Tradition Doesn't Graduate

2011-12 News

Quindell Brice selected to AP All-State team

 By: Keith Groller, Of The Morning Call (Groller's Corner Blog)

 Not bad, considering.

 That's my take on the just-released Pennsylvania all-state basketball
 selections that were just released by the Associated Press.

 In 4A, Morning Call player of the year Greg Bobal from Emmaus and Pocono
 Mountain West's Quindell Brice were selected.

 In 3A, Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman of Central Catholic, was chosen to the  
 second team. Muhammad was a first-team choice last year as a freshman,
 and is now 2-for-2 in all-state selections.

 And in 2A, Salisbury's Lloyd Irons was named to the third team.

 I participated on the panel and was pleased to see four local kids get
 represented, especially considering we had just two teams -- Easton and
 Central Catholic -- win state playoff games and only one (Easton) reach the
 state quarterfinals.

 As we know, the southeast corner of the state is where most of the power is
 in PIAA basketball, but we still offer some quality kids who work hard and
 deserve to be  recognized.



 (as selected by a panel of Pennsylvania sportswriters)



Rondae Jefferson, Chester, 6-7, jr, 12.1 ppg

B.J. Johnson, Lower Merion, 6-5, jr, 15.8 ppg

Haiishen McIntyre, Harrisburg, 6-2, sr, 24.2 ppg

Devin Thomas, Central Dauphin, 6-9, sr, 23.8 ppg

Geno Thorpe, Shaler, 6-3, jr, 21.4 ppg

Steve Vasturia, St. Joseph’s Prep, jr, 21.8 ppg


Nolan Cressler, Plum, 6-3, sr, 25.7 ppg

Shep Garner, Roman Catholic, 6-2, so, 15.9 ppg

Miles Overton, St. Joseph’s Prep, 6-4, jr, 15.0 ppg

Jordan Reed, Wissahickon, 6-3, sr, 23.7 ppg

Darryl Reynolds, Lower Merion, 6-7, sr, 10.6 ppg

Darius Robinson, Chester, 6-1, jr, 11.8 ppg

Erikk Wright, Chester, 6-4, sr, 11.4 ppg


Greg Bobal, Emmaus, 6-3, sr, 11.5 ppg

Quindell Brice, Pocono Mountain West, 6-4, sr, 16.2 ppg

Malik Draper, Scranton, 6-4, sr, 15.3 ppg

Nate Snodgrass, Butler, 6-0, sr, 21.3 ppg

Jahad Thomas, Williamsport, 6-2, jr, 14.5 ppg

Sheldon Zablotny, Cathedral Prep, 5-11, jr, 17.4 ppg

Mike Zangari, Red Land, 6-10, sr, 21.4 ppg

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Rondae Jefferson, Chester

COACH OF THE YEAR: Larry Yarbray, Chester



John Davis, Neumann-Goretti, 6-4, jr, 12.9 ppg

Donovon Jack, Berks Catholic, 6-9, sr, 17.0 ppg

Brendan Kilpatrick, Malvern Prep, 6-5, sr, 15.8 ppg

Micah Mason, Highlands, 6-2, sr, 28.7 ppg

Ja’Quan Newton, Neumann-Goretti, 6-3, so, 15.8 ppg

Maurice Watson, Boys Latin Charter, 5-10, sr, 21.8 ppg


Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman, Allentown Central Catholic, 6-4, so, 17.7 ppg

Andrew Andreychik, Danville, 6-0, sr, 23.0 ppg

Jaymon Mason, General McLane, 6-2, jr, 18.4 ppg

Jamal Nwaniemeka, Conwell-Egan, 6-2, sr, 21.8 ppg

Derrick Stewart, Neumann-Goretti, 6-5, sr, 8.7 ppg

Devin Wilson, Montour, 6-4, jr, 10.0 ppg

Yosef Yacob, Archbishop Carroll, 6-0, jr, 14.6 ppg


Shawn Anderson, New Castle, 6-3, jr, 18.8 ppg

Dwight Andrews, Johnstown, 6-5, sr, 18.7 ppg

Charles Cooper, Octorara, 6-1, sr, 17.3 ppg

Ted Hinnenkamp, York Suburban, 6-6, sr, 21.0 ppg

Marquis Marshall, Berks Catholic, 6-4, sr, 15.4 ppg

J.C. Show, Abington Heights, 6-2, so, 17.1 ppg

Cornell Yarde, Schuylkill Valley, 6-2, sr, 21.2 ppg

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Maurice Watson, Boys Latin Charter

COACH OF THE YEAR: Adam Kaufman, Montour



Brandon Austin, Imhotep Charter, 6-6, jr, 11.4 ppg

Amile Jefferson, Friends Central, 6-8, sr, 19.9 ppg

Sheldon Jeter, Beaver Falls, 6-8, sr, 22.5 ppg

Rysheed Jordan, Roberts Vaux, 6-4, jr, 17.3 ppg

Josh Kosin, Holy Cross, 6-7, jr, 17.9 ppg

Daniel Ochefu, Westtown, 6-10, sr, 14.0 ppg


Quentin Brandon, Westmont Hilltop, 6-2, sr, 22.8 ppg

Conrad Chambers, Friends Central, 6-3, so, 11.2 ppg

Jerry Kincel, Riverside, 6-2, sr, 21.5 ppg

Eugene Lewis, Elmer L. Meyers, 6-3, sr, 17.5 ppg

P.J. McLaughlin, Greensburg Central Catholic, 6-7, sr, 18.1 ppg

Brett Smith, Delone Catholic, 5-9, jr, 15.4 ppg

Khyree Wooten, Imhotep Charter, 6-2, sr, 15.7 ppg


Kyler Burke, Pine Grove, 6-3, sr, 17.2 ppg

Noah Davis, Bellwood-Antis, 6-6, jr, 18.9 ppg

Josh Dombrosky, Shenandoah Valley, 6-7, sr, 17.8 ppg

Zane Hackett, Brookville, 6-6, sr, 20.6 ppg

Lloyd Irons, Salisbury, 6-2, sr, 16.8 ppg

A.J. Leahey, Penn Cambria, 6-7, jr, 20.7 ppg

Larry Zimmerman, Pine Grove, 5-10, sr, 17.0 ppg

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Amile Jefferson, Friends Central

COACH OF THE YEAR: Al Callejas, Holy Cross



Matthew Dogan, West Middlesex, 6-6, jr, 22.4 ppg

Marcus Gilbert, Academy of the New Church, 6-6, sr, 17.0 ppg

Savon Goodman, Constitution, 6-6, sr, 25.8 ppg

Daiquan Walker, Constitution, 6-2, sr, 18.1 ppg

Dinjiyl Walker, Academy of the New Church, 6-3, sr, 21.2 ppg

Devontae Watson, Lincoln Park Charter, 6-10, sr, 15.1 ppg


Darrian Brown, Vision Quest, 6-2, sr, 21.5 ppg

Trey Hosack, Lincoln Park Charter, 6-0, sr, 17.9 ppg

Chris Koryak, Vincentian Academy, 6-2, sr, 22.4 ppg

Eric Matheson, Ridgway, 5-9, sr, 18.4 ppg

Howard Sellars, Church Farm, 6-1, sr, 17.0 ppg

Sharif Welton, Sullivan County, 6-5, sr, 16.1 ppg

Jeremiah Worthem, Math, Civics & Sciences, 6-6, jr, 15.4 ppg


Stewart Borst, Juniata Valley, 6-0, sr, 24.0 ppg

Brandon Camic, Serra Catholic, 6-5, sr, 22.5 ppg

Ryan Fyock, Shade, 6-1, jr, 21.8 ppg

Rasaun Mosley, New Hope Academy, 6-5, sr, 16.0 ppg

Cole Peterson, Johnsonburg, 5-10, so, 12.7 ppg

Danny Savulchak, North Catholic, 6-4, jr, 19.2 ppg

Mike Wenner, St. John Neumann, 6-4, sr, 20.0 ppg

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Savon Goodman, Constitution

COACH OF THE YEAR: Rob Moore, Constitution


Via All-Star Classic provides fitting end to the season
Mountain Valley Conference boys win to spoil a LVC sweep

By: Keith Groller, Of The Morning Call

The 37th annual Via All-Star Basketball Classic ended late Saturday afternoon the same way the District 11 tournament ended four weeks earlier — with Pocono Mountain West players wearing broad smiles.

But this time, everyone involved in the game was smiling because what the Via event is about, more than anything else, is having fun, making new friends and supporting an outstanding cause.

All of that was accomplished during Via's "Super Saturday" as four games throughout the day showcased the area's top senior players and allowed them to shine one more time on the local stage.

The Pocono Mountain West contingent, led by Via boys player of the year Quindell Brice, helped the Mountain Valley Conference boys team defeat the Lehigh Valley East all-stars in the day's final game.

That result spoiled a sweep by the LVC, whose teams won the other three games.

Brice scored 26 points while his Pocono West teammate Jon Amoroso added 15 in the 92-88 victory over the LVC East, which featured players from Bethlehem, Easton, Nazareth and Northampton.

"It was good to play with different guys and have fun and win," said Brice, who is likely headed to Harcum College in Bryn Mawr.

"This was definitely a year to remember for me and my school. I can't wait to come back in two or three years and see that district banner and remember all of the wins we had this year. Today was just a lot of fun. I wish we could have had this team together for the regular season. That would have been great."

Rich Baker, the former Stroudsburg High star who is now the head coach at East Stroudsburg South, was the MVC coach. He said his guys may have had an advantage.

"We just had our own all-star star game, the Perryman-Keglovits Classic, on Monday night and that's like a tuneup game for this one," Baker said. "This was just enjoyable to watch the elite of the Mountain Valley Conference play one more time because it was a special group of players.

"I played in this event when I was in high school and I know that in the second half the competitive nature of the game takes over. The guys are more comfortable and it gets competitive on both sides. It's just a great way for the kids who work so hard all season to get rewarded and show what they can do.

"The players and coaches are picked by a media panel, so it's an honor just to be involved.

Freedom coach Joe Stellato, whose team was front and center for much of the past season, was just happy to get to coach three of his guys — Jarrod Dilts, Joe Lococo and Tajmire Flood — one more time.

"That's what was so special for me, the fact that I got to coach my three seniors again, but the whole event is a lot of fun," Stellato said. "We wanted to win the game, but came up a little short. Everybody here today should be proud to be involved. They'll remember the guys they met for the rest of their lives. They have a special connection now."

Northampton Community College athletic director and Via board member Troy Tucker said the whole day was a win-win for Via, the school, everyone involved.

"We had 2,000 people in here throughout the course of the day," Tucker said. "This event is terrific for our school and for Via because this venue fits their needs so well. It serves as a day-long, open house for us because we showcase our facility to the participating kids and their families. Five of the nine players on our championship women's basketball were once Via all-stars.

"I get the same comment all the time from people who come here for this event. They say they've never been here before, even though they live so close. They are generally impressed with this venue. We've hosted this for four years now and I hope this relationship continues for a long time to come."

Gerry Yasso, another Via board member, said the games provided a classy ending to a special week.

"It was a great week for Via and for area basketball," he said. "It started with the two clinics last Sunday, which drew between them close to 150 kids, and the first youth all-star games were also well received. And we had a wonderful banquet with Joe Theismann serving as the main speaker and really delivering a great message. So, we're very pleased with how everything went."

Quindell Brice is Via of the Lehigh Valley Player of the Year

 By: Keith Groller, Of The Morning Call
 The Via All-Star Classic banquet was held tonight at Freedom and 
 once  again the Via people did an outstanding job incorporating so
 many different honors.

 There were the hall of fame inductions which included Jackie
 Adamshick, Mary Lisicky, Mike Polaha and yours truly.

 A very humbling moment for me; one that I honestly never thought
 would happen. And one that I will always treasure, especially
 because I got to spolight my family and thank them for all they
 have done for me. I also could not have been inducted with three
 more outstanding young adults than the three great players and
 people that were also inducted tonight.

 Special thanks to Allen coach Doug Snyder for doing such a
 wonderful job in presenting me.

 However, there were many more accolades given out tonight, most
 notably the $2,000 scholar-athlete award winners which were

Wilson's Ryan Spirko and Palmerton's Kelsey Hay.

The Via Teams of the Year were:

BOYS -- D.J. Brown (Allen), Lloyd Irons (Salisbury), Greg Bobal (Emmaus), Joe Lococo (Freedom), Justin Ringland (Bangor) and player of the year Quindell Brice (Pocono Mountain West).

GIRLS -- Bridgette Dougherty (Southern Lehigh), Aimee Oertner (Northern Lehigh), Kelecia Harris (Pocono Mt. East), Leah Horton (Emmaus) and Hay of Palmerton. And the player of the year was Central Catholic's Kerry Kinek. Strong showing for the Colonial League this year.

Former football star and longtime broadcaster Joe Theismann was one of the most energetic, lively and powerful speakers in the banquet's history. He went 18 minutes over the 25 minutes event organizers had allotted for his presentation, but very few in the crowd of over 600 seemed to mind.


