GAR boys basketball rallies past Nanticoke


GAR’s Will Johnson drives to the basket past the outstretched arm of Nanticoke’s Justin Casey during Friday night’s game.


GAR’s Herman Suazo drives past Nanticoke’s Justin Casey.


GAR’s guard Andrew Campbell takes a quick look to see where the Nanticoke defenders were as he drives to the basket after a steal.


Nanticoke’s Justin Casey grabs a rebound against GAR on Friday night.


VIDEO

To see some action from Friday night’s boys basketball game between GAR and Nanticoke, visit the online version of this story on timesleader.com.

NANTICOKE — Down rained the 3-pointers. Luke Butczynski from the left. Then Cody Piestrak and Nate Kreitzer from the right.

Nanticoke Area was feeling good with a few ticks under six minutes remaining. The Trojans’ fans were feeling energized.

GAR was feeling undeterred by the nine-point deficit.

On a night Nanticoke Area honored its seniors, it was a GAR senior and junior who capped the festivities as the Grenadiers rallied for a 64-61 victory in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 boys basketball game.

Senior center Keyshawn Palmer started the rally with a rebound basket — hitting his double-double in the process — and finished with 14 points. Junior guard Will Johnson scored 11 of his game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer with 2:19 to play to knot the score at 53-53.

When the comeback was complete, the Grenadiers (14-1 Div. 2, 16-4 overall) were a step away from clinching their fifth consecutive Division 2 crown. They can clinch at least a tie if Meyers (12-2 Div. 2, 14-5) loses to Hazleton Area (13-0 Div. 1, 17-2) on Sunday night.

“It was actually really tough,” Johnson said. “Nanticoke came in with a really good game plan. They came in aggressive. They came out in the second half and hit three threes. But we kept our head in it and kept playing.”

The Grenadiers played all 32 minutes with just five players, as coach Jerry Altavilla didn’t dip into his reserves for a second consecutive game. The energy, though, was there to the very end, including a frantic final 14.6 seconds.

GAR led 62-58 when Nanticoke Area sophomore guard Kreitzer nailed his sixth 3-pointer while falling down at the top of the arc with five seconds left.

The Trojans fouled immediately, and Johnson hit two free throws to bump the advantage to 64-61 with three second left. The Grenadiers then fouled Luke Butczynski to run the clock to 1.6 seconds.

Nanticoke Area’s Cody Piestrak inbounded the ball on the other side of midcourt stripe and threw a cross-court pass to Trahjan Krupinski. Krupinski, a sophomore with no 3-pointers in WVC play, turned and launched a shot from about 35 feet away. The ball hit off the back of the rim.

Although the Trojans had their top four 3-pointer shooters on the court, the idea was to get a 3-pointer off no matter who got the ball.

“Trah Krupinski got the best look we could possibly get with that much time on the clock,” Nanticoke Area coach John Beggs said. “He put a good stroke on it from about 35 feet and we were comfortable with that shot because it’s not going to get much better than that in that situation.”

Kreitzer led Nanticoke Area with 22 points. Piestrak added 14 and Butczynski had 13.

GAR ran its win streak to eight games.

“I’m really impressed because we had three road games this week,” Altavilla said. “At the beginning of the week, we talked about it being a tough week going on the road for three tough games. For our guys to battle through three games and come out with wins says a lot.”

Hazleton Area 43,

Crestwood 41

The Cougars trailed by two heading into the fourth quarter before pulling out the win to clinch at least a tie for the Division 1 title. Jeffrey Planutis led the way with 16 points while Josh Samec added 10 for the Cougars, who will win the championship outright with another victory or Crestwood loss.

Lance Blass scored 12 for Crestwood, followed by Kyle Gegaris with 11.

Berwick 65,

Wyoming Area 46

Alec Markle made a game-high four 3-pointers and Jude Goddard scored a game-high 23 points as the Bulldogs held off Wyoming Area in the fourth quarter.

Sam Greenfield finished with a team-high 17 points for Wyoming Area.

