Tradition Doesn't Graduate

2012-13 News

Pocono Mountain West earned the top seed in the boys and girls District 11 Class AAAA basketball playoffs.

The Panthers, who won their third straight Mountain Valley Conference title and sixth since 2005, will meet the winner of No. 8 Whitehall-No. 9 Stroudsburg, which play at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, in the quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. at Pleasant Valley on Saturday in the boys tournament.

On the girls side, the MVC champion Panthers will play either No. 8 Northampton or No. 9 Stroudsburg (that game is at 7 p.m. on Tuesday) in the quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. at Pleasant Valley on Friday.

In other boys matchups at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, No. 10 Pleasant Valley plays at seventh-seeded Emmaus and No. 11 East Stroudsburg South is at sixth-seeded Parkland.

In other girls games on Saturday, fifth-seeded ES South plays No. 4 Bangor at 6 p.m. at Pleasant Valley and sixth-seeded Pleasant Valley plays No. 3 Parkland at a site and time to be determined.




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  SWIFTWATER — Pocono Mountain West overachieved its way to another
  Mountain Valley Conference title.

  Eric Vick scored a game-high 22 points and hit eight free throws in the fourth
  quarter to lift the top-seeded Panthers to a 50-45 victory over No. 3 Pleasant
  Valley in the championship game of the MVC boys basketball playoffs at Pocono
  Mountain East on Friday.

  It was a third straight title for the Panthers (20-4), a feat some may not have
  expected at the beginning of the season.With four starters and several key
  bench players gone from last year's District 11 Class AAAA title team, Pocono
  West returned just two players with any substantial varsity playing experience.
  Veteran coach Brad Pensyl thought he'd still have a good team that could make
  the postseason, but he didn't expect another championship performance.

 

"I've been in coaching for 30 years, but I've never had a group of kids overachieve like this one," said Pensyl, who has guided West to six conference titles since 2005. "It's a weird word for people to hear about West basketball because so much is expected of us, but what these kids have done with what we had coming back is absolutely fantastic."

Vick was the lone starter back and came up big when the Bears (13-11) battled back.

PM West built a 10-point lead after Vick knocked down a pair of free throws with 5:14 left in the second quarter, but Pleasant Valley (13-11) got to within two when Devon Howard capped a 12-4 run with a layup with 1:37 to play.

"The kids didn't give up," Pleasant Valley coach Ken Piontkowski said. "I was proud of them for that. They had us on the ropes there, but at least we made them sweat it out a little. We just couldn't make the final one or two plays."

Vick didn't give the Bears a chance, hitting a runner to push West's lead back to four before hitting 3-of-4 free throws over the final 23 seconds.

"Free throws are what it usually comes down to," Vick said. "It was a close game that came down to free throws and I had to knock them down."

The Bears stayed right with West throughout the first 20 minutes, which came as no surprise to the Panthers.

Pleasant Valley gave PM West all it could handle two weeks ago, falling 67-60 in Pocono Summit. The Panthers led by as much as seven in the first quarter and five in the third before Sekou Jones' steal and layup made it 27-26 with 4:49 to go in the third.

"Those are tough kids, those PV kids," Pensyl said. "People think that teams are just going to give us a championship, but they played hard and we knew we were in for a dog fight."

Vick's steal and layup put West up seven with eight minutes to play and the Panthers twice led by 10 in the fourth only to see the Bears make one final push.

Saddled with four fouls, Howard hit a 3, scored on a putback and converted in close to trim West's lead to two.

That's as close as PV got though as the Panthers, an inexperienced team at the start of the season, rushed the court to celebrate another championship as the horn sounded.

"Nobody expected this, but look at us now," Vick said.

MVC boys championship

No. 1 PM West 50, No. 3 Pleasant Valley 45

PLEASANT VALLEY (45)

Brown 4 2-4 10, Howard 7 1-2 18, Sharpe 0 2-2 2, Hrbek 2 0-0 4, Jones 2 1-2 5, Hosier 1 0-2 2, Deegan 1 0-0 2, Pazienza 1 0-0 2, Robinson 0 0-0 0. Totals — 18 7-12 45.

PM WEST (50)

Dixon 2 3-4 7, Vick 6 10-14 22, Wiggins 1 1-2 3, Baptiste 0 2-2 2, Hardy 4 1-2 9, Cooper 3 0-0 7. Totals — 16 17-24 50.

Pleasant Valley 7 13 7 18 — 45

PM West 12 9 13 16 — 50

3-point goals — PV 3 (Howard 3); PMW 1 (Cooper). Rebounds — PV 34 (Jones 7); PMW 28 (Hardy 6). Assists — PV 7 (Sharpe 3); PMW 7 (Vick 5). Steals — PV 6 (Brown, Jones 2); PMW 5 (Dixon, Vick, Wiggins, Baptiste, Cooper). Blocks — PV 3 (Hrbek, Jones, Pazienza); PMW 1 (Cooper). Turnovers — PV 15; PMW 16.

Records — Pleasant Valley 13-11; PM West 20-4.

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Eric Vick voted MVP, Joe Wiggins first-team, Darren Dixon second-team


  For the third year in a row a Panther was chosen by the Mountain Valley
  Conference coaches as the league's most valuable player. This year it was senior  Eric
  VIck. The point guard joins former West greats Quindell Brice (2012), Tynell Fortune (2011), Jon
  Mangual (2008 & 2007) & Jovan Smalls (2003) in the exclusive club. West has had 6 MVPs in its first
  11 years of existence.
    
  Junior slasher Joe Wiggins (15ppg) was also voted onto the first-team with Vick, while senior Darren
  Dixon was recognized for his "do whatever is needed" attitude and voted onto the second-team.
 
  West has now had 33 players recognized on the MVC all-league team in just the last 11 years.

  FIRST TEAM

  Jacob Battle, 5-11 Junior, Stroudsburg

  Marquis Brown, 6-4 Junior, Pleasant Valley

  O'Neil Holder, 6-3 Junior, ES South

Joe Wiggins, 5-9 Junior, PM West

Eric Vick, 5-8 Senior, PM West

SECOND TEAM

Kingsley Amoakohene, 5-7 Senior, ES South

David Clowney, 6-0 Senior, Stroudsburg

Darren Dixon, 5-10 Senior, PM West

Devon Howard, 6-1 Senior, Pleasant Valley

Anthony Rossino, 5-9 Junior, Lehighton

HONORABLE MENTION

Isaiah Battle, 6-2 Junior, ES North

Tyler Crum, 6-0 Sophomore, Lehighton

Will Quiles, 5-9 Junior, ES North

Jacob Steckel, 6-2 Sophomore, PM East

Khalil Wickham, 6-2 Senior, ES South

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One Pocono Mountain West team will try to continue its dominance of the Mountain Valley Conference, while another will face a familiar foe that has broken the Panthers' hearts the past two years.

