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68th LYNETT TOURNAMENT: Rotell, Merritt Propel Scranton Prep To Sixth Straight Championship.

December 30, 2018

SCRANTON — Mario Rotell gathered a loose ball, started sprinting, made a pivot and behind-the-back dribble, and then attacked for a layup that brought his teammates on the bench to their feet.

It drew gasps from the crowd and served as a snapshot of the energy and aggressiveness Scranton Prep played with in its quest for a sixth straight holiday championship banner.

With Rotell scoring 14 points and Rhys Merritt establishing himself as a force in the lane, the second-ranked Cavaliers darted to a 63-36 win over No. 4 Holy Cross on Saturday night at the 68th Lynett Memorial Basketball Tournament at the Lackawanna College Student Union.

Scranton Prep (7-1) pushed its overall title total to 22, double the number of second-place Dunmore, which owns 11.

“Playing with passion is always our main focus, but especially when you play in a big tournament,” said Rotell, who took home the most valuable player award. “We play not only for us, but for all the players who came before us and we just wanted to do well for all of the past players.

“I felt confident, because our whole team played so well.”

Scranton Prep played with a fiery focus from the opening tap and never let off its intensity.

Brian Boland came out as the point guard and director of the offense. He took matters into his own hands by knocking down five of his first six shots and had 13 points as the Cavaliers raced to a 21-8 advantage.

“We started off kind of slow Thursday night (against Scranton),” Boland said. “We knew they were going to come out strong because they are a well-coached team. So, we came out and I got hot, and I attacked more offensively and made some buckets.”

With Boland carrying the scoring early, Merritt, whose role as a 6-foot-6 center has changed with Leo O’Boyle sidelined with an injury, established himself as a force inside. He swatted four shots and collected six rebounds in the first half, while scoring six points in the second quarter when Scranton Prep pushed the lead to 38-17.

In the third quarter, as Holy Cross (4-4) tried to get back into striking distance with a quick strike as Tyler Mozeleski drilled a 3-pointer. But Scranton Prep went on a 9-0 tear where Nick Genco had a 3-pointer and Merritt scored six straight.

Overall, Merritt had a game-high 19 points and 11 rebounds to earn a spot on the all-tournament team.

“The motivation part has been easy for me because of the guys around me,” Merritt said. “The first game with Leo out, I was a little nervous, but now these guys have been so supportive that I am more comfortable.

“We were a little taller and longer than them, so we really wanted to attack the glass and alter shots.”

Holy Cross chipped away as Leahy O’Connor, who scored 13 points, had a 3-pointer, and Kieran Burrier, who earned an all-tournament spot, had back-to-back 3-pointers to close within 53-30. However, Genco answered with a 3-pointer to close the quarter.

In the fourth, with Holy Cross scoring the first six points, the deficit stood at 56-36 with 5:08 to play. Again, Merritt answered and completed a three-point play and hit another two, and Rotell finished the scoring for the Cavaliers.

“It’s not just a couple of guys who are playing with a lot of energy, it’s every guy on the floor,” Holy Cross coach Al Callejas said. “They rotate well. The whole thing with them is, you try to prepare to stop them from making big runs and they have that tempo, so when they make those runs, they are tough to stop.

“There are only so many timeouts and they are relentless. They play hard and they play well, and that is why they are champions.”

 

Holy Cross (4-4) — L. O’Connor 5-11 2-2 13, K. Burrier 3-6 1-2 9, T. Mozeleski 3-9 0-1 7, P. Bennie 1-3 3-4 5, J. Calciano 1-2 0-0 2, B. Boles 0-0 0-1 0, A. Norella 0-0 0-0 0, J. Osborne 0-1 0-0 0, C. Callejas 0-4 0-0 0, C. Schuster 0-0 0-0 0, D. Mariotti 0-0 0-0 0, T. Mendicino 0-0 0-0 0, T. Lee 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 13-36 6-10 36.

Scranton Prep (7-1) — R. Merritt 9-14 1-1 19, M. Rotell 7-11 0-0 14, B. Boland 5-9 1-2 13, N. Genco 3-6 0-0 8, G. Schermerhorn 2-7 0-0 5, M. Skoff 1-5 2-2 4, G. Bednarz 0-0 0-0 0, D. Blake 0-0 0-0 0, D. Hazzouri 0-0 0-0 0, R. Rossi 0-0 0-0 0, J. Strong 0-1 0-0 0, B. Stallman 0-1 0-0 0, J. Kosierowski 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 27-54 4-5 63.

