EDITOR’S NOTE: The semifinals of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association basketball tournament concluded Tuesday. While NEPASportsNation.com compiles more complete reports, here is a quick recap of the night’s action.
By Tom Robinson, NEPASportsNation.com
POTTSVILLE – The state championship pursuits of three Lackawanna League basketball teams came to an end Tuesday night along with one of the most successful coaching careers in league history.
Holy Cross boys coach Al Callejas informed his team that he is retiring after the Crusaders fell to Lancaster Mennonite, 51-40, in a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class 2A semifinal.
The Mountain View girls and Scranton Prep girls also lost, falling one game short of playing in title games at The Giant Center in Hershey. They lost in markedly different games with a wild ending in Class A where Shamokin Lourdes Regional defeated Mountain View, 34-33, and a Mercy Rule game in Class 4A where Lansdale Catholic handled Scranton Prep, 60-28.
The results left District 2 teams 1-4 in the state semifinals with the Dunmore girls serving as the district’s lone championship game representative when they face River Valley in Class 3A Thursday at 6 p.m.
The Holy Cross boys and Scranton Prep girls had trouble with all-state players in their losses.
Camden Hurst scored 10 points in the first quarter for the Blazers, who did not trail after 2-0. He finished with 25 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocked shots while making all three of his 3-point attempts as part of an 8-for-12 shooting performance.
Gabby Casey had 14 of her 25 points in the first quarter to lead Lansdale Catholic, the state’s top-ranked Class 4A girls team, according to www.TribHSSN.TribLive.com.
The Mountain View game had a wild ending.
Lourdes held the ball for the last 50 seconds of a tie game and Paityn Moyer hit the winner on a foul line jumper in the final second.
The clock showed 0.0 as Lourdes fans rushed the court in celebration, but officials put 0.4 seconds back on the clock and assessed a technical foul to the Lourdes team for the fans being on the court.
Addison Kilmer hit the first of two free throws on the technical foul, but the second bounced out and Mountain View could not get a shot off in the last fraction of a second.
Callejas was diagnosed with lung cancer last season. He won more than 500 games in 3 decades as the only coach at Holy Cross and the last coach at its predecessor, Bishop O’Hara.
Holy Cross was formed in 2007 by the merger of Bishop O’Hara in Dunmore with Bishop Hannan from Scranton. The Crusaders played in the state tournament 15 times, only missing when they could not compete in the 2021 postseason because of a COVID outbreak.
The latest playoff run ended on a night when the offense struggled, including 3-for-18 from 3-point range, going 0-for-9 in the second half until the substitutes were playing in the final minute.
Hayden Hosie and Matt Lyons led Holy Cross with 10 points each.
David Weaver helped shut down the Crusaders inside game while grabbing 11 defensive rebounds and blocking 4 shots.
Rita Collins scored the eight first-quarter points for Scranton Prep and led the Classics with nine during the loss at William Allen High School in Allentown.
Return to Basketball – NEPA Sports Nation more-detailed reports on Tuesday’s action and more upcoming coverage of the late rounds of the state tournament.