District 2 Boys Game Recap (Wilkes-Barre Area vs. Pittston Area)
Written by: Jon K on Tuesday, February 11th, 2020
February 10, 2020
Wolfpack Holds off Patriots Rally
Wilkes-Barre Area 44, Pittston Area 39
EXETER – Wilkes-Barre Area, in their inaugural hoops season, advanced to the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 Championship game, as they held off a late rally by Pittston Area at Wyoming Area high school. The 44-39 victory puts the Wolfpack in Wednesday’s title game against Crestwood who defeated Dallas, 82-54, in Monday’s other division semi-final playoff game. The win by WBA also awards them a position in Friday’s conference championship semi-finals.
The Pack, who never trailed in this one, started out with a pair of nifty driving layups by speedster Saquan Portee to take a 6-2 lead. The Patriots would then get a layup from Andrew Krawczyk and bank shot from the foul line from Brennan Higgins wrapped around a putback by Cole Walker to cut it to 8-6 heading into the second period.
Wilkes-Barre Area built a 12-point lead (21-9) late in the second quarter on the scoring of Brandon Hall, Jack Gigallon and a Portee trey. Pittston Area was able to stop their momentum by finishing the first half on a 5-0 run courtesy of a Joe Conetti basket followed by a Mike George triple off a WBA turnover to go into the locker room trailing by only seven points, 21-14.
The Wolfpack started the second half with a Gilgallon layup and Cole Walker free throw to go back up by 10 before a Higgins three-point play cut it to 24-17. Pat Toole’s squad then got their run game going a bit as Matt Egidio hit a fast break layup following a Walker putback. Portee then capped the 6-0 run off with a sensational fake move and drive to the basket for a 30-17 advantage. The Pats responded by putting together a 7-0 run led by Booth and George to get their fans back into the game as the third stanza ended, 32-24.
Wilkes-Barre maintained that margin until JJ Walsh connected on his first basket of the game, a triple to pull his team within four points (34-30) with just over 3 minutes remaining in the game. Hall would then hit a pair of free throws followed by a Booth score and free throw by Higgins cut it to 36-33 with 2:26 left. Jordan Diggs then calmly launched a triple to put the Pack up 39-33.The Pats, however, continued to scrap and battle, getting a pair of George free throws and Booth layup to cut it to a single field goal, 39-37 with 1:35 remaining. Following a pair of missed Wilkes-Barre free throws, PA got the rebound and had the chance to tie the game. After running about 40 seconds off the clock working the ball around the floor, they lost possession (arrow to WBA). The Pack brought the ball right to the basket, but Pittston was able to block the shot only to lose possession once again as soon a they got it into their end of the floor. Walker extended the lead to 41-37 before Walsh got fouled attempting a triple with 14 seconds left. He would hit 2 of 3 (cut it to 41-39), but the Wolfpack would then go on to seal the 44-39 victory.
Wilkes-Barre was led by Cole Walker with 14 points, Saquan Portee with 9 points, Jordan Diggs with 8 points, and Brandon Hall with 7 points.
Pittston Area was led by Logan Booth with 14 points, Mike George with 9 points, and Brennan Higgins with 6 points.
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