Holy Cross 8 9 13 6 — 36

Scranton Prep 21 17 18 7 — 63

3-point shooting: HC 4-9 (Burrier 2-3, O’Connor 1-2, Mozeleski 1-2, Calciano 0-1), SP 5-13 (Boland 2-3, Genco 2-3, Schermerhorn 1-3, Rotell 0-2, Skoff 0-2). Rebounds: HC 25 (Mozeleski, Bennie 5), SP 27 (Merritt 11). Assists: HC 9 (Mozeleski 3), SP 11 (Boland 4). Steals: HC 4 (Mozeleski, Burrier, Osborne, Calciano), SP 12 (Rotell 5). Blocks: SP 7 (Merritt 5). Turnovers: HC 22, SP 11.

All-tournament: MVP-Mario Rotell (SP), Rhys Merritt (SP), Kieran Burrier (HC), Marcus Bauman (SCR), Daniel Walsh (DUN).

Scranton 59, Dunmore 51

At the Lackawanna College Student Union, Marcus Bauman helped ignite a fast start and Jason Shields provided some outside shooting punch for the seventh-ranked Knights, who took third place in the 68th Lynett Memorial Tournament.

“The energy in the locker room and on the bench was outstanding,” Bauman said. “You have to have a purpose every time you lace up the shoes and I just love these guys and the way we played.

“We played tough and we stayed together, played with hustle, and got the win.”

Bauman, who finished with 25 points in the game and 41 for the two-game event, and also had 10 rebounds against Dunmore, earned all-tournament honors. He had 13 points in the first half when Scranton built a 31-24 advantage.

Shields, a freshman, came off the bench and knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in the first half and added a third in the fourth quarter to finish with 11 points.

R.J. Overton scored nine points and had eight rebounds, while Derome White and Tahg Jones each contributed six assists for the Knights (4-4).

Thomas Dougherty, who had a key 3-pointer at the end of regulation to send the semifinal game against Holy Cross into the first of two overtime periods, led No. 5 Dunmore (3-5) with 17 points.

Daniel Walsh scored 10 and had 27 against Holy Cross to earn all-tournament honors for the Bucks, who lost their third straight game.

Contact the writer: jbfawcett@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9125; @sportsTT on Twitter

 

Dunmore (3-5) — T. Dougherty 8 0-2 17, D. Walsh 2 4-5 10, S. Borgia 2 3-3 7, K. Walsh 3 0-0 7, R. Cordaro 2 0-0 4, D. Temperino 2 0-0 4, F. Ruggiero 1 0-0 2, N. Mihal 0 0-0 0, J. Argust 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 7-10 51.

Scranton (4-4) — M. Bauman 12 1-4 25, J. Shields 3 2-4 11, R. Overton 4 1-4 9, T. Jones 2 0-0 5, D. White 2 0-0 4, P. McCormack 1 0-0 3, N. Leety 1 0-0 2, J. Rose 0 0-0 0, D. Shears 0 0-0 0, J. Wainwright 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25 4-12 59.

Dunmore 10 14 12 15 — 51

Scranton 15 16 21 7 — 59

3-point goals: D. Walsh (DUN) 2, T. Dougherty (DUN), K. Walsh (DUN), J. Shields (SCR) 3, P. McCormack (SCR), T. Jones (SCR).

Taylor Lions

Tournament MVP Cayden Merrifield hit four 3-pointers and scored 23 points to lead West Scranton to a 54-41 win over Riverside in the championship game of the Taylor Lions Tournament.

Payton Davis scored 14 points for the Invaders and Brandon Barnes had nine points and 12 rebounds.

Michael Rickert scored 17 points for Riverside and Brandon Reed had 15.

West Scranton (4-3) — C. Merrifield 7 5-5 23, P. Davis 5 1-2 14, B. Barnes 4 1-2 9, N. Forsette 2 0-0 4, L. Fernandez 0 4-5 4, A. Lewis 0 0-0 0, M. Kerrigan 0 0-0 0, L. Wright 0 0-0 0, F. Liggins 0 0-0 0, J. Morris 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 11-14 54.

Riverside (3-5) — M. Rickert 7 0-1 17, B. Reed 6 2-3 15, R. Reyes 3 0-2 7, N. Berkoski 0 2-2 2, S. Hartman 0 0-0 0, K. Puchalski 0 0-0 0, M. Antoniacci 0 0-0 0, C. Kneiss 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 4-8 41.

West Scranton 14 10 18 12 — 54

Riverside 15 7 11 8 — 41

3-point goals: C. Merrifield (WS) 4, P. Davis (WS) 3, M. Rickert (RIV) 3, B. Reed (RIV), R. Reyes (RIV).

