LEHMAN TWP. — Much of the intrigue disappeared in the first half Tuesday night thanks to GAR senior center Christian Skrepenak.
The little that remained revolved around if the 6-foot-10, 330-pounder would get a rare triple-double.
Skrepenak did, and the Grenadiers posted a victory despite missing two starters, defeating Lake-Lehman 66-40 in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division II boys basketball game.
Skrepenak finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds, with both portions of the triple-double completed in the second half. The hardest – and most unique part of the achievement – was done in the first half with 10 blocks as GAR took a 33-13 lead into the locker room. He added two more blocks after halftime.
That's an outstanding game for him, especially against a body like Pete Borum, GAR coach Paul Brown said. Pete is a big body. Pete plays good basketball. I think Christian just stepped up tonight.
Skrepenak and Borum (6-6, 315) battled on the football field and both were Times Leader All-WVC selections. The anticipated matchup on the court never gained any traction.
GAR (2-0 Div. II, 4-7 overall) opened by scoring the game's first 14 points. Moreover, it was how the Grenadiers did it, as sophomore guard Darius Washington dropped in a couple three-pointers and junior guard James Holmes added another.
The duo's early contribution was key with standout Isaiah Francis (ankle) and starting point guard Lamont Twyman (illness) absent from the lineup. After the three-point barrage, Skrepenak began working on his triple-double.
It was on the side where I didn't have to be the main guy to go to, Skrepenak said, but I had to be the leader for my team and show through my actions and hustle. Be an example and they would follow suit, and they did.
Lehman (1-1, 4-5) recovered late in the quarter behind Cody Paraschak. The Black Knights cut the deficit to 14-8 early in the second quarter, but GAR kept making moderate runs to stretch the lead. Holmes, who had a game-high 16 points, gave the Grenadiers a 33-13 advantage with a three-pointer just before the buzzer.
Lehman didn't help matters with poor shooting, connecting on just 5-of-29 shots (17 percent) in the first half.
We talked about it before the game they had two players out, and actually two of their better players, Lehman coach Brian Cutter said, and that we couldn't change out gameplan. We had to play just as hard and we just didn't come out on the floor and perform the way we wanted to, especially in the first half.
GAR (66): James Holmes 5 4-7 16, Willie Winstead 3 1-1 9, Jahlil Harvey 4 0-0 8, Christian Skrepenak 5 1-2 11, Darius Washington 6 0-0 15, Niegebo Francis 0 1-1 1, Greg Skrepenak Jr. 0 0-1 0, Tydus Winstead 0 2-2 2, Rashaun Jackson 0 0-0 0, Brandon Norbert 0 2-2 2, Toby Tighe 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 11-16 66.
LAKE-LEHMAN (40): Jared James 0 0-0 0, Adam Dizbon 5 3-4 14, Pete Borum 3 5-9 11, Vinnie Williamson 0 0-0 0, Cody Paraschak 5 0-0 10, Brian Devine 2 0-0 4, Bill Hillman 0 1-2 1, Jeremy Britt 0 0-0 0, Mike Symeon 0 0-0 0, Cody Spriggs 0 0-0 0, Josh Davenport 0 0-0 0, Tom Boyle 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 9-15 40.
3-Point Field Goals— GAR 7 (Holmes 2, W. Winstead 2, Washington 3); LL 1 (Dizbon)