For the third straight year, the top-seeded Panthers meet No. 3 Pleasant Valley in the final of the girls basketball playoffs at 6 p.m. In the second game at 8 p.m., the No. 1 Panthers will go for a third straight MVC title and sixth since 2005 when they meet third-seeded Pleasant Valley in the title game of the boys playoffs. Both games are Pocono Mountain East.

For Stacy Perryman's Panthers (20-3), this is the fifth straight time they've made the MVC girls final. Pocono West beat Pocono Mountain East in 2009 when the conference first started deciding basketball champions with a tournament. The Panthers fell to East Stroudsburg South in 2010, but the biggest disappointments came the past two years.

Pleasant Valley (16-7) won the past two championships, knocking off West in overtime each year. The Panthers were also the top seed each year.

"When you've been beaten twice in consecutive years in overtime it hurts," Perryman said. "(The seniors) don't get another chance like some of the others girls will. There is some pressure on their shoulders, but I fully trust them. They've been developing since their freshman year and it's their turn to put it all together."

PM West won both regular-season meetings with the Bears on its way to a perfect conference record. PV did lead at halftime of the second game before the Panthers rallied to win by 11.

"The regular season means nothing because all in all whoever wins (tonight) takes the trophy," Perryman said. "We're hopefully going to give them our best game."

The Pocono West boys are back in the title game for a fourth straight year despite losing four starters and several key bench players from last year's MVC and District 11 Class AAAA championship team.

The Panthers (19-4) also were perfect in conference play, earning a 17-point and seven-point victory over the Bears (12-11) even though guards Eric Vick, the conference MVP this season, and Joe Wiggins were the only players returning with much varsity experience.

"I'm real proud of these kids," PM West coach Brad Pensyl said. "With this group I certainly didn't expect us to do this well and be in the championship game. We're looking forward to it."

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POCONO SUMMIT — Pleasant Valley started out strong and then hung on for dear life.

Devon Howard made two free throws with 36 seconds left after the third-seeded Bears watched a 17-point lead disappear before pulling out a 47-45 victory over No. 2 Stroudsburg in the semifinals of the Mountain Valley Conference boys basketball playoffs at Pocono Mountain West on Wednesday.

The Bears (13-10) will meet two-time defending MVC champion Pocono West, a 56-44 winner over fourth-seeded East Stroudsburg South, in the conference championship game at 8 p.m. at Pocono Mountain East on Friday.

Pleasant Valley looked like a sure bet to be there after controlling the game's first 20 minutes.

The Bears jumped out to a 15-4 lead after one, thanks to tough defense that held Stroudsburg (12-11) to 2-for-10 from the floor while forcing eight turnovers.

Pleasant Valley expanded the lead to 29-15 by the half and after Dan Hrbek's 3-pointer led by 17 with 5:26 to go in the third. That didn't totally ease Pleasant Valley Ken Piontkowski's mind though.

"I was happy with the lead, but against a team like Stroudsburg that shoot the ball really well I know a 14-point lead in high school basketball (isn't enough)," Piontkowski said. "I thought it could have been 18 or 20 and then I could have felt a little better, but we needed every single one of those points."

The Bears sure did.

Stroudsburg cut the deficit to eight by the end of the third quarter and with 1:37 left in the fourth, Jacob Battle hit a 3 to make it 45-40. Helping the Mounties' case was PV's woes from the free throw line, where the Bears missed 11 straight at one point.

"I think it just kind of snowballed eventually," Piontkowski said. "We missed a couple and maybe we got a little frustrated."

Stroudsburg finally came all the way back when Battle drained a 3 followed by a runner in the lane to tie it at 45-45 with 53 seconds to go.

On PV's next possession, Howard drove to the basket, was fouled on the way and stepped up to the line with a chance to reverse his team's fortunes at the stripe. He did just that, swishing both to give the Bears a two-point edge.

"We had Stroudsburg in the beginning, but they're a good team and good teams come back," said Howard, who finished with a team-high 12 points. "But it's natural, I've hit free throws before in big games. We hit some and missed some (but hit the ones that mattered)."

Howard missed two that could have iced the game, and Battle, who led all scorers with 26 points, had a good look at a 3, but it came up short. The junior got his own rebound, but his jumper from the baseline was off and PV could exhale.

"I figured that one was going in," Piontkowski said. "He had a pretty good look and you could kind of see it coming. Luckily, I heard the buzzer sound and I was just drained."


In the second game, ES South gave Pocono West another battle before the Panthers pulled away late.

The Cavs (11-12), who lost both regular-season meetings with the Panthers by three, built a 13-6 lead early on. West rallied over the final 2:40 to tie the score at 15-15 through eight minutes.

The second quarter was a bit different as West (19-4) tightened down on a defense to take a 27-21 lead into the half.

"I thought in the first quarter we didn't play very well defensively," PM West coach Brad Pensyl said. "We were solid after that."

The Cavs pulled even twice in the third quarter, but West scored the final seven points to lead by nine with eight minutes to play.

O'Neil Holder, who led South with 16 points, kept the Cavs in with a pair of 3s, but the Panthers scored 10 straight over 2:13 to pull away. Eric Vick scored nine of his game-high 22 in the fourth, while Joe Wiggins added 17 for West.

"(South) sits in that zone, but we were able to make them come out and play man-to-man (defense) and once we did that I felt pretty good," Pensyl said. "With our guards and the way they can penetrate and the way we shoot foul shots, although we didn't shoot them particularly well, we made them when we had to."

No. 3 Pleasant Valley 47, No. 2 ES South 45

PLEASANT VALLEY (47)

Brown 4 1-11 9, Howard 4 3-6 12, Sharpe 2 0-0 7, Hrbek 3 2-4 9, Jones 0 2-4 2, Deegan 2 0-0 4, Hosier1 2-4 4, Neubert 0 0-0 0. Totals — 17 10-29 47.

STROUDSBURG (45)

Cayo 2 0-2 5, Brandt 0 0-2 0, Clowney 3 3-5 9, Battle 9 4-6 26, Cuevas 0 0-0 0, Fenn 0 0-0 0, Bragg 0 0-0 0, Clay 1 2-3 4, Lopez 0 1-2 1. Totals — 15 10-20 45.

Pleasant Valley 15 14 10 8 — 47

Stroudsburg 4 11 16 14 — 45

3-point goals — PV 3 (Howard, Sharpe, Hrbek); S 5 (Battle 4, Cayo). Rebounds — PV 34 (Brown 11); S 26 (Clay 6). Assists — PV 14 (Howard, Hrbek 4); S 5 (Clowney 3). Steals — PV 8 (Brown, Howard 2); S 10 (Battle 5). Blocks — PV 0; S 1 (Clay). Turnovers — PV 18; S 16.

Records — Pleasant Valley 13-10; Stroudsburg 12-11.

