NEPA Sports Nation

Spartans back on top of Division 3

Danny Nemitz drove Mid Valley all the way back to the top of the Lackawanna League Division 3 boys basketball standings.

Nemitz scored a game-high 18 points, including two drives to the basket midway through the fourth quarter to put the Spartans in control on the way to a 54-43 victory over visiting Holy Cross.

The Crusaders started the week on a 17-game, regular-season winning streak within the division.

Mid Valley began the week a game out of the lead, but took over sole possession with Friday night’s win in a rematch of the division playoff game that the Spartans won to take the title a year ago.

Nathan Sadaka added 12 points while Jakob Lesher had 10 for Mid Valley, which has won seven straight since suffering its only league loss in its first meeting with Holy Cross.

The Spartans, the No. 3 Small School boys team in the Riverfront Sports Super Six Power Rankings of District 2 teams, improved to 8-1 in the division and 15-3 overall.

Second-ranked Holy Cross dropped to 7-2 and 12-5.

Logan Tierney led the Crusaders with 12 points and Matt Lyons added 10.

Holy Cross lost second-leading scorer Hayden Hosie to injury in the first quarter when he appeared to inadvertently be struck in the face. The Crusaders were ahead, 3-2, on a Hosie 3-pointer with 5:46 left in the first quarter when he left the gym for treatment and did no return to the lineup.

After Holy Cross held the lead for most of the first quarter, Mid Valley scored the last four points for a 14-11 lead.

Sadaka score five points in the first quarter.

Nemitz had seven points in the second quarter and the Spartans again scored the last four points, this time to take a 27-21 halftime lead.

Holy Cross cut the deficit to 27-25 before Sadaka hit a 3-pointer from the right side for the first Mid Valley points of the second half with 5:26 left in the third quarter.

Mason O’Malley broke down the defense at the end of a long possession on the next trip up the floor to put the Spartans up by seven.

Mid Valley took a 44-35 lead into the fourth quarter, but Holy Cross again fought back.

The lead was down to 46-43 at the midway point in the fourth quarter.

Nemitz drove baseline with 3:53 left to start a game-clinching, eight-point streak.

When the pace of the game appeared to be slowing down, Nemitz caught Holy Cross off guard, racing through four defenders in transition to get to the rim for the next basket.

Sadaka hit two free throws with 44.5 seconds left, then O’Malley hit two more with 13.9 remaining.

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