Millionaire boys pick up road victory
STATE COLLEGE — Trailing by three points, State College took the inbounds from under the basket for its possession and slowly dribbled up court. The Little Lions tried to orchestrate their offense, but in a split second, the hope of possibly hitting a game-tying 3-pointer vanished.
Qayyim Ali made a heads-up play from half court, swiping away the ball and flying down court for the easy layup to put the Millionaires ahead by five. It wasn’t an insurmountable lead by any stretch, but it dealt a blow to State College and kept the momentum from State College.
While the Little Lions closed within a one-score deficit in the final minute, Williamsport seemingly kept coming up with a shot to dispel any rally chance. When State College made it a 2-point game with a minute to play, Brian Duvall came up clutch with two baskets in roughly six seconds to put the Millionaires back up by six.
It was that type of hustle late that helped Williamsport hold on for a 67-62 win over the Little Lions at State College High School on Friday night.
It was a sluggish first-half for the Millionaires (17-4) though, who went 2 for 12 from the floor in the first quarter and didn’t lead until late in the second quarter before State College’s Ryan McNulty hit a putback with 10 seconds left until halftime to go ahead by three.
“We weren’t moving the ball. We were holding the ball and just studying and telegraphing where we wanted to pass the ball. With their size and length, athletic ability, they were anticipating and getting deflections. they were just disrupting our timing. We weren’t able to get quality shots,” Williamsport coach Allen Taylor said. “We were able to pick it up defensively and it helped us get out in transition.”
State College (17-4) did lose starter Drew Friberg to an injury in the first quarter and he didn’t return. But even without him, State College didn’t let the lead get too far out of reach after the Millionaires did claim the lead for good a few minutes into the third quarter. McNulty led State College with 17 points and Keaton Ellis came off the bench to add 14. Tommy Friberg scored 10 for State College as well.
Offensively, Williamsport had two players record double-doubles in both Ali and Stanley Scott. Ali had a solid night, with a team-high 18 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and swiped away five steals and Scott ended with 14 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block. Add in Rondell Carson, who had 16 points and six boards, and it’s easy to see how dangerous the Millionaires are when multiple players are firing on all cylinders.
The trio made things difficult for State College to defend. When Scott struggled early, Ali and Carson helped carry the offense.
“Stanley’s Stanley, he does what he does, but Rondell and Qayyim are often overlooked because they may not score a lot of points every night, but what they do defensively and what they do for us as far as rebounding? We don’t win 17 games without those two guys, they are exceptional,” Taylor said. “They don’t mind going out there and sacrificing offense just as long as they know we’re going to get a win. … I thought those two guys were key and a big reason why we won tonight.”
Duvall also added 10 points for Williamsport. The Millionaires held a rebounding advantage over State College, 35-24, and only allowed the Little Lions to grab eight offensive rebounds.
“Rondell Carson was a man among boys out there on the boards. His rebounding was really needed. Those two guys (Ali and Carson) were absolute studs rebounding. I thought we picked it up because they pounded us in first half,” Taylor said. “In second half, we kind of flipped it on them and we killed them on the offensive glass.”
The largest lead Williamsport held was eight points. State College’s Tommy Friberg made things interesting late in the fourth quarter. With 2:50 to play, Friberg drilled a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to two points at 53-51. He then hit a layup 30 seconds later after an Ali basket to again cut it to two points, 55-53.
The closest State College came to tying it was when Eli Bokunewicz hit two free throws to make it a 58-56 game with just under a minute to play, but Duvall came up with his two huge baskets for Williamsport to lead by six.
State College was fouled and made all three shots from the free throw line with 6 seconds to play to trail, 65-62, but Ali was fouled and sealed the game by hitting both free throws.
Brian Duvall 4 2-5 10; Stanley Scott 5 4-6 14; Marcus Simmons 2 2-2 7; Rondell Carson 7 2-3 16; Qayyim Ali 7 3-5 18; Darryl Wilson 1 0-0 2; Al-Tamar Jason 0 0-0 0; Elliott Walker 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 13-21 67.
State College (62)
Keaton Ellis 1 11-14 14; Lee Koudela 0 0-0 0; Ryan McNulty 6 5-7 17; Tommy Friberg 3 3-4 10; Eli Bokunewicz 1 4-4 6; Drew Friberg 1 0-0 2; Tommy Sekunda 4 2-2 13. Totals 16 25-31 62.
Williamsport 5 12 23 27 — 67
State College 11 9 17 25 — 62
3-point goals: WIlliamsport 2 (Ali 1, Simmons 1), State College 5 (Sekunda 3, T. Friberg 1, Ellis 1)
JV score: Williamsport, 43-36. High scorer: Al-Tamar Jason, W, 14.
Records: Williamsport (17-4), State College (17-4).