No. 1 PM West 56, No. 4 ES South 44

ES SOUTH (44)

Holder 5 1-2 16, Amoakohene 1 0-0 2, Wickham 5 0-2 10, Quick 2 0-0 4, Delesline 0 0-0 0, Kelly 0 0-0 0, Bird 3 0-0 6, Scott 2 2-4 6, Allah 0 0-0 0. Totals — 18 3-8 44.

PM WEST (56)

Dixon 2 2-2 6, Vick 6 7-12 22, Wiggins 7 3-3 17, Baptiste 2 1-6 5, Hardy 0 2-2 2, Cooper 2 0-1 4, Howard 0 0-0 0, Miles 0 0-0 0, Diaz 0 0-0 0, Edwards 0 0-0 0. Totals — 19 15-26 56.

ES South 15 6 13 10 — 44

PM West 15 12 16 13 — 56

3-point goals — ESS 5 (Holder 5); PMW 3 (Vick 3). Rebounds — ESS 19 (Holder, Amoakohene, Bird 4) PMW 32 (Cooper 9). Assists — ESS 14 (Amoakohene 9); PMW 9 (Vick, Wiggins 4). Steals — ESS 4 (Holder, Scott 2); PMW 7 (Wiggins 3). Blocks — ESS 1 (Holder); PMW 1 (Baptiste). Turnovers — ESS 14; PMW 14.

Records — ES South 11-12; PM West 19-4.

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Pocono Mountain West's boys basketball program has had no shortage of success.

The Panthers have won five Mountain Valley Conference championships since 2004-05 and a District 11 Class AAAA title last season.

And even though PM West lost four starters and returned just two players with substantial playing experience from last year's team, the Panthers (18-4, 12-0 MVC) went unbeaten in conference play this season for a third time since 2006-07.

But to veteran coach Brad Pensyl that doesn't necessarily make top-seeded Pocono West the favorite when the MVC playoffs tip off at West on Wednesday.

"I'm not looking at us as the favorites," Pensyl said. "Last year I thought we were the favorites and I didn't think there was any question. This year I don't think we're the favorites."

The other three teams in the conference playoffs are a big reason why.

East Stroudsburg South, under first-year coach Shawn Munford, has been the area's most improved team. The Cavs (11-10, 7-4), who lost to West twice by three points each team in the regular season, started out 3-6, but have won four straight.

Pleasant Valley (12-9, 7-4), with its solid inside-outside duo of center Marquis Brown and guard Devon Howard leading the way, was the only MVC team to beat West last year and is a dangerous team. So to is Stroudsburg (11-10, 7-4), which has a potent guard combination of senior David Clowney and junior Jacob Battle.

"East Stroudsburg South is much improved and Stroudsburg has got some very good players," Pensyl said. "(Stroudsburg coach Shawn Thornton) has got two of the best players in the league if not the two best players. They're certainly dangerous. Pleasant Valley, with Howard and Brown, is dangerous, too."

The Panthers' semifinal opponent won't be known until Monday when East Stroudsburg South plays East Stroudsburg North. If the Cavaliers win that game they will be either the second or third seed with Stroudsburg playing South at 6:10 p.m. and Pleasant Valley meeting West in the second semifinal at 7:45 p.m.

At the beginning of the season this isn't where Pensyl thought his team would be.

After losing starters Quindell Brice, the MVP of the MVC and Pocono Record Player of the Year, All-Area first teamers Jon Amoroso and Ty Dixon and Mike Collins, Pensyl thought his team would still be good but he wasn't sure how good. He certainly didn't envision the Panthers being as successful as they've been.

"I didn't think in the beginning of the year that we'd be in this position," Pensyl said. "I thought we'd get in the playoffs, but I certainly didn't think we'd go undefeated in the league. That was a surprise. My kids last year didn't go undefeated in the league and that was a pretty good basketball team.

"This team has overachieved more than any team I've ever had."

Two big reasons for this season's success is the play of guards Eric Vick and Joe Wiggins.

Vick, a starter on last year's team, and Wiggins, the first man off the bench last season, have cemented themselves as two of the MVC's top players. Vick, a senior who has hit an area-high 58 3-pointers and made an area-best 83 percent of his free throws, and Wiggins, a junior, are both averaging 15.0 points per game.

"If those two guys don't play well we're not winning," Pensyl said. "It's that simple. Certainly they've increased their scoring output and if they don't score and be productive we're going to struggle. In high school basketball if you've got a couple guards who can play you're going to find a way to win some games. I think those two guys have certainly had good years."

Despite this season's success, there are examples for Pensyl to use to motivate his team.

Last Saturday, PM West suffered its toughest loss of the year to Whitehall. The Panthers scored a season-low 36 points, making it just the third time they failed to break 50 points.

"We didn't play well, nobody really played all that well and as a result we got spanked," Pensyl said. "If we don't play and execute every night we're going to struggle."

That was just one game, though, in another successful season at Pocono West.

The Panthers have put themselves in position put together another memorable postseason and it starts this week.

"This group of kids just find ways to win," Pensyl said. "It's certainly one of the least experienced teams I've ever coached and we don't have a marque player, but we play very good defense, the kids play very hard and that's been the key."

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West goes undefeated in league play for third time since 2007


Pocono Summit — Joe Wiggins scored 18 points to lead Pocono Mountain West to a 78-41 victory over Pocono Mountain East in MVC boys basketball Thursday night.

The win gives West a perfect 12-0 record in MVC play. The 2007 and 2008 teams also were undefeated in league play.

PM West 78, PM East 41

PM EAST (41)

Hardmon 2 1-2 5, Sarijian 1 3-4 5, Yarosh 4 0-0 11, Wiggins 0 0-0 0, Steckel 3 2-2 9, Hudson 1 2-3 4, Tyndall 1 0-0 2, Randazoo 0 1-6 1, Comas 0 0-0 0, Woody 0 0-0 0, Gonzalez 2 0-0 4. Totals — 14 9-17 41.

PM WEST (78)

Dixon 4 2-2 10, Vick 4 0-0 12, Cooper 5 3-4 13, Miles 0 1-2 1, Howard 1 2-2 4, Edwards 1 1-2 4, Diaz 0 1-2 1, Wiggins 7 4-5 18, Baptiste 2 4-4 8, Hardy 2 3-5 7. Totals — 26 21-28 78.

PM East 14 9 9 9 ­— 41

PM West 26 18 19 15 — 78

3-point goals — PM EAST 4 (Yarosh 3, Steckel); PM WEST 5 (Vick 4, Edwards).

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West slips past Dieruff


Allentown - The Panthers defeated Dieruff in non-league play tonight 53-49. Joe Wiggins led the way for West with 19 points, Eric Vick scored 14, and Darren Dixon added 10 points in the win. 

The Panthers play rival PM East tomorrow and will be trying to go undefeated in MVC play for the third time in school history (2007 & 2008).

