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Comets fall short in test

With its fast-paced game, Williamsport runs away from Crestwood in 4th period.

Adam Fazzini of Crestwood drives the ball toward the basket with Williamsport’s Keith Haynes in close pursuit in the second quarter of Tuesday’s boys high school basketball in Wright Township.

Pete g. wilcox/the times leader

WRIGHT TWP. – About a month from now, the Crestwood Comets will realize even more the significance of Tuesday night’s game with Williamsport

Even if it meant the end of an 11-game winning streak.

Williamsport demonstrated the ability to put the pedal to the floor in an instant, dominating the fourth quarter for a 55-42 boys basketball victory.

Williamsport (13-4) outscored Crestwood (15-3), the 10th-ranked team in the state in Class 3A, 19-2 in the final quarter to overcome a lead the Comets held throughout most of the game.

“We’ll never play a team in our district that will put the pressure on like Williamsport did tonight,” said Crestwood coach Mark Atherton, whose team is seeking a fifth consecutive District 2 Class 3A title. “In the state tournament you could, but not districts.

“At times we handled it well, but at times we didn’t handle it as well.”

Although billed as an exhibition game, it had an impact on the District 2 Class 4A seedings. District 4 Williamsport plays in the D2-4A tournament and its seeding is based on overall records. The Millionaires moved into a first-place tie with Hazleton Area (13-4) for the top seed.

Once Williamsport’s spot in the district tournament is set, the rest of the seedings revert to Wyoming Valley Conference and Lackawanna Conference records.

Crestwood, the WVC Division I first-half champion, looked as if it was going to help out Hazleton Area. Forward Adam Fazzini was causing all kinds of problems, scoring 21 points through the first three quarters.

Along with some timely scoring from center Kyle Bogumil and guard Josh Popowycz, the Comets took a 24-16 lead at the half and a 40-36 advantage after three quarters.

Then Crestwood’s offense went dormant as the Comets missed their first 10 shots of the fourth quarter. Just about every Millionaire pitched in on a 17-0 run, resulting in a 53-40 lead with 2:30 to play.

“This is all we’re going to see,” said Bogumil, referring to a possible trip to the state playoffs. “Even just playing well in the first half like we did, we showed we can keep up with it. I’m sure the next time we play a team like that we’ll be more prepared and things will go our way.”

Williamsport has been giving lessons all season. Although not mentioned in the Class 4A state rankings, the Millionaires have knocked off Communications Tech, the state’s top-ranked 3A team, and Prep Charter, which is atop the 2A state rankings.

Forward Isaiah Twine led Williamsport, shooting 7-of-10 from the floor to finish with 17 points. Guard Sean Ruane shook off some rickety shooting in the first half to score 12 of his 17 points in the final two quarters.

“We’ve been blessed to be able to come out and raise our level of play in the second half,” Williamsport coach Allen Taylor said. “(Crestwood) came out and played an outstanding first half. Their man-to-man defense in terms of closing down the driving lanes was outstanding. We couldn’t find easy driving lanes to the basket and were settling for jump shots.

“With Fazzini and Bogumil in there, that’s one and done, so it was tough to get second-chance opportunities when we were shooting those jump shots.”

on the web

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