   Amoroso, Brice, & T. Dixon join MVC all-stars in Via's "Super Saturday"
MVC's best will face-off against LVC East squad


Pocono Mountain West seniors Tyrel Dixon, John Amoroso, and Quindell Brice were selected by local media outlets to this year's Via of the Lehigh Valley MVC all-star squad. The team which is comprised of the MVC's best players, will take on the Lehigh Valley Conference East squad (Bethelehem Catholic, Easton, Freedom, Northampton, and Nazareth).

The game will take place on Saturday, March 31st at Northampton Community College at 3:30pm and is a part of Via's "Super Saturday" which is a day full of all-star games between the LVC, Colonial League, and MVC.

Via of the Lehigh Valley is a non-profit agency that provides services for children and adults with disabilities like autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome. Serving the community since 1954, Via’s staff and volunteers help individuals and families from birth through retirement to gain life skills, obtain meaningful employment and develop social connections. Via of the Lehigh Valley, Inc. works in partnership with Via Events, Inc. and the Via Foundation, Inc. to accomplish these goals with community partners.

Boys – Mountain Valley
Coach: Rich Baker, East Stroudsburg South High School


– Lehigh Valley East
Coach: Joseph Stellato, Freedom High School



 Focus on the boards, intensity on defense and grim 
 determination in the paint — all hallmarks of the high school
 basketball season that just ended — were gone Monday night 
 at East Stroudsburg University's Koehler Field House.
 But no one, not even the numerous coaches who were in
 attendance, cared.

 That's because this basketball event was all about having fun
 and doing what you love to do, all for a good cause.
 It was the 10th annual Perryman-Keglovits Foundation All-Star
 Games, a night to celebrate the season just completed,
 remember some outstanding individuals who are no longer with
 us and renew the commitment to fight cancer.

 Yes, there were two games played involving 44 seniors from the
 Mountain Valley Conference and they kept score.

 However, five minutes after the final buzzer sounded, no one
 probably remembered that Team Keglovits beat Team Perryman
 75-71 in the boys game or that Team Keglovits topped Team
 Perryman 56-49 in the  girls contest.

 The winners were the people who are supported by the efforts
 of the kids, coaches and tournament organizers.

  "I look at this as an opportunity to bring the community together," said Rich Laverdure, one of the event's directors. "This is our 10th anniversary and we've raised in the neighborhood of $5,000 per year with most of the money going to the Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center. We've also given a lot over the years to the Jimmy V Foundation. We like to keep the money here in the community."

In addition to the games, the Perryman-Keglovits organizers always like to salute a prominent person or people from the area with their Spirit of Basketball awards, and Blue Ridge Cable's Dr. Bob Mlkvy and Bob Capasso were Monday's co-recipients.

The two have been working together on Blue Ridge telecasts since 1996 and have done more than 500 games together, including the Perryman-Keglovits event every year.

"It's the love of the kids, the game and the cause. … that's why we're here," the legendary Mlkvy said. "What better way to spend the night, doing something you love to do anyway and helping out such a worthy cause. We're truly humbled to receive this award.

"I still have passion for the game. I've been in it a long time as a player and now doing this and for someone getting up in years like me, it feels good to be around our young people. It takes me back to my own playing days and my youth just being around these kids and the game."

Pocono Mt. West players Quindell Brice, Tyrel Dixon, Mike Collins, and John Amoroso were selected to play in the charity all-star game.

 It's not like Pocono Mountain West hasn't had a 
 good boys basketball program before this season.

 The Panthers had won four Mountain Valley
 Conference championships in six years, strung
 together five consecutive 20-win seasons and had
 never missed a District 11 tournament since the
 program began in the 2002-03 school year.

 But to get the respect they craved, particularly from
 their friends in the Lehigh Valley Conference, Brad
 Pensyl's crew knew it had to do something it hadn't
 before – win the District 11 championship.

 After winning the MVC title for the fifth time in seven
 years, Pocono Mountain West forged into new
 territory, beating LVC members Whitehall, Easton and Parkland for the first boys basketball district title in school district history.

While the Panthers suffered a disappointing overtime loss to Coatesville in the first round of the state tournament, their 22-5 record and league and district titles — the only District 11 boys team to do that — was enough to make them The Morning Call's boys basketball team of the year for 2011-12.

"Our kids still haven't stopped smiling from winning that district championship," Pensyl said. "It meant an awful lot to them. It's something that they will probably think about at least once a week for the rest of their lives.'

It was also a proud moment for Pensyl, a former 1,000-point scorer at Bangor where he played for his father, the legendary Bill Pensyl. Pensyl also scored 1,000 points at West Chester University.

He coached at Pocono Mountain when the district had just one high school for 13 years and then moved over to the new school in Pocono Summit when it opened in 2002. His teams have never missed a district tournament in the 23 years has has been in charge.

Pensyl went over the 400-win plateau late last season, but he knew there was one missing piece to his resume and one more step to go for his program to solidify its status as one of the area's best, and that was to win districts.

That's why the 57-53 win over Parkland at Liberty on March 3 was so gratifying.

"Our kids don't think they get enough credit a lot of times, but I tell them they have to go out and earn it," Pensyl said. "We feel like we've been very consistent, but winning the district title put an exclamation point on our program."

The Panthers were able to get their first district gold in an unexpected year. They returned just one starter, Michael Collins, after graduating one of the area's best players in Tynell Fortune.

Quindell Brice would have started last season except that he missed most of it with a bulging disc in his back.

"We didn't know what we were going to get from Quindell, but the guys worked very hard and were so unselfish," Pensyl said. "The big thing is that we didn't turn the ball over. And we also played very good defense. We just got after people. This group, unlike some of the other teams I've had, could play fast or slow, fullcourt or halfcourt."

More than that, it was a great group of kids who took turns. Tyrel Dixon, Jon Amoroso, Joe Wiggins, Eric Vick and others had their big moments.

Even better, there was never an attitude problem.

"We didn't have a single incident," Pensyl said. "No one even missed a practice. We have a set of rules that must be followed and if they don't follow them, they can go do something else. I won't put up with it. You have to be tough. But these kids were fantastic, both on and off the court."


The Morning Call All-Area Boys Basketball Team

 By: Keith Groller of THE MORNING CALL

 First Team


 6-4 sophomore G, Central Catholic

 Averaged 17.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per 
 game, shot 48 percent from 2-point range. …
 repeats as an all-area and LVC first-team
 selection. … helped Vikings win second
 straight district title. … scored 35 points in a
 loss to Allen. … Was a second-team all-
 state selection last year in 3A. … "It was a
 good season and I'm happy we won districts
 and got a win in states," Abdur-Rahkman
 said. "I want to work on getting more people
 involved on offense and not just scoring." …
 Plans to take several Division I college
 visits, but won't make decision until after
 junior year.



6-3 senior G, Pennridge

Averaged 21.3 points per game, totaling 470 points, also had 32 blocks, 60 assists, 111 rebounds in 22 games.. … Set single-game scoring mark with 39 against CB South. … Finished as school's all-time leader scorer with 1,152 career points. … A first-team Suburban One selection. … Will be attending the U.S. Naval Academy Prep School and plans to play at Navy. …"He set the bar for excellence as a Pennridge basketball player," said coach Dean Behrens. … "We won four of our last five and came on strong," Abruzzo said. "Looking back, there was nothing I would change. I had a great career."


6-3 junior G, Parkland

Averaged 13.7 points per game, shot 42 percent from 3-point range in making 46 treys, had 53 assists and 42 steals. … First-team all-LVC selection. … Scored 26 points against Pocono Mountain West in the District 11 4A finals when he had six 3-pointers. … "We were real happy with what we did this year," Beidelman said. "Our goal was to make districts and leagues. We did that and we made states, too. We're all going to work hard in the weight room to get ready for next year."


6-3 senior F, Allen

Averaged 18.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, shot 55 percent from 2-point range, 73 percent from foul line … 4-year varsity performer … A first-team LVC selection. … "D.J. was one of the area's more dominant players in the paint," coach Doug Snyder said. "He also had the ability to step out and hit the jump shot." … Team captain and lone returning starter from 2011 district champs. …"This was a rebuilding year and we had our ups and downs," Brown said. "We had a different chemistry, but we had some exciting wins." … Considering Goldey-Beacom, DeSales, Alvernia and Albright.


6-4 senior G, Pocono Mountain West

Averaged 16.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game, shot 45 percent from 2-point range, 67 percent from the line. … Named Mountain Valley Conference MVP … Missed large chunk of junior season with bulging disc in his back. … Key member of team that won first-ever district title in addition to MVC crown … "I feel blessed to have been healthy this year and to play on this team," Brice said. "It felt like our hard work paid off in winning districts. I will never forget winning that title. We worked hard for it."


6-1 senior F, Parkland

Averaged 8.8 points, 7.5 rebounds per game, shot 47 percent from the field and had 24 steals … First-team all-LVC selection. … Three-year starter. … Was also an all-area and all-state football selection and will continue football career at Temple on a full scholarship. … "It was a great year all the way around," Dvoracek said. "It was great to go out with good football and basketball seasons as a senior. It was great to be around these guys every day. I've always had fun playing basketball. I'm going to miss it."


6-2 senior F, Salisbury

Averaged 16.8 points 7.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists per game. … Named Colonial League's MVP and helped team win the Colonial League title with seven points and eight rebounds against Bangor … Had 31 points in a win over Tamaqua. … "It was a great season because everybody stepped up and did their part," Irons said. "Coach Weaver was tough on me, but he's a great coach. He wanted the best for me. These were the best two years of my life after being born in New York and living in Philly." … Looking at several Division III schools.


6-2 senior G, Freedom

Averaged 14.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists per game and shot 40.2 percent from the field. … Made 40 3-pointers. … Named the LVC's MVP, the first Freedom player to receive the honor … Finished his career with 109 3-pointers, the second most in school history … Helped team set school mark with 13 straight wins to start the season. … Was a third-team all-area selection last year. … Headed to Shippensburg. … Said beating Liberty in double-OT in front of nearly 3,000 fans was his highlight. … "It was a fun year with a lot of great games," Lococo said. "We didn't win them all, but we were in every one of them.'


6-4 senior F, Bangor

Averaged 15 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.5 blocks per game, shot 49 percent from the field, 67 percent from the line. … First-team Colonial League all-star selection along with teammate Kerry Reider. … "It was good to get to the Colonial League finals because we haven't done that in a long time," Ringland said. "We lost seven or eight seniors and four starters from last year's team, and a lot of people didn't pick us to make the playoffs. We proved them wrong." … Considering Northampton Community College, Penn State.


6-7 senior, F, Emmaus

Averaged 11.5 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 blocks per game. … First-team all-LVC selection. … Had 17 points, 19 rebounds and six blocks in the LVC finals against Freedom. … "He did it all for us," Emmaus coach Steve Yoder said. "He could handle the ball against pressure, shoot from long range, play with his back to the basket. He was a dominant defensive presence." … Missed most of his junior season because of injury. … Considering several colleges including DeSales and West Chester. "I hope to make my selection within the next two weeks," he said.

Second Team

Alex Anderson, Sr., Southern Lehigh; Derike Chiclana, Jr., Freedom; David Garcia, Sr., Pocono Mt. East; Noel Hightower, Sr., Easton; Caleb Knudsen, Sr., Pius X; Easton; Connor Hughes, Sr., Notre Dame; Chris Moran, Sr., Whitehall; Greg Noack, Jr., Liberty; Kerry Reider, Sr., Bangor; Gerald Terry, Jr., Wilson.

Third Team

Jon Amoroso, Sr., Pocono Mt. West; Alex Colton, Jr., Bangor; Tyrel Dixon, Sr., Pocono Mountain West; Lincoln Holley, Sr., Easton; Zach Holubowski, Sr.,Northampton; Brent Maron, Sr., Salisbury; Nick Melosky, Sr., Whitehall; Kyle Muller, Sr.,
Pen Argyl; Lucas Pierce, Jr., Northern Lehigh; DeVante Queen, Jr., Easton.



Pocono Mountain West's Brice goes out in style as Pocono Record Player of the Year
Back from injury, senior helps Panthers win MVC, district titles


   BETHLEHEM — One of the best seasons in Pocono
   Mountain West history came down to a tenth of a
   second and the ending was painful.


Coatesville's Tymeir Miller hit two free throws to send the game to overtime and the Red Raiders won the extra session to capture a 62-57 victory over the Panthers in the opening round of the PIAA Class AAAA boys basketball playoffs at Freedom High School on Saturday.

Coatesville (24-6) moves on to Wednesday's second round where it will play John Bartrum, a 48-47 winner over Central Dauphin East in another first-round game Saturday.

It looked like it would the Panthers (22-5) who would be moving on.

After trailing for just about all of the game, West took a 53-51 lead when Ty Dixon hit a turnaround, fade-away jumper with 15 seconds to go. The Red Raiders advanced the ball into their half of the court, called a timeout with seven seconds to go and then got the ball in the hands of Miller, their 1,000-point scorer. The senior drove to the hoop and was met by a host of Panthers, but the officials called a foul on Quindell Brice with just a tenth of a second showing on the clock. Miller hit the first, and then after a West timeout, sank the second to force OT.

