District 2 Boys 4A Semi-Final (3-Scranton Prep at 2-Mid Valley)

Written by: on Saturday, February 26th, 2022



February 26, 2022


The Arena Matchup is Set for Boys AAAA


Mid Valley 66, Scranton Prep 48


By Phil T.

THROOP – Inside Mid Valley High School, fans packed into their gymnasium in anticipation for the District 2 Boys AAAA Semifinal matchup between Scranton Prep and Mid Valley.  As the excitement grew and the game tipped off, the offenses sputtered along totaling only seven combined points in the opening frame.
The offensive drought finally ended as both teams traded leads until Mid Valley pulled away for good en route to their 66-48 victory, ending Scranton Prep’s seven-year run of consecutive district championships.   
Defensive pressure was the name of the game in the first quarter as both teams combined to shoot 19% to start the game.  Over the first six minutes, putbacks from Matt Cobb and Gabe Tanner would be the only action.  A Prep trip to the foul line and a layup from Cobb would eventually give the Cavaliers a 7-2 advantage at the first buzzer.  Prep’s defense was headlined by Robert Rossi who brought down eight rebounds and blocked one shot in the period.
Coming out of the huddle, the players settled down and found their groove as the lead would change hands three times over the first six minutes in the second stanza.  After going 0-5 from the field to start the game, Cameron Riccardo would score the second quarter’s first field-goal and Jovani Crisafulli would follow it with a floater to cut the deficit to one-point.
Just past the midway mark of the quarter, Andrew Ferguson would head to the charity stripe and wind up with the Cav’s third consecutive trip to the line where they could only pickup one point.  Danny Nemitz would give the Spartans the lead with a triple, but Rossi would get it back to Prep on the ensuing possession with a layup.  Mid Valley would regain, and maintain, the lead, with successful foul shots from Nemitz and Ricky VinanskyNemitz would later hit a triple in the period before a Kellen Casey putback, with mere seconds left in the half, sent the teams into the locker rooms with only two points separating them.
After halftime the offensive output would grow as the Spartans would double their score in the third period.
Mid Valley started the third period on an 8-1 run, with half the points coming from the charity stripe.  Several plays later Tanner would finish at the basket to give Mid Valley their first double-digit lead of the game.
Points in the paint from Rossi and James Pettinato along with four successful foul shots down the stretch would pull the Cavs within seven before the end of the period.  Mid Valley took a 32-25 advantage into the final eight minutes.
The Spartans offense would go into overdrive as they would more than double their score, again, in the final quarter, scoring 34 points in the final period.
Tanner got his team going with back-to-back buckets as Mid Valley started the final stanza on an 8-2 run to build a 13-point lead.  Prep would battle back but starters Rossi and Noah Sorensen would foul-out leaving their team shorthanded.  As the Cavs found themselves in foul trouble, Mid Valley found themselves at the foul line, and often.  The charity stripe would not be an Achilles heel for the Spartans as they would convert 24 of their 32 chances on the night.
Ricky Vinansky would lead his team to victory with a game-high 20 points and 11 rebound performance.  Gabe Tanner made his presence felt up-and-down the court with 18 points, six rebounds, three assists and five steals.  Danny Nemitz added 13 points in the contest and Cameron Riccardo finished with ten points.
Andrew Ferguson led the Cavaliers with 11 points on the night.  Matt Cobb added ten points and seven rebounds in the losing effort.
With the victory Mid Valley secures its spot in the upcoming PIAA AAAA State Tournament and will now face top-seed Dallas in the District 2 AAAA Championship game on Saturday.
Scranton Prep still has a chance to secure their place in the state tournament when they host Nanticoke Area on Tuesday night in the state qualifying game.


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