WILKES-BARRE — It buckled. It swayed. It even cracked a bit.
The streak, though, managed to stay intact Wednesday night … barely.
Shahee Aurelus took the shakiness out of Meyers’ free-throw shooting, hitting four in the final 22.8 seconds as the Mohawks edged Lake-Lehman 61-59 in a Wyoming Valley Conference boys basketball interdivisional game.
The victory was Meyers’ 62nd consecutive WVC regular-season victory. The Mohawks improved to 6-0 in Division III and 10-5 overall. Lehman fell to 4-2 in Division II and 8-7 overall.
“It was a couple things,” Meyers coach Pat Toole said. “Obviously, foul shooting was terrible. We didn’t win this game, we survived. We were lucky enough to get the ball to Shahee Aurelus, who is our best free-throw shooter, at the end of the game.”
Meyers appeared ready to pull away when a free throw by Tyriek Steward increased its lead to 49-39 with 2:55 to play. But a combination of poor Meyers free-throw shooting and incredibly hot shooting from Lehman’s Adam Dizbon made things interesting down the stretch.
Dizbon sank two three-pointers eight seconds apart and a three-point play by center Pete Borum moved Lehman within 56-54 with 44.8 seconds left. After Aurelus hit the front end of a one-and-one, Lehman had a chance to either tie or move within one point. But an offensive foul with 25 seconds left and two more free throws by Aurelus essentially ended the Black Knights’ hopes.
Dizbon did get Lehman within 61-59 with four seconds left on another three-pointer. However, Meyers’ Tyon Thomas took the inbound pass and whipped the ball to the empty end of the court as the buzzer sounded.
“Hats off to Lehman,” Toole said. “Dizbon, he seemed like he had 40 (actually 32 points). We lost him on the arc too many times. He made some tough shots. Pete is a force inside. But it certainly wasn’t our A-game tonight.”
Meyers has just two starters back from last season — Steward and Matt DeMarco. Aurelus, though, made arguably the biggest basket for the Mohawks.
After surrendering the lead early in the second quarter, Lehman battled back and took a 31-28 lead on Dizbon’s three-pointer at 3:11 of the third. Aurelus, who played last season at Stroudsburg, answered with a trey to start a 9-0 run.
“He’s a new player with us and we’re still juggling people in the lineups,” Toole said. “We’re looking every night for some guys to step up and show us some consistency. I think we really, really lack consistency.”
That was evident in the second quarter. Meyers twice went up by seven points and had the tempo and momentum clearly in its favor. The Mohawks, though, allowed Lehman to regroup both times.
* * *
Meyers 61, Lake-Lehman 59
LAKE-LEHMAN (59) — Brian Devine 0 2-2 2, Ben Brooks 0 0-0 0, Adam Dizbon 10 6-6 32, Mike Symeon 1 1-2 3, Cody Paraschak 4 0-1 8, Connor McGovern 0 0-0 0, Pete Borum 5 4-5 14. Totals 20 13-16 59.
MEYERS (61) — Shahee Aurelus 6 5-6 20, Tyon Thomas 2 5-9 9, Curtis Blue 0 0-0 0, Matt DeMarco 1 1-2 4, Dominic Pittman 1 1-4 3, Tyler Smallcomb 0 0-0 0, Tyriek Steward 5 6-9 17, Ryan Wasley 4 0-1 8. Totals 19 18-31 61.
Three-point goals — LL 6 (Dizbon 6); MEY 5 (Aurelus 3, Demarco, Steward).