"I want to see what the tape says, but it's a shame if it came down to that," PM West coach Brad Pensyl said. "There are more plays than that though. They made plays and we didn't."

That's how overtime went.

The game was tied at 56-56 when Dwayne Vines scored on a putback with 2:36 to go, but the Red Raiders controlled the rest of the extra period.

Tyler Burke scored on a tip-in to put Coatesville in front for good, and after a Red Raiders' turnover gave West the ball with a chance to tie, Miller stole the ball and went coast-to-coast for a layup that sank the Panthers' ship.

"They scored a couple big buckets there," Pensyl said.

Coatesville started that way, too.

The Red Raiders ran out to an 18-9 lead in the opening quarter by hitting six of their first seven shots, but the Panthers answered with seven straight points to the end the quarter to make it a two-point game after one.

The game stayed tight throughout the second quarter despite West missing All-Mountain Valley Conference first teamer Ty Dixon, who sat the final 9:18 of the first half with three fouls. Vines was brilliant in an extended run off the bench, grabbing a game-high nine rebounds to go along with four points and two blocks.

Even with their outside shot not falling, the Panthers, who finished just 2-for-19 from behind the 3-point line, stayed in the game throughout.

West trailed by just one at the break and were down by three going into the fourth quarter. A layup by Leroy Hoggard, who got away with a double dribble, put Coatesville up 45-40 with 6:35 left in the fourth, but the Panthers reeled off a 9-2 run, capped by Eric Vick's 3 that gave West its first lead at 49-47 with 3:38 to go.

The Red Raiders got the lead back on Hoggard's layup, but Dixon split two sets of free throws to tie the game with 58 seconds left. A defensive stop gave West the ball back, and after Brice missed a runner, Dixon grabbed the rebound and sank a jumper for a 53-51 lead.

It wasn't to be though as the whistles blew on the other end, Miller made both free throws and the Panthers' season was over four minutes later.

"I thought we were every bit as good if not better than Coatesville except for a tenth of a second," Pensyl said. "I really thought we had an opportunity to win this game. We were right in it. I'm not going to sit here and say what if."

Coatesville 62, PM West 57, OT


Nixon 0-2 6-6 6, K. Miller 10-18 0-2 22, Jones 0-2 0-0 0, Hunt 4-9 0-1 9, Burke 3-4 2-4 8, Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Trowley 1-4 2-2 4, Boyd 0-0 0-0 0, T. Miller 1-5 2-2 4, Boggs 0-1 0-0 0, Hoggard 4-7 1-2 9. Totals — 23-52 13-19 62.

PM WEST (57)

Brice 6-14 0-0 12, Vick 3-8 1-2 8, Amoroso 4-10 2-2 10, Collins 2-12 2-4 7, Dixon 5-7 4-6 14, Wiggins 0-3 0-0 0, Vines 2-2 0-0 4, Baptiste 0-0 0-0 0. Totals — 22-55 9-14 57.

Coatesville 18 8 15 12 9 — 62

PM West 16 9 13 15 4 — 57

3-point goals — C 3-13 (K. Miller 2, Hunt); PMW 2-19 (Collins, Vick). Rebounds — C 36 (Hunt 7); PMW 36 (Vines 9). Assists — C 10 (Nixon 4); PMW 10 (Dixon 3). Steals — C 5 (K. Miller, Burke 2); PMW 9 (Brice 3). Blocks — C 1 (Hunt); PMW 6 (Amoroso, Vines 2). Turnovers — C 16; PMW 16..

Records — Coatesville 24-6; PM West 22-5.

  POCONO SUMMIT — Pocono Mountain West needed contributions
  from all of its players to make history.

  In winning their first District 11 title in school history, the Panthers
  got everyone to do their part. That included Eric Vick, the only
  underclassman starter who scored a career-high 17 points in the
  58-54 victory over Parkland in last Saturday's district title game.
  Point guard Joe Wiggins came off the bench to run West's
  offense, while Dwayne Vines played big minutes with starting
  forward Jon Amoroso in foul trouble.

Those three didn't just perform last weekend, but have done the job all season.

Vick has been solid all season as a first-time varsity player. Just a sophomore, Wiggins is in charge of West's offense when he's on the floor. When Amoroso missed time at midseason with a heart aliment, it was Vines who stepped into the starting lineup.

"All three of them have just been great for us the entire year," said PM West coach Brad Pensyl, whose Panthers play Coatesville in the PIAA playoffs at 6 p.m. at Freedom High School on Saturday. "They are very unselfish. They're total team players. Sometimes it's hard in high school sports when kids don't understand their roles."

That hasn't been a problem for the three.

Vines, one of six seniors on the team, knew he needed to step up his game when Amoroso missed three games in January. The same was the case in the district semifinals against Easton and against Parkland last Saturday when Amoroso got in foul trouble.

"Jon is the heart and soul of our team and that's pretty irreplaceable, but I just want to go in and keep everything going," Vines said. "I just want to do what he does and try to help win games for us."

As the youngest player to see the court consistently, this season has been eye opening for Wiggins.

The sophomore averages 5.8 points per game off the Panthers' bench, but getting the offense set up and his teammates involved is Wiggins' goal when he's on the floor.

"I'm setting things up and I know as a point guard that the offense revolves around me when I'm on the floor," Wiggins said. "I just want to get everyone involved in the game."

Vick has been everything the Panthers could have expected.

He's been steady on the both ends of the court, providing good defense and capable scoring. Vick had his best game in the district final, hitting 10-of-12 free throws in the final quarter, and averages 5.9 ppg on a team that has three players in double figures and another (Mike Collins) average nine ppg.

It's all part of the team concept Pensyl asks his players to buy into.

"It's been real important to us because it's showed us how well we work as a team," Vick said.

It's allowed West to have one of the best seasons in school history.

The Panthers won the Mountain Valley Conference title for a second straight year and fifth time in the school's 10-year history. They claimed the district title and advanced to the PIAA tournament for the second time since 2008. The talent has been a big reason for all the success, but have the intangibles the players have brought to the game.

It's all made this one of Pensyl's most enjoyable seasons in his 23-year coaching career.

"It's been a great year and we haven't had a problem, not one," Pensyl said. "These are the kind of years that make you want to coach. There are some years when you say, 'I might be looking to pack it in,' but this is the kind of year that makes you come back for another year."



25 years later, DelGrosso has another golden moment
A quarter-century later after winning 4A gold as a player, PM West assistant comes home to win another title

  March 05, 2012
|Keith Groller

  Mike DelGrosso took it as a good sign when he learned that the District 
  11 4A boys basketball championship game was going to be played at
High School.

  That's because it was 25 years ago — March 7, 1987, to be exact — when
  DelGrosso hit a running jumper with four seconds left to give Liberty a
  stunning 57-56 win over Allen in the District 11 4A finals.

  While that game was played at Lehigh's Stabler Arena, DelGrosso, now
  an assistant coach at Pocono Mountain West, thought it was a positive
  omen that his current team was being sent back to his old stomping
  grounds for Saturday's championship game against Parkland.

With his former Hurricanes coach Rich Wescoe in attendance, DelGrosso was able to collect his first gold medal in 25 years when West defeated Parkland 57-53 for the first District 11 title in school history.

"I just had a feeling that we were going to win it," DelGrosso said. "For some reason, I wasn't as nervous tonight as I was when we were in other district title games. We were playing so well and I just had a good feeling. It's a little eerie that this happened on the 25th anniversary of our Liberty championship and that this one came in this gym."

DelGrosso was more happy for his longtime friend and colleague Brad Pensyl, the Pocono West head coach, and the kids than he was for himself.

"It's such a great group of kids and I've been with Brad for 20 years and he's such a phenomenal coach," DelGrosso said. "Nobody deserves it more than he does. He's one of the best coaches in the Valley, if not the Eastern part of the state.

"He's all about the kids and it's never about just winning. It's about teaching the kids the need to do the right things. It's about being a good person. We've done it right for all of these years and it's really nice to finally win a district title."

Besides being a big night for Brad Pensyl, his father, Bill, the legendary former Bangor coach and popular area umpire, got to receive one more gold medal as the team's scorekeeper.

The last time Bill won district gold was 24 years ago — with Bangor in 1988.

Typically, Bill brought the moment all back to Bangor, saying: "What a great weekend for Bangor. The Bangor girls win the district title with a Bangor boy [coach Dale Godshalk] as coach and tonight, another Bangor kid wins a district championship."

Godshalk graduated from Bangor in 1975, Brad Pensyl in 1978.


 EAST STROUDSBURG — An eight-day layoff had Pocono Mountain West coach
 Brad Pensyl a bit concerned, but the Panthers wasted little time easing his

 Second-seeded Pocono West built a 17-point lead by early in the third
 quarter and held off a late run by No. 10 Whitehall to capture a 59-46 victory 
 in the quarterfinals of the District 11 Class AAAA boys basketball playoffs at
 East Stroudsburg South High School on Saturday.

 The win was the 200th in school history for the Panthers (20-4), who will
 play No. 6 Easton, a 43-30 winner over No. 3 Pottsville in another
 quarterfinal Saturday, in the semifinals at 7:30 p.m. at Sroudsburg on
 Wednesday. Pocono West beat Easton 56- 46 on Dec. 9.

It will be the Panthers' fifth appearance in the district semifinals in the 10
years, to  go along with five Mountain Valley Conference titles over the same
time frame.

"I'm real proud of our basketball program and I'm proud of this group of kids," Pensyl said. "I think our kids do an excellent job. It's difficult sometimes because people expect certain things, but to win five championships and be in the semifinals in 10 years, I'll take that."

Getting there came after a well-earned break.

Winning a fifth MVC title gave the Panthers the second seed in the district playoffs and a first-round bye. Stepping on the court against Whitehall (12-12) on Saturday was West's first action since its 83-49 victory over Pleasant Valley in the MVC title game last Friday.

"I was a little concerned, but I thought we played really well," Pensyl said. "(Whitehall) is a really good team, a sneaky team."

The Panthers controlled the game early.

After a close first quarter, that saw Pocono West lead 18-15, the Panthers opened up some breathing room in the second. Quindell Brice hit two 3s and had a driving layup, and Mike Collins' runner put PM West up 35-22 at the break.

"We had to stay together," said Brice, who finished with a team-high 19 points. "We just kept talking to each and kept playing defense."

The Panthers would need that defense in the second half.

Collins' layup with 5:45 left in the third put West up 41-24, but the Zephyrs closed the quarter with a 13-4 run to get to within eight with one quarter to go.

The Panthers forced eight turnovers in the fourth, part of West's defensive effort that saw Whitehall turn the ball over 21 times in the game.

"Defensively is definitely something we feed off of," said PM West senior Ty Dixon, who led the way with six steals. "Our defense creates offense for us and that's what wins us games."

Whitehall never got closer than eight in the final quarter and with the Zephyrs trying to get off a 3 Brice stole a pass, went the length of the floor and flushed a two-handed dunk to punctuate the victory.

"We have to have an answer when a team makes a run at us," Pensyl said. "We have a shot now. There are four teams left and certainly we'd like to continue to play. This has been a great group of kids and I hope we continue to play."

No. 2 PM West 59, No. 10 Whitehall 46


Melosky 6-12 7-10 20, Sipko 1-3 0-2 3, Johnson 1-3 0-0 2, Shafnisky 1-2 0-0 3, Moran 5-21 5-8 16, Bellucci 0-2 0-0 0, Wah 0-0 0-0 0, McGinley 1-1 0-0 2, Keglovits 0-0 0-0 0. Totals — 15-44 12-20 46.

PM WEST (59)

Brice 8-19 1-2 19, Vick 2-5 4-6 8, Collins 3-8 3-5 9, T. Dixon 3-8 1-4 7, Amoroso 5-7 2-2 12, Wiggins 1-1 0-0 2, Vines 0-0 2-2 2. Totals — 22-48 13-21 59.

Whitehall 15 7 15 9 ­— 46

PM West 18 17 10 14 — 59

3-point goals — W 4-15 (Melosky, Sipko, Shafnisky, Moran); PMW 2-8 (Brice 2). Rebounds — W 38 (Moran 15); PMW 24 (T. Dixon 7, Amoroso 7). Assists — W 9 (Sipko 3, Moran 3); PMW 14 (Vick 5). Steals — W 2 (Sipko 1, McGinley 1); PMW 13 (T. Dixon 6). Blocks — W 1 (Moran 1); PMW 2 (Brice 1, Amoroso 1). Turnovers — W 21; PMW 10.

Records — Whitehall 12-12; PM West 20-4.


