WILKES-BARRE – Victory was achieved by the usual method for Meyers. Its two standouts – Ryan Krawczeniuk and Rasheed Moore – combined for the winning basket Thursday night in the Holiday Tournament at Coughlin High School.
But the journey to that point – where Moore sank a 12-footer with one second left in overtime to defeat Abington Heights 54-52 – had many more moving parts.
Three more to be exact that helped the Mohawks (6-1) chip away at a double-digit deficit to hand Abington (5-1) its first loss of the season.
First, the game-winner.
Abington tied the score at 52 on an inside basket by T.J. Murray with 24 seconds left in overtime. The Mohawks then worked for a shot, with Krawczeniuk finding Moore on the left side for the decisive bucket.
Ryan was bringing it up, and all the attention was drawn to him, Moore said. When he passed it to me, I dribbled and it had to go up. So I'm just glad my teammate helped me out with that shot. Ryan, he's usually the one taking the shots, but I have the confidence to knock it down as well.
The game appeared over, but it was ruled Abington had called a timeout with a second left. The Comets' catch-and-shoot attempt never materialized as Krawczeniuk cut off the inbound pass well before midcourt.
To get to that point, though, Meyers had to rally from an 11-point deficit in the second quarter and had to quell a resurgence of Abington's offense to start the fourth.
After a sluggish third quarter, Abington star J.C. Show (23 points) hit consecutive baskets in the fourth to give the Comets a 44-37 lead with 5:15 left in the period. Meyers then went on an 11-0 run to take only its second lead in regulation.
Point guard C.J. Szafran started the run. Known more for filtering the ball to either Krawczeniuk or Moore, Szafran hit a drive and ensuing free throw. After a Krawczeniuk three-pointer, Matt DeMarco gave the Mohawks a 46-44 advantage with a three from the right corner. Tyriek Steward capped the run with two free throws.
They contribute a lot, said Moore, who finished with a team-high 20 points. They're not the guys that are looked to to score all the time. But they're looked at as good role player who come through when needed.
Meyers coach Pat Toole also praised DeMarco for his defense on Show. Show went on a tear in the second quarter, allowing Abington to build a 24-13 lead. But Show had just three of his nine field goals after halftime.
Matty DeMarco did a really good job on him, Toole said. We were making Ryan work so hard on offense we felt a switch was necessary to DeMarco defensively.
Meanwhile, Abington never found the same consistency as in the first quarter where it scored 18 points. The Comets had just 22 more after halftime. They had defeated four of their previous five opponents by at least 25 points.
We had a couple guys who were a little nervous I thought, Abington coach Ken Bianchi said. I think the game got to them. But this is what we want when you're better than all those other teams.
I told them I want to see how they would react. Are you right there? Are you better? Or are you way behind? We're not way behind, but we're not better.
Meyers will play Coughlin at 7:30 p.m. today for the tournament title. Abington plays Nanticoke at 6 p.m.
Meyers 54, Abington Heights 52 OT
MEYERS (54): Matt DeMarco 1 0-0 3, Ryan Krawczeniuk 4 5-7 17, C.J. Szafran 1 3-5 5, Rasheed Moore 8 4-5 20, Tyriek Stewart 3 3-4 9, Teaguen Labtach 0 0-0 0, Raheem Twyman 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 15-21 54.
ABINGTON HEIGHTS (52): J.C. Show 9 3-5 23, Kevin Elwell 1 0-0 3, Jamie Egan 1 0-0 2, Jason Bamford 6 0-0 12, T.J. Murray 3 5-6 11, Tim Toro 0 1-2 1, Evan Maxwell 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 9-14 52.
3-Point Field Goals— MEY 4 (DeMarco, Krawczeniuk 3), AH 3 (Show 2, Elwell).
Coughlin squeaked past Nanticoke, thanks in part to a strong first half, and advances to play Meyers in the Holiday Tournament championship.
Nate Oliver led the Crusaders with 10 points, while Devin Rajza connected on a pair of three-pointers on his way to eight points.
Mike Malshefski paced the Trojans with 10 points.
NANTICOKE (36): Tyler Myers 1 0-0 2, Scott Stout 0 0-0 0, Nate Seise 0 0-0 0, Cairee Walker 4 0-0 8, Mike Malshefski 3 3-4 10, Matt Winters 4 0-0 9, Rees Roberts 0 0-0 0, Nick Valenti 3 1-2 7. Totals 15 4-6 36.
COUGHLIN (38): Nate Oliver 4 2-6 10, Conner Flaherty 0 6-8 6, Malik McDonald 2 2-2 6, Corey Keen 2 0-0 4, R.J. Zimmerman 0 0-0 0, Alex Cerp 2 0-0 4, Devin Rajza 3 0-0 8. Totals 13 10-16 38
3-Point Field Goals— NAN 2 (Malshefski, Winters); COU 2 (Rajza 2)