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Patriots rally behind Emmett’s overtime shot

Wyoming Area beats up on Berwick

Above, PA’s Shaun McDermott goes strong to the basket for two points.. Below left, Patriots point guard Steve Sklanka looks to pass. Below right, Pittston Area’s Jordan Houseman drives to the hoop for a score.

photos by BILL TARUTIS

Wyoming Area’s Lou Vullo (12) runs his man into a screen last week against Holy Redeemer.

photo by charlotte bartizek

Considering the shooting percentage, there really wasn’t a specific player who should take the possible game-winning shot Tuesday night.

R.J. Emmett, though, took a crack at it and succeeded.

Emmett’s 3-pointer with 22.5 seconds left in overtime proved to be the difference as Pittston Area edged Coughlin 50-46 in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division I boys’ basketball game.

Emmett’s shot – only his third of the game – came from the left of the key and gave the Patriots a 49-46 lead. After Coughlin missed a three-point attempt, Pittston Area’s Jordan Houseman sealed the game with a free throw with 5.2 seconds remaining.

“He was a football guy and he is just starting to come around into basketball shape with his skills,” Pittston Area coach Alan Kiesinger said of Emmett. “Last year, he was a pretty good three-point shooter. This year it just hasn’t happened for him. Hopefully, that’s the start.”

Oddly, Pittston Area hit all three of its shots in overtime after shooting 3-of-18 in the fourth quarter. The shooting was about the same in the previous three quarters, yet the Patriots overcame a 30-20 deficit midway through the third quarter to tie the game 39-39 after regulation.

“We were able come out in the second half and make a little run,” Kiesinger said. “I think our pressure bothered them a little bit, as did their bother us.”

That was the crux of regulation.

Pittston Area’s Steve Sklanka hit a three-pointer at 3:34 of the first quarter, but the Patriots didn’t score from the field again until an inside basket by Shaun McDermott with 1:22 left until halftime.

Coughlin, though, failed to capitalize fully. The Crusaders went on a 7-0 run midway through the second quarter, but missed all five free throws – and was 1-of-8 from the line in the first half – and led just 24-18 at the break.

Then came the third quarter where Coughlin’s Matt Dobosh opened with an drive at 7:36 for the Crusaders only basket of the eight minutes.

The result was Coughlin’s biggest lead of the game, 30-20, evaporating to 30-28 entering the fourth quarter.

Sklanka finished with a game-high 18 points to lead the Patriots as the Crusaders held leading-scorer Steve Stravinski to just five points.

Houseman added 10 points for PA, and Joe Coyne chipped in with six points.

PA 59, Hazleton 71

Pittston Area rallied from an eight-point deficit at halftime to get within four points entering the fourth quarter, but Hazleton Area pull away in the final stanza to take a 71-59 victory from the Patriots in a WVC Division I matchup on Friday night in Hazleton

The Patriots outscored the Cougars, 20-16, in the third quarter to get within 48-44 entering the last period.

But Hazleton used a 23-15 run to end the game and any PA hopes of pulling off an upset.

Joe Coyne led the Patriots with 17 points, and Steve Sklanka added 14. Steve Stravinski and Jordan Houseman each chipped in with 11 points for Pittston Area.

PA 58, Crestwood 69

Steve Sklanka scored a career-high 21 points but it was not enough as Pittston Area lost to Crestwood, 69-58, in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division I game last Saturday night in Mountain Top.

The Patriots trailed by just five entering the final quarter but the Comets tallied 22 points in the fourth period to take the 11-point victory. Crestwood drilled eight three-pointers on the night.

Sklanka went 8-for-10 from the free throw line and scored six field goals for his point total.

Joe Coyne added 16 points for Pittston Area, and Steve Stravinski chipped in with 15 points.

WA 62, Berwick 45

Wyoming Area scored a season-high 62 points as it broke a six-game losing streak in a 62-45 victory over Berwick in Wyoming Valley Conference Division II play on Tuesday night in Exeter.

