setup. Division 1 teams previously played 14 games (played everyone in division twice, and had no division crossover games). They now have 16 games – play everyone in Division 1 twice and each Division 2 team once. Division 2 and 3 each played 13 games previously which was comprised of playing each division team twice along with five division crossover games. Division 3 will now play 16 games (each team in division twice and each Division 2 team once). Division 2 has probably the most unique schedule seen in quite some time as they now go to 17 games, playing each WVC conference team one time. One of the immediate impacts for Division 2 teams is that they lose 4 non-league games. But, they do gain the challenge of each playing the larger 5A and 6A teams from Division 1. And, in the case of Wilkes-Barre Meyers, the Mohawks have maintained a superb caliber of opponent in their downsized exhibition schedule (including Scranton Prep, Central Columbia, Mid Valley, Berks Catholic and Constitution).
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GIRLS (UNDEFEATED TEAMS) EXHIBITION RECAPS
The current list of undefeated District 2 girls’ teams got a lot smaller following Wednesday’s Wyoming Valley Conference openers as Crestwood, Wyoming Area, and Wilkes-Barre Meyers all dropped their first games. Last week, Berwick (4-0) came away with a 52-47 non-league win over Northwest Area as Reese Mensinger netted 22 and Tori Talanca added 13. The Lady Rangers got 14 from Hannah Wisniewski and 12 from Raegan Harrison. On Wednesday the Lady Dawgs topped Hanover Area 57-41. Nanticoke Area (4-0) continues to play very well. The Trojanettes roster features the return of senior Riley Klepadlo who missed her entire junior season due to a knee injury. She netted 17 points and Alyssa Lewis added 11 in their 70-41 win over North Schuylkill. GNA then rolled over Susquehanna 55-16 as Kayla Aufiero hit 12. Then, in a matchup against top rival Hanover Area, Aufiero sank 25 while Klepadlo added 14 in a 76-20 romp over the Lady Hawkeyes. In their WVC opener, Nanticoke powered by Wyoming Seminary 74-27. Four wins with an average margin of victory of 45 points! The other remaining undefeated squads are in the always competitive Lackawanna League Division 3. Dunmore (4-0), Holy Cross (4-0), and Mid Valley (3-0) are all off the terrific starts. Dunmore doubled up West Scranton 66-33 as Maddie Martin (20), Kelly Quinn (14), and Erika Bistran (13) led the way. Destiny Jefferson hit 13 for the Lady Invaders. The Lady Bucks then trounced Wallenpaupack, 52-18, behind 14 from Gianna Delfino and 11 each from Martin and Victoria Toomey. Then, in an anticipated showdown against WVC contender Holy Redeemer, Dunmore had an incredible start (20-0) and led 24-6 after the first period. Martin (18), Toomey (17), and Delfino (11) paved the way to a 61-47 win. Maya Kornfeld scored 21 and Talia Kosierowski added 17 for the Lady Royals. Holy Cross also added three wins, including a 66-46 win over Holy Redeemer as the Lady Crusaders used some great teamwork and ball movement to take an 18-0 lead. Abby Anderson netted 23 in the win. Anderson then hit 23 more, Lexi Walsh 16, and Abby Sempa 12 in a 55-37 win over Western Wayne (Gracie Guarino scored a dozen for the Lady Wildcats). In a 71-40 win over Honesdale, four Holy Cross players reached doubles (Sempa 15, Walsh 15, Haley Bestrycki 14, and Anderson 12 with a dozen caroms). Alexa Jones and Emily Theobald each contributed 10 points for the Lady Wildcats. Mid Valley added a 51-31 win over Wyoming Seminary as Kiana Williams and Emily Morano combined for 22 points.
GIRLS (WVC TEAMS) EXHIBITION RECAPS
Without question, there is going to be some exciting hoops around the WVC this season. Pittston Area has the experience and team balance to win a championship. The Lady Patriots defeated Scranton (65-58), Abington Heights (44-40), and previously undefeated Crestwood in their conference opener, 55-41. Those are three quality wins over programs in the race for division titles this year. The Lady Patriots placed three players in doubles (Taryn Ashby 24, Kirsten Durling 16, and Leah Hodick 14) as they pulled away from a halftime tie to defeat Scranton. Kristen Hart and Ciaira Lloyd each hit 14 for the Lady Knights. Pittston then took a 9-point halftime edge and hung on defeat AH as Durling and Ashby each sank 14 points. Alessia Brunori scored 12 for the Lady Comets. Crestwood got by Williamsport 59-38 as Andrea Shipton and Julia Makowski combined for 22. (Lady Millionaires got 16 from Jada Whaley and 13 from Gabrielle Thomas. Crestwood then got a strong 55-35 win over Riverside as Makowski (15), Sara Hopkins (14), and Shipton (12) led the Lady Comets. Lizzy Spindler netted 19 for the Lady Vikes. Northwest Area looks like they may be the team to beat in WVC Division 3 action, especially after their 74-68 win over previously unbeaten Wyoming Area Wednesday night. The Lady Rangers got 17 from Brenna Babcock, 16 from Reagan Harrison, and 12 from Hannah Wisniewski in a 53-40 win over Weatherly. Wisniewski and Babcock then each scored 17 in a 60-35 victory over Wilkes-Barre Coughlin. Wyoming Area got 18 apiece from Lydia Edwards and Katie Wolfgang as the Lady Warriors defeated Western Wayne 74-46 (Hannah Roedel had 18 for the Lady Wildcats).