PIAA - District XI Quarterfinal round match ups and venues for Saturday, February 25th, 2012


Pennsylvainia Interscholastic Athletic Association - District XI 'AAAA' Boys Basketball Playoffs


              Brice, T. Dixon, Amoroso voted to MVC all-league teams,
             Brice unanimous decision for league's Most Valuable Player


For the second year in a row a Pocono Mountain West player was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the Mountain Valley Conference when the coaches unanimously voted Quindell Brice as league MVP. The 6'4" swingman joins former Panthers Jovan Smalls ('03), Jon Mangual ('07 & '08), and Tynell Fortune ('11) as the fifth Panther in just 10 years of the school being open to earn the honor.

The senior trio of Brice, Tyrel Dixon, and John Amoroso become the 28th, 29th, and 30th players in West's short history to be voted onto the all-league team.

Brice, who is averaging 16.4 points per game, made the All-MVC first team along with teammate Ty Dixon, Pocono Mountain East's David Garcia, East Stroudsburg South's Kwame Simmons and Pleasant Valley's Nick Stanovick.

All-MVC first team

*Quindell Brice, Pocono Mountain West; Ty Dixon, Pocono Mountain West; David Garcia, Pocono Mountain East; Kwame Simmons, East Stroudsburg South; Nick Stanovick, Pleasant Valley.

*League MVP

Second team

Jon Amoroso, Pocono Mountain West; Jok Asiyo, Pocono Mountain East, David Clowney, Stroudsburg; Jamal Fort, East Stroudsburg North; Langston Northern, Stroudsburg.

Honorable mention

Marquis Brown, Pleasant Valley; Kashawn McLaughlin, East Stroudsburg South; Joshua Ortiz; East Stroudsburg North; Selwyn Wright, Pleasant Valley.


 Tenacious defense carries West to 
 back-to-back MVC titles


 STROUDSBURG — Pocono Mountain West did little wrong en route to winning  
 its fifth Mountain Valley Conference title since 2004. That's not good news for
 the rest of District 11.

 Jon Amoroso scored 22 points, and Conference MVP Quindell Brice and Mike
 Collins each had 20 and the top-seeded Panthers' defense was suffocating in
 an 82-49 victory over No. 2 Pleasant Valley in the MVC championship game at
 Stroudsburg High School on Friday.


The victory was a bit of redemption for Pocono West (19-4), which lost 45-43
 to the Bears in Brodheadsville two weeks ago. Better to have an off night then
 instead of in a title game.

"We didn't play with any regret," said Brice, who finished 9-for-15 from the floor and led West with six assists. "We just wanted to play."

The Panthers showed that right from the beginning.

Riding a relentless defense, PM West forced Pleasant Valley (11-13) into 10 turnovers in each of the first two quarters. Ty Dixon's three-point play off one of his five steals highlighted an 19-10 first quarter for the Panthers.

The second quarter was much the same as West outscored PV 24-7 with Collins and Brice scoring eight each as Pocono led 43-17 at the break. The defense wasn't just about forcing turnovers either as the Bears shot just 7-for-17 in the opening half, while the Panthers were 16-for-29.

"Defense wins championships," Collins said. "We're a good offensive team. If we want to win championships we have to play defense like we did (Friday)."

"Phenomenal defense, we played great," PM West coach Brad Pensyl said. "We were very aggressive, did some very good things man-to-man. We're playing really well right now. I wish we didn't have this break coming up."

The Panthers likely won't play again until next Saturday since they'll get a bye in the upcoming District 11 Class AAAA tournament, but if they play like they have their last three games — all blowout victories against playoff teams — the Panthers could be adding more hardware to their trophy case.

A district title would be the first for the school district and the first for Pensyl, who came to West from Pocono Mountain when the school district split for the 2002-03 school year. More performances like the one Friday night would go a long way toward making that happen.

"This is the time to play our best," Brice said. "That's what Coach is always telling us and we are."

No. 1 PM West 82, No. 2 Pleasant Valley 49


Brown 4-7 0-0 8, Shivers 4-9 1-2 12, Wright 3-8 1-4 7, Dekmar 2-3 0-0 5, Jones 0-3 0-2 0, Howard 2-5 1-5 5, Getz 2-2 0-0 5, Gerolimatos 0-0 0-0 0, Hosier 0-1 2-3 2, Helfrich 1-2 0-0 3, Neubert 0-0 2-2 2. Totals — 21-42 7-18 49.

PM WEST (82)

Brice 9-15 2-8 20, Vick 1-3 1-2 4, Amoroso 8-12 6-6 22, Collins 7-11 0-0 20, T. Dixon 2-4 5-5 9, Wiggins 1-2 0-0 2, Vines 1-1 0-0 2, Baptiste 0-2 0-0 0, Burton 0-2 2-2 2, D. Dixon 1-1 1-2 3, Howard 0-0 0-0 0, Fladger 0-0 0-0 0. Totals — 30-53 17-25 82.

Pleasant Valley 10 7 16 17 — 49

PM West 19 24 18 21 — 82

3-point goals — PV 6 (Shivers 3, Dekmar, Getz, Helfrich), PMW 5 (Collins 4, Vick). Rebounds — PV 25 (Jones 6), PMW 26 (T. Dixon 7). Assists — PV 11 (Shivers, Dekmar 4), PMW 17 (Brice 6). Steals — PV 9 (Howard 3), PMW 22 (Amoroso 7). Blocks — PV 5 (Brown 2), PMW 3 (T. Dixon 2). Turnovers — PV 29, PMW 17.

Records — Pleasant Valley 11-13, PM West 19-4.


 Panthers have hot hand
 By Joe Miegoc
 Record Sports Writer

 February 11, 2012

 SWIFTWATER — Pocono Mountain West couldn't have ended the regular  
 season any better.
 The Panthers trailed by four midway through the third quarter before
 ripping off a 35-11 run to end the game on their way to a 66-46 victory
 over arch-rival Pocono Mountain East in Mountain Valley Conference
 boys basketball Friday.

 For Pocono West (17-4, 11-1 MVC), the victory was its second in a row
 after being upset by Pleasant Valley last Friday and a perfect
 springboard into next week's MVC playoffs. The Panthers are the top  
 seed and host Wednesday's semifinals.

 "I understand we stubbed our toe against PV last week, but that was 
 just one game," said PM West senior Jon Amoroso, who scored 12 
 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had three steals Friday. "What
 means something is when we're  playing next Wednesday."


Pocono East (9-11, 6-6) was looking to pull off its second upset of the week after knocking off Pleasant Valley on Tuesday and for three quarters it looked like the Cardinals just might do it.

With Ryan Sickler scoring six points and Jok Asiyo seven during the third, East led 35-31 with 4:11 to play in the third quarter. It was all Pocono West from there.

The Panthers ended the quarter on an 8-0 run, capped by back-to-back scores in tight from senior Ty Dixon, who had 12 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

"Any time you can get those layups or two-footers you take them," PM West coach Brad Pensyl said. "In the first half we missed a few of those."

The end of the third was just a preview of the fourth quarter.

The Panthers used their defense to create easy offense, with Quindell Brice and Amoroso converting steals into uncontested layups. Pocono West forced 17 turnovers by the Cardinals, with eight coming in the final minutes when the Panthers outscored East 24-8.

"The offense came easier (in the fourth quarter) because we played better defense," said Brice, who scored a game-high 19 points. "We were able to get out on a couple of fast breaks and that's how we like to play."

The game was tight throughout the opening half, with the lead changing hands seven times in the first 16 minutes.

Sickler and Asiyo, who finished with 17 points, led the charge out of the locker room for East, but the final 12 minutes belonged to Pocono West.

More importantly, the Panthers took another positive step after last week's setback. With the conference semifinals in its gym, Pocono West will start defense of its MVC title while looking for a fifth conference championship since 2004.

"This is a good win and a good win to go into the tournament with," Pensyl said. "You want to go into the tournament on a positive note. We're the defending champs and we want to defend that title. That's what we plan to do."

PM West 66, PM East 46

PM WEST (66)

Brice 6 4-6 19, Vick 2 0-0 4, Collins 2 4-8 10, Amoroso 4 4-5 12, T. Dixon 5 2-4 12, Wiggins 3 2-2 9, Vines 0 0-0 0, Baptiste 0 0-0 0, D. Dixon 0 0-0 0, Fladger 0 0-0 0, Burton 0 0-0 0. Totals — 22 16-25 66.

PM EAST (46)

Asiyo 7 1-3 17, Wheeler 0 0-0 0, Garcia 4 2-2 11, Gleason 1 0-1 3, Sickler 3 1-2 7, Ko. Harris 2 0-0 4, Stapler 2 0-0 4, Maloney 0 0-0 0, Lambert 0 0-0 0, Ky. Harris 0 0-1 0, Randazzo 0 0-0 0. Totals — 19 4-9 46.

PM West 8 16 18 24 ­— 66

PM East 9 14 15 8 — 46

3-point goals — PMW 6 (Brice 3, Collins 2, Wiggins); PME 4 (Asiyo 2, Garcia, Gleason). Rebounds — PMW 34 (T. Dixon 14); PME 31 (Asiyo 5). Assists — PMW 10 (Brice 5); PME 15 (Ko. Harris 5). Steals — PMW 13 (Vick, Amoroso 3); PME 3 (Ky. Harris, Asiyo, Gleason). Blocks — PMW 1 (Brice); PME 4 (Sickler 2). Turnovers — PMW 14; PME 17.

Records — PM West 17-4, 11-1 MVC; PM East 9-11, 6-6.

JV score — PMW, 50-30.

Panthers run past Lehighton in conference play

POCONO SUMMIT — All of West's seniors got on the board as John Amoroso had 18 points and 8 rebounds to lead the way in a senior night win over Lehighton, 87-47. Quindell Brice added 16, Shakur Burton had 9, Chavarre Fladger 6 and 3 rebounds, Dwayne Vines 6 and 8 rebounds, and Mike Collins added 6.

PM West 87, Lehighton 47


D. Rossino 6 1-1 14, Kresge 4 0-0 9, Guyn 1 7-8 9, Crum 3 1-2 8, Nalesnik 3 0-0 7, A. Rossino 0 0-0 0, Farano 0 0-0 0, Knappenberger 0 0-0 0, Mele 0 0-0 0, Kirschner 0 0-0 0. Totals — 17 9-11 47.

PM WEST (87)

Amoroso 9 0-0 18, Brice 6 2-4 16, Wiggins 4 0-0 10, Burton 3 2-2 9, Hardy 3 0-0 7, Fladger 3 0-0 6, Baptiste 3 0-0 6, Collins 3 0-0 6, Vick 2 0-0 5, Vines 2 0-0 4, D. Dixon 0 0-2 0, Howard 0 0-0 0, Cooper 0 0-0 0. Totals — 38 4-8 87.

Lehighton 14 10 9 14 ­— 47

PM West 27 18 20 22 — 87

3-point goals — L 4 (D. Rossino, Kresge, Crum, Nalesnik); PMW 7 (Brice 2, Wiggins 2, Burton, Hardy, Vick).

Records — PM West 16-4, 10-1.


PV pulls out of tailspin by upsetting PM West, 45-43

By Joe Miegoc 
Record Sports Writer

February 04, 2012

BRODHEADSVILLE — Words to describe his team's latest, and biggest, victory didn't come easy for Pleasant Valley coach Ken Piontkowski. That was fine because his players did all the talking with their play.

Just three nights after losing to a conference cellar dweller, Pleasant Valley used a fantastic fourth quarter to score a 45-43 upset over Pocono Mountain West in Mountain Valley Conference boys basketball Friday.

The victory couldn't have come at a better time for the Bears (10-10, 7-3 MVC).

Pleasant Valley had lost five straight, including a 40-33 loss to Lehighton on Tuesday. In the loss to the Indians, who had dropped 59 straight MVC games, the Bears also saw senior point guard Nick Stanovick break his right foot, an injury that will sideline him for the rest of the season.

All of that didn't seem to matter Friday, although a challenge before the game from Piontkowski helped set the mood.

"Really, we didn't have a great practice (Thursday) so I gave them a challenge and said, 'you have to show me how much you care,' and, boy, they kind of showed me," Piontkowski said.

It took three quarters for it all to come full circle.

PV led 14-12 after the first quarter, the two teams tied at 24-24 at the half before Pocono West (15-4, 9-1) took a 36-34 lead into the fourth quarter thanks to eight points from Eric Vick in the third.

The fourth is where the Bears took charge.

Senior guard Dre Shivers, starting in place of Stanovick, hit two huge 3-pointers, the first to trim West's five-point lead to two with 4:36 to go, and the second to give PV the lead for good at 42-39 with 1:42 left.

"Nick was coaching me from the sideline after I had a couple turnovers, but my teammates were telling me to keep my head up and keep playing," said Shivers, who finished with 16 points. "Without (Stanovick) and (my teammates), honestly, I don't know what I'd done. I take my hat off to them."

With its first lead since early in the third quarter, PV continued to lock down the Panthers on defense.

West went the final 10:01 of the game with just one field goal, a 3 from Vick that put the Panthers up 39-34 with 6:33 left in the game. Against PV's 2-3 zone, PM West managed just four free throws over the final six-plus minutes to drop its first MVC game of the season.

