Lincoln Park beats Laurel
Lincoln Park (90) Vs. Laurel (67)
Dec 24, 2014
By Andrew Koob
New Castle News

The Laurel High boys basketball team dominated for five minutes last night.

It was the other 27 minutes that the Spartans had trouble with, as visiting WPIAL Section 1-AA foe Lincoln Park cruised to a 90-67 victory.

Laurel (3-1 section, 4-3 overall) fell behind early and trailed by 27 points out of the half, but used a 25-7 run to cut the deficit down to 11 points in the third quarter. That’s the closest they got, as the Harrisburg Patriot News’ No. 1 Class AA team in the state scored eight straight points to close the quarter and quash any momentum the Spartans had.

“I think we talked at halftime a little bit. They came out a little more ready, a little more focused and we were able to knock down some shots,” Laurel coach Ken Locke said. “In the first half, we didn’t hit that shot to get us going. Some of our guys were a little frustrated and that showed. But we talk about not quitting, going out and doing the things that we’re capable of doing and I think we did that in the third quarter. They’re number one in the state for a reason, we just couldn’t sustain that and we dug ourselves too deep of a hole.”

Jacob Wilson spearheaded the run with 12 points to keep Laurel in the game. He ended the contest with 22 points.

“The one thing we know from Jake is that he’s going to play hard, 110 percent all of the time,” Locke said. “He just kept battling, we know what he can do. He had a good third quarter to help us get back in it.”

Scott Siddall added 19 points and Noah Wertz tallied 10 for the Spartans.

Lincoln Park (4-0, 6-0) featured four players hit the double-digit point mark, led by Nelly Cummings’ 21-point performance. Antonio Kellem totaled 19 points, Mike Smith contributed 18 and Zay Craft scored 10.

The Spartans hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter as Lincoln Park dealt with foul trouble. A lack of enthusiasm, as Lincoln Park coach Mike Bariski explained, didn’t help the Leopards either.

“They started hitting shots and we were walking around,” Bariski said. “We got in a little bit of foul trouble so we had Antonio Kellem, who’s our catalyst, and Dermotti Wellings in the back. He was out so we didn’t have anyone protecting the hoop. Antonio was on the bench so they got the ball up the court, made the extra pass, hit four or five threes in a row. We were just walking around and not contesting them, where in the first half, every shot they shot was contested.

“It’s like sharks smelling blood in the water. They hit two, three on the home court, crowd was crazy. But, like I told them, it’s like a prize fight. We weathered the big punches and we weathered the storm. Basketball games are ebbs and flows and we knew they were going to come at us. They played very hard for five minutes, but I think it took a little bit out of them.”

Laurel was outscored 29-11 in the first quarter and 50-23 at the half. The combination of the Leopards’ length and pressure defense flustered the Spartans continually as Lincoln Park forced turnovers that led to numerous fast-break points.

“There were no surprises,” Locke said. “We knew it was coming, we like to think we’re little bit better than that. We got a little flustered and we talked about not letting one turnover turn into two or three and I think, in the first half, we did that and we were disappointed. That caused us to dig ourselves a hole we couldn’t get out of.”

That hole was the outcome of some of the best basketball that Bariski has seen from his team this season.

“That was probably the best first half we’ve played,” Bariski said. “Usually we get off to pretty good starts because they’re ready to go and they understand everybody that we play will give us their best shot. They were ready to go and it seemed that our pressure gave them a little bit of problems. We were ready for what they were going to do. They adjusted and slowed down a little bit but, in the second half, they did something totally different.”

The third quarter spurt was a nice sign for Laurel in a game highlighted by negatives against a state powerhouse.

“I think we’re definitely a good basketball team,” Locke said. “We came out and we showed that in the second half that we can compete. Obviously it’s tough when you’re going up against them and we’re just little ol’ Laurel. But we believe we can play with them, we believe we can play with anyone. It’s disappointing but we’ll come back to work and get ready.”
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Lincoln Park 27 23 17 23 0 90
Laurel 11 12 25 19 0 67
Box Scores
Antonio Kellem 8 3-4 19
Nelly Cummings 6 9-10 21
Zay Craft 5 0-1 10
Chance Tomassetti 5 2-4 12
Dermotti Welling 2 0-0 4
Mike Smith 9 0-0 18
Evan Brown 2 0-0 5.
Totals: 37 14-19 90.

Jordan Dantico 3 0-3 6
Noah Wertz 4 0-0 10
Tucker Skerbetz 2 0-0 6
Scott Siddall 5 6-8 19
Jacob Wilson 6 9-11 22
Mason Mraz 0 2-4 2
Isici Layne 1 0-0 2.
Totals: 21 17-26 67.
LINCOLN PARK 27 23 17 23 — 90
LAUREL 11 12 25 19 — 67
3-point goals — Lincoln Park 1 (Brown 1), Laurel 8 (Wertz 2, Skerbetz 2, Siddall 3, Wilson 1).
JV score: Laurel 53, Lincoln Park 51. High scorer: L — Adam Enscoe 13.
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