Meyers 58,

Tunkhannock 43

Jawane Buckner scored all of his team-high 17 points in the second half to lift the Mohawks, who had four players finish in double figures.

Tunkhannock’s Tyler Faux led all scorers with 21 points.

Dallas 69,

Pittston Area 56

Ben Donahue and Joey Parsons each netted 19 points to lead Dallas past the Patriots.

Naseem Guillaume drilled a game-high seven threes en route to a 22-point performance to pace Pittston Area.

Wyoming Valley West 78,

Coughlin 43

Aaron Austin (19 points), Amistad Hackett (18) and Draig Ruff (15) had strong showings in the Spartans’ road win.

Melvin Robinson topped all players with 22 points for the Crusaders.

Wyoming Seminary 56,

MMI Prep 39

Dimitri Gnall and Jeremy Callahan each scored 20 points to fuel the Blue Knights to a road win.

Philip Byriel finished with nine points for the Preppers.

Holy Redeemer 63,

Hanover Area 38

Jason Stachokus finished with 17 points while Colin Cook added 13 for the Royals, as a dozen different players scored.

Tyler Diggs led the Hawkeyes with eight points.

GAR 64, Nanticoke 61

GAR (64) — Keyshawn Palmer 6 2-5 14, Will Johnson 6 10-13 23, Andrew Campbell 4 4-4 13, Kahlil White 2 1-2 7, Jerman Suazo 3 2-2 7. Totals 20 19-26 64.

NANTICOKE (61) — Nate Kreitzer 6 4-6 22, Rich Wiaterowski 1 0-0 2, Cody Piestrak 5 0-0 14, Trahjan Krupinski 1 0-0 2, Luke Butczynski 5 0-0 13, Zack Cardone 0 0-0 0, Alec Divers 0 0-0 0, Matt Piontkowski 0 0-0 0, Justin Casey 4 0-2 8. Totals 22 4-8 61.

GAR`10`12`18`24`—`64

Nanticoke`16`11`15`19`—`61

Three-point goals — GAR 5 (Johnson, Campbell, White 2, Suazo); NAN 13 (Kreitzer 6, Piestrak 4, Butczynski 3).

Hazleton Area 43, Crestwood 41

CRESTWOOD (41) — Kyle Gegaris 4 1-2 11, Lance Blass 5 1-2 12, Kevin Klusewitz 2 1-2 7, Kyle Richards 3 0-1 7, Camden Boris 0 0-0 0, Noah Jackson 2 0-0 4, Evan Knapp 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 3-7 41.

HAZLETON AREA (43) — Josh Samec 3 2-2 10, Michael Cusatis 4 0-0 8, Aaron Kellmer 0 0-0 0, Joey Grula 2 2-2 7, Nolan Genasevich 0 0-0 0, Scott Shamany 0 0-0 0, Isaac Perez 0 0-0 0, Jeffrey Planutis 5 5-9 16, Da’Mir Faison 1 0-2 2. Totals 15 9-15 43.

Crestwood`10`16`9`6 — 41

Hazleton`14`10`9`10 — 43

Three-point goals — CRE 6 (Gegaris 2, Kluzewitz 2, Blass, Richards); HAZ 4 (Samec 2, Grula, Planutis)

Berwick 65, Wyoming Area 46

WYOMING AREA (46) — Sam Greenfield 6 4-5 17, Kyree Zielinski 4 3-4 11, Tony Saitta 2 4-6 9, PJ Angel 1 3-3 5, Kyle Musto 1 0-0 2, Mike Bonita 1 0-0 2, Anthony Nardel 0 0-0 0, Matt Wright 0 0-0 0, Ryan Shulleski 0 0-0 0, Cole Keating 0 0-0 0, Aaron Zezza 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 14-18 46.

BERWICK (65) — Jude Goddard 10 1-1 23, Alec Markle 5 4-4 20, Matt Champ 2 2-2 7, Damon Beckhorn 1 4-6 6, Ken Marshman 2 1-2 5, Joe Norce 1 0-0 2, Kyle Pierce 1 0-0 2, Justin Groshek 0 0-0 0, Zach Evens 0 0-0 0, Austin Markle 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 12-15 65.

