District 2 Playoffs (Boys 2A, Boys 4A Game Recaps from Scranton)

Written by: on Sunday, February 23rd, 2020

 

 

February 22, 2020

 

District 2 Championship Match-ups Set

 

Boys’ 2A Semi-Final:  Holy Cross 60, Old Forge 48

Boys’ 4A Semi-Final:  Scranton Prep 57, Hanover Area 53

Boys’ 4A Semi-Final:  Valley View 50, Nanticoke 43

 

By Phil T

SCRANTONScranton High hosted three District 2 Semi-Finals on Saturday afternoon as the tournament winds down and prepares for the championship games at Mohegan Sun Arena beginning on Thursday.

The day began with a Boys’ 2A matchup between Holy Cross and Old Forge followed by both Boys’ 4A semi-finals, Scranton Prep vs Hanover Area and Valley View vs Nanticoke Area.

A pair of Lackawanna League Division 3 teams tipped the day off with top seed Holy Cross taking on #5 seed Old Forge. The Crusaders won both of the regular games between the two teams.

Holy Cross used they size to work the ball into Pat Bennie, who finished with double-double (23 points and 10 rebounds), to establish an early lead and solidify their offense.

After Bennie’s nine-point first quarter, the Blue Devils changed their defensive approach and were able to slow down the Crusaders until halftime.

At the start of the second half, a layup by John Giglio and a triple by Casey Holzman would cut the Crusaders lead to three points. But Holy Cross would respond, extending their lead to double-digits early in the final period.

The Blue Devils would fight back and trail by three points with four minutes left in the game, but their offense stalled and they would only score three more points in the game as Holy Cross secured their win and place in the 2A Championship Game, where they will face Mountain View.

The Crusaders were led by Bennie, Leahy O’Connor and Joe Osborne each had 12 points in the win.

The Blue Devils were led by Michael DiGregorio with 17 points.

 

Scranton Prep played Hanover Area in the opening Boys’ 4A semi-final. The top seeded Cavaliers would come out on top in this one, 57-53, but it may not have been as easy as some expected.

Out of the gate, Prep had no answer for Asad Whitehead.  The Hawkeyes ball movement built a 10-0 run to end the half as they only trailed by six points, 29-23.

The Hawkeyes would make a late push in the final period but clutch shooting from the foul line, Cavs hitting 13-14 in the fourth quarter, kept Prep out in front as they punched their ticket to the Boys’ 4A championship game.

The Cavaliers were led by Gavin Bednarz with 20 points, 10 in the fourth quarter.

Whitehead led the Hawkeyes with 17 points, but was limited to only 6 points in the second half.

 

Valley View and Nanticoke Area wrapped up the day with the second Boys’ 4A semi-final game.

In a game that had ten lead-changes, everyone was thinking that the Trojan’s late season surge might carry them to the arena but an offensive drought late in the game cost them that opportunity.

After three quarters of a tight ball game in which the teams would only be separated by as many as six points, the Cougars and Trojans knew they needed to find an edge to win the final eight minutes.

Valley View found their advantage by shutting down the Trojan’s main threat, Colby Butczynski. Butczynski, who scored 20 points in the first three quarters, would be denied every chance at the offensive end and be held scoreless in the final period.

Without their main offensive target, Nanticoke Area struggled in the final period, only scoring seven points, as they watched the Cougars secure their date with Scranton Prep in the Boys 4A Championship game.

Nanticoke Area, who was led by Butczynski with 20 points, will play Hanover Area Tuesday night in the consolation game (winner advances to states).

Valley View was led by Adam Howanitz with 16 points and Zack Kovalchik with 15 points.     

 

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