First Posted: 2/16/2014
Lake-Lehman never let West Scranton get started Wednesday night.
The Black Knights held the host Invaders scoreless for long stretches to begin each of the first three quarters on the way to a 48-29 victory in the first full round of the District 2 Class AAA boys basketball tournament.
Lake-Lehman joined Back Mountain neighbor Dallas as the only teams to go on the road and beat higher-seeded opponents in the eight Class AAA games. The win sent the Black Knights (12-11) into Friday night’s quarterfinals against Abington Heights, the tournament’s top seed.
“I think we did a great job defensively,” Lake-Lehman coach Brian Cutter said. “We shut down their top scorer. Mason Marsico only had seven points. We shut him down on the baseline.”
Cutter credited Mike Symeon for the work in limiting Marsico to about half his season average.
The Black Knights kept the Invaders (14-10) away from the basket, then controlled the boards with a 40-26 rebounding advantage.
Lake-Lehman never trailed.
West Scranton went scoreless for 3:57 to open the game and for longer stretches at the beginning of the second and third quarters.
Pete Borum, who finished with a game-high 17 points along with nine rebounds, powered inside for a basket on the first possession. Cody Paraschak then converted two offensive rebounds to give Lake-Lehman the first six points.
Paraschak finished with a game-high 13 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end.
“Cody did a real nice job on the boards,” Cutter said. “He had his typical game. He worked hard down there, got some offensive rebounds for us, some putbacks and set good screens down low.”
West Scranton fired away from long range to start the second quarter, missing eight straight 3-pointers to fall to 0-for-10 for the game while Borum and Adam Dizbon were scoring four points each for a 19-8 lead late in the half.
The Invaders did not manage a point for 6:24 and did not hit a basket until Leo Ciullo came off the bench to make a 3-pointer with 32 seconds left in the quarter.
Dizbon, who finished with 15 points and four steals, scored the last basket of the half, then had five points when Lake-Lehman outscored West Scranton, 8-0, over the first 5:04 of the second half to break the game open, 29-12.
Lake-Lehman held West Scranton to its season-low scoring output and the fewest points it has yielded this season.
“Defensively, we were very happy with what we did tonight,” Cutter said.
Symeon chipped in with seven points and Paraschak six. Brian Devine had a team-high three assists and Ben Brooks came off the bench to hit a 3-pointer late in the first quarter after West Scranton got close for the only time at 8-6.
West Scranton finished 11-for-47 (23.4 percent) from the floor.
Lake-Lehman entered the playoffs as the ninth seed in the 17-team bracket after going 7-6 to finish third out of five teams in Division 2 of the Wyoming Valley Conference.
Chad DeBona scored a game-high 15 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer, Wednesday night to lift Dallas to a one-point win over host Holy Redeemer.
The Mountaineers (10-13) went into the game as the 11th seed after finishing 6-8 for fifth place out of eight teams in WVC Division 1 play. Holy Redeemer, the sixth seed, finished 13-10.
DeBona’s basket from the top left with 1:14 left wound up being the final points scored in the game when he was unable to convert late free throws and Holy Redeemer was unable to capitalize.
“I knew even if I miss that, my team would have my back and play great defense,” DeBona told The Times Leader.
After Darius Washington missed the final shot for the Royals, DeBona swatted the loose rebound away, killing the clock.
Dallas became only the second 11th seed in the 10 years of the open tournament format in Class AAA to reach the District 2 quarterfinals. The Mountaineers advanced into a Friday meeting with GAR.
Suk Mathon finished with 13 points and 17 rebounds for Dallas and kicked the ball out to DeBona for the winning basket.
Allen Fell had 12 points in the win.
Len Radziak had 20 points for Holy Redeemer in the game, which featured 12 lead changes.
Times Leader sports writer John Erzar contributed to this report.