NEPA Sports Nation

Cencetti leads Patriots in opener

Dane Schutter received Wyoming Area’s game Most Valuable Player award from Dr. Eugene DeMinico. Above, Pittston Area’s MVP Anthony Cencetti dribbles against Dylan Petrucci.

By Tom Robinson,

YATESVILLE – Anthony Cencetti, Pittston Area’s most experienced player, led the Patriots on the offensive end of the floor and in clearing the defensive glass in Saturday night’s boys basketball season opener.

Cencetti scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds when the Patriots handed visiting Wyoming Area a 61-41 defeat in the 18th annual Eugene R. DeMinico II Memorial Game.

All 12 of Cencetti’s rebounds came on the defensive end while earning his team’s Most Valuable Player award in the game.

“Even last year, that was one of my specialties, rebounding,” Cencetti said. “I always play hard. I go for the ball. That’s one thing I’ve always done.”

Each team relied on its most established player to get through opening night.

Cencetti is the only returning starter from the only Pittston Area to ever win a District 2 title and a state tournament game in the same season.

Dane Schutter, a first-team division all-star, was Wyoming Area’s MVP after scoring 13 points and grabbing a team-high 9 rebounds.

Pittston Area took a team approach to rebounding, getting plenty of support for Cencetti’s efforts. The Patriots had five players with at least five rebounds, compared to two for the Warriors, while building a 44-26 edge on the boards. They grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, including five each by Silvio Giardina and Jack Long.

Giardina and Long also joined Cencetti in producing double-figures scoring.

While going 3-for-6 from 3-point range, Giardina finished with 16 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.

Long had 13 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.

Ciaran Bilbow only took one shot, which he missed, but he grabbed six rebounds coming off the bench. He had five in the second quarter when the Patriots had a 12-3 advantage on the boards to outscore the Warriors 19-7 and take a 33-16 halftime lead.

Pittston Area scored the game’s first seven points and Wyoming Area never caught up.

Schutter’s 3-pointer with 40 seconds left in the first quarter made it 9-7, but the Patriots went on a 16-4 run. Cencetti started it with a 3-pointer with a second left in the quarter, then Jacob Burnett added one early in the second quarter and Giardina capped the run with two more 32 seconds apart in the middle of the second.

Brady Noone was Wyoming Area’s top scorer. He finished with 14 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.

Tyler Sciandra had four assists for the Warriors.

DeMinico, a Pittston Township police officer and decorated veteran for his service in Iraq, was killed in a motorcycle accident in November, 2005. Proceeds from the game benefit the Hughestown K-9 Unit.

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