Wyoming Area`9`13`11`13`—`46

Berwick`10`24`11`20`—`65

Three-point goals — WA 2 (Greenfield, Saitta); BER 7 (Alec Markle 4, Goddard 2, Champ)

Meyers 58, Tunkhannock 43

TUNKHANNOCK (43) — Avery Newhart 0 0-0 0, Sean Harder 2 1-2 5, Ethan Hoefert 4 0-1 8, Tyler Faux 8 2-2 21, Evan Turner 3 0-0 6, Paul DeMarco 0 0-0 0, C.J. Brennan 0 0-0 0, Matt Goodwin 1 0-0 3, Avery Billings 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 3-5 43.

MEYERS (58) — Robbie Formola 1 0-0 3, Matt Dessoye 3 6-8 12, Steve Morel 0 0-0 0, Levaugn Soles 5 1-3 11, Ryan Gilgallon 4 0-0 10, Yuri Covington 0 0-0 0, Jawane Buckner 4 7-8 17, Willie Wallace 2 0-0 4, Jeremy Shagger 0 1-3 1. Totals 19 15-22 58.

Tunkhannock`12`11`10`10 — 43

Meyers`18`8`19`13 — 58

Three-point goals — TUN 4 (Faux 3, Goodwin); MEY 5 (Gilgallon 2, Buckner 2, Formola)

Dallas 69, Pittston Area 56

DALLAS (69) — Ben Donahue 5 7-8 19, Joey Parsons 9 -0-0 19, Ben O’Connell 3 3-4 9, Brody Strickland 3 2-2 8, Alex Charlton 2 2-2 6, Nick Kocher 2 0-0 4, Michael Farrell 1 0-0 2, Andrew Kovalich 0 2-2 2, Ethan Szczenscinski 0 0-2 0, Collin Pertl 0 0-0 0, Matt Mathers 0 0-0 0, Zach Charlton 0 0-0 0, Jacob Serafin 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 16-20 69.

PITTSTON AREA (56) — Naseem Guillaume 7 1-5 22, Chris Klein 2 4-6 9, Patrick Mitchell 2 5-5 9, Keemar Woodruff 0 6-8 6, Justin Coyne 1 2-3 5, Mike Mazurkivich 1 1-2 3, Trevor Tigue 1 0-0 2, Sevion Leak 0 0-0 0, Kolton Zaffutto 0 0-0 0, Matt McGlynn 0 0-0 0, Andrew Krawczyk 0 0-0 0, Joe Cencitti 0 0-0 0, Riley Brody 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 19-29 56.

Dallas`18`16`21`14`—`69

Pittston Area`11`11`15`19`—`56

Three-point goals — DAL 3 (Donahue 2, Parsons); PA 9 (Guillaume 7, Klein, Coyne)

Valley West 78, Coughlin 43

WYOMING VALLEY WEST (78) — Sean Judge 4 0-0 9, Noah Frace 3 0-0 8, Aaron Austin 8 0-0 19, Draig Ruff 7 1-3 15, Amistad Hackett 8 1-2 18, Tayshawn Moore 1 2-6 5, Savion Saunders 1 0-0 2, Alek Sokoloski 0 0-0 0, Montel Jordan 1 0-0 2, Davis Weaver 0 0-0 0, Cortes Adams 0 0-0 0, Tyrek Widbee 0 0-0 0, Samuel Solomon 0 0-0 0. Totals 33 4-11 78.

COUGHLIN (43) — Thomas Davis 0 0-0 0, Melvin Robinson 9 4-8 22, Charles Cobbs 3 1-2 8, Marco DeLuca 2 0-0 5, Dominigue Flippen 2 2-6 6, Dylan Thomas 0 0-0 0, Anthonie Hinkle 0 0-0 0, Nyseem Johnson 0 0-0 0, Idris Hollis 0 0-0 0, Aaron Bennett 0 2-2 2, Tony Egidio 0 0-0 0, Javaun Kinlaw 0 0-0 0, Shawn Valenzuela 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 9-16 43.