"We kind of focus on going wild on defense," PV senior Selwyn Wright said. "We're kind of screaming and running around, closing out on the 3s and crashing the boards. We want to make sure we get one-possession plays."

The loss for West, which had won six straight, was tough to take, but the Panthers are still in the driver's seat for the top seed in the upcoming MVC playoffs.

"There's nothing wrong here," Panthers coach Brad Pensyl said. "We've been playing well, we've been practicing really hard and our kids know what the big picture is."

On Friday night, the final picture was one of the PV crowd storming the court to celebrate with the Bears.

"This is huge, I can't even describe it," Piontkowski said. "We were 9-5 and lost to (East Stroudsburg) South in overtime and then we turn around and play Parkland and State College, two teams ranked in the state, lose one to Lehighton in a flat effort where we can't make a shot and Stanovick breaks his foot and then we lose to Liberty. I felt like we got pummeled and we were like a fighter who just took eight shots to the jaw and we're just trying to stand up.

"This just gets us right up off the canvas."

Pleasant Valley 45, PM West 43

PM WEST (43)

Brice 2 2-2 7, Vick 5 0-0 13, Amoroso 5 4-5 14, Collins 1 0-0 3, T. Dixon 0 0-0 0, Vines 0 2-2 2, Wiggins 2 0-0 4, D. Dixon 0 0-0 0. Totals — 15 8-9 43.


Brown 2 0-0 4, Shivers 5 3-5 16, Howard 2 0-0 5, Wright 7 1-1 17, Jones 1 1-3 3, Dekmar 0 0-0 0, Gerolimatos 0 0-0 0, Zwack 0 0-0 0, Getz 0 0-0 0. Totals — 17 5-9 45.

PM West 12 12 12 7 ¬— 43

Pleasant Valley 14 10 10 11 — 45

3-point goals — PMW 5 (Vick 3, Brice, Collins); PV 6 (Shivers 3, Wright 2, Howard). Rebounds — PMW 29 (Amoroso 10); PV 35 (Brown 10). Assists — PMW 12 (Brice, Collins 4); PV 12 (Dekmar 4). Steals — PMW 12 (Amoroso 6); PV 4 (Shivers, Wright, Dekmar, Zwack). Blocks — PMW 3 (Brice, Amoroso, Vines); PV 2 (Brown 2). Turnovers — PMW 9; PV 22.

Records — PM West 15-4, 9-1 MVC; Pleasant Valley 10-10, 7-3. JV score — PMW, 58-50.


Suffocating defense helps West overcome slow start against Liberty

POCONO SUMMIT - After falling behind 10-0 in the first quarter, the Panthers (15-3, 9-0 MVC) outscored visiting Liberty 43-23 the rest of the way for a tough non-conference win Saturday night.

The duo of John Amoroso and Dwayne Vines neutralized the junior division one recruit of the Hurricanes while the Panthers front court of Mike Collins, Joe Wiggins, and Eric Vick refused to allow the Hurricane guards to initiate offense.

West now looks to finish out its conference schedule with games against Pleasant Valley, Lehighton, and Pocono Mountain East.


Seniors lead the way in MVC win over South

POCONO SUMMIT —Ty Dixon scored 20 points and Quindell Brice added 19 to lead Pocono Mountain West over East Stroudsburg South 73-63 in Mountain Valley Conference boys basketball on Friday.

Jon Amoroso netted 16 points, while Mike Collins chipped in with 13 for the Panthers (14-3, 9-0 MVC).

Kwame Simmons led the Cavs (8-7, 4-4) in scoring with 20 points.

PM West 73, ES South 63


8 4-5 20, McLaughlin 5 1-2 12, Quick 3 0-1 8, Mercado 2 0-0 6, Bird 3 0-0 6, O'Neal 1 2-2 4, Howell 1 1-2 3, Clarke 0 2-2 2, Wickham 1 0-0 2. Totals —24 10-14 63.

PM WEST (73)

T. Dixon
6 8-13 20, Brice 7 4-5 19, Amoroso 7 2-2 16, Collins 5 2-3 13, Wiggins 2 0-0 5, Vick 0 0-0 0, Vines 0 0-0 0, Hardy 0 0-0 0, D. Dixon 0 0-0 0. Totals —27 16-23 73.

ES South
8 18 14 23 —63

PM West
18 19 16 20 —73

3-point goals —ESS 5 (Quick 2, Mercado 2, McLaughlin); PMW 3 (Brice, Collins, Wiggins).

Records —ES South 8-7, 4-4 MVC; PM West 14-3, 9-0.

T. Dixon's double-double helps down East Stroudsburg North

BUSHKILL — Ty Dixon scored a career-high 22 points and 11 rebounds as Pocono Mountain West beat East Stroudsburg North 66-40 in Mountain Valley Conference boys basketball Tuesday.

Quindell Brice and Jon Amoroso each added 14 points for the Panthers (13-3, 8-0 MVC).

PM West 66, ES North 40

PM WEST (66)

T. Dixon 9 4-11 22, Brice 7 0-1 14, Amoroso 6 2-2 14, Wiggins 2 2-2 6, Vines 2 0-0 4, Collins 1 1-2 3, Vick 1 0-0 3, Baptiste 0 0-0 0, D. Dixon 0 0-0 0, Burton 0 0-0 0, Fladge 0 0-0 0. Totals — 28 9-18 66.


Mills 5 0-0 13, Anamege 3 2-5 8, Quiles 2 3-4 7, Bobb 2 0-0 4, Ortiz 1 0-0 3, Thompson 1 0-0 2, John 1 0-0 2, Fort 0 1-2 1, Joseph 0 0-0 0, Byrd 0 0-0 0, Mack 0 0-0 0. Totals — 15 6-11 40.

PM West 15 21 16 14 ­— 66

ES North 9 9 13 9 — 40

3-point goals — PMW 1 (Vick); ESN 4 (Mills 3, Ortiz).

Records — PM West 13-3, 8-0 MVC; ES North 6-10, 3-5.


 PM West survives fight against Mounties
 By Joe Miegoc Record Sports Writer
 January 21, 2012

 POCONO SUMMIT — Don't be fooled by the final score. Pocono 
 Mountain West had a dogfight on its hands and the Panthers came
 out better because of it.

 PM West ended the fourth quarter on a 19-8 run to hang on to a 74-
 63 victory over Stroudsdburg in Mountain Valley Conference boys
 basketball Friday.

 The Panthers (12-3, 7-0 MVC) beat the Mounties by 27 last month,
 but this was a different Stroudsburg team.

 Led by Jake Battle's 18 points, coming on six 3-pointers, the
 Mounties stayed right with West through the first 28 minutes.
 Battle's 3 from the wing with 3:50 left tied the game at 55-55, but
 West pulled away at the end thanks to free throw shooting and
 solid defense.

 "Teams get better as the season goes on," West senior Mike Collins
 said. "We can't beat teams by 30 every time. We've just got to keep
 our heads in it and keep working hard."

The Panthers did that over the final four minutes and Collins was a big part of it.

Held to four points in the opening three quarters, Collins exploded for 12 in the final eight minutes. His runner with 2:33 left put West up by eight and Stroudsburg (3-11, 2-5) would never get closer than four the rest of the way.

"Mike has been struggling a little bit so I was glad to see him play well," Panthers coach Brad Pensyl said. "He had a real nice fourth quarter and I was real glad to see him step up and do some things that we've been waiting for them to do."

West didn't have to wait for Stroudsburg to come out ready to play.

The Mounties were strong in the opening eight minutes, trailing by just two going into the second quarter. Pocono West opened up a seven-point lead at the half and held a five-point edge after three quarters before the Mounties were able to tie it midway through the fourth.

"Let's face it, we have the target on our back," Pensyl said. "We know that and everybody knows that. Pocono Mountain West is the team everybody wants to beat and our kids have to understand that. We're the defending champs and we went through the first half 6-0 and we're everybody's big game. Who doesn't want to beat us."

PM West 74, Stroudsburg 63


Northern 2 2-2 6, Kaiser 3 2-2 8, Brandt 2 2-5 6, Clowney 5 3-5 13, Battle 6 0-0 18, Clouse 1 2-2 5, Bradshaw 1 12-3, Walker 1 0-0 2, Rogers 0 0-0 0. Totals — 21 12-18 63.

PM WEST (74)

Brice 6 3-4 15, Vick 0 1-2 1, Amoroso 8 4-5 20, Collins 5 6-6 16, T. Dixon 1 2-4 4, D. Dixon 1 2-4 4, Wiggins 3 3-4 9, Vines 2 1-2 5, Hardy 1 0-1 2. Totals — 27 23-32 74.

Stroudsburg 14 8 17 24 — 63

PM West
16 13 15 30 — 74

3-point goals — S 7 ( Battle 6, Clouse); PMW 0. Rebounds — S 19 (Clowney 7); PMW 33 (Amoroso, T. Dixon 7). Assists — S 15 (Kaiser 6); PMW 9 (Brice 3). Steals — S 9 (Battle 5); PMW 16 (Amoroso 5). Blocks — S 2 (Brandt, Clowney); PMW 1 (Collins). Turnovers — S 25; PMW 17.

Records — Stroudsburg 3-11, 2-5 MVC; PM West 12-3, 7-0.

JV score — PMW, 48-43
West cruises past Lehighton, 72-22, in MVC action

1/13/2012 - Lehighton - In his first game back since a medical issue, senior John Amoroso led the way with 13 points and 6 rebounds and Sophomore guard Joe Wiggins chipped in with 10 points as the Panthers (10-3, 5-0 MVC) blew past Lehighton, 72-22, in Mountain Valley Conference play last night.

West now sets its sights on Pocono Mountain East for Tuesday's rivalry game.


 Freedom downs Pocono Mountain West; off to a perfect 10-0 start
 By: Keith Groller, Of The Morning Call

 Pocono Mountain West and Freedom staged their own version of "Big Monday" on
 Monday night in Bethlehem.

 The two teams, ranked in the top two slots of the latest Morning Call boys
 basketball poll, didn't disappoint in an entertaining, fast-paced contest that could
 serve as a preview of an even bigger meeting in early March.

 For now, the Patriots have the bragging rights between these rivals from different

 Freedom's hard-fought 63-57 victory made it 10-0 on the season, the best start in
 school history.

 The previous best beginning was a 9-0 mark recorded by the 1979-80 team.

 With a win over visiting Allen on Tuesday, this collection of Pates would have the
 longest winning streak in school history. The 1980-81 squad also had a 10-game
 winning streak.

Historical footnotes aside, beating the pride of the Mountain Valley Conference provided a good barometer of where Freedom stands approaching the season's midway point.

The Pates were the team to beat coming out of the summer, and so far, no one has beaten them, not even a very talented Pocono West team (9-3) that kept making charges.

"It's exciting to be a part of this team right now," said junior Derike Chiclana, who was one of four double-figure scorers for the Pates with 15 points — 11 coming in the second half.

"We're going to do our best to keep this streak going. We've already made school history, but we just want to take it one game at a time and Allen is next."

Freedom gave up the most points it has allowed all season to Pocono West, but was still able to find a way to win for the seventh time this season by nine or fewer points.

Trailing 30-29 at halftime, the Pates limited the Panthers to just two field goals and 10 points in the third period.

Then back-to-back 3-pointers by Jarrod Dilts and Nyreef Jackson allowed Freedom to open a 48-42 lead three minutes into the fourth quarter and sent the Pates colorful "Riot Squad" student fan section into a frenzy.

Those treys fueled a 10-0 run that made it 52-42 with 3:30 to go and while Freedom didn't have a field goal after Joe Lococo scored on a runner with 2:31 left, it made enough foul shots to hold on.

The Pates were 9-for-10 at the line in the final 1:03 with Chiclana making three of his four freebies.

"Coach [assistant Tom] Mosser is hard on me with the foul shooting," Chiclana said. "We practice free throws a lot and I hate to miss any. I'm sorry I missed that one."

As a team, Freedom was 12-for-15 at the line. It's another strength for a team that appears to have no weakness.

"We're just finding different ways to win," coach Joe Stellato said. "We've got a lot of guys who are contributing nonstop, even guys off the bench. Tonight Pocono West tried to take away our inside game with a zone and forced us to hit outside shots and we did that. It's tough to match up with us, but we've got to continue to play good basketball and that's starting with Allen."

Lococo led Freedom with 19 points, while Jackson and Dilts tallied 11 and 10 respectively. All but seven of the Pates' 22 field goals were assisted, demonstrating good ball movement.

"They're a little better than we are right now," Pocono West coach Brad Pensyl said. "We had a stretch there in the third quarter where we couldn't stop the bleeding. We didn't have an answer for them. Our kids kept battling, but give Freedom credit. That's a good basketball team."

The only flaw for Freedom was its ability to protect the defensive glass. Pocono West outrebounded the Pates 35-25 with Tyrel Dixon and Dwayne Vines combining for 22 boards — 10 at the offensive end. Dixon wound up with a game-high 20 points.

"We've got to do a better job of boxing guys out, but you want to be tested in nonleague games," Stellato said. "We might see them again, but right now all I'm thinking about is Allen. It's going to be a white-out for us in this gym and it should be a whale of a basketball game."


