Lancers top Riverside behind 3-point barrage
Neshannock (69) Vs. Riverside (47)
By Andrew Koob
New Castle News

NORTH SEWICKLEY TOWNSHIP — All the Neshannock High boys basketball team needed was a confidence boost.

The visiting Lancers found exactly that in the second quarter against Riverside, cruising to a 69-47 win in the WPIAL Section 1-AA bout Friday night.

The opening eight minutes of the contest left much to be desired for both sides, as turnovers and a handful of air-balled shots highlighted the first quarter.

Neshannock (7-2 section, 13-4 overall) woke up following that uninspired start, shooting out to a 16-2 run and an overall 21-7 advantage in the second quarter.

“Riverside is a good team, they run good stuff. We try to scout the heck out of them, I think sometimes we give our kids too much to handle at first," Neshannock coach John Corey said. "So we’re a little uneasy to start that game because they are well-coached and run good sets. I think, as soon as we got comfortable and everyone got into the game a little bit, we cleaned it up. I just thought that a possession here or there where we rushed things instead of relaxing and being strong with the ball.”

The Lancers saw their lead balloon 26 points in the closing minutes of the game in a contest that quickly got away from the Panthers (4-4, 7-10) once Neshannock found its rhythm.

Senior guard Jake Rylott was the driving force behind Neshannock's 11 3-pointers, connecting on four and scoring a game-high 22 points. Brandon Scheidemantle and Rich Serignese, who scored 11 and nine points respectively, each knocked in three shots from behind the arc.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy coming down here," Rylott said. "Coach was stressing that they’ll let us play, there won’t be a lot of fouls. He just stressed working hard all game.”

Rylott and Ethan Moose, who contributed 18 points, eight rebounds, seven blocks and six assists, combined to score 58 percent of the Lancers points.

The duo did most of their damage in the first half, as Rylott scored 13 points and Moose added 12 before heading to the locker room for the halftime break.

"I think during that span, and throughout the game really, Jake Rylott played fantastic," Corey said. "When he’s in the right mindset, he’s really hard for people to guard. Obviously he can knock down a three and when he’s attacking like he did tonight, he’s very hard to guard for other teams. With him and Moose being the two-headed monster there, I think it makes us hard to guard from that standpoint. And obviously we have guys that, if you zero in on those two, that can make you pay.”

Despite the offensive explosion that Rylott spearheaded, it was his performance on the other side of the ball that Corey praised.

Rylott was able to keep opposing ballhandlers in front of him, force contested shots and force turnovers that led to transition points.

“What I’m most proud about is that I thought he played great defense tonight," Corey said. "Jake guarded the ball very well, he’s a quick and athletic kid and, when he’s zeroed in, he’s a heck of a basketball player. To see him come out and really play great on both ends of the floor, he should be proud and I know I’m very proud of him.”

The victory caps off the first time the Lancers have swept Riverside in a season series. The two teams have split games since Neshannock moved up to Class AA in 2010.

“We’ve split for the past couple of years with them. We’ve done some different things, some back and forth games with Riverside. So it is satisfying to get the sweep," Corey said. "That starts with our guys’ effort and how hard they played. They did everything we asked of them tonight and it was nice to see us get out to that lead in the second quarter.”

Game Scoreboard
Neshannock 13 21 22 13 0 69
Riverside 12 7 16 12 0 47
Box Scores
Jake Rylott 9 0-0 22
Ethan Moose 7 4-4 18
Jason Swope 2 0-0 5
Ean Oprean 2 0-0 4
Rich Serignese 3 0-0 9
Brandon Scheidemantle 4 0-0 11
Mike Nuzzo 0 0-0 0
Mark Munnell 0 0-0 0
Chis Scott 0 0-0 0
Greg Fornataro 0 0-0 0
Totals: 27 4-4 69

Tyler Squicquero 0 0-0 0
Ty Thellman 1 5-6 7
Dylan Speicher 6 0-1 14
Austin Dambach 2 3-4 7
Will Yasenka 0 0-0 0
Jesse Fornatero 0 2-2 2
Justin Baust 1 0-0 2
Jason Dambach 1 0-0 2
Mike Boswell 6 1-1 13
Totals: 17 11-14 47

NESHANNOCK 13 21 22 13 — 69
RIVERSIDE 12 7 16 12 — 47

3-point goals — Neshannock 11 (Rylott 4, Scheidemantle 3, Serignese 3, Swope 1), Riverside 2 (Speicher 2).
JV score: Neshannock 68, Riverside 54. High scorers: N — Dante DeLillo 22, Jared Staph 10.
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