HS BASKETBALL: Western Wayne Ousts Tunkhannock
SCRANTON — It pays to have a good 1-2 punch on the basketball court.
According to Tunkhannock coach Spencer Lunger, Western Wayne’s inside-out combo — center Zach Rovinsky and guard Dahlton Frisbie — may be one of the top tandems in District 2.
Less than a week after Rovinsky’s double-double in a win against GAR, Frisbie started hot and finished even hotter Tuesday night at Scranton, where he scored 24 points and led No. 5 Western Wayne past Lunger’s six-seeded Tigers, 53-39, in District 2 Class 4A action.
“It’s either one of us,” Frisbie said of his shared leadership with Rovinsky. “If one of us isn’t on our game, the other one is going to be on our game. But, sometimes, we’re both on our game and that’s when we’re really good.”
The win earned Western Wayne (14-11) the district’s third and final qualifying spot in the PIAA tournament, beginning March 8.
It is Western Wayne’s first appearance in the state playoffs since 1993.
“For me, it’s awesome,” said Wildcat coach Al Semenza. “To see those guys so happy and to realize that — that’s what I try to preach to them; it’s about life. You gotta work hard and you gotta prepare. Even when you do that, it doesn’t always happen. But when it happens, it’s sweet.”
Frisbie scored Western Wayne’s first eight points Tuesday, lifting the Wildcats into an 8-2 lead.
After Frisbie picked up his second foul, however, the Wildcats went nearly 9 minutes without scoring.
Luckily for them, Tunkhannock also struggled on offense.
“They played really hard-nosed, physical defense, and they took away our shooters, which are our big key,” Lunger said. “Our big guys stepped up tonight, especially Avery Billings in the early quarters. We got the ball in to him and he made good plays. But unfortunately our shots weren’t falling in the second and third quarters.”
The lead changed hands eight times in the first half, which ended with freshman Thomas Chernasky’s putback just before the buzzer that gave Western Wayne a 19-17 lead.
After Frisbie hit a 3-pointer to open the second half, Western Wayne led the rest of the game.
Frisbie, a senior, hit back-to-back 3s in the fourth quarter — the first featured a pump-fake that allowed him an open look from the top of the arc — that opened up the Wildcats’ first double-digit lead, 40-30.
“I think he saved his best for last,” Semenza said of Frisbie. “I think that he played so under control tonight. He and I, over the last three years, trying to get him to play the way I wanted to wasn’t exactly the easiest thing. We went back-and-forth banging heads sometimes. But, I thought tonight he was spectacular and he controlled the game, made the shots when he had to. I’m just proud of everybody on the floor. A team effort.”
Frisbie made six 3s as the only Western Wayne player in double-digits scoring. Rovinsky had eight points and nine rebounds. Zane Janiszewski also scored eight points.
Tunkhannock senior Tyler Faux scored 12 points, while Ryan Harder added nine and Billings eight.
“The program is moving in the right direction,” Lunger said of his Tigers, who ended the season 14-11. “I feel terrible for my seniors. We were one step away from that big tournament, but the future is bright and I’m really looking forward to it.”
T. Faux 3 5-7 12, R. Harder 4 0-0 9, A. Billings 3 2-4 8, N. Reposa 1 3-4 6, J. Chilson 2 0-0 4, J. Robinson 0 0-0 0, L. Helsel 0 0-0 0, Z. Rogers 0 0-0 0, E. Bennett 0 0-0 0, D. Cavanaugh 0 0-0 0, Totals 13 10-15 39.
Western Wayne (53)
D. Frisbie 7 4-4 24, Z. Rovinsky 3 2-3 8, Z. Janiszewski 2 3-4 8, T. Chernasky 3 0-0 6, K. Sauter 2 1-2 5, R. Carey 0 2-3 2, A. Kuha 0 0-0 0, M. Henneforth 0 0-0 0, Totals 17 12-16 53.
Tunkhannock 9 8 13 9—39
Western Wayne 8 11 14 20—53
3-point goals: N. Reposa (Tunk) 1, T. Faux (Tunk) 1, R. Harder (Tunk) 1, D. Frisbie (WW) 6, Z. Janiszewski (WW) 1.
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