Elsewhere, John Jezorwski got his first coaching win for Holy Redeemer as the Lady Royals doubled-up Abington Heights 56-28. Victoria Benning and Madison Hooper teamed up for 29 points as Hanover Area got by Coughlin 46-40 (Claire Curtis had 19 for the Lady Crusaders). Khira Cook netted 18 as Wilkes-Barre GAR also defeated Coughlin, 48-24. Tunkhannock nipped Montrose 37-33 as Rebecca Avery led the way with 9 points for the Lady Tigers. Lake-Lehman got 14 each from Savannah Purdy and Sarah Salus, but the Lady Knights lost a 57-56 game to Jim Thorpe as Kayley Kovan led the Olympians with 30. In the championship of the WVW Tip-Off Tourney, Erin Gibbons scored 20 points as the host Spartans got by Dallas 59-53. Gabby Smicherko added 18 and Colleen Cwalina 13 for WVW. Dallas, who led 43-38 heading into the final eight minutes, got 24 points from Maddie Kelly and 12 from Olivia Johnson. In the consolation matchup, Destiny Jefferson hit 21 points to lead West Scranton to a 60-31 win over Honesdale.
GIRLS (LACKAWANNA TEAMS) EXHIBITION RECAPS
Scranton Prep Came away with wins over Lake-Lehman and Wyoming Valley West sandwiched around a loss to EPC powerhouse Bethlehem Catholic. Alaina Weston hit 10 in their 43-25 win over the Black Knights. In their win over WVW, the Classics pulled away in the final period as Julia Sirotnak (20 points) and Kathleen Rose (11) led the way. Natalie Gruver had a dozen points for the Lady Spartans. In the lopsided 40-22 loss to Becahi, Prep trailed 14-2 after the first stanza. North Pocono came away with a pair of wins over Lakeland (38-32) and Pittston Area (48-45) before dropping a 50-43 loss to Pocono Mountain West. Chloe Pehanick had a 3-game total of 52 points for the Lady Trojans. Lakeland rebounded from their loss to NP (in which Madison Harding led the way with 16) to notch victories over Honesdale (45-34) and Susquehanna (50-31). Brooke Estadt (21) and Harding (16) led the way for the Lady Chiefs in the win over the Lady Hornets (who got 15 from Emily Theobald). Estadt and Haley Clauss-Walton then each netted 16 in the win over Susquehanna. Old Forge came away with wins over Mountain View (40-22) and Valley View (47-31) as Lindsey Walsh had a two-game total of 32 points. Carbondale got 15 from Anna Totsky and 11 from Mikenna Walsh in a 47-33 win over Tunkhannock. The Chargerettes then came up just short against West Scranton (50-47 in OT) as the Lady Invaders got 27 from Destiny Jefferson in the come-from-behind win. Carbondale got 16 from Amelia Zazzera. Abington Heights split a pair of games, getting by Mountain View (60-28) but then dropping a 45-40 loss to North Schuylkill. Hannah Kowalski led the Lady Comets with 15 while Nicole Getz and Sharon Houlihan each added 10 in their win over the Lady Eagles. Kowalski scored 11 in the loss to NS in which they led going into the final period, 35-30.
Elsewhere, Lizzy Spindler and Julia Antoniacci each scored 20 points to lead Riverside to a 68-27 win over Lackawanna Trail. Wallenpaupack came away with wins over Pocono Mountain West and East Stroudsburg North. Delaware Valley got 20 points from Hannah Gallagher in a 52-34 win over Wilkes-Barre GAR. Forest City got 25 points from MacKenzie Hartman and 14 from Kendra Bendyk as the Lady Foresters topped Valley View 54-30 (Hannah Yanoski had 13 for the Lady Cougars). And Scranton got 19 from Ciaira Lloyd and 16 from Kristen Hart in a 68-41 win over GAR.
GIRLS LLHOOPS PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Abby Anderson (5-11 senior forward) has helped Holy Cross to a 5-0 record so far. She scored 23 points in a big 66-46 win over rival Holy Redeemer and then matched the same point total as the Lady Crusaders defeated Western Wayne, 55-37. The 5-11 forward then hit 13 points in a 71-40 win over Honesdale. On Wednesday night, against a determined Valley View squad, the senior leader contributed 25 points as Holy Cross used a final period surge to secure the 44-34 come-from-behind victory.
Taryn Ashby (5-9 senior guard) has Pittston Area off to a strong 5-1 start. She scored 24 points (including 4 triples) as the Lady Patriots defeated Scranton 65-58. She then hit 14 points in each of her next two games, a 48-45 loss to North Pocono and a 44-40 victory over Abington Heights. In the WVC opener Wednesday night, the senior guard netted 13 points to knock off previously undefeated Crestwood.
UPCOMING DISTRICT 2 GIRLS GAMES
Holy Cross at Abington Heights
Riverside at North Pocono
Mid Valley at West Scranton
Montrose at Lakeland
Carbondale at Honesdale
Scranton at Mountain View
Lackawanna Trail at Dallas
Hazleton Area at Whitehall
Central Columbia at Berwick
Forest City at Scranton Prep
Wilkes-Barre Meyers at Mid Valley
Valley View at Dunmore
North Pocono at Hanover Area
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