Lancers sizzle in rout of Rams
Neshannock (81) Vs. Rochester (58)
Dec 29, 2012
By Andrew Petyak
New Castle News

Perhaps the biggest shock to fans at the Neshannock Tournament last night was that the gymnasium’s sprinklers didn’t go off.

The nets were on fire for the Neshannock High boys basketball team, and there was nothing Rochester could do about it.

An offensive surge which included 11 3-pointers ignited the Lancers to a 81-58 championship-game verdict over the Rams.

“The last couple nights we’ve been able to shoot the long ball pretty well,” Neshannock coach John Corey said. “Offensively, we’ve been clicking on all cylinders the last two games.”

Matt McKinney was 6 of 8 from three-point range. He finished the game with 24 points. The Lancers combined for 20 3-pointers in two tournament games.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever had six in one game,” McKinney said. “Coach has been preaching to play as a team, I think we did that. (Ernie) Burkes and I were looking for each other because we were hot tonight.”

Burkes, who was named the tournament’s MVP, finished with a team-high 29 points with three 3-pointers. He also led the winners with six assists as Neshannock’s transition game led to quick baskets.

“I saw my guys were crashing the boards,” Burkes said. “Once I knew (Tyler) Haswell, (Matt) Seltzer and any of our big forwards got the ball, I would sprint down the court. They got their eyes open down the court and it worked out to our advantage.”

“We knew they were going to try to press us,” Corey added. “I really believe we have enough good guards that if we do the right thing, we can break down presses. That transition game started with us making a couple good passes and getting the basketball up the floor.”

When the smoke cleared, the Lancers outrebounded the Rams, 31-23. Seltzer had a team-high 10 rebounds to go with eight points.

“Everyone crashed the boards hard and we just boxed out,” Seltzer said. “The rebounds bounced my way, I guess.”

Neshannock (8-1) took a 40-21 lead into halftime and never looked back. Despite scoring 160 points in two games, Corey isn’t satisfied with the defensive effort of his squad. The Lancers allowed 37 points in the second half including 22 in the final frame.

“We played decent. Defensively, we have to get a lot better,” he said. “One thing our offense has done is mask some of our problems defensively. We’re shooting well, but we have to be able to dig in and get some stops. I thought we had a bounce back after that Mohawk game, but we still have a long way to go. A couple of really good teams on our schedule. We have Aliquippa coming here next Friday.”

The Lancers dropped their only decision of the season last week against Section 2-AA rival Mohawk. The team looked to rally in its home holiday tournament.

“It feels pretty good to win our own tournament,” McKinney said. “It definitely helps when you’re at home. I don’t think we could shoot any worse than we did at Mohawk. It can have only gone up from there.”

Burkes realizes Neshannock must get better on the defensive side of the court if the team wants to get through its upcoming section schedule.

“The beginning of the year we were third in the state in defense. That got us a little pumped up. We haven’t done too good of a job defensively. We’ve been making up for it offensively. I know down the stretch we’re going to have to step up defensively.”

Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Neshannock 22 18 17 24 0 81
Rochester 15 6 15 22 0 58
Box Scores
Jesse Jamery 2 0-0 4
O’Shea Anderson 5 0-0 10
Brent Johnson 1 4-6 6
Daryl Zarnich 4 1-3 11
Alyjah Elmore 4 5-8 13
Isiah Hauser 2 0-0 4
Chaz Verrico 0 0-0 0
Matt Kosanovich 0 0-1 0
Garrett Davies 1 0-0 2
Igor Babic 0 0-0 0
Mason Robson 0 0-0 0
Dalton Paxson 4 0-0 8
Totals: 23 10-18 58

Ernie Burkes 11 4-6 29
Matt McKinney 9 0-0 24
Tyler Haswell 4 0-0 8
Matt Seltzer 3 2-4 8
Marcus Giangiuli 1 0-0 2
Patrick Danglidis 1 0-0 3
Steven Jeffries 0 0-0 0
Clay Kemerer 0 0-0 0
Frank Fraschetti 1 0-0 2
Ethan Moose 1 0-0 2
Caleb Holes 0 0-0 0
Don Colucci 1 0-0 3
Steve Wolford 0 0-0 0
T.J. Scott 0 0-0 0
Totals: 32 6-10 81

ROCHESTER 15 6 15 22 — 58
NESHANNOCK 22 18 17 24 — 81

3-point goals — Rochester 2 (Zarnich 2); Neshannock 11 (McKinney 6, Burkes 3, Colucci 1, Danglidis 1).
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