Brice 4-18 3-3 11, Vick 2-6 1-2 5, Collins 2-5 0-0 5, Vines 3-5 0-3 6, T. Dixon 7-17 5-9 20, Wiggins 4-5 0-0 10, Hardy 0-0 0-0 0, D. Dixon 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-56 9-17 57.


Young 1-1 1-2 4, Colon 0-0 0-0 0, Dilts 4-9 0-0 10, Lococo 6-13 6-7 19, Connor 1-2 0-0 2, Chiclana 5-8 5-6 15, Flood 1-4 0-0 2, Jackson 4-9 0-0 11. Totals 22-46 12-15 63.

Officials: Rod Strobl II, Dave DeYong.

3-pointers: PM West (4-16): Wiggins 2, T. Dixon, Collins. Freedom (7-18): Jackson 3, Dilts 2, Lococo, Young.

Rebounds: PM West 35 (T. Dixon 12). Freedom 25 (Jackson 7).

Assists: PM West 6 (Wiggins 3). Freedom 15 (Flood 3).

Turnovers: PM West 15. Freedom 12.


Blair Academy too much for West

BLAIRSTOWN — Quindell Brice had a team-high 15 points and Tyrel Dixon scored 10, but Pocono Mountain West lost 64-48 to Blair Academy in non-conference boys basketball on Saturday.

Blair Academy 64, PM West 48

PM WEST (48)

Brice 6 1-2 15, T. Dixon 4 1-3 10, Collins 4 0-0 9, Wiggins 3 0-0 6, Vick 1 2-3 4, Vines 2 0-0 4, D. Dixon 0 0-0 0. Totals — 20 4-8 48.


Tobey 10 5-6 27, Hart 5 2-2 15, Myers 5 2-4 12, Wolf 3 0-0 6, Pretlow 2 0-0 4, Seymour 0 0-1 0, Luherski 0 0-0 0, Silverthorn 0 0-0 0, Geller 0 0-0 0. Totals — 25 9-13 64.

PM West 14 17 8 9 ­— 48

Blair Academy 16 13 19 16 — 64

3-point goals — PMW 4 (Brice 2, T. Dixon, Collins); BA 5 (Hart 3, Tobey 2).

Records — PM West 9-2.


 Pocono West finishes strong to top PV, 65-52   
  Panthers perfect in MVC behind Brice's 19 points

  By Joe Miegoc
  Record Sports Writer

  January 07, 2012

  Pocono Summit — A fantastic fourth quarter was the final chapter in a good test
  for Pocono Mountain West's boys basketball team.

  The Panthers used a 13-0 run to start the fourth to open up a commanding lead
  that ended in a 65-52 victory over Pleasant Valley in Mountain Valley Conference
  action Friday night.

Pocono West (9-1, 4-0 MVC) had been dominating opponents all season, outscoring its foes by over 19 points per game, but through three quarters the Bears trailed by just two.

After West opened up an eight-point lead in the first quarter, PV responded with a 14-3 run to take a three-point edge after Sean Dekmar's 3-pointer with 2:01 left. The two teams traded the lead five times over the next eight minutes before West scored the half's final five points to take a seven-point lead into the locker room. The Panthers extended that lead to seven early in the third before the Bears (5-5, 2-1) battled back to tie the score at 45-45 on a layup by Devon Howard with 1:05 remaining in the third.

Entering the final eight minutes ahead by a basket, the Panthers put Pleasant Valley away with some tough defense and timely offense. The Bears turned the ball over eight times in the final quarter, while Quindell Brice scored eight of his game-high 19 points as West outscored PV 16-5 down the stretch.

"We started to breakdown more on defense," Brice said. "We have a lot of players on offense so we weren't really worried about that, but we started playing better defense and that's what got us some offense."

That defense was there throughout, but the offense was a little slow to catch up.

Pocono West forced 15 turnovers through the first three quarters, but struggled a bit with PV's 2-3 zone defense. The Panthers' D stayed tough in the fourth, forcing eight turnovers, but a pair of 3s by Eric Vick and Brice early loosened the zone a bit and enabled Ty Dixon to get to work inside. The Panthers' senior forward had five of his 16 points in the fourth, including two putback scores.

"Defensively we were just more aggressive," said Dixon, who finished eight rebounds. "They were more aggressive at first, but then we turned it and matched them and then got it that one notch higher to get the win."

It was a bit different than West's other wins this season.

Outside of a four-point victory over Allen on Dec. 14, the Panthers had won all their games by double digits. Pocono West had wins by margins of 29, 39, 46, 27 and 40 points.

"This game was good for us," Pocono West coach Brad Pensyl said. "Some people have these expectations and I'm not sure where they come from, but every game can't be a 30- or 40-point win. You've got to go out and work."

Especially against a Pleasant Valley team on the rise.

Nick Stanovick had 17 points, including five 3s, while backcourt mate Selwyn Wright had 12 points and four assists. Marquis Brown battled foul trouble to finish with eight points, including putbacks on back-to-back possessions in the third quarter.

"Pleasant Valley is a good basketball program," Pensyl said. "(PV coach) Kenny (Piontkowski) is a good coach and he's got a good team."

PM West 65, Pleasant Valley 52


Brown 4 0-0 8, Shivers 1 2-2 4, Howard 1 0-0 2, Wright 5 1-2 12, Dekmar 1 0-0 3, Getz 0 0-2 0, Gerolimatos 0 0-0 0, Jones 1 0-0 2, Helfrich 0 0-0 0, Stanovick 6 0-0 17, Neubert 0 0-0 0, Pazienza 0 0-0 0, Hosier 0 0-0 0, Guadagna 2 0-0 4. Totals — 21 3-6 52.

PM WEST (65)

Brice 6 5-7 19, Vick 2 1-2 6, Collins 5 2-2 12, Vines 0 0-0 0, Baptiste 0 0-0 0, T. Dixon 6 4-8 16, Wiggins 3 1-1 8, Hardy 0 0-0 0, Howard 0 0-0 0, D. Dixon 2 0-0 4. Totals — 24 13-20 65.

Pleasant Valley 17 12 18 5 ­— 52

PM West 18 18 13 16 — 65

3-point goals — PV 7 (Stanovick 5, Wright, Dekmar); PMW 4 (Brice 2, Vick, Wiggins). Rebounds — PV 27 (Wright 8); PMW 30 (T. Dixon 8). Assists — PV 11 (Wright 4); PMW 8 (Vick, T. Dixon 3). Steals — PV 4 (Wright 2); PMW 12 (Vick 4). Blocks — PV 2 (Wright 2); PMW 3 (Brice, T. Dixon, D. Dixon). Turnovers — PV 23; PMW 11.

Records — Pleasant Valley 5-5, 2-1 MVC; PM West 9-1, 4-0.

JV score — PMW, 58-29. 

West hits ten 3's in 78-38 win

POCONO SUMMIT — Eric Vick led all scorers with 15 points and Jon Amoroso had 12 as Pocono Mountain West cruised to a 78-38 win over East Stroudsburg North in Mountain Valley Conference boys basketball on Tuesday.

Jarrel Bobb led the Timberwolves with 14 points.

PM West 78, ES North 38


Bobb 6 2-2 14, Fort 4 1-2 11, Mack 2 1-2 5, Oritz 1 1-2 3, Mills 1 0-0 2, Anamege 1 0-0 2, Quiles 0 1-2 1, Bitik 0 0-0 0, Joseph 0 0-0 0, Knight 0 0-0 0, John 0 0-0 0. Totals — 15 6-10 38.

PM WEST (78)

Vick 4 4-4 15, Amoroso 5 2-2 12, Collins 3 1-2 10, Vines 3 1-2 7, Wiggins 3 0-0 7, Brice 3 0-0 7, T. Dixon 2 2-2 6, D. Dixon 2 0-0 5, Burton 1 0-0 3, Hardy 1 0-0 2, Fladger 1 0-1 2, Baptiste 1 0-0 2, Howard 0 0-0 0. Totals — 29 10-13 78.

ES North 7 12 3 16 ­— 38

PM West 21 27 23 7 — 78

3-point goals — ESN 2 (Fort 2); PMW 10 (Vick 3, Collins 3, Wiggins, Brice, D. Dixon, Burton).

Records — ES North 3-5, 1-2 MVC; PM West 8-1, 3-0.


 Pocono West rolls past Dieruff  
 Panthers win fifth straight Northampton tournament with a 68-41 rout.

 Barring a change of plan, this week was likely the last time Northampton 
 Area High School will host a holiday boys basketball tournament.

 And no one hates to see it go more than Pocono Mountain West coach Brad

 Ever since West opened its doors in 2002 and Pensyl took over as coach
 and athletic director, he has entered his team in the Northampton

 "I like [Northampton athletic director] Mike Schneider, I like the tournament,
 I like the treatment we get down here and I like playing teams from the
 Valley," Pensyl said Thursday night as he has said several times before.

But he also likes winning and Pensyl's team has done more than its share in the Northampton event.

The Panthers made it five Northampton tournament titles in a row Thursday night when the Mountain Valley Conference powerhouse wore down Dieruff for a 68-41 win in the championship game.

West's win came after Northampton held off Catasauqua 47-42 in the consolation game.

Pocono's Quindell Brice was named the tournament's most valuable player after scoring 24 points and dominating the game seemingly any time he felt like it.

Tyrell Dixon added six points and 15 rebounds and Jon Amoroso registered 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Panthers were never seriously threatened after scoring the game's first nine points.

While Pocono's offense and explosiveness around the basket is always evident, the Panthers impressed the most with their defense against Dieruff.

The Huskies struggled to run their offense and were just 14-for-42 from the field through the first three periods before nose diving even more in the fourth quarter.

"Our defense is getting better and was really good tonight because Dieruff is much improved," Pensyl said after his team moved to 7-1. "It was a weird game and we were a little sloppy on offense. It's hard during the break [from school] to keep the continuity going with the time off."

When the MVC schedule resumes next week, Pensyl said he's looking forward to playing some home games. After opening the season at home against Easton on Dec. 9, the Panthers have been road warriors for the last seven games.

No matter where they play, however, they're tough to contain with their speed and leaping ability.

"Outside of Emmaus, they handled us about as well as anyone has all season," Dieruff coach Steve Gabryluk said after watching his team give a valiant effort. "They're an elite team.

"We tried to slow them down as much as possible without taking away from our game, which is up-tempo. We battled, but what keeps you in games is foul shooting and this was our worst foul shooting night of the year."

Dieruff made just five of 17 attempts from the line, including six misses on seven tries in the fourth quarter when the game got totally away from the Huskies, who ran out of energy as well as players.

Rasean Jenkins' 19 points had kept Dieruff within striking distance for 21/2 quarters.

It was just 34-28 with 5:45 left in third period.

Pocono opened a 48-32 lead before the Huskies' Anthony Feliciano closed the third quarter with a 3-point shot launched from near halfcourt that banked in.

Dieruff, however, would score just six points in the final period.

"We lost the intensity we had on defense over the last half of the game," Gabryluk said. "For the most part, we are getting the intensity and effort out of the kids. We're just very young. We've been banged up with injuries and we had some disciplinary issues that kept two starters out of this tournament. With all of the changes, it's tough to get some consistency."

Jenkins finished with 21 points in earning a spot on the all-tournament team for the Huskies, who fell to 3-6 after playing their seventh game in 14 days.

He was joined on the all-tourney squad by his teammate Feliciano.

•Northampton had hoped to play in the finals of what is likely its final holiday tournament, but the K-Kids were upset by Dieruff, 70-61, on Wednesday night.

Northampton came out fired up against Catty in the consolation game and opened a 20-8 lead after the first period.

The K-Kids struggled over the rest of the game, however, and were fortunate to come away with their second win in eight games this season.

"A win's a win and with Pocono Mountain West in this tournament, we knew we were probably looking at going 1-1 in this tournament no matter what," said Kyle Huber, who earned an all-tournament slot after recording 16 points and eight rebounds.

"We still hope to turn our season around. We're not giving up yet. We've played some good teams real tough. Sometimes we play down to the competition. We have to play hard no matter what. A lot has to change and we need to get better."

Jake Bloszinsky led Catty (3-4) with 10 points and was named to the all-tourney squad.

The Roughies regrouped with a solid effort after being routed by Pocono West 80-37 on Wednesday.

West takes Xmas tourney opener

December 28, 2011

Northampton - The Panthers cruised past Catasaqua, 83-37, in the first round of the Northampton High School Annual Christmas Tournament. Seniors Quindell Brice and Tyrel Dixon both scored a game-high 18 points while Darren Dixon chipped in 8 points off the bench.

West will take on Dieruff, who was a winner over host Northampton, in the championship game tomorrow night at 7pm. The Panthers will be attempting to win their fifth straight Northampton Christmas Tournament championship.

Cougars come up short in home opener, 75-65 

In spurts.

The scrappy Cougars kept the visiting Panthers hustling right until the final buzzer, but just didn't sustain enough momentum and fell 75-65 in the locals' home opener.

