Meteors, Raiders just miss title
Montrose, Blue Ridge and Lackawanna Trail entered last week in a tie for the first half Division III title of the Lackawanna League, but when the dust settled Trail ended up victorious.
On Saturday, the Meteors entered the fourth quarter down by 17, but nearly pulled it out, losing by a bucket to the Lions, 51-49.
On Monday night at Mountain View, Trail defeated the Raiders 59-53, to take possession of the crown.
Blue Ridge set the pace at the start, forcing Lackawanna Trail to make quick decisions and passes as the Lions held a slight 14-13 advantage to end the first.
But Lackawanna Trail went on a 10-2 run in the second quarter, which included six points from Lyle Sweppenhieser, one off his own rebound, to give the Lions a nine-point lead at halftime, 30-21.
Coming out after halftime, the Raiders did not relent.
Sawyer Dearborn scored nine of his 13 points in the second half and Alex Cardoza kept feeding his teammates, finishing with 13 assists. The Raiders outscored Lackawanna Trail in the third, 16-11, to cut the Lions lead to four.
With just 90 seconds left in the game, Blue Ridge had pulled within, 52-51, the closest it had been since the first quarter.
The Lions, however, calling upon its playoff experience, calmly sank free throws in the final minute.
Dylan Pruitt provided Blue Ridge’s final two points with five seconds left off his own rebound under the basket to finish with 12 points.
Cardoza and Sawyer Dearborn each recorded a double-double, with Cardoza adding 12 points and Dearborn leading the Raiders with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
“We’re certainly happy to be here,” Blue Ridge coach Brian Woodruff said. “This isn’t a position our school has been in a lot, and we’re happy to be here, but we’re still hungry.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do in the second half,” Woodruff said.
Facing Trail, the Meteors fall behind 17-7 after the first quarter, and despite leading Trail 10-8 in the second trailed 25-17 at the half.
In the second half, Trail paced Montrose 17-8 in the third, and after a 24-9 rally from the Meteors in the fourth, Trail held on to take the win.
The Meteors were led by Cole Wheaton with 14 and Bill Stranburg with 10 while Colby Major and Cameron Dean each chipped in seven.
Last week, the Raiders picked up a 67-55 victory over Forest City on the road Thursday and a 64-54 victory over Lackawanna Trail at home on Wednesday evening.
On Thursday, the Raiders and Foresters each scored 15 in the first quarter and Blue Ridge paced Forest City 13-12 in the second to give them a 28-27 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Blue Ridge outscored Forest City 20-12 in the third and 19-16 in the fourth to pick up the win.
Matt Principe scored 20 points, Alex Cardoza had 15, Jesse Pruitt had 14 and Dylan Pruitt scored 10 for Blue Ridge.
Against Lackawanna Trail, Principe scored 17 points for Blue Ridge.
“Our defense and up-tempo game were the keys,” Woodruff said. “We were able to keep them from getting into a rhythm and setting up the half-court offense.”
Blue Ridge also had a big night shooting. Sawyer Dearborn drained four three-pointers, Principe finished with three and D. Pruitt, who scored 16 points, had two three-pointers.
“We knew (7-footer) Stephen Miller would neutralize us in the lane,” Woodruff said. “We were able to get good penetration and use ball movements to get open shots.”
Cardoza added six points, 10 assists and four steals, while Dearborn had 12 points and six rebounds for the Raiders.
Blue Ridge outscored the Lions 19-7 in the first quarter and 22-13 in the second to hold a 41-20 lead at halftime.
After the break, Trail paced Blue Ridge 20-17 in the third and 10-6, but weren’t able to mount a comeback against the Raiders.
In addition to the playoff game Saturday, the Meteors traveled to Lakeland on Thursday where they took a 68-51 win over the Chiefs after the team grabbed a 55-35 win over Susquehanna at home on Wednesday evening.
On Thursday, Montrose outscored the Chiefs 22-11 in the first quarter and 13-9 in the second to hold a 35-20 lead at halftime.
After the break, the Meteors came out to pace Lakeland 13-12 in the third and 20-19 in the fourth to pick up the win.
Montrose was led by Cole Wheaton with 19 while Tom Lewis contributed 15, Bill Straburg had 12 and Steve Squires chipped in 10.
Against Susquehanna, the Meteors started off the game going 14-7 over Susquehanna in the first and outscored the Sabers 12-7 in the second to hold a 26-14 lead at the half.
In the second half, Montrose went 17-8 in the third quarter and capped off the win after Susquehanna went 13-12 over the Meteors in the fourth,
Montrose was paced by Steve Squires who scored 13 points while Major added 12 to lead Montrose. Cole Wheaton chipped in 10 for the Meteors.
Susquehanna’s Andrzej Tomczyk had nine points for the Sabers while Austin Cowperthwait added seven and Cole Mallery chipped in six.
The Elk Lake boys’ basketball team took a 64-54 win over Wyalusing on the road Saturday and grabbed a 61-40 victory over Mountain View at home on Thursday evening.
On Saturday, Elk Lake paced Wyalusing 14-6 in the first quarter and after the Rams outscored Elk Lake 14-13 in the second, the Warriors held a 27-20 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Elk Lake paced Wyalusing 14-12 in the third and 23-22 in the fourth to take the win.
Elk Lake was led by Mark Bush with 21 points and 11 rebounds while Rob Heft had 13 and Bryan Grosvenor had nine.
Against Mountain View in the first quarter, Elk Lake paced Mountain View 22-8, and after outscoring the Eagles 11-6 in the second held a 33-14 lead at halftime.
In the third, Elk Lake paced the Eagles 13-7 and despite a 19-15 rally by Mountain View in the fourth, the Warriors took the victory.
Grosvenor and Ryan Wilson each scored 13 points to lead Elk Lake while Joe Woolcock added 12 and Bush had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Warriors.
Mountain View was led by David Lukens with nine while Chris Herman and Julian Williams each dropped in eight.
Susquehanna’s boys’ basketball team faced a 72-48 loss from Lackawanna Trail on the road on Thursday night.
Facing Susquehanna, the Lions outscored the Sabers 15-2 in the first quarter before pacing Susquehanna 24-12 in the second to hold a 39-14 lead at halftime.
After the break, Trail paced the Sabers 17-15 in the third and after Susquehanna outscored Trail 19-16 in the fourth, the Lions took the win.
Susquehanna was led by Andrzej Tomczyk with 17 points while Cole Mallery chimed in with 15 for the Sabers.
Times-Shamrock writer Ashley Teatum contributed to this report.