It week that started in a deep freeze, the players and excitement of the games created quite a bum-rush finish highlighted by a tidal wave of emotion.
There were intense battles that needed extra time and some fantastic finishes. This week will be hard pressed to live up to what fans saw, but the teams are working toward claiming Lackawanna Division championships, so things are expected to get heated.
Here’s what we have in the next two days
Elk Lake at Lakeland, 6:15
Wallenpaupack at Valley View, 7 (Coaches vs. Cancer game)
Honesdale at West Scranton, 7
Abington Heights at Valley View
Scranton at Scranton Prep (Coaches vs. Cancer game)
Delaware Valley at North Pocono
Wallenpaupack at Honesdale
Carbondale Area at Holy Cross
Riverside at Lakeland, 6:45
Old Forge at Mid Valley
Blue Ridge at Susquehanna
Mountain View at Elk Lake
Montrose at Lackawanna Trail
Dunmore at Forest City
Any time you have a last-second shot fall, it creates bedlam in a high school gymnasium as players and fans storm the court. It spotlights the intimate setting that is created where the game is competed in such tight quarters.
That emotion has been played out a bit more often than usual this season. But nothing compares to the sequence of events that closed out the Scranton at Honesdale game Saturday night.
FIRST: Honesdale’s Will Howell drilled a 3-pointer with 10 seconds remaining after the team forced a Scranton turnover. His shot gave the Hornets a 71-70 lead.
- SECOND: Scranton’s Derome White drove to the basket and hit a runner in the lane that gave Scranton back the lead, 72-71, with less than 5 seconds left and the Hornets without a timeout.
- THIRD: Then, Honesdale’s Colin Rickard did the unimaginable. He launched a shot almost the full length of the court and it banked in for a 74-72 win.
Thanks to technology and Scranton Super Fan Matt “Muggsy” Nycz, we have the videotape for you all and it has been viewed almost 18,000 times on Facebook and is closing in on a record.
HARD LUCK KNIGHTS
It almost seems like if Scranton basketball didn’t have bad luck, it would have no luck at all. That includes historically. For whatever reason, and there may be one game, in the course of the last 20 years, the Knights always seem to be on the wrong end of a dramatic finish.
Here are four that rank just behind Honesdale’s heroics from Saturday:
FEBRUARY 22, 2003
Eighth-seeded Wallenpaupack Upsets Top-Seeded Scranton
CARBONDALE — Prior to the start of the postseason, Darren Cannon thought he had already played in the greatest win in Wallenpaupack school history. That was the day the Buckhorns upset Hazleton Area in last year’s playoffs.
Then came Saturday afternoon.
Cannon’s running jumper banked in with only three seconds left, the final points in Wallenpaupack’s wild 56-55 win over top-seeded Scranton in the District 2 Class AAAA quarterfinals at Carbondale High School.
“This is the biggest win in Wallenpaupack history”
— Darren Cannon
FEBRUARY 23, 2010
Like just about every basketball player, Luke Peterson has probably simulated making the game-winning basket as time expired a lot in the backyard.
On Tuesday night, he made the most of his once-in-a-lifetime shot.
In a scene that resembled March Madness during the NCAA tournament, Peterson raced down court during a wild scramble of players as the precious final seconds ticked away.
With one second remaining, a desperation left-handed heave caromed perfectly with just the right amount of spin and went through, sending Abington Heights to a dramatic 55-53 overtime victory over Scranton at the Xavier Center.
As the crowd went into a frenzy, Abington Heights (23-2) celebrated its fourth straight Lackawanna League Division I title.
“When I first got the in bound play, I saw that most of Scranton’s team was around the basket, crashing the board. I kind of took it at (Nate) Lewis. I had to rise up and hoped for the best. I didn’t see it go in, but I knew it had a decent chance. Then I heard the crowd going crazy, I stood up and the whole bench ran at me. It was cool to be a part of that.”
— Luke Peterson
JANUARY 11, 2012
Trojans topple Knights
SCRANTON — Ricky Goodall stood, holding his hand high above his head as his shot headed for the basket.
When it snapped through the nets, he breathed a giant sigh of relief.
One final tap away defensively with one second remaining, and Goodall’s second clutch free throw lifted North Pocono to a 49-48 upset over No. 1 Scranton on Thursday to open second-half play in the Lackawanna Division I.
“I was out there and I didn’t know what I was going to do,” Goodall said. “The crowd was going crazy. I was real nervous, but I got to the line and clutched it.”
