Wyoming Seminary edges Holy Redeemer, 48-47

Wyoming Seminary edges Holy Redeemer, 48-47

By Tom Robinson, NEPABasketball.com

WILKES-BARRE TWP. – Todd Phillips kept bringing Wyoming Seminary close in the second half Thursday night.

Then, with the game’s final basket, he put the Blue Knights over the top.

Dimitri Gnall scored 19 points and Phillips led the Blue Knights down the stretch to finish with 16 points in a 48-47 victory over Holy Redeemer in the District 2 Class 3A boys basketball championship game at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

The only boys game on the 3-day, 11-game arena schedule to match two teams ranked in the top 10 in the state in their classifications lived up to expectations.

The only times Wyoming Seminary led after the first quarter were during a closing 7-2 run that included Phillips’ game-winner on a foul-line jumper with 21 seconds left to close the scoring.

“We’re just happy we came out on the right end of this one,” first-year Wyoming Seminary coach Pete Moses said. “We knew it was going to be a war.”

Holy Redeemer carried the lead from the last 1:30 of the first quarter until a Gnall basket for a 46-45 lead with 2:30 left.

Phillips had the other five points in the game-winning run and set up both Gnall’s basket and Jeremy Callahan’s three-point play right before the run, meaning on his team’s last 10 points, he scored 5 and had 2 assists to set up the other 5.

“Todd Phillips is one of the best two-way players in the conference,” Moses said.

He needed to be Thursday while the Blue Knights (25-2) were battling back against the only Wyoming Valley Conference team to beat them this season.

Holy Redeemer remained in the lead for the first 13 ½ minutes of the second half, but never got ahead by more than four points largely because of the efforts by Phillips.

Phillips was 5-for-6 from the floor while scoring 12 of his points in the second half. His three baskets in the third quarter, including a 3-pointer, each reduced the Holy Redeemer lead to one.

He did it again in the fourth quarter with 3:18 left, burying a 3-pointer to cut the Royals lead to 45-44.

When Phillips found Gnall inside, Wyoming Seminary had its first lead since the first quarter, 46-45, with 2:30 to play.

Holy Redeemer freshman Justice Shoats came right back with a drive for a 47-46 lead with 2:11 left. Shoats went 5-for-7 in the second half when he scored 12 of his team-high 19 points.

Phillips had his only miss of the second half, but Wyoming Seminary got two chances to regain the lead, both when Nick Ganter came up with loose balls off deflections by teammates.

When Phillips pulled up from the foul line, he launched a shot that hit the front rim, then rolled over it and in for the game-winner.

In a game where few fouls were called and neither team was near the bonus, Holy Redeemer could not put Wyoming Seminary on the foul line to stop the clock.

That forced the Royals to need a steal off an-inbounds pass with 2.9 seconds when their first shot for the win was no good.

Derek Answini came up with that steal and Holy Redeemer got a timeout with 0.7 seconds left just inside midcourt.

The Royals could not, however, get a shot off in time.

Gnall and Ganter had eight rebounds each for Wyoming Seminary. Ganter had seven on the offensive end.

Holy Redeemer’s Nick Prociak also hit the offensive boards hard. He had 6 offensive rebounds in a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds to go along with a game-high 3 blocked shots.

Gnall had seven points in the first four minutes to fuel a 9-2 run to a 9-5 lead after Answini opened the game with a 3-pointer for Holy Redeemer.

Holy Redeemer surged in front with a 14-3 advantage over the next 5 ½ minutes, taking the game’s biggest lead at 19-12 early in the second quarter. Shoats had five points in the run and Jared Piontkowski had the last four with baskets to end the first and start the second quarters.

After the teams traded baskets, it was time for Wyoming Seminary’s run.

The Blue Knights scored the next six points, the first four by Gnall, and held the Royals scoreless for the final 5:12 of the second half to get within 21-20.

“We went to the locker room knowing we needed to push the tempo and get up and down the floor faster,” Phillips said. “We tried to do that as much as we could.”

After the teams combined for 41 points in the first half, the pace picked up to produce an additional 13 points.

The game matched the top two Small School Boys teams in the Astra Wealth Advisors Super Six Power Rankings of District 2 teams on NEPABasketball.com.

Both Wyoming Seminary and Holy Redeemer are also ranked among the state’s top 10 Class 3A teams.

The Blue Knights are sixth, according to the Sunbury Daily Item, and seventh, one spot ahead of Holy Redeemer, according to pennlive.com.

Wyoming Seminary’s 25-2 record is the best of any boys team in District 2, regardless of size. The Blue Knights open the state tournament March 9 at Wilkes University at 4:30 against String Theory High School (9-15). String Theory finished fourth in District 12, which is the Philadelphia schools.

Holy Redeemer (19-5) opens the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association tournament against District 4 runner-up Wellsboro (23-4) at Troy March 9 at 6:30.

DISTRICT 2 CLASS 3A BOYS CHAMPIONSHIP

Wyoming Seminary 48, Holy Redeemer 47

Holy Redeemer (19-5)

Player

FG-A

3P-A

FT-A

Reb.

Ast.

St.

Pts.

Answini

  1-7

1-7

0-0

  2

2

2

  3

Shoats

  8-14

2-3

1-1

  5

1

1

19

Piontkowski

  3-6

0-0

0-0

  8

2

0

  6

Cook

  2-7

1-2

0-0

  4

2

1

  5

Prociak

  6-13

0-0

2-4

11

0

0

14

Mendrygral

  0-2

0-2

0-0

  1

0

1

  0

Team

20-49

4-14

3-5

33

7

5

47

Shooting Percentages: 40.8 on FG; 28.6 on 3PT; 60.0 on FT.

Team Rebounds: 2.

Turnovers: 9.

Team Fouls: 5.

Fouled Out: None.

Blocked Shots: 6 (Prociak 3, Shoats 2, Piontkowski 1).

 

Wyoming Seminary (25-2)

Player

FG-A

3P-A

FT-A

Reb.

Ast.

St.

Pts.

Koretz

  0-10

0-2

0-0

  3

  2

2

  0

Phillips

  7-10

2-3

0-0

  4

  3

1

16

Callahan

  3-14

0-6

1-1

  2

  3

0

  7

Gnall

  7-13

2-3

3-4

  8

  1

0

19

Ganter

  2-5

0-0

0-0

  8

  0

2

  4

Meuser

  1-2

0-0

0-0

  5

  1

0

  2

Team

20-54

4-14

4-5

32

10

5

48

Shooting Percentages: 37.0 on FG; 28.6 on 3PT; 80.0 on FT.

Team Rebounds: 2.

Turnovers: 7.

Team Fouls: 8.

Fouled Out: None.

Blocked Shots: 6 (Phillips 2, Meuser 2, Gnall 1, Ganter 1).

 

Score by Quarters

Holy Redeemer

17

  4

14

12

47

Wyoming Seminary

12

  8

13

15

48

 

Game Recap

Ties: 4

Lead Changes: 3

Biggest Holy Redeemer Leads: 19-12, 6:30 to 5:39-2nd; 21-14, 5:12 to 4:50-2nd.

Biggest Wyoming Seminary Lead: 9-5, 4:00 to 3:15-1st.