BOYS ROUNDUP: Crusaders win battle of No. 1s

Holy Cross senior Kieran Burrier
Holy Cross senior Kieran Burrier

Sunday’s three holiday tournament championship games in District 2 were filled with drama.

The marquee game of the night was decided with less than a second remaining in regulation. The other two each went into double overtime before a winner emerged in battles between neighboring teams.

Holy Cross ended Scranton Prep’s six-year run as champion in the final of the 69th annual Lynett Memorial Tournament, which matched the district’s two top-ranked teams in the Riverfront Sports Super Six Power Rankings going into the night.

Lakeland defeated Valley View in the Peter Turonis Classic in Carbondale and West Scranton edged host Riverside in the Taylor Lions Tournament in the double-overtime games.

Holy Cross 55, Scranton Prep 54

Kieran Burrier was fouled on the other end of the floor more than 80 feet from the basket with less than a second remaining in the Lynett Memorial final at Lackawanna College.

Burrier made the first of his two free throws with seven-tenths of a second remaining to lift Holy Cross to the win in a game between top-ranked teams that were also defending district champions.

Tournament Most Valuable Player Caleb Callejas went 6-for-8 from 3-point range while scoring 23 points and leading a comeback from 14 down.

Callejas also made the only shot he took from inside the arc and went 3-for-4 on free throws.

Scranton Prep scored the first four points of the second quarter for the game’s largest lead at 20-6.

Callejas’ shooting created a situation where the Cavaliers needed to put their own comeback together late.

Scranton Prep committed seven turnovers in the second quarter, giving Holy Cross a chance to stay in the game when the Cavaliers were shooting 57.9 percent from the floor (11-for-19) in the first half.

One of the turnovers led to a Leahy O’Connor 3-pointer late in the half, then Callejas opened the second half with two 3s in succession to cut the deficit to 27-29.

Gavin Bednarz slowed the Holy Cross charge with a 3-pointer for Scranton Prep.

But Callejas hit again late in the third to make it 38-35 and less than two minutes into the fourth to make it 42-41.

Burrier converted a rebound for a 43-43 tie and Callejas followed with two more free throws with 4:33 left to give the Crusaders their first lead of the half.

Rhys Merritt’s three-point play midway through the quarter gave the Cavaliers a 46-45 lead.

Patrick Bennie’s three-point play off an offensive rebound and the last Callejas 3-pointer, with 3:01 left, put Scranton Prep in a 51-46 hole.

The Cavaliers rallied and had a look at the potential game-winning shot. When Burrier won the race to the loose rebound, he was fouled as he collected the ball that was bouncing toward the Scranton Prep bench.

Burrier, an all-tournament selection, finished with 13 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals.

Bennie added 10 points for the defending Lackawanna League Division 3 and District 2 Class 2A champion Crusaders (7-1).

Robert Rossi was 6-for-9 from the floor while leading Scranton Prep with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.

All-tournament selection Merritt was limited to less than 20 minutes because of foul trouble, but added 13 points.

Michael Skoff had 10 points and 3 assists.

Scranton Prep is the defending District 2 Class 4A champion.

Scranton 58, Dunmore 52

Scranton withstood a 14-0, fourth-quarter run by Dunmore and answered with 17 points in the four-minute overtime to pull out the win in the Lynett Tournament consolation game.

The Dunmore streak brought the Bucks from 11 down to a 41-38 lead with 1:01 left in regulation.

Patrick McCormack’s 3-pointer for the Knights in the final minute forced overtime at 41-41.

Kevin Lazdowsky finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 3 steals for Scranton, which broke ahead early in overtime.

Jason Shields added 11 points.

Ian Cowder was 6-for-8 from the floor to lead Dunmore with 14 points. Frankie Ruggiero added 10 points. Steve Borgia had 7 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.

Scranton's Lazdowsky and Dunmore's Ruggiero made the all-tournament team.

Lakeland 53, Valley View 44

Lakeland avenged a season-opening, 30-point loss by defeating Valley View in double overtime in the Turonis Classic final.

The Chiefs have won six of seven since that rough start.

Caleb Vigil scored 23 points for Lakeland, which led most of the game.

Vigil's 3-pointer to start the second quarter made it 14-6 and he added his third of the game midway through the quarter for a 20-10 lead.

The Chiefs won by limiting the Cougars to 9 points over the final 16 minutes, 5 in the fourth quarter, then 2 in each of the overtime periods.

Tim Prawdzik added 15 for Lakeland.

Connor Kelley led Valley View with 14 points.

Zach Kovalchik represented the Cougars on the all-tournament team.

Mid Valley 55, Carbondale 26

Mid Valley was in control throughout in the consolation game.

Freshman Danny Nemitz made the all-tournament team from the Spartans.

Ray Ofner represented Carbondale.

West Scranton 65, Riverside 64

Cayden Merrifield was named Taylor Lions Tournament MVP after helping the Invaders get through the double overtime for their seventh straight win since an opening loss.

Merrifield scored 11 of his 23 points in the two overtimes, including a basket for a 65-61 lead with nine seconds left.

Michael Rickert hit a 3-pointer for Riverside with 2.1 seconds left, but following a timeout, Riverside got the ball in-bounds and beat a trap to end the game.

Nick Forsette made the all-tournament team for West Scranton, along with Brandon Reed and Rickert from Riverside.

Stroudsburg 76, Lackawanna Trail 64

Stroudsburg defeated Lackawanna Trail in the third-place game of the Taylor Lions Tournament.

All-tournament selection Richard Helbing scored 28 points for Lackawanna Trail in the loss. Josh Rzucidlo added 19 points.

 

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