NEPA Sports Nation

Cavaliers win defensive battle

By Tom Robinson,

SCRANTON – Chase Scanlan capped a tournament Most Valuable Player performance by hitting two free throws with 9.9 seconds remaining Thursday night, lifting Scranton Prep to the Lynett Memorial Tournament championship with a 39-35 victory over Scranton.

Scanlan finished with a game-high 14 points and contributed to a 38-33 rebounding advantage by pulling down 8.

“I didn’t expect this at all,” Scanlan, a 5-foot-11 junior, said of the MVP award. “ … I was just trying to get a win, then this came along with it.

“It’s a pretty cool thing.”

Scanlan kept his cool on a night when Scranton Prep coach Andrew Kettel said “the ball just wasn’t going in.”

Scranton Prep, normally an 80-percent free throw shooting team, was coming off a 14-for-15 performance at the line in the semifinal win over Dunmore. But the rest of the Cavaliers were just 3-for-7 in the final, including missing the front end of one-and-ones with 1:56 and 0:49 remaining.

“We’d been practicing our foul shots all week,” said Scanlan, who made his last five to finish 7-for-8. “I just tried to stay calm and I thought I’d knock them down.”

When he did, Scranton Prep had its 23rd title in the oldest holiday tournament in District 2. It came in the third-lowest scoring of 71 championship games in the tournament’s history.

“I thought both teams played good defense,” Scanlan said, “but also a pretty packed gym so maybe a little bit of nerves and we got off to a slower start.”

All-tournament pick Kellen Casey grabbed nine rebounds and Brycen Martin supplied six points and three assists off the bench.

Scanlan was the only Cavalier with more than six points, but Scranton Prep found a winning formula.

“Just grit, teamwork,” Kettel said. “The ball wasn’t going in for anyone tonight and both teams fought, as expected.

“We’ve had many battles with Scranton High and we’ll have many more. We were fortunate enough to make enough plays to come out on top.”

Daniel Santaniello, the other Cavalier with six points, scored on a putback with 5:52 left for the game’s biggest lead at 35-27.

Scranton Prep did not score again until the final 20 seconds.

Scranton’s Dillon Lazdowsky, who went 3-for-6 from long range, made 3-pointers with 2:26 and 1:34 remaining to cut the deficit to two.

James Pettinato halted Scranton Prep’s free throw woes – the Cavaliers were 6-for-11 to that point – by making both ends of a one-and-one with 19.1 seconds left.

Tony Battaglia’s drive made it a two-point game again with 12 seconds left.

By then, the Cavaliers had reached the double bonus and Scanlan took advantage when fouled.

Oliver Almonte led Scranton with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 3 steals and represented the Knights on the all-tournament team.

The game featured just one lead change and it came in the first quarter.

Scranton scored the game’s first six points, then Scranton Prep scored the next 11 to end the quarter with a five-point lead. Casey hit a 3-pointer and followed it up with a steal and drive 17 seconds later to put the Cavaliers ahead to stay.

The last time fewer points were scored in a Lynett Tournament boys final was in 1993 when Dunmore beat Bishop O’Hara, 39-32. The other lower-scoring final was way back in 1954 when Scranton Prep defeated Swoyersville, 39-30.

Holy Cross 61, Dunmore 48

Logan Tierney scored 17 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and made 2 steals for Holy Cross, which rallied from deficits of 10 points during the second quarter and 32-23 at halftime.

Tierney, who was 7-for-8 from the floor, made the all-tournament team.

Both teams shot exactly 50 percent from the floor, but the Crusaders got off extra shots with the help of a 25-20 rebounding advantage and committing fewer turnovers, 13-8.

Hayden Hosie was 6-for-10 while adding 15 points, 8 assists and 3 steals.

Gabe Gonzales chipped in 10 points, Kaeden Carr 9 and Michael Hughes 8.

Max Forgione and Thomas Bowen each went 5-for-7 Dunmore.

Forgione led the Bucks with 14 points and 5 rebounds. Bowen added 11 points.

All-tournament pick Cullen Smith had nine points and two steals.

Nico Ruggiero dished out four assists.


Tuesday’s semifinals recap: Cavaliers, Knights in Lynett final – NEPA Sports Nation.

Scranton Prep-Dunmore Photo Gallery: Lynett Tournament Boys photo gallery – NEPA Sports Nation

Follow us on social media