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Last updated: January 29. 2014 11:46PM - 2637 Views
By - jerzar@timesleader.com



Crestwood's Luke Casey goes in for a layup in heavy traffic against Tunkhannock in WVC Division I boys basketball action in Wright Township on Wednesday night.
Crestwood's Luke Casey goes in for a layup in heavy traffic against Tunkhannock in WVC Division I boys basketball action in Wright Township on Wednesday night.
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WRIGHT TWP. — Tunkhannock has put up some impressive numbers this season, but Wednesday night ran into a team that places a big emphasis on defense.

Crestwood cooled off the high-scoring Tigers and dominated inside the paint to post a 64-46 victory in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division I boys basketball game.

Luke Casey, Crestwood’s 6-foot-6 center, led the way with 23 points and 11 rebounds as Crestwood improved to 8-1 in the division and 14-3 overall. Brian Markowski, a 6-2 senior, added 16 more and four boards. Versatile 6-4 senior Chris Fazzini netted 15 points and seven rebounds.

“My tallest guy is 6-2 and I don’t have a guy to put on them,” Tunkhannock coach Dustin Babcock said. “Realistically, I thought we did a decent job in the zone, but those big guys rebounded really well for them and put us in a bad spot.”

Tunkhannock (5-4, 8-8) entered the game scoring 80 or more points three times in WVC play, second only to Hazleton Area’s four. Crestwood’s height advantage, along with strong defense from guard Brady Gallagher on Tunkhannock’s Austin Yanora, the WVC’s leading scorer, made the offensive output drop dramatically. The 46 points tied for the fewest Tunkhannock has scored this season.

“You’re not always going to be able to score,” Crestwood coach Mark Atherton said, “so you have to play ‘D’ to keep yourself in the game.”

Crestwood demonstrated early on it was going to control the inside as 14 of its 19 first-quarter points came from close range. Casey opened the game with an inside basket and the Comets never trailed from there.

“Luke Casey did a really nice job tonight,” Atherton said. “He rebounded the ball like he usually does, but he really finished around the basket.”

Crestwood opened a 15-point lead in the first minutes of the second quarter, only to see Yanora and Sean Soltysiak lead a Tunkhannock rally to cut the deficit to 28-22 at the 2:33 mark. The comeback attempt fizzled as Casey finished off the half with two more inside baskets.

Except for a 41-second span of the third quarter, Crestwood led by double digits the rest of the way.

Yanora finished with a team-high 23 points, below his WVC-leading 31.1 points per game. Crestwood kept him in check through the first three quarters, with nine of his points coming in the fourth. Soltysiak added a 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds.

“Mark always has them ready to play ‘D’,” Babcock said. “If you walk into this place and are not ready for it, it slaps you in the face. That’s definitely what it did today.”

MMI Prep 52, Wyoming Area 41

The Preppers win was led by 23 points from Cory Rogers, while RJ Kupsho contributed 14.

Jeremy Zezza led the Warriors’ effort with 17 points.

***

Crestwood 64, Tunkhannock 46

TUNKHANNOCK (46) — Brian Beauchmin 0 0-0 0, Austin Yanora 9 3-4 23, Eric Stamer 0 1-2 1, Sean Soltysiak 6 0-3 13, Cody Brown 0 0-0 0, Adam Billings 4 0-0 9, Tony Maloney 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 4-9 46.


CRESTWOOD (64) — Brady Gallagher 3 0-1 8, Cole Wasco 0 0-0 0, Brian Markowski 6 2-2 16, Luke Casey 11 1-2 23, Chris Fazzini 6 3-5 15, Robbie Hopkins 0 0-2 0, Jason Dotzel 0 0-0 0, Leonny Rojas 1 0-0 2, Josh Malkemes 0 0-0 0, Adam Klimchok 0 0-0 0, Josh Amosson 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 6-12 64.


Tunkhannock`11`11`13`11`—`46


Crestwood`19`13`18`14`—`64


Three-point goals — TUNK 4 (Yanora 2, Soltysiak, Billings); CRE 4 (Gallagher 2, Markowski2).


MMI Prep 52, Wyoming Area 41

MMI PREP (52) — Jay Solgama 0 0-0 0, Ed Herbener 3 0-2 7, Andrew Alday 0 0-0 0, Charlie Karchner 1 2-2 4, Cory Rogers 6 11-13 23, R.J. Kupsho 5 3-4 14, John Stish 0 2-4 2, Jesse Plaska 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 18-25 52.


WYOMING AREA (41) — Evan Musto 4 3-6 11, Jeremy Zezza 5 5-6 17, Nick Gushka 1 0-0 2, Ryan Shuleski 1 1-2 4, Dante Deluco 0 0-0 0, Ryan Murray 0 0-0 0, Anthony Shaver 0 0-0 0, Kyle Musto 1 2-2 5, Anthony Nardell 1 0-2 2, Anthony Saitta 0 0-0 0, Barry Pawlowski 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 11-18 41.


MMI Prep`9`9`11`23`—`52


Wyoming Area`7`4`15`15`—`41


Three-point goals — MMI 2 (Herbener, Kupsho); WA 4 (Zezza 2, Shuleski, Musto).


 
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