Last updated: March 01. 2013 11:57PM - 1287 Views
By - dlevarse@civitasmedia.com - (570) 991-6396

#24 Brian Markowski of Crestwood  tries to get around #11 Matt Knowles of Scranton Prep.
#24 Brian Markowski of Crestwood tries to get around #11 Matt Knowles of Scranton Prep.
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WILKES-BARRE — Chris Fazzini got the ball on the low block in the game’s opening minute, battled through traffic and scored off the glass.

The bucket would be Crestwood’s only points of the first quarter.

Playing for a shot at the state tournament, the Comets went cold for a second straight game, falling 53-29 to Scranton Prep on Friday in the District 2 Class 3A thrid-place game at Scandlon Gymnasium.

Crestwood had also been held to 29 points in a semifinal loss to GAR earlier in the week. The Comets’ season ended at 17-9.

“I don’t think we really had good shots and we couldn’t create any shots,” Crestwood coach Mark Atherton said. “And their guys were just physically stronger. When they missed a shot, they got a rebound and put it in.

“Everything snowballed into a bad, bad game.”

Scranton Prep, the No. 4 seed in the bracket, claimed the district’s third and final berth to the PIAA Class 3A tournament. The Cavaliers (18-8) will play the District 4 champion — the winner of tonight’s game between Shikellamy and Milton — next Friday at a District 4 site.

Down 13-2 after one quarter, the third-seeded Comets fell behind 19-2 before a Cole Wasco three-pointer snapped a scoreless drought of 9:45 that the team never recovered from.

Prep led 28-11 at halftime and even hit a buzzer-beating three at the end of third quarter to go up 39-19. The Cavaliers led by as many as 26 points in the final frame.

Back in December, Crestwood had edged Prep 44-42 in Scranton. The Cavaliers were also coming off a heartbreaking double-overtime loss to Abington Heights in the district semifinals.

Neither experience weighed them down on Friday.

“Defensively we just did an outstanding job,” Prep coach Joe Ferguson said. “Crestwood’s a very well-coached team. We knew they were going to play hard. And they beat us at home, so we had a little extra motivation.

“Everybody was talking about a letdown after losing at the buzzer the other night. But we’re playing really good basketball right now.”

Leading the Cavaliers was Noah Beh, who controlled the paint at both ends of the floor, scoring a game-high 18 points. The 6-foot-6 center has major scholarship offers for football but looked plenty comfortable on the hardcourt, leading the team in rebounds and blocks.

Beh’s presence made it tough for the Comets to go inside when their perimeter game faltered.

“We kept telling them — you gotta get the ball to the basket. Drive it,” Atherton said. “Apparently they weren’t real confident taking it in with some of their bigger guys. That’s what happens. You get your shot blocked once or twice, next thing you know you’re a little intimidated taking it in there.”

Fazzini was the only Crestwood player in double figures, finishing with 12 points. Wasco added eight and Brady Gallagher had six.

Matt Knowles scored 17 for the Cavaliers. James Fives had eight points, including two on an early jumper that keyed Prep’s 19-2 run.

“You can’t go through the motions against a team like Prep,” Atherton said. “We didn’t come out with that fire.”

SCRANTON PREP (53): James Fives 3 0-0 8, Mac Temples 1 0-0 2, Matt Knowles 7 2-2 17, Tim Rose 2 0-0 4, Noah Beh 7 4-6 18, Kevin Bannon 0 0-0 0, Bobby Casey 1 0-0 2, Cory Kopicki 0 0-0 0, Jerry Walsh 0 0-0 0, Zach Brandt 1 0-0 2, John O’Boyle 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 6-8 53.

CRESTWOOD (29): Brady Gallagher 2 1-2 6, Cole Wasco 3 0-0 8, Brian Markowski 0 1-2 1, Steve Roberts 0 0-0 0, Chris Fazzini 5 1-1 12, Robbie Hopkins 1 0-0 2, Jason Dotzel 0 0-0 0, Josh Malkemes 0 0-0 0, Brandon Cole 0 0-0 0, Dylan Truschel 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 3-5 29.

Scranton Prep 13 15 11 14 — 53

Crestwood 2 9 8 10 — 29

3-point field goals— SP 3 (Fives 2, Knowles); CRE 4 (Gallagher, Wasco 2, Fazzini)

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