Scranton had just finished celebrating a late shot from Karlon Quiller that made the score 48-47 and seemingly allowed the area’s top-ranked team to thwart its first league loss since Jan. 4, 2011, a stretch of 20 games.
But after a North Pocono timeout, Goodall, who almost fumbled the ball, collected it and got fouled.
Normally a 55 percent free-throw shooter, he drilled the first one that tied it at 48.
Confident, but alone at the line with no teammates standing along the key, he made the second sending the North Pocono bench and fans into a frenzy.
“When it left my hand, I didn’t think it was going to go in. Once it when in, I left my follow through up. This is a great win, but it’s only one win. We will get back in the gym and keep working.”
— Ricky Goodall
JANUARY 14, 2015
FANNING LIFTS WEST PAST RIVAL SCRANTON
Shaun Fanning slid to an open area, put up his hands, and Cole Stetzar fired a pass to the burly center.
With the final seconds ticking away, Fanning banked in a layup that sent West Scranton players into a frenzy.
Scranton’s last-second shot attempt failed moments later, and the Invaders came away with a dramatic, 46-45, win over their city rivals Tuesday night in a Lackawanna League Division I boys basketball game.
“It was just crazy,” Fanning said. “It was all from Cole. He saw me right there and it was a great look.
“I just had to finish.”
That game-winning shot capped a big game from Fanning, who scored a game-high 15 points, and three in the final minute.
“It was the greatest feeling. It was my first buzzer-beater. My first game-winning shot. This is something that I will remember for the rest of my life.”
— Shaun Fanning
Well, let’s just move forward with our look at each division in the Lackawanna League:
INSIDE DIVISION II
It was a LONG work week for Western Wayne, but it made the most of it. Western Wayne played a total of 108 minutes of basketball with its three overtime efforts last week, but came away 2-1.
Here’s a recap:
- Western Wayne trailed Scranton, 74-70, with less than 10 seconds remaining.
Dahlton Frisbie hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, got fouled, and made a free throw to convert a four-point play that sent the game to overtime. There, the Wildcats rolled to a 68-63 win. It was the first win for the Western Wayne program over Scranton, which had won the previous six meetings by an average of 23.8 games. Frisbie finished with 31 points and Zach Rovinsky had 30 for the Wildcats. FINAL: Western Wayne 68, Scranton 63.
- Western Wayne pushed past Honesdale in overtime
Again, Frisbie was outstanding. The senior scored 22 points and the Wildcats beat the Hornets for only the second time in the last 18 meetings. Rovinsky added 16 points as he continued his pursuit of 1,000 career points. More importantly, the Wildcats earned their 10th win of the season to equal their total from last season. FINAL: Western Wayne 54, Honesdale 50.
- Western Wayne gives No. 2 Scranton Prep a scare
After two dramatic wins, the Wildcats took on Scranton Prep and held a 28-26 lead at the half. The advantage grew to 42-37 after three quarters and stood at 54-51 with only a few seconds remaining in the game and one of the program’s best wins in recent history. Leo O’Boyle hit a game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game to overtime. Scranton Prep survived its second overtime game in a week. Frisbie had 27 points and Rovinsky added 16. FINAL: Scranton Prep 69, Western Wayne 58.
DAHLTON FRISBIE BY THE NUMBERS
|Points scored in three games giving him 331 in 19 games this season.|
|Made 3-pointers in three games.|
|Percent of offensive points scored in three games.|
Those numbers earned Frisbie The Times-Tribune Athlete of the Week honor.
OK, so Western Wayne went 2-1 and Honesdale prevented itself from falling too far out of the race with its late win over Scranton. Wallenpapack has a real challenge Monday against Valley View, then must bounce back and try to avenge its loss to Honesdale on the road. That will go a long way in determining the Division II champion.
Wallenpaupack (6-3, 13-5)
Honesdale (5-4, 10-8)
Western Wayne (3-7, 10-9)
North Pocono (2-6, 5-12)
Delaware Valley (2-8, 8-11)
INSIDE DIVISION III
Holy Cross proved again this season that it is a program that can rise to the challenge. The Crusaders found themselves in a battle against Lakeland, which had only 1 win in 16 previous meetings against Holy Cross. The Chiefs never trailed the Crusaders for all 32 minutes of regulation. But Tyler Mozeleski hit a 3-pointer that tied the game in the final minute, then ignited a fast start in overtime for his team’s first lead and sent Holy Cross to a 63-54 win.
