PLYMOUTH — Lucky Williams grabbed the steering wheel of the offense Friday night and drove Wyoming Valley West to a victory.
The 6-foot-1 senior's constant ability to penetrate Pittston Area's defense led to an important late second-quarter burst as the Spartans posted a 58-54 victory to stay in first place in Division I of Wyoming Valley Conference boys basketball.
The Spartans (6-0 Div. I, 9-5 overall) increased its lead in the division over Pittston Area, Crestwood and Hazleton Area – all 4-2 in the division. The title is determined by the entire divisional schedule, so there are no first-half and second-half champions as in the past.
Williams, who didn't play last season and is better known for his all-star ability on the football field, finished with a game-high 19 points. Many came on power moves to the hoop.
It's something my coach always harps on, Williams said of driving to the basket. I just started taking advantage of it. It's something I have to do every game because we have shooters all around us. If I look to penetrate, I can dish it out some time.
That's exactly what happened late in the second after the Patriots pulled within 19-18. Williams scored on a pair of drives and then followed with another. This time he cut off his dribble and kicked the ball out to Larry Anderscavage, who knocked down a three-pointer just before the buzzer for a 28-18 halftime lead.
Pittston Area chased the lead the rest of the game. The Patriots moved within 48-42 with 2:07 left in the fourth quarter and had Valley West's offense quelled, only to miss two three-point attempts and an inside basket.
A three-pointer by Pittston Area's Michael Schwab with five seconds left made the final score a bit closer than it was in the waning seconds.
A couple times we got it to five or six, a two-possession game, and they'd end up with a shot off a rebound, a little tip-in or a little luck, Pittston Area coach Alan Kiesinger said. Lucky Williams. He gets lucky and hits a shot he throws 18 feet in the air that banks off the top of the backboard and goes in. Then another where he spins, throws the ball up and (Jaquan) Ingram is right there to catch it.
The description of Williams' shot was a tad exaggerated; Ingram's grab-and-score wasn't. The 6-6 senior played his typical game, scoring 16 points and recording seven rebounds. He added two dunks, including what is becoming his calling card – a half-step, two-handed slam.
Mason Gross paced Pittston Area with 17 points. James Tobisch added 14.
When you come in to play a Pittston team, you better be ready for pressure because Alan does a great job, Valley West coach George Reimiller said. And you better be ready to protect the basketball, and we didn't do a good job of that in the third quarter. First half, I thought we did.
PITTSTON AREA (54): Michael Schwab 1 2-2 5, Michael Delaney 0 0-0 0, Jay Crawford 0 0-0 0, James Emmett 2 0-0 4, James Tobisch 6 2-2 4, Mason Gross 6 4-4 17, Hassan Maxwell 2 1-3 6, Tyler McGarry 3 0-0 8. Totals 20 9-11 54.
WYOMING VALLEY WEST (58): Chris McCue 0 3-4 3, Evan McCue 0 0-0 0, Brett Good 1 0-0 4, Lucky Williams 8 3-4 19, Jaquan Ingram 8 0-0 16, Larry Anderscavage 4 2-3 11, Jamie Calloway 2 0-0 5. Totals: 24 8-11 58.
|Wyoming Valley West||11||17||8||22||—||58|
3-Point Field Goals— PA 5 (McGarry 2, Schwab, Gross, Maxwell); WVW 2 (Anderscavage, Calloway).