By Tom Robinson, NEPABasketball.com
EXETER – Camden Boris scored a game-high 13 points and helped lead a game-breaking, second-half run Tuesday night when Crestwood returned to the win column by defeating West Scranton, 45-32, in a District 2 Class 5A boys basketball quarterfinal.
The win sends Crestwood (19-6) into Friday’s semifinal against third-seeded Wallenpaupack (17-6) at Pittston Area at 7:30 p.m. A victory in that game would place the Comets in a district final at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza for the first time.
“We’ve been focusing on the arena the last couple years,” Boris said. “The first thing I think of when I think of West Scranton is that game two years ago at Berwick.
“We lost at triple overtime at the buzzer. I was only a sophomore then, but it still stings.”
The 41-38, triple-overtime loss in the semifinals was followed by last season’s 52-50 loss at the buzzer to Dallas with an arena trip again at stake.
Crestwood had more recent losses to overcome as well, once again one came in overtime and another came when a fourth-quarter lead got away.
The Comets had finished the regular season in a tie for first place in Division 1 of the Wyoming Valley Conference, but lost in both to Hazleton Area in the overtime playoff for the division title and to Wyoming Seminary in the WVC Tournament semifinals.
The second-seeded Comets led the seventh-seeded Invaders just 27-23 less than two minutes into the second half.
Crestwood shut out West Scranton for the next 7:47.
“That was big,” Boris said.
During that time, the Comets scored 14 straight points.
“Our team runs off of defensive stops,” Boris said. “That’s where most of our intensity comes from.
“If you can get good stops on defense, it can transition into offense.”
Boris hit one of two free throws to start the streak.
Ryan Petrosky hit a 3-pointer in transition, Marcus Vieney scored off a steal, Jacob Zaleski made three straight free throws after being fouled behind the arc and Sean Murphy scored on a drive to end the quarter.
Boris then took a Mike Palmiero passed and turned it into a three-point play for a 41-23 lead with 6:46 left.
Petrosky finished with 12 points and 7 assists.
Vieney had three steals, all in the third quarter.
West Scranton was led by Lewin Fernandez, who went 4-for-5 from 3-point range while scoring 12 points.
Fernandez was 3-for-3 during a span of 2:08 late in the first quarter. He gave the Invaders their only lead, 8-6, with the second and tied the game for the last time, 11-11, with the third.
Zaleski scored on a drive for a 13-11 lead to end the first quarter.
Boris had seven points and Petrosky five in the second quarter for a 25-18 halftime lead.
After Boris opened the second-half scoring, West Scranton scored five straight on a Cayden Merrifield 3-pointer and Nick Gioia drove to bring the Invaders within four for the last time.
Jalen Gregory had nine rebounds and three blocked shots for West Scranton, which lost 13 of its last 14 games to finish 6-17.
ELSEWHERE: Roundup of Tuesday's seven other boys games, including fourth-quarter comeback by Dallas against Pittston Area. http://nepabasketball.com/2018-19/articles/BoysRoundup021919.