Dunmore upsets Mid Valley on FRIDAY
DUNMORE — Tommy Dougherty scored 14 points to lead Dunmore to a 49-41 win over No. 3 Mid Valley in a Lackawanna League Division III boys basketball game Friday.
Vinny Talluto had 14 points for Mid Valley and Shane Rosencrans scored 13.
Mid Valley (15-3, 7-2) — V. Talluto 6 0-0 14, S. Rosencrans 4 2-2 13, T. O’Connor 1 3-4 6, M. Miller 2 1-1 5, C. Hazelton 1 1-2 3, C. Mercanti 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 7-9 41.
Dunmore (8-9, 4-4) — T. Dougherty 6 0-0 14, S. Borgia 4 0-1 9, K. Walsh 3 1-2 8, D. Temperino 2 2-2 6, D. Walsh 2 1-3 5, F. Ruggiero 2 0-0 5, T. Maciejewski 1 0-0 2. Totals: 20 4-8 49.
Mid Valley 7 8 11 15 — 41
Dunmore 8 14 17 10 — 49
3-point goals: S. Rosencrans (MV) 3, V. Talluto (MV) 2, T. O’Connor (MV), T. Dougherty (DUN) 2, S. Borgia (DUN), F. Ruggiero (DUN), K. Walsh (DUN). JV: Dunmore, 34-29 (DUN: Cowder 19; MV: Zbach 10).
After Holy Cross’ win over Lakeland, this is essentially a two-team race for division honors, but it’s not over yet. This week, Holy Cross hosts red-hot Carbondale Area and will be at Riverside. If the Crusaders defeat Carbondale Area, only Mid Valley could catch them for first place in the league.
Holy Cross (7-1, 13-5)
Mid Valley (7-2, 15-3)
Carbondale Area (5-4, 10-8)
Dunmore (4-5, 8-10)
Lakeland (3-5, 10-7)
Riverside (3-5, 8-10)
Old Forge (1-8, 6-12)
INSIDE DIVISION I
OK, after the snow melted and the smoke cleared, here is what we were left with in Division I and it should come as no surprise.
Abington Heights has won 19 straight Lackawanna Division I games. In the league this season, the Comets are winning by an average of 26.2 points per game. And they are still finding a way to give back to their community. If you can check out this event that is coming up Sunday.
When Valley View hosts Wallenpaupack on Monday night, two of the Cougars star players and an entire community will have heavy hearts. Marc Kudrich and Bobby Craig, cousins, who have helped build Valley View back into a power in the league, lost their grandmother, Kay Flanagan Craig, who died Friday after a brief battle with cancer.
Our hearts go out to the Craig, Kudrich and Pazzaglia families.
Interestingly, this week, Abington Heights will be at Valley View, which gave the Comets their only real scare of the league season when they lost 60-53. Valley View has a huge game tonight at home against Wallenpaupack and then host the Comets on Tuesday.
Abington Heights (9-0, 16-2)
Scranton Prep (9-1, 17-2)
Valley View (5-3, 11-6)
Scranton (3-5, 7-10)
West Scranton (1-8, 5-12)
INSIDE DIVISION IV
As we look back, it’s been a tough couple of weeks trying to get the Coaches vs. Cancer games in for each school in the Lackawanna League.
Last week, Lackawanna Trail, where this initiative all started when Andrew Kettel coached there and his former player Casey Cathrall saw his father, Joe, battle cancer fiercely until the very end. Joe Cathrall died during the 2007-08 season. But his spirit and the spirit of NEPA lives on at Lackawanna Trail, which won its game this year against Mountain View.
There was a lot of fun and laughs as Susquehanna hosted its traditional Boys and Girls Alumni Game during Coaches vs. Cancer festivities. A lot of former players and fans came out to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
OK, Susquehanna has seized back control of the division. Lackawanna Trail had pulled even with Mountain View in second place, but then stumbled against Forest City. That makes Tuesday very important to all three teams. They must win to keep pace, then Friday Susquehanna will play at Mountain View in a game that could secure the title and Lackawanna Trail plays at Blue Ridge.
Susquehanna (7-1, 12-6)
Mountain View (6-2, 8-10)
Lackawanna Trail (6-3, 8-10)
Elk Lake (3-5, 7-10)
Blue Ridge (3-6, 5-13)
Forest City (3-6, 3-14)
Montrose (2-7, 5-12)
Here are the District 2 Power Rating Standings, courtesy of piaad2.org and are also posted on the Fan Page.
CLASS 1A and CLASS 4A
CLASS 2A and CLASS 5A
CLASS 3A and CLASS 6A