Lackawanna League teams headed into divisional play this week
Teams headed into divisional play this week. With more than a third of the season already in the books and every game counting towards District berths, the sampling of games seem to indicate races could be wide open.
Often considered one of the tougher small school divisions in the state, only Mid Valley (7-1) has a winning record heading into league play.
The Spartans' only loss has been to highly-touted WB Meyers. Noah Tanner and Brad Kalinowsky lead the way.
Dunmore (3-4) are notorious slow starters due to football but by season's end the Bucks are usually contenders.
Carbondale Area (3-5) is a dangerous team that has struggled to finish games.
In losses to Wyoming Area (-8) and Valley View (-10), CA was involved in two possession battles deep into the fourth period while in overtime losses to Mid Valley (-6) and Western Wayne (-5) free throw shooting hindered victory efforts including an 11-21 effort at WW.
CA's top shooter, Evan Dearie, was forced to the sidelines in the first 4:00 vs WW and did not return due to injury.
The Chargers are 1-4 in 10 points or less games including 1-2 in overtime
Holy Cross (2-5) is expected to be among the divisional contenders.
Lakeland (1-6) has been led by Jake Curnow inside while their perimeter attack gains more experience.
Riverside (1-7) may have the most misleading record with some close losses despite missing one of its top scorers Evan Carubba nearly all season due to injury.
Old Forge (1-7) played an ambitious schedule and dropped a number of close games.
Schedule Tip Off
Tonight, the Chargers travel to Mid Valley in a rematch of the Turonis/NBT Bank final won by MV in overtime, 58-52. The Chargers visit Dunmore on Tuesday.
Lakeland visits Susquehanna tonight and hosts Riverside on Tuesday.
3A District Race
All eight teams qualify for the post season so positioning for home games is what is at stake come season's end.
Teams will bounce around game to game since most teams will now face each other the rest of the way.
The ranking heading into tonight is: MV (.5767), Wyoming Seminary (.3857), Holy Redeemer (.3540), Dunmore (.3291), Montrose (.3234), CA (.2767), Riverside (.1931) and Lakeland (.1751)
Forest City (1-5) will be looking to contend while Blue Ridge (6-2) is the favorite. The Foresters are led by Jared Paulin and Noah Yates.
Holy Cross is considered the favorite among Blue Ridge(6-2), Northwest (3-3), Lacka. Trail (2-6), Old Forge (1-7), FC (1-5), Elk Lake (1-6) and Mt. View (0-6).
Schedule Tip Off
The Foresters host Lacka. Trail on Friday and visit Old Forge on Tuesday.
Due to deadline last week, the final was not covered.
Mid Valley 58
Chargers 52 OT
Mid Valley won their fifth straight title surviving CA's comeback bid.
The Spartans produced a 12 point lead early in the second period but the Chargers answered with a strong finish to the half and 14-8 third period to take a 39-38 lead after three periods on a Pat Durkin buzzer beater trey to end the period.
CA held the lead late in the game but a few empty possessions and steaks by Noah Tanner and Brad Kalinowski gave MV a 50-47 lead with :40 left.
But CA's Evan Dearie buried a catch and shoot three from 35 feet to tie the game with :27 left.
CA had a shot to win on the foul line with .4 left but the shot missed sending the game to overtime.
MV was led by Tanner (17), Kalinowski (17) and RJ Gouldsbury (12).
Dearie (15) had five threes while Bobby Salitsky (11) added four steals and solid defensive effort. Giovanni Mustica added nine points and eight boards.
Valley View 50
VV used a 26-19 second half to pull away.
Brian Durkin (13) and Marc Kudrich (13) led the winners while Jake Curnow (15) topped Lakeland.
The All Tourney team included Tanner, Kalinowski, Dearie, Chase Combs and Curnow.