Hello, everyone.

It’s Thursday and I had a few minutes in between doing dishes and checking to see what my wife bought and wrapped for everybody this holiday season. I generally, actually, I never participate in the preparations for the holidays, but it’s probably just as well. My ineptness at wrapping gifts has been widely known since our 6th grade gift exchange. I used to decorate the house and put up the tree with my sister once my mother could no longer do it because of her illness. I can remember mom always pointing out that I had no eye for design or presentation, so I followed her directions perfectly. Her creativity was not, however, passed down to me. Neither was her work ethic. These days, I just can’t muster the cheer or the energy to decorate. I know, charge that battery and contribute. I have heard it all before. But, truthfully, there is no way I am pulling a Clark Griswold and stringing lights all around the house, only to have them not light up when plugged into the socket.



Plus, I have the holiday tournament season to get ready for! I know, that is not a viable excuse, and we all have jobs. Seriously, though, I can’t decorate. Those darn lights are always tangled!

So, here we are at the eve of the holiday break for students. All across Twitter, kids are eager to be dismissed for break in high school and college. I say enjoy it. Because sooner, rather than later, your holiday break may consist of one day. Maybe two. There is a world out there, and life moves on and functions with or without high school or college being in session. And even though, kids are probably looking more forward to time off from the books, endless trips to the coffee shops, movies and gathering with chums, there are still sports to be played and games to be covered.

And it really starts tonight.

mv_spartans02Kudos to Mid Valley and coach Michael Abda. While his team has emerged as one of the most consistent and successful in recent seasons, especially in December, he recognized the need to step up the nonleague schedule for his Spartans. They were off to another fast start at 3-0 and went on the road to play Meyers on Monday. They lost by 20, and learned a lot about themselves moving forward. There is no breather for them as tonight they host West Scranton (4-1). This should be a good game for both teams before the holiday tournament season. Mid Valley will play in the Peter Turonis Tournament, seeking a fifth straight title, while West Scranton, which won the Jerry Finan Tournament on Sunday, will defend its title against Riverside in the Taylor Lions Championship Game next week.


West Scranton’s Matt Williams helped lead team to Jerry Finan Tournament title. Photo by Jason Farmer


Also tonight, undefeated Blue Ridge will host North Pocono. Talk about a step up in competition for Blue Ridge. Now, North Pocono just played a tough and emotional game last night against Riverside and could be on weary legs. This is an interesting matchup to say the least. It is very rare that a Lackawanna Division IV team jumps up and plays against a Lackawanna II team.

Williamsport's Marcus Simmons drives the ball while coovered closely by Abington Heights George Tinsley on Wednesday night.  Photo by Butch Comegys

Williamsport’s Marcus Simmons drives the ball while coovered closely by Abington Heights George Tinsley on Wednesday night.
Photo by Butch Comegys

And, Friday we have Scranton Prep hosting Williamsport in a matchup of two state-ranked teams according to City of Basketball Love website. Scranton Prep bounced back from its loss to Archbishop Wood with a thumping of Wyoming Valley West. Last season, when Scranton Prep went on the road and beat Williamsport, it followed with 14 straight wins where it averaged 78.4 points per game. Williamsport, considered one of the best teams in Class 6A, already has a win at Abington Heights this season and closely resembles Archbishop Wood in athleticism with Stanley Scott, Darryl Wilson and Qayyim Ali.

After those tilts, we will be into the break. I hope you all have a nice holiday and I will catch up with you during the tournaments.

Let’s look at the week that was: 


Week 1


This week


1. Scranton Prep


Lost to Archbishop Wood, 86-65; Beat WVW, 83-66

Friday vs. Williamsport

2. Abington Heights


Beat La Salle, 54-52; Beat Holy Redeemer, 62-29; Beat Dunmore, 47-29

Friday vs. Riverside

3. Mid Valley


Lost to Meyers, 58-38

Tonight vs. West Scranton

4. Dunmore


Lost to Abington Heights, 47-29.

Friday at Valley View

5. West Scranton


Beat Carbondale Area, 65-33; Beat Nanticoke, 44-30

Tonight at Mid Valley

6. Holy Cross


Lost to Dallas, 56-40

Thursday vs. Scranton in Lynett Tourney

7. Scranton


Beat Riverside, 45-12

Thursday vs. Holy Cross in Lynett Tourney

8. North Pocono


Beat Hanover Area, 50-43; Beat Riverside, 51-48

Tonight at Blue Ridge

9. Blue Ridge



Tonight vs. North Pocono

10. Delaware Valley


Beat Coughlin, 51-38; Lost to Tunkhannock, 48-40

Friday vs. Burke Catholic



Again, I can’t do math. Marty Myers brought an outline of how to calculate the District 2 power rankings for teams and I asked him to please not try to explain it to me. Mid Valley athletic director Tommy Nowakowski has a handle on it, and he can handle it as well as he does a sprained ankle as the team’s head trainer.

So here is what it looks like so far, and remember, every game counts and there are a lot of games to play.




OK, that’s it for today.

I am still on the shelf, preparing for the Lynett Tournament and the other boys basketball events coming up.

My schedule will likely look like this:

  • Friday: Williamsport at Scranton Prep
  • Monday: Forest City Rotary Tournament Championship
  • Tuesday: 66th Lynett Memorial Basketball Tournament – Holy Cross vs. Scranton; Dunmore vs. Scranton Prep
  • Wednesday: Peter Turonis/NBT Classic Championship
  • Thursday: 66th Lynett Memorial Basketball Tournament Championship

See you at the games.

Have a great break.

And, as always. … ENJOY!