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Panthers stay undefeated in MVC play

Lehighton — Sean Cooper scored 17 points to lead Pocono Mountain West to an 87-46 victory over Lehighton in Mountain Valley Conference Tuesday night.

PM West 87, Lehighton 46

PM WEST (87)

Dixon 6 3-3 15, Vick 6 0-0 16, Cooper 5 5-7 17, Miles 2 0-0 6, Howard 2 0-0 4, Edwards 0 0-0 0, Diaz 0 1-3 1, Wiggins 8 2-3 19, Baptiste 1 0-0 2, Hardy 2 2-2 7. Totals — 32 13-18 87.

LEHIGHTON (46)

Rossino 1 1-2 3, Farano 4 0-0 10, Crum 5 2-3 12, Zwitelitz 0 0-0 0, Williams 0 0-0 0, McCaadless 0 0-0 0, K. Knapenberger 0 2-2 2, Evans 0 0-0 0, J. Knappenberger 4 1-3 10, Mele 3 2-5 8, Nalesnik 0 1-2 1. Totals — 17 9-17 46.

PM West 28 17 24 18 ­— 87

Lehighton 7 15 17 7 — 46

3-point goals — PMW 10 (Vick 4, Cooper 2, Miles 2, Wiggins, Hardy); L 3 (Farano 2, J. Knappenberger).

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West drops non-league match up to Whitehall

Whitehall — Joe Wiggins scored a team-high 12 points in Pocono Mountain West's 56-36 loss to Whitehall in non-conference boys basketball Saturday.

Whitehall 56, PM West 36

PM WEST (36)

Dixon 2 0-2 4, Vick 0 3-4 3, Cooper 2 0-0 4, Miles 0 0-0 0, Howard 1 2-2 4, Wiggins 5 2-6 12, Baptiste 2 3-6 7, Hardy 1 0-0 2. Totals — 13 10-20 36.

WHITEHALL (56)

Bellucci 6 1-1 19, Wah 0 3-4 3, Rismiller 0 1-2 1, Rex 2 3-5 8, Miloski 1 0-0 2, Keglovits 1 0-0 2, Shafinsky 3 3-6 9, Esquilan 0 2-2 2, Charles 3 0-2 6, Meckes 3 0-0 6. Totals — 19 13-22 56.

PM West 6 5 13 10 ­— 36

Whitehall 9 17 12 18 — 56

3-point goals — PMW 0; W 5 (Bellucci 4, Rex).

Records — PM West 15-4; Whitehall 11-9.

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Wiggins leads the way in league victory

pocono summit — Joe Wiggins scored a team-high 22 points and Eric Vick added 17 as Pocono Mountain West clinched the top seed in the Mountain Valley Conference playoffs with a 67-60 victory over Pleasant Valley on Friday night.

PM West 67, Pleasant Valley 60

PLEASANT VALLEY (60)

Brown 14 1-6 29, Skutnik 0 0-0 0, Howard 4 4-5 14, Sharpe 1 0-0 3, Hosier 1 2-2 4, Hrbek 3 0-0 6, Jones 0 0-0 0, Pazienza 0 0-0 0, Robinson 1 0-0 3, Helfrich 0 0-0 0, Neubert 0 1-2 1, Leap 0 0-0 0. Totals — 24 8-15 60.

PM WEST (67)

Dixon 2 1-2 5, Vick 5 3-5 17, Cooper 2 4-6 8, Howard 0 1-2 1, Diaz 0 0-0 0, Wiggins 7 8-11 22, Baptiste 2 0-0 4, Hardy 3 4-4 10. Totals — 21 21-30 67.

Pleasant Valley 10 14 13 23 — 60

PM West 14 20 11 22 — 67

3-point goals — PV 4 (Howard 2, Sharpe, Robinson); PMW 4 (Vick 4).

Records — Pleasant Valley 11-9, 6-4 MVC; PM West 15-3, 10-0.

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Senior point guard Chevon Williams sat in the trainer's room inside Liberty's Memorial Gym late Wednesday night.

This could have been construed as another scary sight for a Hurricanes boys basketball team that experienced a frightening moment during its 68-63 nonleague win over Pocono Mountain West.

Fortunately for everyone associated with Liberty basketball, Williams was not hurt. He was just on the training room table trying to get to cut through the bandaged wrapping around his ankle.

The Hurricanes need as many healthy bodies as they can get for the stretch run of the regular season, which now has four games and nine days left.

Liberty began the night without academically ineligible center Deshawn Oyeniyi and lost forward Greg Noack to a hard fall at the start of the fourth quarter.

Noack, who had 20 points to that point, injured his already sore elbow and hit the back of his head with a thud heard around the gym, and although he didn't return to action, he was smiling and seemed fine as he left the building.

The Hurricanes (13-5) were all smiles, too, because they used their depth and balance to turn back the defending District 11 4A champion Panthers.

"As long as we keep playing hard, we can compete," said Williams, who had 14 points and seven assists while trying his best not to allow Pocono West standout Eric Vick take over the game offensively.

"Athletically, we're there," Williams added. "But we already miss Deshawn and hopefully we won't lose Greg because that would force everybody to change positions. We've got Becahi next and they have the biggest kid in the league with Matt [Husek]."

However, Liberty came up big in snapping West's seven-game winning streak, especially on the boards.

With K.J. Williams collecting 10 rebounds and Joel Torres and Nick Viglianti adding seven and six boards respectively, the Hurricanes controlled the glass by a 36-19 margin.

"Our big focus was crashing the boards because last year West destroyed us on the boards," Chevon Williams said, remembering a 45-33 loss to the Panthers on Jan. 28, 2012.

This time, Liberty (13-5) did an excellent job of limiting West to one shot and the Panthers, who entered the night ranked No. 1 in the District 11 4A power rankings, didn't shoot the ball well, at least early.

Pocono West was just 4-for-16 in the first quarter when Liberty got out to a 17-10 lead and forced the Panthers to play uphill all night long.

"Them pounding us the boards made a huge difference and we have some weaknesses that get exposed sometimes when we play a team like Liberty," West coach Brad Pensyl said. "Liberty's very good. If they're not going to win the Lehigh Valley [Conference], they're certainly going to be one of the top four teams."

To its credit, Pocono Mountain West kept scrapping back behind the talented Vick (25 points) and Joe Wiggins (16).

The Panthers were down 54-42 within the first minute of the final quarter, but kept creating turnovers and hitting enough big shots to get back within 57-53 with 4:12 left.

"Pocono West comes at you with a lot of athleticism and they push the ball up the floor," Liberty coach Chad Landis said. "That's a staple of a Pensyl-coached team, and we responded at some points and didn't respond well at other points. We kind of held on at the end to get the win."

After West closed within four, Pat Donnelly sliced to the basket for a layup and Chevon Williams converted a drive to get the margin back to eight with 3:02 left. Then it was all foul shooting from there as Joel Torres and Chevon Williams combined to make to make seven of eight freebies over the final 51 seconds to put it away.

