Lancers sloppy, but still manage to win with ease
Neshannock (93) Vs. East Allegheny (62)
Dec 06, 2013
By Corey J. Corbin
New Castle News

There’s no panic in Neshannock.

The senior-laden Lancers overcame a rough second quarter, but still managed to cruise to a 93-62 win over East Allegheny in the Neshannock Tipoff Tournament last night.

“Offensively, we played a very sloppy first half,” Neshannock coach John Corey said. “Whether it’s first-game jitters or whether it’s having a senior-laden team and everyone is feeling the pressure, I just didn’t think we relaxed enough at times and at other times, we were too relaxed.”

The Lancers will play Mercyhurst Prep, a 66-58 winner over Shenango last night, at 6:30 tonight for the tournament title. Shenango will play East Allegheny at 5 p.m. in the consolation game.

“This is the third year they’ve been in our tournament,” Corey said of Mercyhurst Prep. “They’re always a sound basketball team. They have some impressive guards that can shoot the ball. They have some bigs, as well. It’ll be a good test for us. As preseason rankings go, Mercyhurst Prep is already an honorable mention.”

Neshannock forced 13 first-quarter turnovers and jumped out to an early 12-0 lead behind eight points from senior Ernie Burkes and two apiece from Matt McKinney and Jimmy Medure before East Allegheny went on a 26-9 run to take a 26-21 lead halfway through the second quarter.

The Lancers rallied over the final four minutes of the half to take a 42-37 lead into the break.

“They made some shots and we were going through a spell where we weren’t making shots,” Corey said. “That’s the moral of this game. They went on that run mostly with layups from us turning it over. They did a good job of converting our turnovers into easy points.

“I don’t know if we were too loose, because I didn’t see that in our body composure. We just started making some bad decisions with the basketball.”

After TaizJon Brown drained a 3-pointer to start the second half and pull the Wildcats to within 42-40, Neshannock erupted for 51 second half points and the easy win.

“We stopped giving them easy points,” McKinney said. “In the second half, we got after them more and started to pressure them more. We started helping more and started executing better. We made more shots and that’s why we got out to that big lead.”

Burkes paced a balanced Neshannock offense that featured five players in double figures with 21 points, four rebounds and four assists, while Ethan Moose chipped in 15 points, seven steals, five assists and three rebounds.

McKinney posted 14 points, five rebounds and four assists, while Matt Seltzer and Medure had 11 points and six rebounds each.

“That’s huge,” McKinney said of the balanced scoring. “If five or six guys can get into double figures, other teams can’t match up with that. We just have to keep pressure on them.”

Corey said the offensive balance will be key when the Lancers enter section play.

“For us to be where we need to be, we need to share the basketball,” he said. “We have to play together and keep sharing the basketball. We have a lot of offensive weapons. Every possession, we have to get a shot. We weren’t doing that in the first half.

“If we can be balanced, we can be good. We have enough talented players to be balanced. That balance will determine how successful we will be this year.”

Neshannock connected on 35 of 73 field goals and had 25 turnovers, while forcing 35 East Allegheny turnovers. The Wildcats made 25 of 51 shots from the field, including 9 of 13 3-pointers.

“We had 17 turnovers in the first half and I’m hoping that’s very uncharacteristic of us this year,” Corey said. “In the second half, we cleaned that up. I think we went from 17 to eight (turnovers). We’d like to have 10 or less in a game. I think we had that in the first three minutes of the game.

“We stayed the course. That was my message at halftime just stay the course and relax. We got those first-half jitters out and settled down a little bit. We started to come together by the end of the third quarter.”

Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Neshannock 21 21 29 22 0 93
East Allegheny 15 22 9 16 0 62
Box Scores
Kaisaun McMillan 4 1-2 11
Kyle Whipple 3 0-0 6
Justin Harner 2 0-0 5
Adam Bannister 6 1-2 16
TaizJon Brown 5 1-2 14
Isaiah Hampton 2 0-0 4
Jawann Davis 0 0-0 0
Marcus Gainer 2 0-0 4
Myron Francis 0 0-0 0
Marcus McCullough 1 0-0 2
Dante Robinson 0 0-0 0
Sam Mikolay 0 0-0 0
Joiquan Faulk 0 0-0 0
Totals: 25 3-6 62

Ernie Burkes 9 1-3 21
Matt McKinney 5 1-1 14
Ethan Moose 5 5-5 15
Matt Seltzer 5 0-2 11
Ty Haswell 4 1-1 9
Jimmy Medure 3 5-6 11
Jake Rylott 1 0-0 3
Fred Mozzocio 1 0-0 3
Rich Serignese 0 0-1 0
Don Colucci 0 1-2 1
Pat Danglidis 2 0-0 5
Totals: 35 14-21 93

EAST ALLEGHENY 15 22 9 16 — 62
NESHANNOCK 21 21 29 22 — 93

3-point goals — East Allegheny 9 (Bannister 3, Brown 3, McMillan 2, Harner 1), Neshannock 9 (McKinney 3, Burkes 2, Seltzer 1, Rylott 1, Mozzocio 1, Danglidis 1).
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