Stroudsburg 66

Lackawanna Trail 51

At Riverside, Del’ron Card scored 22 points to lead Stroudsburg in the consolation game of the Taylor Lions Tournament.

Zach Stec had 17 points for Lackawanna Trail and Nico Berrios and Richard Helbing each had 10.

Stroudsburg — D. Card 9 3-5 22, G. Richburg 8 4-5 21, W. Deans 3 2-2 10, M. Strouse 4 0-0 9, J. Adams 2 0-0 4, B. Best 0 0-0 0, D. Davis 0 0-0 0, M. Estecumber 0 0-0 0, B. Harrison 0 0-0 0, A. Kornegay 0 0-0 0. Totals: 26 9-12 66.

Lackawanna Trail (2-6) — Z. Stec 6 2-4 17, N. Berrios 4 0-5 10, R. Helbing 4 2-4 10, L. Walker 3 0-0 6, J. Gilroy 2 0-0 5, B. Decker 1 0-0 3, J. Rzucidlo 0 0-0 0, Z. Cost 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 4-13 51.

Stroudsburg 35 14 13 4 — 66

Lackawanna Trail 11 11 20 9 — 51

3-point goals: W. Deans (STR) 2, G. Richburg (STR), M. Strouse (STR), D. Card (STR), Z. Stec (LT) 3, N. Berrios (LT) 2, J. Gilroy (LT), B. Decker (LT). All-tournament team: Del’ron Card (STR), Richard Helbing (LT), Michael Rickert (RIV), Brandon Reed (RIV), Brandon Barnes (WS). MVP: Cayden Merrifield (WS).

James Akens Memorial

Tournament MVP Winston Edwards scored 22 points to lead Pocono Mountain East to a 73-55 win over North Pocono in the championship game of the James Akens Memorial Tournament.

Robert VanBrunt scored 19 points for North Pocono and Zach Walsh and Ryan Ruddy each had 11.

Pocono Mountain East — W. Edwards 10 0-0 22, T. Hillman 7 0-0 18, T. Thompson 7 0-0 14, D. Castro 4 2-2 11, S. Derviserivic 3 0-0 6, T. Thompson 1 0-2 2, W. Vargas 0 0-0 0, J. Jackson 0 0-0 0, D. Robinson 0 0-0 0, P. Argot 0 0-0 0. Totals: 32 2-4 73.

North Pocono (3-5) — R. VanBrunt 8 0-0 19, Z. Walsh 3 3-5 11, R. Ruddy 5 1-3 11, M. Domanish 2 0-0 5, D. Maglio 2 0-0 5, E. Olenchak 1 0-0 3, M. Kowalski 0 1-5 1, K. Serine 0 0-2 0, N. Posluszny 0 0-0 0, Z. Cali 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 5-15 55.

Pocono Mountain East 18 10 29 16 — 73

North Pocono 9 21 13 12 — 55

3-point goals: T. Hillman (PME) 4, W. Edwards (PME) 2, D. Castro (PME), R. VanBrunt (NP) 3, Z. Walsh (NP) 2, M. Domanish (NP), E. Olenchak (NP), D. Maglio (NP).

Old Forge 54, Wyo. Valley West 49

At North Pocono, Dante Lucarelli scored 33 points to lead Old Forge to an overtime win in the consolation game of the James Akens Memorial Tournament.

Michael DiGregorio added nine points for the Blue Devils.

Tim Federici had 20 points for Wyoming Valley West.

Wyoming Valley West (0-7) — T. Federici 6 3-4 20, S. Portee 3 2-4 8, R. Hamad 3 1-1 8, J. Lombardo 2 1-2 6, J. Simpson 2 0-2 5, J. Johnson 1 0-0 2, T. Gillespie 0 0-0 0, A. Jamison 0 0-0 0, J. Patterson 0 0-0 0, D. Gibbons 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 7-13 49.

Old Forge (5-3) — D. Lucarelli 10 11-16 33, M. DiGregorio 2 5-6 9, A. Rios 3 0-0 6, N. Tagliaterra 1 0-0 3, M. Mucciolo 1 0-0 2, S. Donovan 0 1-4 1, M. Samony 0 0-2 0, D. Domiano 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 17-28 54.

Valley West 14 10 15 8 2 — 49

Old Forge 9 7 15 16 7 — 54

3-point goals: T. Federici (WVW) 5, J. Lombardo (WVW), J. Simpson (WVW), R. Hamad (WVW), D. Lucarelli (OF) 2, N. Tagliaterra (OF).

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