"I was happy with how we closed it out," Landis said of his team's 19-for-22 night at the line. "And we had great scoring balance. That's been one of our strongest suits all year. It seems like we haven't played with a full roster for a long time and we've had our struggles. But whoever we have out there, we know that those kids are going to play hard."

The schedule is only going to get harder next week when Liberty (8-2 LVC) plays Easton, Nazareth and Freedom over a four-night stretch as it tries to secure one of the four LVC tournament spots.

Pocono Mt. West – 10-14-18-21 – 63

Liberty – 17 – 11- 22-18 – 68

POCONO MOUNTAIN WEST (63)

Dixon 2-6 0-0 4, Vick 8-20 6-6 25, Cooper 1-5 0-0 2, Howard 0-1 0-0 0, Diaz 0-0 2-2 2, Wiggins 7-16 1-1 16, Baptiste 2-3 0-0 4, Hardy 4-9 0-0 10. Totals 24-60 9-9 63.

LIBERTY (68)

Torres 1-3 2-2 4, Donnelly 5-8 1-2 13, C. Williams 3-4 7-9 14, Noack 6-8 7-8 20, Viglianti 2-4 0-0 4, KJ Williams 5-13 2-2 13, Gonzalez 0-0 0-0 0, Dobbins 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-40 19-22 68.

Officials: Andy Donatelli, Jim Barker.

JV: Pocono Mt. West 57-56 in OT.

3-pointers: PM West (6-22) Vick 3, Hardy 2, Wiggins. Liberty (5-9) Donnelly 2, Williams, Noack, Williams.

Rebounds: PM West 19 (Wiggins 4). Liberty 36 (KJ Williams 10).

Assists: PM West 8 (Vick 3). Liberty 14 (C. Williams 7).

Turnovers: PM West 8, Liberty 14.

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Panthers overcome serious foul trouble to edge South


EAST STROUDSBURG — Eric Vick scored a game-high 18 points and Jordan Hardy added 13 to lead Pocono Mountain West to a 54-51 MVC victory over East Stroudsburg South on Thursday night.

O'Neil Holder led ES South with 16 points.

PM West 54

Dixon 1 3-4 5, Vick 6 4-4 18, Cooper 2 1-1 5, Miles 0 0-0 0, Wiggins 3 0-0 6, Baptiste 2 3-4 7, Hardy 5 1-4 13. Totals 19 12-17 54.

ES South 51

Holder 5 6-6 16, Nieves 0 0-0 0, Amoakahnen 1 0-0 2, Allah 1 6-6 6, Kelly 2 0-0 6, Wickham 4 2-3 10, Quick 2 2-2 6, Roberson 0 0-0 0, Bird 2 1-2 5. Totals 17 15-21 51.

PM West 14 19 11 10 - 54

ES South 8 16 14 13 — 51

Three-point goals: PMW, Vick 2, Hardy 2; ESS, Kelly 2.

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Panthers stay undefeated in league

POCONO SUMMIT — Darren Dixon scored 16 points and Eric Vick added 14 to lead Pocono West to a 61-42 victory over ES North in boys basketball Tuesday night.

PM West 61, ES North 42

ES NORTH (42)

Malik 0 0-0 0, Battle 4 0-0 8, Thompson 1 0-3 2, W. Quiles 2 1-2 6, John 4 0-0 10, Folkes 1 0-0 2, D. Quiles 2 0-0 5, Kirtan 0 0-0 0, Cartequina 0 0-0 0, Mannassonba 1 1-2 3, Mack 1 0-0 2. Totals — 18 2-8 42.

PM WEST (61)

Dixon 7 2-2 16, Vick 6 0-1 14, Cooper 2 0-0 4, Miles 1 0-2 3, Howard 0 2-2 2, Diaz 0 2-2 2, Wiggins 3 1-2 7, Baptiste 5 1-2 11, Hardy 1 0-4 2. Totals — 25 8-21 61.

ES North 11 10 14 11 ­— 42


PM West 14 11 19 17 — 61

3-point goals — ESN 4 (W. Quiles, John 2, D. Quiles); PMW 3 (Vick 2, Miles).

Records — PM West 13-2, 8-0 MVC.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  
 After rough start West battles for non-league victory

NORTHAMPTON — Pocono West's Eric Vick scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Panthers to a 57-40 victory over Northampton in non-conference boys basketball Saturday.

PM West 57, Northampton 40

PM WEST (57)

Dixon 1 0-1 2, Vick 6 5-5 22, Cooper 2 0-0 4, Miles 0 0-0 0, Howard 1 1-2 4, Diaz 1 0-0 2, Wiggins 3 2-2 11, Baptiste 1 4-6 6, Hardy 3 0-0 8. Totals — 18 12-16 57.

NORTHAMPTON (40)

Yeaw 0 0-0 0, Morris 4 1-1 10, Cook 1 4-6 8, George 0 1-2 1, Cook 2 0-0 4, Sullivan 3 1-2 7, Hudock 0 0-0 0, Kulp 4 0-0 10. Totals — 14 9-12 40.

PM West 14 12 20 11 ­— 57

Northampton 9 10 15 6 — 40

3-point goals — PMW 9 (Vick 5, Howard, Wiggins, Hardy 2); N 3 (Morris, Kulp 2).

Records — PM West 12-2.

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STROUDSBURG — Joe Wiggins scored a game-high 26 points and Pocono West finished strong in a 73-65 victory over Stroudsburg in MVC boys basketball Friday night.

The Panthers outscored the Mounties 18-8 in the fourth quarter to pull away. Jordan Hardy scored 12 points for West, hitting a trio of 3-pointers.

David Clowney led the Mounties with 19 points.

PM West 73, Stroudsburg 65

PM WEST (73)

Dixon 6 0-2 12, Vick 3 3-3 11, Cooper 1 0-0 2, Howard 0 0-0 0, Wiggins 8 8-8 26, Baptiste 3 4-6 10, Hardy 4 1-3 12. Totals — 25 16-22 73.

STROUDSBURG (65)

Clay 2 0-0 4, Cayo 1 2-2 4, Brandt 3 2-2 11, Clowney 7 5-6 19, Battle 5 2-2 16, Fenn 1 0-0 2, Bragg 2 0-1 5, Lopez 2 0-0 4, Watson 0 0-0 0. Totals — 23 11-13 65.

PM West 18 17 20 18 ­— 73

Stroudsburg 19 20 18 8 — 65

3-point goals — PMW 7 (Vick 2, Wiggins 2, Hardy 3); S 8 (Brandt 3, Battle 4, Bragg).

Records — Stroudsburg 8-6, 5-2 MVC.

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West cruises in first rivalry match up 


SWIFTWATER — Darren Dixon scored 14 points and Jordan Hardy added 12 points as Pocono West beat Pocono East 81-49 in MVC boys basketball Tuesday night.

