District 2 Boys 6A First Round (Scranton vs. West Chester East)

Written by: on Wednesday, March 9th, 2022

 

 

March 9, 2022

 

Knights Ride into Second Round

 

Scranton 84, West Chester East 70

 
SCRANTON – The Northeast Beat does not use the term casually, but tonight’s Boys 6A First Round playoff game between host Scranton and West Chester East at times began to show signs of some truly “McNamara-esque” type shooting.  The first quarter barrage of triples by Jason Shields and Arvel Chandler (6 combined treys in the first eight minutes) was just the appetizer.  In the second half, trailing by as many as 19 points, the Vikings connected on several long (and I do mean long) range shots throughout the third and into part of the final quarter to whittle the deficit down to six points before the Knights regrouped and went on to an 84-70 victory to advance to Saturday’s PIAA Second Round against Garnet Valley (1-6, 18-10).  Despite the disappointing loss, the future is quite bright for West Chester East as their scorecard consisted of 4 juniors, 3 sophomores, and a freshman.
Scranton stormed out to a 21-4 first quarter lead, hitting on all cylinders from the opening tip.  The Knights ran the floor with precision, found the open shots, and controlled the boards.  Across the first 8 minutes, both Shields and Chandler each connected on 3 triples while AJ Dinterman was slicing his way toward the basket and netting 7 points.  For West Chester East, Jack Kushner scored 5 points while Josh Sherlock and Ryan Price hit treys for the Vikings.  This one was on the verge of getting out of control early as the Knights had racked up an impressive 27-11 advantage.
In the second period, West Chester East was able to prevent much further damage on the scoreboard as Kushner tallied 8 points while their impressive 6-2 freshman guard, KJ Cochran, connected on a pair of triples.  Scranton, meanwhile, was playing terrific team basketball getting six different players into the scoring column.  Shields showed his versatility hitting a reverse layup while Dinterman got another drive to the basket and putback wrapped around a Cochran trey.  Chandler’s triple just before the halftime buzzer sent the Knights into the locker holding a 45-27 lead. 
The second half began with much of the same success for the home team as Scranton built their advantage to 19 points on three different occasions highlighted by their unselfish, find-the-open-man, efforts (Shields extra pass to a wide-open Josh Williams, for example).  After Shields connected to give the Knights a 51-32 lead, a triple by Jose Ramos and pair of free throws by Cochran were followed by another score by Ramos.  Dillon Lazdowsky converted 1 of 2 free throws for Scranton, but yet another long-range triple by Ramos suddenly cut this one to a 10-point gap (52-42).  But, the rain of treys was just beginning to dazzle to crowd as Shields, Ramos and Cochran then hit back-to-back ones to cut the gap to 55-48.  Want more?  The quarter ended with a triple from Ryan Price (WCE) followed by another by both Shields and Cochran again bringing the Vikings within seven points (61-54) before Dinterman’s shot made it 63-54 heading into the final period.  This was getting too close for comfort for the suddenly anxious home crowd.  
After another Ramos triple brought the Vikes within 63-57, Scranton got scores from Shields and Rykeese Cenord to make it 67-57.  After a triple by Chandler and putback by Shields elevated the lead back to 13 (72-59), the Vikings had one more rally in the pocket as a Ramos triple and basket by Kushner made it 72-64.  But, that’s as far as West Chester East would get the rest of the way as the Knights secured the hard-fought, and highly-entertaining 84-70 win.
On the night, a trio of seniors led the way for Scranton Jason Shields was high-scorer with 28 points (including 5 triples).  AJ Dinterman netted 21 points highlighted by numerous drives to the hoop.  Arvel Chandler scored 17 points (5 triples). 
West Chester East was led by junior Jack Kushner with 18 points, junior Jose Ramos added 17 (with 5 treys), and freshman KJ Cochran contributed 16 points (with 4 triples).
The teams combined to connect on 24 triples.  The Vikings converted 13 of their 25 attempts.

 

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