"We competed for 32 minutes,'' Hazleton Area coach Mike Joseph said. "We made a lot of runs at them - we hung around... We just didn't play our best basketball... It was a matter of us making too many unforced errors... to make it even closer.''

Joseph's Cougars committed six turnovers in the first quarter alone, but the Panthers gave the ball away seven times in the quarter, and the teams went back and forth until Tyrel Dixon's layup off an inbound pass snapped an 8-all tie.

Pocono Mountain West never trailed again, playing yo-yo with their lead the rest of the night. The Panthers (5-1) built 14-point cushions in both the second and third quarters, but the Cougars nipped at the visitors' heels with an aggressive defense and the streaky shooting of guards Travis Buckner (22 points) and Sal Biasi (21).

Hazleton Area pulled within 16-13 at the end of the first quarter on Corey Joseph's three-pointer, but PM West responded with a 10-0 run to start the second period, thanks to four points apiece from John Amoroso and Dixon and another five Hazleton Area turnovers.

"They do things to get you out of synch,'' Mike Joseph said. "Again, it was a matter of us turning the ball over and creating easy (scoring) opportunities for them.''

Trailing 30-16, the Cougars (3-2) picked themselves up as Biasi sandwiched two of his five triples around Buckner's four points to get Hazleton Area within 33-25. But, the Panthers' Mike Collins swished a three-pointer that barely beat the halftime buzzer to reclaim his team's double-digit lead.

"That was a huge play because they had a little bit of momentum there,'' winning coach Brad Pensyl said. "We got fortunate in our set plays at the end of the quarter (because) we're not a real big three-point shooting team; we'd much rather take it to the rim. Of course, when you score, you look good. If you miss, you look dumb.''

"Basketball's a funny game,'' Mike Joseph agreed. "You go into the locker room down under 10 as opposed to going in down 11, that's a big thing.''

Eric Vick's foul-line jumper hiked the Panthers' lead to 44-29 three minutes into the third quarter, before Adam Hauze's putback, another Biasi triple and a Biasi layup recharged the Cougars' batteries. That is, until Dixon's four points and a Darren Dixon basket swung momentum back to the team in road blue uniforms.

Back came the Cougars as Buckner's four points and still another Biasi rainbow from beyond the arc got Hazleton Area within 50-44. Quindell Brice then made Pensyl look smart again by hitting another buzzer-beating triple that made it a nine-point game heading into the final period.

After Hazleton Area's Kyle Karmonick scored first basket of the fourth quarter, the Panthers went on a 9-2 run that effectively kept the Cougars running uphill until the final buzzer.

"It just seemed like we didn't make that second or third shot in a row to really get them reeling,'' Mike Joseph said. "I think we had them on the ropes a couple times. If we cut it to four or five, they might have had a little bit more nervousness in their shots down at their end and throw the ball around a little bit more.''

Not Wednesday.

Brice scored 23 points to lead a trio of Panthers in double figures. Tyrel Dixon flipped in 19 and Amoroso added 11. Collins chipped in nine points, including two of his team's three three-pointers.

Buckner and Biasi delivered a potent one-two punch for Hazleton Area with 22 and 21 points, respectively. Five of Biasi's eight field goals came from beyond the three-point arc. Buckner accounted for four of the Cougars' six made free throws.

"We talked at length in the preseason about getting to the foul line more this year than we did last year,'' Joseph said. "We have to do a better job at getting to the basket and getting to the free throw line. We made 40 in our first game. In our last four games, we haven't made 10 in any one game... We've got to be in the 20 in attempts and getting 15 to 16 points a game from the free throw line because then we put too much onus on making all those jump shots.''

Pocono Mountain West won the junior varsity game 58-52. Anthony Hernandez and Kurtis Wright led Hazleton Area with 14 points apiece.

The Cougars will be in action on Friday with a home non-league game against Pennsbury.


Brice 9 4-5 23, Vick 3 0-2 6, Amoroso 5 1-4 11, Collins 3 1-2 9, Vines 0 0-0 0, T. Dixon 6 7-11 19, Wiggins 0 0-0 0, D. Dixon 3 1-2 7. Totals 29 14-26 75.


Plaksa 3 0-0 6, Biasi 8 0-0 21, Joseph 2 0-0 6, Hernandez 0 0-0 0, Pataki 0 0-0 0, Vito 1 0-0 2, Wright 0 0-0 0, Hauze 1 0-0 2, Gil 0 0-0 0, Buckner 9 4-8 22, Karmonick 2 2-2 6. Totals 26 6-10 65.

PMWHS....... 16 20 17 22 - 75

HAHS...... 13 12 19 21 - 65

3-FG: Brice, Collins 2, Biasi 5, Joseph 2.


PM West 67, ES South 28 

East Stroudsburg — Tyrel Dixon netted 16 points and pulled down 10 boards, Quindell Brice chipped in with 12, Mike Collins added 8 and Darren Dixon came off the bench with 6 points and 3 steals as Pocono Mountain West defeated East Stroudsburg South 67-28 in MVC play on Tuesday.

The win pushes the Panthers' record to 4-1 (2-0 MVC) with a non-league game against Hazleton on Wednesday before they head into break.

PM West 67, ES South 28

PM WEST (67)

T. Dixon 8 0-0 16, Brice 5 1-3 12, Collins 3 0-0 8, D. Dixon 3 0-2 6, Baptiste 1 4-6 6, Amoroso 2 1-3 5, Vines 1 2-4 4, Wiggins 2 0-1 4, Vick 1 0-0 3, Fladger 1 0-0 2, Howard 0 1-2 1, Burton 0 0-0 0. Totals — 27 9-21 67.


Simmons 3 5-9 11, Mercer 2 0-0 5, Sprouse 2 0-0 4, Amoakohene 0 3-4 3, Clarke 1 0-0 2, Wickham 1 0-0 2, Howell 0 1-2 1, Quick 0 0-0 0, Mercado 0 0-0 0, Franklin 0 0-0 0, Allah 0 0-0 0, Bird 0 0-0 0. Totals — 9 9-15 28.

PM West 19 13 23 12 ­— 67

ES South 8 4 10 6 — 28

3-point goals — PMW 4 (Collins 2, Brice, Vick); ESS 1 (Mercer). JV score — ESS, 58-44.


West cruises past Mounties in MVC opener 

Stroudsburg - Quindell Brice led all scorers with 24 points, while Tyrel Dixon and Sophomore Joe Wiggins each added 12 as Pocono Mountain West cruised by Stroudsburg, 73-46, in MVC action on Friday night.

PM West 73, Stroudsburg 46

PM WEST (73)

Brice 8 5-9 24, Dixon 3 6-6 12, Wiggins 5 2-3 12, Amoroso 4 0-1 8, Collins 2 2-2 6, Vines 2 0-0 4, Burton 1 1-2 3, Baptiste 1 0-0 2, Vick 1 0-0 2. Totals — 27 16-23 73.


Clowney 3 3-5 10, Battle 4 0-1 10, Northern 3 2-2 8, Bradshaw 2 1-4 5, Watson 2 0-0 4, Brandt 1 0-0 3, Kaiser 1 0-0 3, Cayo 1 0-0 3. Totals — 15 6-12 46.

PM West 19 23 19 12 ­— 73

Stroudsburg 16 5 15 10 — 46

3-point goals — PMW 3 (Brice 3); S 6 (Battle 2, Clowney, Brandt, Kaiser, Cayo).

Records — Stroudsburg 0-3, 0-1 MVC. West 3-1, 1-0 MVC.


 When they last met in March in the District 11 4A semis, the Allen and 
 Pocono Mountain West boys basketball teams were loaded with star
 power — Jalen Cannon and Daquan Holiday among the big names for the
 Canaries, and Tynell Fortune and Keon Scott among the standouts for
 the Panthers.

 When the two squads battled Wednesday night at Allen's Sewards Gym,
 a star was born for PM West — or, at least, resurfaced.

 Senior Quindell Brice, who missed a large chunk of last season with a
 bulging disc in his back, scored 25 points, including two free throws with
 9.4 seconds left, to seal the Panthers' entertaining 68-64 non-league win
 over the Canaries.

 The loss dropped Allen, the defending district champs, to 0-2 on the
 young season with games against Emmaus and Central Catholic

 PM West, which lost to the Canaries 59-49 in last season's 4A semis,
 improved to 2-1 and Brad Pensyl's team already owns wins over two of
 the LVC's marquee programs. The Panthers opened the season by
 beating Easton.

"We like playing Allen and we like playing a tough independent schedule," Pensyl said. "We've already played three good teams and we've got Blair Academy and Plainfield (N.J.) still to come. We have to play a schedule like if we want to compete come late February and early March. If we don't do it, we're not going to be ready."

PM West seemed ready to compete with a lot of quality teams with Brice, Tyrel Dixon and Jon Amoroso running the floor and forcing the tempo.

Those three combined for 50 of the Panthers' points, and Brice and Dixon also combined for 16 rebounds for four assists.

"Having Quindell back is huge for us," Pensyl said. "I feel so good for him because this is the first time he's had the chance to play at the beginning of the season. He was never 100 percent last year even though he came back late. He was sent to every doctor known to mankind last year and had every body part checked. He couldn't even run up and down the floor last year."

Brice ran up and down the floor and past Allen several times for key baskets and rebounds.

The Canaries shot the ball well, making 27 of 51 attempts from the field.

The problem was that they didn't shoot enough, thanks to 29 turnovers — eight in the fourth quarter when they actually took a brief lead at 56-54 on a D.J. Brown layup with five minutes left.

Dixon answered with back-to-back 3-pointers at the other end and Allen had to fight an uphill battle the rest of the way.

Down 66-64, the Canaries got the ball back off a Panthers turnover with 24.6 seconds left.

However, typical of the kind of night it was for Allen, a bad pass along the sideline gave it right back to the visitors from Monroe County.

With Allen forced to foul, Brice calmly went to the line and swished the two free throws that secured a big early-season win for his team.

"It feels good to be back out there; I feel better than ever now," Brice said. "The intensity of our team is good. If we come out with the same intensity every night, we should be good."

Allen coach Doug Snyder said Brice, a 6-foot-4 swingman, was more than good.

"Brice is a great player. … he went 9-for-9 at the line. … took care of the ball," Snyder said. "He scored when he had to and he showed leadership when he had to. But the bottom line is we had too many turnovers, including crucial ones down the stretch. We need to do a much better job of handling the basketball. We're just not a good passing team right now."

In going 23-5 last season, Allen was known for dumping the ball inside to Cannon and allowing him either to get to the glass or the foul line.

But the Canaries, who were led by Brown's 17 points and 10 rebounds, had just eight attempts at the line against PM West, an indication that Snyder's team is settling for outside shots.

"We only had four free throws when we lost to Easton on Saturday and only eight tonight, so that's another cause for concern," Snyder said. "We have a lot of things to work on, but that's not unexpected."

Snyder, like Pensyl, said he enjoys the non-league relationship between the two programs.

"We always have down-to-the-wire games with them," Snyder said. "West is aggressive and quick and really challenged our kids, which is good for us. We're playing a brutal early-season schedule with a young, inexperienced team. We've just got to minimize the turnovers and give ourselves a chance."


Brice 8-15 9-9 25, Vick 2-8 0-0 5, Amoroso 5-11 0-1 10, T. Dixon 6-14 0-0 15, Collins 1-6 2-3 4, Wiggins 4-5 0-0 9, Vines 0-0 0-0 0, D. Dixon 0-0 0-0 0, Hardy 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-59 11-13 68.

ALLEN (64)

Ward 2-4 0-0 5, Ayers 3-7 0-0 9, Dorris 4-7 2-2 10, Fletcher 5-6 0-0 10, Brown 7-13 3-6 17, Rockmore 2-4 0-0 5, Guilmet 2-3 0-0 4, Barnett 1-4 0-0 2, Gonzalez 1-2 0-0 2, Davis 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-51 5-8 64.

PM West 18 – 21 –13 – 16 – 68

Allen 17—14 –18 –15 – 64

Officials: Jack Baum, Kevin Boylan.

JV: Allen 71-59.

3-point shooting: PM West (5-11): T. Dixon 3, Wiggins, Vick. Allen (5-11): Ayers 3, Rockmore, Ward.

Assists: PM West 6 (Brice 2, T. Dixon 2). Allen: 14 (Barnett 5).

Rebounds: PM West 25 (Brice, T. Dixon 8 apiece). Allen: 37 (Brown 10).


Top-ranked Scranton avenges loss with convincing win over
Pocono Mountain West

And while this is still the preseason, the top-ranked Knights played with added motivation and increased intensity.

Pushing the pace in the second half, Scranton pulled away from the Panthers, 77-52, Saturday to start the season
with back-to-back victories.

"That loss last year, it was a loss that got us ready to play this game," said Malik 
Draper, citing last year's 71-49 defeat in an otherwise sparkling 23-3 season.