Eleven players scored for the Panthers, who led 45-15 at the half.

Levert Comas hit five 3-pointers and finished with 15 points for the Cardinals.

PM West 81, PM East 49

PM WEST (81)

Dixon 7 0-0 14, Vick 3 2-2 9, Cooper 2 2-3 7, Miles 1 3-4 6, Howard 1 0-0 2, Edwards 1 0-0 3, Diaz 1 2-4 4, Mayo 2 0-0 4, Archer 0 0-0 0, Wiggins 4 2-2 11, Baptiste 4 1-2 9, hardy 5 0-0 12. Totals — 31 13-17 81.

PM EAST (49)

Hardman 1 0-0 2, Sarajian 2 1-2 5, yarosh 2 1-2 5, Diaz 0 1-2 1, Vazquez 0 0-0 0, Steckel 3 0-0 7, Hospach 0 0-0 0, Clarke 1 0-0 2, Tyndall 5 0-0 12, Randazzo 0 0-0 0, Comas 5 0-0 15, Gonzalez 0 0-0 0. Totals — 19 3-6 49.

PM West 16 29 24 12 ­— 81

PM East 8 7 18 16 — 49

3-point goals — PMW 6 (Vick, Cooper, Miles, Edwards, Wiggins, Hardy 2); PME 8 (Comas 5, Tyndall 2, Steckel).

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

 
West fights off upstart Lehighton squad

1.11.2013

Pocono Summit - After trailing by 8 points at the half, West held the Lehighton to 10 second-half points to win 54-42 in MVC action Friday night. The win pushes the Panthers undefeated league record to 5-0 with a interdistrict rivalry game looming with Pocono Mountain East this Tuesday.

Leading the way for the Panthers was Eric Vick. The senior point guard scored 15 points and ripped down 9 rebounds. Senior Leon Baptiste added 11 points of his own and senior Darren Dixon scored 10 points and also had 9 boards.

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Defense key in non-league win over Pottsville


1.9.2013

Pocono Summit - The Panthers defense showed up in a big way on Wednesday night as the leaders in the MVC took down Pottsville, the top team in the Schuylkill league, 47-26. Pottsville's all-everything guard Brandon Bridy was held to only 7 points by Jordan Hardy and Malachi Howard who took turns harrassing what could be one of Pennsylvania's top players in class 'AAA.'

On the offensive side, Junior guard Joe Wiggins bounced back from a couple rough games to score 16 points while his backcourt mate Hardy added a season-high 15 points including three 3-pointers. 

West's next match up will be against Lehighton at home this Friday. The Panthers are now 8-2 overall (4-0 MVC) and atop the District XI 'AAAA' rankings.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  POCONO SUMMIT — The Riot Squad, Freedom's usually large and loud student  
  fan section, didn't make the trip into the Poconos on Monday night to follow the
  school's boys basketball team.

  So, the Patriots had to make their own noise in their nonleague game at Pocono
  Mountain West.

  With Nyreef Jackson scoring a career-high 25 points and collecting 12 rebounds
  and the rest of his teammates delivering major contributions, Freedom finally had
  something to yell about after a tough three-week stretch.

  The Patriots took a 14-6 lead in the first quarter and never looked back in an
  impressive 53-42 win that gave Freedom its first victory since Dec. 18, ended a four-
  game losing streak and also snapped the seven-game win streak of the defending
  District 11 Class 4A champs.

  "We needed this one," Patriots coach Joe Stellato said. "We came in and played
  with more effort than we have in the recent past and I was proud of the guys.
  Pocono West is a good team that beat Allen and took Easton to overtime. So, it's a
  good win for us."

  Any win would have been good for Freedom, which was allowing 62 points per game       during its slide.



The Pates picked up the intensity at the defensive end and held the Panthers (7-2) to a season-low point total on 15-for-52 (28.8 percent) shooting.

Senior guard Maceo Connor, who missed two games during the skid with a broken nose, set the tone with six steals.

"It was very important to come up here and win," Connor said. "We finally got it together and played well together. The intensity had been missing the last couple of games. Even with the hour drive here, we had the intensity tonight. It was definitely a good team to get going against."

Pocono West made just one of its first 11 shots from the field, finished the first quarter 2-for-15 with five turnovers and was never able to find its rhythm offensively.

Jackson outscored West all by himself in the first quarter with 10 points, six coming on a pair of 3-pointers.

"We just wanted to come out hard and play good team basketball," Jackson said. "We just haven't been finishing games lately, and we haven't been playing with energy. We had to bring the energy tonight and crash the offensive boards more."

Freedom led 27-18 at halftime, stretched the gap to 31-20 early in the third period and then had one lapse that allowed West to get back within 34-29.

But Nigel Long converted a rebound and a 3-pointer to fuel a 7-0 Freedom run and the Patriots were back in control.

Any hopes of West rallying were diminished by a poor start to the fourth quarter when the Panthers missed their first seven shots from the field and fell behind 49-34.

"They just were better than us tonight," Panthers coach Brad Pensyl said. "We took bad shots, we forced shots. We couldn't get in any rhythm offensively, and Freedom's a good team. Jackson just killed us."

West will play Pottsville on Wednesday before resuming its Mountain Valley Conference schedule against Lehighton on Friday.

Despite this stumble, the Panthers remain the overwhelming favorite to win their third straight MVC title and will be formidable when the District 11 tournament begins in late February.

Freedom, meanwhile, needs six more wins just to make sure it qualifies for districts.

The Pates (5-5) own a nonleague win over Parkland, but are only 1-3 in the LVC entering Tuesday's game at Allen.

"We have been missing some guys," Stellato said. "Maceo, who really is our leader, missed those tournament games at Coatesville and Brian Uliana, our sixth man, also missed a game. But no excuses.

"We didn't play with any energy in those tournament games and we came out flat against Central when we got back into the league. We've got talent, but if we don't play with energy, we're in trouble. We're in a hole and we've got to play every game the rest of the way like tonight and that's with a sense of urgency."

Freedom 14-13-16-10 -- 53

Poc. Mt. West 6-12-15-9 -- 42

FREEDOM (53)

Uliana 2-3 0-0 4, Arner 0-2 0-0 0, Long 5-11 1-2 13, Kelley 0-0 0-0 0, Connor 1-5 2-2 4, Chiclana 2-5 3-4 7, Williams 0-4 0-0 0, Jackson 11-19 1-4 25. Totals 21-49 7-12 53.

POCONO MOUNTAIN WEST (42)

Dixon 2-7 2-5 6, Vick 4-17 2-2 12, Cooper 1-3 1-1 3, Miles 0-1 2-2 2, Howard 0-1 0-1 0, Diaz 2-2 0-0 4, Wiggins 0-5 0-0 0, Baptiste 3-7 0-0 6, Hardy 3-9 2-4 9. Totals 15-52 9-15 42.

