Crestwood’s ability to defeat Pittston Area dates back to when current players were in their first few years of elementary school.
But there have been many games like Tuesday’s, where the Patriots gave the Comets everything they could handle.
Crestwood’s Brady Gallagher hit a pair of free throws with 6.6 seconds remaining and Pittston Area’s desperation three-pointer at the buzzer missed its mark as Crestwood edged the Patriots 36-33.
“Both teams played their hearts out defensively,” Crestwood coach Mark Atherton said. “It made it look like a struggling game offensively for both teams, but I’ll give the defenses more credit.”
Crestwood stayed tied with Hazleton Area atop Division I of the Wyoming Valley Conference by improving to 4-0 in the division and 10-2 overall. Pittston Area fell to 3-1 in Division I and 8-4 overall as its eight-game winning streak came to an end.
Since the 2003-04 season, the teams have met 24 times, including Tuesday. Crestwood has won 22 of those games. But six times in the last 10 contests, the winner was decided by three points or less.
Tuesday was the sixth time, although it didn’t appear to be headed that way. Crestwood had a 26-12 lead early in the third quarter before an 11-0 Pittston Area run tightened things up.
The Patriots finally overtook Crestwood with 2:10 left in the fourth on a drive by James Emmett. Gallagher, though, was big down the stretch, hitting an outside jumper at 1:52 and two free throws at 6.6 seconds.
Crestwood tried to foul when Pittston Area inbounded the ball, but instead knocked it out of bounds near midcourt with 3.3 seconds left. That gave the Patriots a catch-and-shoot chance at a three-pointer.
Pittston Area got the ball in the hands of Tyler McGarry, one of the better outside shooters in the WVC. McGarry, though, had time to just turn and fire from about 5 feet outside the arc.
“Our guys never give up,” Pittston Area coach Alan Kiesinger said. “They’re such a close-knit group of guys. No one gets down on each other. Everything is encouraging. Everything is that we’re still in this. Keep fighting, keep focused, we’ll come back.”
McGarry played a big part in the comeback with five of the points during the 11-0 run. He finished with a game-high 12 points.
Holy Redeemer 86
Wyoming Area 53
Jeremy Zezza led a losing effort for Wyoming Area with 17 points Friday.
The Royals win over the Warriors was led by 21 points from Darius Washington Friday.
Pittston Area 60
Valley West 58, OT
The Patriots won a close one Friday night behind the efforts of Mason Gross, who drained seven field goals to account for most of his 21 points.
Tyler McGarry (18 points), James Emmett (10 points), and Hassan Maxwell (10 points) also reached double-figures.
The Spartans had 10 three-pointers, in the loss, including four from Evan McCue, who had 22 points on the night.
Wyoming Area 15
Wyoming Area’s offense never got going, especially in the second half, in a defeat at the hands of GAR Tuesday.
The Warriors scored just three points in the second half, after putting up just 12 in the first. Evan Musto led the Warrior charge with five points. Jeremy Zezza was right behind with four.
GAR was led by Isaiah Francis’ 20 points in the win. Jahlil Harvey and Nigebo Francis scored 12 points each to contribute to the GAR win.
Hazleton Area 71
Pittston Area 41
Behind a game-high 27 points from Sal Biasi, Hazleton Area defended its home court in a win over Pittston Area in Wyoming Valley Conference boys basketball on Wednesday.
The Patriots were led by 15 points from Mason Gross. Jon Fogarty contributed to the Cougars’ victory with 10 points.
Pittston Area was down six at halftime before the Cougars outscored the Patriots 44-21 in the second half. Hazleton scored 26 points in the final period to seal the win. Hassan Maxwell and Tyler McGarry each had eight points.