Once again, Scranton's ability to knock down 3-point shots proved to be the difference. Hours after blistering Holy Redeemer for 10 goals from beyond the arc, the Knights drilled eight more against Pocono Mountain West.

Also like the night before, Draper led the way with three, giving him seven in the early season. Scranton also displayed its full arsenal as five other players hit 3-pointers.

Early on, though, the ebb and flow of the game dictated a more focused approach. Both teams were determined and were physical with players diving on the floor after loose balls and muscling inside for rebounds.

In the second quarter, both Draper and Terry Turner went to the bench with two fouls and the pace slowed considerably as Scranton hung on to a 29-28 lead with Andrew Moran scoring seven points.

Sparked by Karlon Quiller's defense and quick moves to the basket in the third, the Knights began to make their surge. Draper chipped in with eight points and Scranton seized a 48-40 lead.

All of Scranton's weapons made contributions in the final push. Turner, who finished with 10 rebounds, tied Chris McCabe for first on the program's all-time list with 513 and scored eight of his 17 points during a 25-7 run.

"Once we got into a flow of the game we knew what we had to do execution-wise and defensively," said Turner, who totaled 17 points and moved to within 151 of Lamar Johnson's school record of 1,572 on the all-time career scoring list.

In addition to Turner, Draper had six points, Quiller had four points and four assists, D.J. Navoczynski came off the bench to hit for five points and Corey White scored four of his seven as the Knights finished with a 29-point fourth quarter.

"I think we brought more intensity in the second half," Turner said. "We knew they were bringing a lot of intensity, so we wanted to first match that and go beyond."

Ty Dixon scored 14 points and Quindell Brice added 12 to lead Pocono Mountain West (1-1).

Contact the writer:

Pocono Mountain West (1-1) - T.Dixon 6-15 2-5 14, Brice 6-8 0-0 12, Amoroso 4-8 0-2 8, Vick 2-8 1-2 6, Collins 2-5 0-0 5, Wiggins 2-8 0-0 4, Vines 1-3 0-1 2, Burton 0-0 1-2 1, Baptiste 0-0 0-0 0, D.Dixon 0-0 0-0 0, Hardy 0-3 0-0 0. Totals: 23-58 4-12 52.

Scranton (2-0) - M.Draper 7-14 2-3 19, T. Turner 6-13 4-6 17, K. Quiller 6-14 1-1 14, A. Moran 3-11 4-4 11, C. White 1-2 4-4 7, D. Navoczynski 1-2 2-2 5, Jo. McCarthy 2-2 0-0 4, E. McCabe 0-0 0-0 0, A. Adams 0-1 0-0 0, Ja. McCarthy 0-0 0-0 0, A. Loring 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 26 17-20 77.

Pocono Mountain West 10 18 12 12 - 52

Scranton 18 11 19 29 - 77


POCONO SUMMIT — Quindell Brice scored a game-high 18 points to lead Pocono Mountain West to a 56-46 victory over Easton in the boys basketball season opener Friday.

Mike Collins added 14 points, while Eric Vick and Tyrel Dixon each had seven for the Panthers.

PM West 56, Easton 46


Walsh 6 2-4 14, Queen 4 1-2 10, Holley 3 2-2 10, Hightower 3 1-2 7, Gaines 2 0-1 4, Oakley 0 1-2 1, Batista 0 0-0 0, Jenkins 0 0-0 0, Jackson 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0. Totals — 18 7-13 46.

PM WEST (56)

Brice 7 4-7 18, Collins 6 1-2 14, T. Dixon 3 1-4 7, Vick 2 2-5 7, Wiggins 2 0-0 6, Vines 1 0-0 2, Amoroso 1 0-0 2, Hardy 0 0-0 0, D. Dixon 0 0-0 0. Totals — 22 8-18 56.

Easton 17 8 5 16 ­— 46

PM West 17 11 11 17 — 56

3-point goals — E 3 (Holley 2, Queen); PMW 4 (Wiggins 2, Vick, Collins).

Records — Easton 0-1; PM West 1-0.


When it comes to Mountain Valley Conference boys basketball, it has all been about the power of Poconos in recent years.

Pocono Mountain East and Pocono Mountain West have been the two dominant programs, meeting for the league title in each of the past two seasons.

Although both programs lost a considerable amount of talent from teams that were a combined 38-15 last season, both teams should remain among the MVC's elite again this winter.

Pleasant Valley and Stroudsburg also return a considerable amount of talent and figure to be in contention under veteran coaches Ken Piontkowski and Shawn Thornton.

Former Stroudsburg star Rich Baker is in his second season at East Stroudsburg South and figures to have more success in his sophomore season in charge.

Lehighton has struggled in the MVC for many years, but the Indians have a new coach in Rich Oertner, a former Northern Lehigh coach who brings a championship pedigree.

The Indians will not contend for a championship but figure to be much more competitive.

It also adds up to an interesting season that begins its schedule Dec. 16 and concludes Feb. 10 with the league tournament slated for Feb.15 and 17.

Based on the comments of the coaches, here's one forecast on how it will turn out:

Pocono Mountain West, 2. Pocono Mountain East, 3. Stroudsburg, 4. Pleasant Valley, 5. East Stroudsburg South, 6. East Stroudsburg North, 7. Lehighton. Champ: Pocono West.

Here's a capsule look at the seven MVC programs as well as three of the area's independent teams — Pius X, Moravian Academy and the Lincoln Leadership Charter School.


•Coach: Rich Baker (second season).

•Last year: 5-16, 3-9 MVC.

•Key losses: Kyle Peck, John Caldera.

•Returnees: G Kwame Simmons (6-1, sr.); G Kashawn McLaughlin (6-1,sr.); F Andrew Franklin (6-3, sr.); G Max Mercado (5-11, sr.); G Dominique Quick (6-1, jr.) F Khalik Wickham (6-4, jr.);

•Newcomer: G Olesby Mercer (6-0, frosh).

•Outlook: Baker looks to make vast strides with the Cavaliers in his second season. "We're definitely looking to improve with the returning guys we have," he said. "With another year behind us, the guys better understand the expectations we have for this program. We lost a lot of close games. We couldn't finish games and that's where we need to improve." Baker is promising a team that will get up and down the floor quickly. "We will push the ball as much as possible on offense and use pressure as much as we can on defense to force turnovers. Rebounding is going to be a big key."


•Coach: Kevin Kennedy (eighth season, 71-97).

•Last year: 9-13, 3-9 MVC.

•Key losses: Kwamaine Blake, Davon Frazier.

•Key returnees: F Jarrel Bobb (6-0, sr.); G Jamal Fort (5-9, sr.); G Michael Knight (6-0, sr.); G Kyle Mills (5-10, sr.); G Josh Ortiz (6-0, sr.).

•Newcomers: F Julian Anamege (6-1, sr.); G Shaimell Byrd (5-7, soph); G Will Quiles (5-7, soph); G Malique John (5-10, soph); F Daquan Mack (6-3, jr.).

•Outlook: Kennedy said his team has quickness and works together well. Rebounding is a concern. The Timberwolves expect to contend in both the league and for a District 11 playoff berth.


•Coach: Rich Oertner (first season, 161-99 in 10 seasons at Northern Lehigh from 2000-2010).

•Last year: 1-21, 0-12 MVC.

• Key losses: DJ Rossino (tore ACL), Cordell Evans, Joshua Evans.

•Returnees: G Nate Kresge (5-7 sr.) 5.0 ppg ; C Alex Guyn (6-4, sr.).

•Newcomers: G/F Jacen Nalesnik (6-1, jr.); G/F Monti Thompsn (6-0, jr.); F Vince Mele (6-3, soph); G Anthony Rossino (5-8, soph); G James Farano (6-1, soph); G Jordan Knappenberger (6-1,frosh); G Tyler Crum (6-0, frosh).

•Outlook: Oertner inherits a program that has won just two games in the last three seasons and hasn't won a league game in several years. "It's definitely a rebuilding process, but the kids are gaining confidence during the scrimmages," he said. "We're already seeing a lot of improvement. We just have to keep moving forward. We share a lot of athletes here at Lehighton and some of these kids are coming from other sports and getting on the same page." The Indians will win some games this year, but it will take until next year until the team can contend for a district spot.


•Coach: Ken Piontkowski (17th season, 196-205).

•Last year: 11-13, 6-6 MVC.

•Postseason: Lost to Pocono Mountain 65-58 in MVC semis. Lost to Bangor 37-35 in the District 11 4A tournament.

•Key losses: Mike Sharpe, Eric Wild, Richie Irving, Tevin Franklin.

•Returnees: G Nick Stanovick (6-1, sr.); F Selwyn Wright (6-1, sr.); F/C John Guadagna (6-2, sr.); C Marquis Brown (6-5, soph).

•Newcomers: F Tom Gerolimatos (6-3, sr.); F Sean Dekmar (6-1, sr.); G Dre Shivers (5-7, sr.); F Devon Howard (6-1, jr.).

•Outlook: Piontkowski said the Bears are more athletic at every position than they have been in recent years and have a true big man in Marquis Brown. Newcomer Dre Shivers has shown signs of being an exciting point guard, which wouds free up Nick Stanovick to concentrate less on running the offense and more on scoring. He added that the Bears must learn to play as a team and get away from too much one-on-one. Look for this team to be no worse than .500.


Coach: Patrick Heaton (fifth season 78-28).

•Last year: 17-9, 11-1 MVC.

•Postseason: Beat Stroudsburg 59-52, lost to Pocono Mt. West 56-54 in MVC tournament. Beat Emmaus (53-49), lost to Pocono Mt. West (56-53) in District 11 4A tournament.

•Key losses: Emerson Bursis, Justen Escobar, Dylan Grotevant, Lamont Tillery, Parker Munson, Tim Pacheco, Miz Ruiz, Kamall Richards (transferred).

•Returnees: G David Garcia (6-3, sr.).

•Newcomers: G Kole Harris (5-8, sr.); G Pat Gleason (6-0, sr.); F Jok Asiyo (6-3, sr.); F Kevin Stapler (6-0, sr.); F Dave Maloney (6-1, sr.); G Kevin Wheeler (5-10, sr.); G Steve Yarosh (5-10, sr.); F Steven Randazzo (6-0, jr.); G Kyle Harris (6-0, jr.); G Keith Clark (5-9, jr.); F Ryan Sickler 6-5, sr.).

•Outlook: Heaton said his team possesses strong senior leadership and athletic ability. Six team members were either first or second-team all-stars in other sports. All 12 members have been in the Cardinals program since seventh grade. The team lacks proven scoring and decision-making; team defense and rebounding will be more important this season. Expect the Cardinals to come back to the pack a little, but the team should still remain in the league's upper echelon and qualify for districts.


•Coach: Brad Pensyl (10th season at West, 180-55;, 23rd year overall, 404-172.

•Last year's record: 21-6, 11-1 MVC.

•Postseason: Beat Pleasant Valley 65-58 in MVC semis, Pocono Mt. East 56-54 in MVC finals. Beat Pocono East 56-53, but lost to Allen 59-49 and Pottsville 59-53 in District 11 tournament.

•Key losses: Kevin Anema, Jake Boyle, Tynell Fortune 20 ppg, Keon Scott.

•Returnees: F Jon Amoroso (sr.); F Quindell Brice (sr.); G Mike Collins (sr.); F Ty Dixon (sr.); G Erick Vick (jr.); F Dwayne Vines (sr.).

•Newcomers:G Malachi Howard (6-0, soph); G Joe Wiggins (5-9, soph); G Jordan Hardy (6-0, soph); F Leon Baptiste (6-3, jr.); G Darren Dixon (5-10, jr.).

•Outlook: The Panthers will miss Fortune, who did it all for Pensyl's team a year ago. But based on what they did in the summertime, West will still be formidable and will contend for league and district titles. Pensyl said his guys work extremely hard and are physical and fast. The Panthers need to work on offensive execution in the halfcourt. They will be tested with a tough nonleague schedule that includes Easton in the season opener and Allen on Wednesday. "This team will have to be very focused and realize that they don't get any nights off."


•Coach: Shawn Thornton (20th season, 273-211.

•Last year:11-13, 8-4 MVC. Lost to Pocono Mountain East 59-52 in MVC semis. Lost to Nazareth 62-41 in the District 11 4A tournament.

•Key losses: Kai Ahmad, Tommy Fabian, Brandon Fenner, Stephen Poorman, Isiah Taylor, Gavin Williams.

•Returnees: G Timmy Kaiser (sr.); G Langston Northern (sr.); C Sebastian Joseph (jr.); F Kyle Watson (soph).

•Newcomers: G Ryan Clouse (sr.); F Tyrell Bradshaw (sr.); F Winston Walker (sr.); G Quay Rogers (sr.); G David Clowney (jr.); F Skyler Brandt (jr.); F Justen Fenn (jr.); G Jacob Battle (soph).

•Outlook: The Mountaineers are expected to contend for the league title and Thornton is pleased with his team's commitment and willingness to work. Minimizing turnovers will be a top priority. Thornton said if the team learns and players settle into their roles, the Mounties will get better as the season goes along and have a successful season.
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