Officials: Jim Gross, Jerry Byron. JV: PM West 42-35.

3-pointers: Freedom (4-7) Jackson 2, Long 2. PM West (3-15): Vick 2, Hardy.

Assists: Freedom 14 (Connor 3). PM West 5.

Rebounds: Freedom 42 (Jackson 12, Chiclana 10). PM West 29 (Dixon 7, Vick 6).

Turnovers: Freedom 20, PM West 15.

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Panthers stay undefeated in MVC play


BRODHEADSVILLE — Eric Vick scored a game-high 18 points to lead Pocono West to a 59-42 victory over Pleasant Valley in MVC boys basketball Friday night.

Joe Wiggins added nine points for the Panthers.

Devon Howard had nine points for the Bears.

PM West 59, Pleasant Valley 42

PM WEST (59)

Dixon 3 1-4 7, Vick 7 2-3 18, Cooper 2 3-4 7, Miles 1 1-2 4, Howard 1 0-1 2, Diaz 1 0-0 2, Archer 0 0-0 0, Wiggins 3 3-6 9, Baptiste 0 2-6 2, Hardy 2 3-6 8. Totals — 20 15-32 59.

PLEASANT VALLEY (42)

Brown 4 0-0 8, Skutnik 1 0-0 2, Howard 2 5-10 9, Hosier 2 0-0 5, Roden 0 0-0 0, Deegan 0 2-2 2, Sharpe 1 0-0 3, Hrbek 1 0-3 2, Jones 2 0-0 4, Pazienza 2 0-2 4, Robinson 1 1-2 3, Helfrich 0 0-0 0. Totals — 16 8-19 42.

PM West 18 15 10 16 ­— 59

Pleasant Valley 13 9 8 12 — 42

3-point goals — PMW 4 (Vick 2, Miles, Hardy); PV 2 (Hosier, Sharpe).

Records — PM West 7-1, 4-0 MVC; PV 5-6, 1-2.

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Panthers shoot way into record book in conference win against North

December 20, 2012

BUSHKILL — Joe Wiggins and Eric Vick both scored a game-high 21 points to lead Pocono West to a 76-57 victory over East Stroudsburg North in conference action Thursday night.

The Panthers set a new school record by hitting 14 baskets from behind the arc — five both by Wiggins and Vick.

The previous record was set by the 2006 team at Dieruff  when the Panthers connected on 11 threes.

Malique John led North with 13 points.

PM West 76, ES North 57

PM WEST (76)

Dixon 2 0-0 4, Vick 7 0-0 18, Cooper 2 2-2 6, Miles 0 0-0 0, Howard 1 0-0 3, Edwards 1 0-0 3, Diaz 0 1-2 1, Archer 1 2-2 5, Wiggins 9 0-0 24, Baptiste 3 1-2 7, Hardy 2 0-0 5. Totals — 28 6-8 76.

ES NORTH (57)

Mills 2 2-3 6, Battle 4 0-0 8, Thompson 4 0-0 8, Quiles 3 1-1 7, John 5 0-2 13, Folks 1 0-0 3, Sutton 0 0-0 0, Drakeford 1 0-0 2, Allwood 2 0-0 6, Cox 0 0-0 0, Turain 1 2-2 4, Cartagena 0 0-0 0, Mack 0 0-0 0. Totals — 23 5-8 57.

PM West 19 20 17 20 ­— 76

ES North 10 15 10 22 — 57

3-point goals — PMW 14 (Wiggins 6, Vick 4, Howard, Edwards, Archer, Hardy); ESN 6 (John 3, Folks, Allwood 2).

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Panthers gut out conference victory over Cavaliers

December 18, 2012

POCONO SUMMIT — Darren Dixon scored a team-high 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as Pocono Mountain West rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to capture a 55-52 victory over East Stroudsburg South in MVC play Tuesday. Center Leon Baptiste added 9 points and 10 rebounds in the win.

PM West 55, ES South 52

ES SOUTH (52)

Daiscan 1 0-0 2, O'Neil 11 2-4 26, King 2 0-0 4, A. Khari 1 1-4 4, Kyle 0 0-0 0, W. Khali 6 0-0 12, Domenic 0 0-0 0, Bird 2 0-0 4. Totals — 23 3-8 52.

PM WEST (55)

Dixon 6 3-4 16, Vick 3 0-0 7, Cooper 0 0-0 0, Miles 0 1-2 1, Howard 1 0-1 2, Diaz 0 0-0 0, Wiggins 5 3-4 13, Baptiste 3 5-10 11, Hardy 3 0-0 7. Totals — 21 10-19 55.

ES South 18 13 11 10 ­— 52

PM West 10 13 17 15 — 55

3-point goals — ESS 3 (O'Neil 2, A. Khari); PMW 3 (Dixon, Vick, Hardy).

Records — ES South 2-3, 0-1; PM West 5-1, 2-0.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Pocono Summit — Eric Vick scored 12 of his career-high 25 points in the third quarter as Pocono Mountain West pulled away for a 74-61 victory over Hazleton in non-conference boys basketball Monday.

Joe Wiggins added 17 points for the Panthers (4-1), who trailed by one at halftime before outscoring the Cougars 40-26 in the second half.

PM West 74, Hazleton 61

HAZLETON (61)

Collado 2 0-0 4, Biasi 14 2-5 34, Woodring 0 0-0 0, Barron 1 1-3 3, Hierro 0 0-0 0, Wright 2 1-4 5, Barlow 0 0-0 0, Fogarty 0 0-2 0, Felix 1 0-0 2, Karmonick 6 1-2 13. Totals — 26 5-16 61.

PM WEST (74)

Dixon 4 0-2 8, Vick 7 7-7 25, Cooper 0 4-6 4, Miles 0 0-0 0, Howard 2 0-0 4, Wiggins 5 7-8 17, Baptiste 2 3-4 7, Hardy 3 3-3 9. Totals — 23 24-30 74.

Hazleton 16 19 13 13 ­— 61

PM West 14 20 21 19 — 74

3-point goals — H 4 (Biasi 4); PMW 4 (Vick).

Records — PM West 4-1.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

  
  POCONO SUMMIT — Brad Pensyl had plenty of concerns coming into this season,
  but his Pocono Mountain West boys basketball team has eased his mind a bit.

  Eric Vick scored a career-high 25 points, and Sean Cooper and Joe Wiggins both
  hit big free throws in the final 11 seconds as the Panthers earned a 76-71 victory
  over Allen in non-conference action Tuesday.

  The Panthers (2-1), the two-time defending Mountain Valley Conference champions,
  may be coming off their first District 11 Class AAAA championship, but this is not the
  same team.


Only two players — Vick and Wiggins — return with any substantial experience, but so far so good through the season's first three games. Pocono West fell in overtime to Easton in its season opener Friday, but bounced back with victories over Scranton on Saturday and the Canaries (1-1).

