WILKES-BARRE — The game plan called for keeping Alexis Lewis to just 25 points.
That sounds simple, right?
The all-everything forward poured in 37 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as Holy Redeemer downed Meyers 67-56 in a Wyoming Valley Conference girls basketball game Monday.
”You can’t give Alexis Lewis 37 points,” Meyers coach Chris Gray said. “Our goal was to keep her at 25. We do that and we win this game. You do the math.”
Lewis was a focal point all night in a matchup of city rivals. She had 12 points in the second quarter as Redeemer tried to pull away from the Mohawks. She added consecutive threes early in the third quarter, followed by a steal and break, as the Royals grew their lead to 43-26 three minutes into the second half.
The junior had six threes on the night as the Royals finished 8 for 14 from behind the arc.
“It’s home court,” Lewis said of her hot shooting. “When I’m at home and shooting the ball, I feel like I’m on fire.”
She also enjoyed having a unique challenge from Meyers.
“It’s always fun to play someone with similar abilities,” the junior said of matching up with the Gross sisters, who gave Lewis a couple of different looks in the frontcourt. “They both have different games, so I have to be aware who is on me each time.”
The Meyers forwards both had big games on their offensive end, with Quieterriua Gross posting 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Quinniea Gross had 11 points, seven boards and seven blocks.
It was a game of runs which fell in the Royals’ favor. Alyssa Platko had a pair of buckets in a 15-6 run in the second quarter for Redeemer. Rebecca Prociak (nine points) had a stickback in a 12-3 run to open the third. And Lydia Lawson (11 points, nine assists) scored seven points in a 13-6 run later in the second half — this last outburst making it 56-36 with six minutes to play.
“It’s really disappointing,” Gray said. “The first time we played, we had the effort of the last four minutes for all 32 minutes. To beat Redeemer, it’s going to take your best effort for 32 minutes.
“When they put their full-court pressure on, we didn’t handle it the way we would have liked. We got frazzled and we got away from how we wanted to attack it.”
Meyers would not go away, though. Quieterriua Gross and Salimah Biggs (14 points) powered a 9-2 Mohawks’ run late in the second quarter to make it 31-23 at halftime. And down 20 with six minutes to go, Meyers scored 16 of the next 21 points to get to within eight points with a long two minutes still on the clock.
“Hats off to Meyers. They didn’t quit,” Redeemer coach Chris Parker said. “We came out with the win and we played well. We’ve got to fix the lapses. But we played much better than the first time. We had a lot more teamwork this time.”
Despite playing a two-point game in their first meeting, Parker made sure to honor his seniors with starting spots in the lineup, a departure from the normal Redeemer starting five. Seniors Platko, Julie Kosik, Devon Claherty and Melanie Kusakavitch gave the Royals a 7-2 lead five minutes in. After subs took the floor, Meyers closed to 9-8 at the end of the first quarter — the closest the Mohawks would be to the lead all night.
“I’m really proud of the seniors,” Parker said. “They deserved (the start). They are a great group of kids and they held their own out there.”
Meyers shot 52 percent from the floor, but 21 turnovers helped keep their offensive opportunities in check.
The win leaves Division 2 champ Redeemer in contention for a top seed in next week’s district playoffs. The Royals and Scranton Prep are the only two league unbeatens in Class 3A.
Meyers remains in the hunt for a home game to open the tourney at home. The Mohawks have four league losses, matching Abington Heights and Lake-Lehman. That trio of schools currently sit tied for sixth in the district.
MEYERS (56) — Salimah Biggs 5 2-2 14, Alaena Lloyd 2 0-0 5, Gianna Skaff 1 3-3 6, Quinniea Gross 5 1-2 11, Quieterriua Gross 9 2-5 20, Tiffany Muniz 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 8-12 56.
HOLY REDEEMER (67) — Alexis Lewis 15 1-1 37, Alyssa Platko 3 0-2 6, Julie Kosik 0 0-0 0, Devon Claherty 0 0-0 0, Melanie Kusakavitch 0 0-0 0, Lydia Lawson 4 2-2 11, Rebecca Prociak 4 1-2 9, Sara Flannelly 1 1-2 4, Kayla Hons 0 0-0 0, Mehgan Corridoni 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 5-9 67.
Three-point goals — MEY 4 (Biggs 2, Lloyd, Skaff); HR 8 (Lewis 6, Lawson, Flannelly).