Elk Lake dream season ends

Matt Woolcock goes up to score Saturday during Elk Lake’s 63-50 loss to Riverside. PHOTO COURTESY/PATTI DUDOCK

Matt Woolcock goes up to score Saturday during Elk Lake’s 63-50 loss to Riverside. PHOTO COURTESY/PATTI DUDOCK

BY JOBY FAWCETT
Times Shamrock Writer

It had been a dream season for the Elk Lake’s boys’ basketball team, but unfortunately, reality set in far too quickly for the Warriors.

After advancing Disrict 2 Class AA quarterfinals, Elk Lake, the tournament’s No. 1 seed, was upset by 9-seed Riverside, 63-50, at Carbondale Area on Saturday afternoon.

Riverside used some early baskets to seize the momentum against the Lackawanna Division IV champions, and took a 19-11 lead after the first quarter.

But Elk Lake (21-2) turned to its big man in the middle and Pete McGee responded.

A senior, he scored all 15 of his points in the first half as the Warriors grabbed a 30-28 lead at the half.

Warrior Pete McGee goes up big to score two for Elk Lake. McGee posted 15 points in the first half in the game against Riverside. PHOTO COURTESY/PATTI DUDOCK

Warrior Pete McGee goes up big to score two for Elk Lake. McGee posted 15 points in the first half in the game against Riverside. PHOTO COURTESY/PATTI DUDOCK

However, they could not maintain that momentum in the second half.
Riverside had too many weapons and its defensive pressure held Elk Lake’s high scorers, Tanner Reyan and Matt Woolcock, in check during the second half.

With Elk Lake leading 38-37 with four minutes left in the third, Riverside finished an 11-3 run to close the quarter during the surge that got fueled by seven Elk Lake turnovers.

Elk Lake, a team driven by its core of five seniors, closed to within 50-46 with 1:38 remaining in the game.

But the Warriors were weary and the Vikings were not, showing a steady hand from the free-throw line and hitting 13 of 16 down the stretch.

“I am proud of my guys,” Elk Lake coach John Warnero said. “They fought and laid everything out there. Sometimes the ball doesn’t go in. I thought we had some good spurts. We answered the call after Riverside came out really strong. We didn’t roll over.

“Our hustle, heart and desire was there, it’s just sad knowing that you aren’t going to be in the locker room with this team again.”

In District II Class A semifinal action, Forest City and Susquehanna sustained losses, knocking the teams out of postseason play.

Old Forge, 62
Forest City, 40

Jimmie Aversa scored 17 points to lead No. 2 Old Forge to a 62-40 win over No. 3 Forest City in the District 2 Class A semifinals.
Matt Nevins led Forest City with 14 points.

MMI Prep, 44
Susquehanna, 35

Saber Mark Zappe had 12 points for No. 4 Susquehanna and Josh Wheeler added 11 but it was not enough to take the win from No. 1 MMI Prep.