"I was more concerned coming into this season more so than any other season I've been here," said Pensyl, now in his 11th year at West after spending the first 13 seasons of his coaching career at Pocono Mountain. "But right now, we'll see. We've played three very good teams and very easily could be 3-0."

They might not be unbeaten, but the Panthers have won two of their first three games thanks in large part to the contributions of players with little varsity experience.

Cooper was big Tuesday, scoring 10 points to go along with a game-high 11 rebounds. His free throws with 11.3 seconds left stretched West's lead to 74-71.

"They (the free throws) were real big," Cooper said. "I just wanted to step up, hit them and make sure we got this win."

While players like Cooper, Darren Dixon, who had nine points, five rebounds, two steals and the Panthers' lone block, Jordan Hardy and Leon Baptiste might not have logged many varsity minutes until now, they got to practice all last season against their teammates who won Monroe County's first district title since Stroudsburg won in 1999. Those experiences have been vital as West tries to find its way this year.

"They practiced against us before so they practiced against the district champions," said Vick, who now has 68 points through three games after scoring 156 in 26 games last season. "They know what it's like and they know how hard it's going to be every night."

The Canaries were plenty tough.

Pocono West led 20-17 after one quarter, but Allen answered with 26 points in the second to take a 43-41 lead into halftime. Omar Harrington scored 15 of his game high 29 points in the opening half as the Panthers struggled at times defensively.

That changed in the second half when West held Allen to just 28 points, including a third quarter when the Panthers outscored the Canaries 20-13 to seize control of the game.

"We knuckled down more on our man-to-man and I thought the kids did a little bit better job containing out front," Pensyl said. "They didn't get as much penetration as they did in the first half."

Wiggins' layup with 6:52 left gave West a 65-58 lead — the biggest edge of the night for either team — before Allen battled back to tie the score at 69-69 on Jomar Perez's bucket with 3:07 to go.

Vick's 3 on West's next possession gave the Panthers the lead for good, but Allen stayed within reach. Richard Fletcher made a layup and was fouled with 39 seconds left, but missed what would have been the game-tying free throw.

From there Cooper and Wiggins knocked down a pair of free throws and gave West its second victory in four days.

"I feel a little bit better about some of the things we're doing," Pensyl said. "It's hard to teach what we do with the kind of system that we play, but I'll play however (the opponent) wants to play. If they want to play fast we'll play fast and if they want to play slow I'll play slow.

"That was a good high school basketball game. It was entertaining, the kind of game I'd buy a ticket to."

PM West 76, Allen 71

ALLEN (71)

Rockmore 0 0-0 0, Harrington 12 1-3 29, Palmer 4 2-4 10, Davis 5 0-2 11, Jackson 1 0-1 3, Smith 0 0-0 0, Clay 0 0-0 0, Jennings 2 0-0 5, Perez 2 2-2 7, Fletcher 1 2-3 4, Gray 0 0-0 0. Totals — 27 7-15 71.

PM WEST (76)

Dixon 4 1-3 9, Wiggins 8 2-2 20, Baptiste 1 2-2 4, Hardy 2 0-0 4, Vick 9 5-6 25, Cooper 3 4-4 10, Howard 1 0-0 2, Diaz 0 0-0 0, Miles 0 0-0 0. Totals — 28 14-17 76.

Allen 17 2613 15 — 71

PM West 20 21 20 15 — 76

3-point goals — A 8 (Harrington 4, Davis, Jackson, Jennings, Perez); PMW 4 (Wiggins 2, Vick 2). Rebounds — A 31 (Palmer 7); PMW 35 (Cooper 11). Assists — A 14 (Rockmore 4); PMW 13 (Vick 9). Steals — A 5 (Perez 4); PMW 9 (Dixon, Vick, Baptiste 2). Blocks — A 3 (Palmer 2); PMW 1 (Dixon). Turnovers — A 10; PMW 7.

Records — Allen 1-1; PM West 2-1.

JV score — Allen, 48-47.

 
Easton opens with 60-51 Overtime win over Pocono Mountain West


Tom Hinkel | The Express-TimesBy Tom Hinkel | The Express-Times 
on December 07, 2012 at 11:59 PM

As DeVante Queen crumpled to the floor tonight, the Easton Area High School boys basketball team's hopes took a major hit as well.

In a scene reminiscent of Willis Reed in the 1970 NBA finals, a physically sub-par Queen returned to action in time to give his team a much-needed spark.

The senior point guard poured in a career-high 23 points to lead the Red Rovers to a60-51 overtime victory over Pocono Mountain West in the season opener at Easton Area Middle School.

Easton (1-0) trailed 39-38 when Queen hit the deck with leg cramps with 5:39 left in the fourth quarter. Queen was carried off the floor after being attended to for several minutes. He re-entered a few minutes later.

"I'd say I was about 75 percent," Queen said, "but it was our first game and I really wanted to go back in there. I played through it."

Queen drove down the lane for a layup to tie it at 45-all with 15 seconds left in regulation.

"The whole game I saw the middle was open," Queen said. "(Center) Erik (Oakley)set me a nice screen and I just went for it."

"(Queen) is a tough kid," Easton coach Jim Hutnik said. "He takes a beating out there. He goes through the lane, and that body gets knocked all over the place."

Queen then faced the daunting task of defending Panthers standout point guard Erik Vick on the ensuing possession. With the clock winding down, Vick let go a contested 3-pointer from beyond the key that bounced off the rim, sending the game into overtime.

Junior Joe Wiggins led the Panthers, the reigning District 11 Class AAAA champions, with 22 points and Vick finished with 19.

"I really wanted to challenge myself," Queen said. "I read the clock and saw five seconds. I was like 'No way he's driving the lane.' He pulled up. Thankfully he missed."

Vick's 3-pointer gave Pocono Mountain West (0-1) a 48-45 lead at the start of overtime. Unfazed, Easton senior Ezra Gaines, who had 11 points and nine rebounds, took a feed from Queen and splashed a 3-ball from the baseline to tie it at 48-all.

"That was a huge shot after falling behind," Hutnik said. "Right away he hits that 3 and it's anybody's game."

Gaines' fast break layup gave Easton a 50-48 lead and Queen made 6 of 8 free throws down the stretch to seal it.

"We need him to be a scoring point guard this year," Hutnik said.

Easton trailed most of the way, facing its biggest deficit at 17-9 with 1:13 left in the first quarter. The Red Rovers battled back to lead 37-33 late in the third quarter, and it was back and forth from there.

"The whole bench got us going," Queen said. "Everybody gave us a spark."

"To be honest, I thought we'd really struggle because they pounded us in the summer," Panthers coach Brad Pensyl said. "We're just so inexperienced right now. This is a tough place to play. Not many teams are going to go into Easton and win."

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PM West's boys basketball team leads solid mix of teams

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