Lewisburg boys win at Hughesville
HUGHESVILLE – Mike Driscoll hit eight straight shots from the floor and the foul line at one point while scoring a season-high 17 points. Jesse Flannery dealt four third-quarter assists, while big post players Erich Kline and Sam Allen made runs at double-doubles. And oh yeah, Travis Conrad added nine points and dealt seven assists while Nick Costigliola scored eight points off the bench.
Whenever a Lewisburg played touched the ball Wednesday, he made something happen.
Welcome to the dilemma that is guarding the Green Dragons.
Every starter has become a weapon and the bench is developing too. That was evident as Lewisburg won convincingly 65-51 and swept the regular-season series from Hughesville for the first time in six years.
“We’re hard to guard,” Driscoll said. “Even the guys we bring off the bench can attack. If we get guys open shots like that and space out the defense it makes it tough to guard us.”
“The guys played a really good game,” Lewisburg coach John Vaji said. “It was a pretty complete performance.”
Lewisburg never trailed after late in the first quarter and was so good offensively that it hit 21 of 34 shots over the final three quarters. Five players scored at least eight points, the Dragons moved the ball efficiently and were strong inside and outside. Kline scored 17 points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked six shots while fellow 6-foot-6 forward Sam Allen had 10 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three blocks.
The big stories, though, were Driscoll and Flannery. Many defenses focus on the post players and Conrad, but Driscoll and Flannery have strong all-around games too. Driscoll literally could not miss in the first half, scoring 14 points and hitting five straight second-quarter shots as Lewisburg (13-1, 7-1 HAC-II) broke open a close game, scored 23 points and took a 35-22 halftime lead. Driscoll had a hand in 18 of those 35 first-half points, hitting two 3-pointers and adding two assists.
“I was able to catch some shots in rhythm and the guys were finding me with good passes and I was able to knock them down,” Driscoll said. “We have great weapons all around. I think that with Jesse being a little more aggressive and if I can take a little more pressure off of Travis that will open things up and that will help us overall.”
Flannery missed most of the second quarter in foul trouble but was outstanding in the third quarter. The senior point guard had a hand in 12 of the team’s 17 points, scoring four points and dealing four assists as Lewisburg extended its lead to 16 and eventually 21 in the fourth quarter.
Flannery was one of four players who had at least four assists and Lewisburg finished with 21. Just about every shot was a good one and the Dragons dissected a good defensive team with its rotation and unselfishness.
“Jesse Flannery played a fabulous game in the second half,” Vaji said. “What was great about him is he could have gotten really down because he sat a lot with foul trouble in the first half but he came out and was making some great passes and a great performance on his part.”
Lewisburg beat Hughesville by 24 earlier this season and looked like it might beat that margin last night until Tristan Jeffreys took over. The senior guard continued showing why he is one of the area’s premier players, scoring 10 straight points and willing Hughesville (8-7, 5-3) back into the game. Jeffreys hit two long 3-pointers and made a steal that cut the deficit to 60-49 with 2:29 remaining.
Jeffreys, who made all six of his fourth-quarter shots from the field and the line, finished with a game-high 24 points and seven rebounds. Kline, though, clinched the win, hitting three straight foul shots and blocking another shot.
“This is the weirdest group I’ve ever had and what I mean by that is every single game is like multiple games within the game. We have some stuff, but we get so moody about the scoreboard,” Hughesville coach Nick Tagliaferri said. “I don’t think for one second that we’re not contenders. We absolutely are, there’s no doubt in my mind, but we need help from more people and need to find more residual offense.”
Fred Newhart also played well for Hughesville, scoring 13 points and grabbing eight rebounds.
Travis Conrad 3 2-3 9, Erich Kline 6 5-6 17, Sam Allen 4 2-2 10, Mike Driscoll 6 3-4 17, Jesse Flannery 2 0-0 4, Nick Costigliola 4 0-0 8, Matt Fedorajka 0 0-0 0, Dan Cole 0 0-0 0, Drew Newcomb 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 12-14 65.
Tristan Jeffreys 9 3-3 24, Fred Newhart 5 3-5 13, Brandon Fortin 1 0-0 3, Tyler Mitcheltree 3 3-4 9, Sean Poust 0 0-0 0, Kamaal Burkholder 0 0-0 0, Austin Benedict 0 0-0 0, Jeremiah McCarty 1 0-0 2, Alex Welch 0 0-0 0, Ethan Duff 0 0-0 0, Clint Snyder 0 0-0 0, Trey Smith 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 9-12 51.
Lewisburg12 23 17 13-65
Hughesville11 11 14 15-51
3-pointers: Lewisburg 3 (Driscoll 2, Conrad); Hughesville 4 (Jeffreys 3, Fortin).
Records: Lewisburg 13-1, 7-1 HAC-II. Hughesville 8-7, 5-3.
JV Score: Lewisburg 61-43.