NEPA Sports Nation

Cavaliers, Knights in Lynett final

By Tom Robinson,

SCRANTON – Kellen Casey’s double-double led Scranton Prep’s dominance on the boards Tuesday as the Cavaliers advanced to the final of the 71st annual Lynett Memorial Boys Basketball Tournament with a 66-53 victory over Dunmore at the Lackawanna College Student Union.

Scranton Prep will face defending champion Scranton, which defeated Holy Cross, 58-52, in the second game. They will meet Thursday at 7 for the title. Dunmore and Holy Cross play for third place at 2:30.

Casey scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Ambrose Rossi came off the bench to provide 9 points and 9 rebounds in just 12 minutes as the Cavaliers controlled the boards, 41-26.

“Our coaches all week when we were getting ready said we have to hit the glass,” said Casey, a 6-foot junior. “We’ve done that all year. Offensive rebounding wins games.”

That is something that Casey, who had four in the game, prides himself on.

“That’s how you get extra possessions and put teams away,” he said.

It’s also how Casey got to the foul line where he went 7-for-8 as part of the team’s 14-for-15 effort.

“Getting to the foul line, making your free throws is very important,” he said. “We’re a very good free throw shooting team this year.”

The rebounding was just part of the inside presence for Scranton Prep, which also used drives, interior passes and fastbreaks off steals to score all its points from close range during a 16-0 run from its last deficit to a 19-4 lead at the end of one quarter.

“We talked about how getting the basketball in the paint, both on the drive or the pass, is something we try to do offensively,” Scranton Prep coach Andrew Kettel said. “It creates outside shots. It creates layups.

“Good things happen when the ball goes in the paint and I think our kids are finally understanding that. I think they did a great job putting it on display tonight.”

Chase Scanlan added nine points for Scranton Prep (4-2).

Dunmore (3-4) was led by Cullen Smith with 16 points and Nico Ruggiero with 13.

Rossi had seven points in the 16-0, first-quarter run. James Pettinato started the streak with a three-point play and Rossi added another in the last minute of the quarter while the Cavaliers were holding the Bucks scoreless for the last 5:27.

Keith Pritchyk, who had eight points, went 3-for-3 in a span of a little over a minute in the middle of the second quarter, combining with a Brycen Martin steal and breakaway for an 8-0 run to a 29-11 lead.

Daniel Santaniello’s interior passing accounted for four assists in less than five minutes while he was also scoring and grabbing three rebounds during a 17-6 run to the game’s biggest lead, 55-30, with 2:07 left in the third quarter.

Dunmore cut into the final margin with a 20-point fourth quarter, including a nine-point streak to get to within 12 with 55 seconds left.

The win was the 10th straight for Scranton Prep in Lynett semifinals.

The Cavaliers won six straight titles before losing to Holy Cross in 2019 and Scranton in 2021. There was no tournament in 2020 because of COVID.

“We haven’t won it in a couple years and we really want to bring it back to Scranton Prep,” Casey said. “It’s the best tournament in the area.

“It would be awesome to win it again.”

Scranton 58, Holy Cross 52

Oliver Almonte scored 18 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, dished out 3 assists and made 2 steals to lead Scranton to the win in the nightcap.

Almonte went 6-for-8 from the floor and 6-for-6 from the line to help the Knights get through a tight game that featured seven ties and eight lead changes.

The biggest lead either team could manage was Scranton’s 54-47 advantage in the fourth quarter.

Cole Conforti added 11 points in the win. He scored five of Scranton’s first seven points and finished with three 3-pointers.

Rykeese Conrad scored eight points without missing a shot and also made three steals.

Holy Cross was led by Gabe Gonzales with 16 points. Michael Hughes added 11 points and Cullen Moran grabbed 9 rebounds.

The Crusaders struggled from 3-point range, going just 1-for-18.

Both teams are now 3-3.

Follow us on social media