Valley West`17`23`20`16 — 78

Coughlin`14`11`9`9 — 43

Three-point goals — WVW 8 (Austin 3, Frace 2, Judge, Moore, Hackett); COU 2 (Cobbs, DeLuca)

Wyoming Seminary 56, MMI Prep 39

WYOMING SEMINARY (56) — Tyler Maddock 1 0-0 3, Dimitri Gnall 9 2-3 20, Todd Phillips 2 0-1 6, Jeremy Callahan 4 10-14 20, Johnny Kehl 1 0-0 2, Noah Munley 0 1-2 1, Nicolai Bufalino 0 0-0 0, Nick Gunter 1 2-2 4. Totals 18 15-22 56.

MMI PREP (39) — George Palermo 0 3-7 3, Philip Byriel 3 3-3 9, Zach Young 0 1-2 1, Marcus Kassick 4 0-2 8, Kyle Williams 3 0-0 7, Nick Young 1 1-4 3, Mike Badamo 0 0-0 0, Kisan Patel 0 0-0 0, Matt Marchetti 3 0-0 8, Lucas Smith 0 0-0 0, Kiefer Hoover 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 8-18 39.

Wyo. Seminary`14`19`11`12 — 56

MMI Prep`8`10`14`7 — 39

Three-point goals — WS 6 (Callahan 3, Phillips 2, Maddock); MMI 3 (Marchetti 2, Williams)

Holy Redeemer 63, Hanover Area 38

HOLY REDEEMER (63) — Jason Stachokus 8 0-0 17, Joey Judge 0 4-6 4, James Kosik 1 1-1 3, Colin Cook 5 1-2 13, Luke Nealon 1 0-0 2, Layaou 1 0-0 3, Nick Prociak 4 0-0 8, Bryce Yencha 0 0-0 0, Michael Lyons 2 0-0 4, Jake Adonizio 1 0-0 2, J.D. Turosky 1 0-1 2, Anthony Khoudary 1 0-0 2, Tucker Ell 1 0-0 3. Totals 26 6-10 63.

HANOVER AREA (38) — Luis Rivera 2 2-2 7, Tyler Diggs 2 2-2 8, Desmond McCance 3 0-0 7, Mike Piscotty 1 3-3 5, Manny Adams 1 0-0 2, Abaad Hamlet 2 1-1 3, Devin Senk 1 0-0 2, Evan Materna 2 0-0 4, Asad Whitehead 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 8-8 38.

Holy Redeemer`18`14`11`20 — 63

Hanover Area`13`8`7`10 — 38

Three-point goals — HR 5 (Cook 2, Stachokus, Layaou, Ell); HAN 4 (Diggs 2, Rivera, McCance)

GAR’s Will Johnson drives to the basket past the outstretched arm of Nanticoke’s Justin Casey during Friday night’s game.
http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/web1_gar_n1_faa.jpgGAR’s Will Johnson drives to the basket past the outstretched arm of Nanticoke’s Justin Casey during Friday night’s game.
GAR’s Herman Suazo drives past Nanticoke’s Justin Casey.
http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/web1_gar_n2_faa.jpgGAR’s Herman Suazo drives past Nanticoke’s Justin Casey.
GAR’s guard Andrew Campbell takes a quick look to see where the Nanticoke defenders were as he drives to the basket after a steal.
http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/web1_gar_n3_faa.jpgGAR’s guard Andrew Campbell takes a quick look to see where the Nanticoke defenders were as he drives to the basket after a steal.
Nanticoke’s Justin Casey grabs a rebound against GAR on Friday night.
http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/web1_gar_n4_faa.jpgNanticoke’s Justin Casey grabs a rebound against GAR on Friday night.

By John Erzar

jerzar@timesleader.com

VIDEO

To see some action from Friday night’s boys basketball game between GAR and Nanticoke, visit the online version of this story on timesleader.com.

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar

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