WHS boys win 11th straight
After a midseason loss to Pottsville, Williamsport coach Allen Taylor knew his team’s offensive execution had to improve. Against most teams, the Millionaires can get by on pure athleticism and talent. But when in a dogfight against a quality opponent, how would the Millionaires execute? And with the playoffs coming up, that question will soon be answered.
But Williamsport’s offensive execution over the last 40 days has improved and that was on full display Thursday night as Williamsport defeated West Scranton, 89-56, at home for its 11th straight win.
Williamsport (18-4) scored a season-high in points and five players scored in double-figures while 12 players scored in the Millionaires final regular season game.
“I told guys in the beginning of the season that we were going to win games just off our sheer hustle, effort and imposing our will to win because physically I thought we were in better shape,” Taylor said. “But later in the year we were going to need to improve on our offensive execution and that seems to be what has happened because when we went on this 11-game run, it was our offensive execution that helped us beat some of the better teams.
“We lost to four teams, those loses were due to our inability to execute on the offensive end,” said Taylor. “Not being able to run the play and come up with a quality shot when we needed it. Late in the second half of the season, guys have been a lot better with that.”
Earlier in the season, many of Stanley Scott’s teammates would just stand and watch in awe as he put on show, just like he did last night while scoring 20 points, grabbing five rebounds and dishing three assists, including an NBA dunk competition-like windmill dunk that brought West Scranton’s bench to its feet. But over the year Qayyim Ali (10 points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals, two blocks) and Rondell Carson (13 points, nine rebounds, two blocks) have been playing big-time but more recently Darryl Wilson (16 points, two assists) has been stepping up big with his outside shooting as he knocked down four 3-pointers. And Brian Duvall (10 points) has been a solid contributor the whole season.
“That’s a good thing when you have three, four guys in double-figures because everybody know’s Stan Scott is probably an all-stater but you come in and you think if you take Stan Scott away and we’re going to fall apart but we got three, four other guys that can hurt you as well so Stan can go out there, play solid D and be a facilitator and he makes sure he keeps everybody else involved. Then he picks his opportunities when he can so it’s nice when you have four or five guys that can get you double-figures every time.”
Williamsport took advantage of a physically underwhelming West Scranton team. The Millionaires jumped out to a 19-6 first quarter lead. West Scranton got within eight late in the second quarter but Scott hit a buzzer beating 3 to make it an 11-point lead. West Scranton cut the lead to nine early in the third but Williamsport answered with a 26-11 run to close the third quarter. Williamsport outscored West Scranton 51-29 in the second half.
West Scranton (56)
Blake Carlton 2 1-3 5, Cole Stetzar 4 0-0 10, Austin Lipowitch 3 0-1 6, Shaun Fanning 4 2-2 10, Matt Williams 3 0-0 6, Josh Hart 4 0-2 8, Shayne Merrifield 4 0-0 11, Bryce Harrington 0 0-0 0, Nick Gioia 0 0-0 0, Ryan Managan 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 3-8 56.
Stanley Scott 7 2-2 20, Qayyim Ali 4 2-4 10, Rondell Carson 5 3-3 13, Brian Duvall 6 0-0 12, Marcus Simmons 2 0-0 4, Al-Tamar Jason 1 0-0 2, Darryl Wilson 7 0-0 16, Brandon Campbell 0 0-0 0, Tyler McCann 1 0-0 2, Elliot Walker 2 0-0 4, Malik Harman 1 0-0 2, Demetrius Santiago 1 0-1 2, Eric Smith 1 0-0 2. Totals 38 7-10 89.
West Scranton 6 21 15 14- 56
Williamsport 19 19 28 23- 89
3-point goals: West Scranton 5 (Merrifield 3, Stetzar 2); Williamsport 6 (Wilson 4, Scott 2)
JV score: West Scranton 66-55 High scorer: Ethan Williams, Will., 20
Records: Williamsport (18-4); West Scranton (12-10) Next: Williamsport vs. Scranton at TBA (Sat., Feb. 25)