Below the headlines there are many efforts that contribute to team success. NEPA Sports Nation takes a weekly look at some of those contributions. Here are the Key Contributors from the week of Jan. 10-16:
ELIUD LOPEZ, Hazleton Area boys basketball
Lopez helped Hazleton Area to a 3-0 week, including consecutive wins over the other two top contenders in Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1, Dallas and Pittston Area. Lopez shot 50 percent from the floor and from 3-point range while scoring 32 points in the 3 wins, but that was just the beginning. The 6-foot-2 senior also had 19 rebounds, 12 assists and 4 steals.
THOMAS POLLOCK, Hazleton Area boys swimming
Hazleton Area used second-place points in six of the eight individual events to help it pull out an 85½-84½ victory over Dallas in a meeting of WVC unbeatens. Pollock was one of two Cougars to produce two of those second-place finishes and was also one of three Hazleton Area swimmers to take part in both relay wins. He was second in the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle. Pollock had the fastest breaststroke leg among the four entries in the 200 medley relay win and his anchor leg in the 200 freestyle relay was the second-fastest of the 16 participants in that relay.
J.J. ROSA, Blue Ridge boys basketball
Rosa had back-to-back, 11-assist games while helping Blue Ridge win twice to maintain the Lackawanna League Division 4 lead. He also helped lead a defense that shut out Lackawanna Trail in the first quarter of the team’s second win of the week. Rosa helped break open a close game with Mountain View by going 8-for-8 from the line in the fourth quarter to finish with 14 points in a 79-64 victory. He did not score in the 58-23 rout of Lackawanna Trail but came up with seven steals.
JAKE ZOLA, Hanover Area boys basketball
Hanover Area began turning its season around with two straight wins after entering the week on a four-game losing streak. Zola, one of four Hawkeyes scoring double figures in each case and the team’s fourth-leading scorer on the season, stood out with back-to-back double-doubles in points and rebounds. He had 14 points in a 58-53 victory over Wyoming Area for the team’s first WVC Division 2 victory, which put an end to the losing streak. Zola then pulled down 14 rebounds in a 59-56, non-league victory over Class 6A Delaware Valley.
PREVIOUS KEY CONTRIBUTORS
First week of winter season: https://nepasportsnation.com/key-contributors-15/.
Second week of winter season: https://nepasportsnation.com/key-contributors-16/.
Third week of winter season: https://nepasportsnation.com/key-contributors-17/.
Fourth week of winter season: https://nepasportsnation.com/key-contributors-18/.
Fifth week of winter season: https://nepasportsnation.com/key-contributors-18/.