Cody Gates led the way for the Warriors offense with a season-best 17 points as Wyoming Area broke away with a 28-point second quarter to take a 37-21 led at intermission.

WA kept the pressure on in the third quarter with a 14-7 run to up its advantage to 51-28 entering the final stanza.

Ryan Carey and Danny Newhart split 18 points for the Warriors, and Randy McDermott, Mike Carey and Lou Vullo dropped in six points each.

WA 35, Tunkhannock 56

Wyoming Area managed just 13 second-half points as it dropped a 56-35 decision to Tunkhannock on the road last Saturday night in a WVC Division II game.

Ryan Carey scored a team-high 11 points to lead the Warriors who trailed just 29-22 at halftime.

Cody Gates added seven points for Wyoming Area, and Lou Vullo chipped in with six points.

OF 34, Dunmore 38

Old Forge’s shooting woes continued Friday night as Dunmore held the Blue Devils with out a point for a 13-minute stretch to start the second half on its way to a 38-34 victory in a Lackawanna League Division II game in the Elio Ghigiarelli Gymnasium.

The Bucks took a 26-25 halftime lead and increased its lead to 34-27 with three minutes left in the game as Old Forge managed just two free throws. Senior Bill Nocera broke the drought with a bucket at the 3:01 mark of the fourth to get Old Forge within five.

The Blue Devils got within three with 55 seconds left after Mario Martinelli made a steal and a layup, but Old Forge turned the ball over on its next possession after Dunmore missed two free throws to give the home team a chance to tie the game.

Tony Goodall led the Blue Devils with 14 points, but was held to just two free throws in the second half.

Martinelli added nine for Old Forge who played without starting center Dom Avvisato who was out with an ankle injury.

Matt Clark paced the Bucks with 14.

OF 31, Valley View 26

Sometimes it’s better to win ugly than to lose pretty.

And it sure was ugly for Old Forge in a 31-26 win over Valley View in a Lackawanna League Division II game in the Cougars Den on Tuesday night in Archbald.

The Blue Devils not only shot just 9-for-38 from the field but also lost senior forward Dom Avvisato to a severe ankle injury midway through the first quarter.

Old Forge led 5-4 after the first quarter and trailed 8-7 at halftime as they shot just 3-for-24 from the field.

Valley View kept its one-point lead into the fourth quarter but the Blue Devils got two free throws and a three-pointer from Tony Goodall to take the lead for good at 22-18 with 6:18 left in the game.

Goodall scored nine of his game-high 14 in the final eight minutes and Mario Martinelli fought off foul trouble to score all four of his points in the final three minutes as Old Forge hung on by outscoring the Cougars, 14-8, in the final period.

Connor Fultz picked up the slack on the board for the Blue Devils with 11 rebounds. Tim McGrath pitched in with six boards, and Goodall had four.

OF 67, Western Wayne 30

Old Forge bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 67-30 demolition of Western Wayne last Saturday in Lackawanna League Division II game at the Varden Garden in Lake Ariel.

The Blue Devils went inside-outside in the first half as senior guard Tony Goodall and senior center Dom Avvisato combined for 24 points as Old Forge took a 34-17 lead into the locker room at intermission.

Avvisato continued to pour in the point with eight of his season-high 18 in the third quarter as the Blue Devils extended its lead to 21 entering the final stanza.

Goodall led the way with 20 points for Old Forge. Avvisato added eight rebounds and five assists to his point total, and Bill Nocera knocked down three three-pointers to chip in with nine points for the Blue Devils.

Connor Fultz added eight points for Old Forge, and Tim McGrath added seven rebounds and four assists.

Dispatch Staff Writer Rick Notari contributed to this report.

This week’s schedule

Tuesday

PA v. Holy Redeemer

WA at Coughlin

OF v. Carbondale

Thursday

OF at Holy Cross

Friday

PA v. Valley West

WA at Crestwood

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