WILKES-BARRE – Lamont Twyman drove the lane, blew by a GAR defender and kissed the ball off glass for the uncontested bucket.
The Meyers senior turned to the overflow crowd, and started to hit his chest. Fair to say nothing was stopping him on this afternoon.
Twyman scored six of his eight points in the fourth quarter, and Meyers clinched its fifth straight Wyoming Valley Conference Division III title with a 46-42 victory over its cross-town rival Sunday.
A Meyers’ loss would have forced a one-game playoff with Hanover Area for the division crown.
Twyman, though, had other plans.
“We definitely approached this like it was a playoff game,” Twyman said. “It was a playoff atmosphere in here. Really, it was a great game. This is a confidence-builder because we were coming off losses to Hanover and Redeemer. This will help us going into the playoffs.”
It was a special moment for the Meyers senior. He played at GAR last season and was one of the team’s top scorers, but transferred to his new school for his final year. He sat out, waiting for approval of the transfer – which the district athletic committee completed in late January.
Sitting and waiting for this moment.
“It means everything to me,” Twyman said. “I made a good decision coming here, school-wise and everything. I’m happy now, and I’m happy for the team. I really didn’t shoot too much throughout the game, and I knew that I had to start scoring more to help contribute to this ‘W.’”
It wasn’t easy for the Mohawks.
An 8-0 run between the second and third quarters gave Meyers a 26-22 lead, and despite hitting just 1-of-13 from the field in the third period, Pat Toole’s squad held a two-point edge with just eight minutes left.
“I thought that we did a good job of executing the game plan defensively,” the Meyers head coach said. “I would have liked to see a few more charges, but outside of a few possessions where we weren’t as patient as I would have liked, I’m so proud of the kids. We got contributions all over the place.”
Just when it looked like the Mohawks had the game in hand, up 42-32 with less than two minutes left, GAR made it pretty interesting.
Isaiah Francis and James Holmes banged back-to-back trifectas, cutting the deficit back to four with 45 ticks on the clock. But two errant three-pointers in the final 30 seconds and timely free-throw conversions by Shahee Aurelus and Dominic Pittman sealed the Grenadiers’ fate.
“The hole was just too deep for us to get out of,” GAR head coach Paul Brown said. “We wanted to get the ball in Isaiah’s hands as much as we could but we were having a hard time getting posted up on the block. To be honest, we weren’t happy at halftime about the three-pointers we were taking because that’s not our game. We wanted more penetration and wanted to get the ball to the rim.”
Francis, who ran the point most of the game, controlled the opening quarter – scoring six of his game-high 16 points as GAR held a one-point lead (11-10) after one.
Tyon Thomas scored a team-high 10 points off the bench, while teammate Aurelus added 10. Francis completed the double-double with 11 rebounds for the Grenadiers.
Meyers 46, GAR 42
GAR (42) — Isaiah Francis 6 2-6 16, James Holmes 2 0-0 6, Jahlil Harvey 3 2-4 9, Dajon Rush 0 3-5 3, Greg Skrepenak 2 0-1 4, Nigebo Francis 2 0-0 4, Marquan Kemp 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 7-16 42.
MEYERS (46) — Shahee Aurelus 3 4-4 10, Lamont Twyman 3 2-3 8, Matt DeMarco 0 1-2 1, Tyriek Steward 1 6-6 8, Ryan Wasley 3 0-0 6, Tyon Thomas 4 1-4 10, Dominic Pittman 0 3-4 3. Totals 14 17-23 46.
GAR`11`9`6`16 – 42
Meyers`10`12`6`18 – 46
Three-point field goals: GAR 5 (I. Francis 2, Holmes 2, Harvey), MEY 1 (Thomas).