Muncy boys beat South Williamsport

KATELYN HIBBARD/Sun-Gazette South Williamsport's Tristin Weaver (14) leaps past Muncy's Dylan Wilt (2) Monday at South.

Kolby Moyer made his first varsity start Monday night at South Williamsport. The Muncy junior sure made it one to remember.

Moyer scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed six rebounds. But it was what he did in the game’s tensest moment that really stood out. After South Williamsport cut a 20-point deficit to seven late and had a boisterous crowd riled up, Moyer quieted them and hit a clutch 3-pointer. Moyer had waited the last few years for a moment like this and when it came, he owned it.

Moyer’s 3-pointer settled Muncy, cooled off South and allowed the Indians to clinch things at the foul line as they won a hard-fought and entertaining 70-61 season opener. Matt Coyner recorded a double-double and Nate Paisley and Noah Rymsza both scored in double figures as Muncy delivered coach Jason Gresh his 100th career win.

“We were up by seven and led the whole game so hitting that 3 and slowing them down a little bit definitely helped going down the stretch and we made it work,” Moyer said. “The team played great. My teammates did a great job of getting me looks and we played really well.”

Many wondered how Muncy would perform after losing all-state guard Jeff Fry to graduation. The early returns are good with everyone Gresh used making a solid impact. Moyer especially stood out, hitting five of Muncy’s 11 3-pointers, making 7 of his 11 shots and dealing a game-clinching assist to Dylan Wilt. Moyer drained three second-half 3-pointers and made his final three shots.

South (0-2) trailed by 15 entering the fourth quarter, but staged a furious comeback and twice cut the deficit to seven. When Pete Sinibaldi scored on a runner with four minutes remaining, the Mounties made it a seven-point game and looked more than capable of completing the comeback. Enter Moyer. Yaple kept the ensuing possession alive with an offensive rebound and kicked it out toward the right wing. A defender closed in on Moyer, but the forward calmly swished the 3-pointer and South never pulled closer than seven again.

A year ago, Moyer was limited by injuries and played in just 16 games while averaging 0.8 points per game. He scored more points last night than he did all last season and gives Muncy another weapon moving forward.

“It’s confidence and Kolby was hot tonight,” Gresh said. “We talk about feeding the fire and that’s so important. We find out who has it and keep finding that person. They can all shoot the ball which is a big help. It’s something we take pride in and work hard at and it showed tonight.”

Muncy might not have anyone as explosive as Fry this season, but it could have more weapons and better balance. Coyner was a force inside, scoring 20 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Paisley smoothly ran the offense, finishing with 15 points and six assists while Rymsza set the tone with two early 3-pointers and finished with 10 points. Throw in Jordan Yaple and Logan Messenger, who played super defense and grabbed five rebounds, off the bench and Muncy looked as well-rounded as it did explosive.

The Indians moved well and passed well against both zone and man-to-man defenses throughout the first half, hitting eight 3-pointers and taking a 40-20 lead late in the second quarter. Muncy scored at least 13 points in all four quarters and won at venue that traditionally has been unkind to it, including last season.

“We have very unselfish guys who are like that on the court and off. It’s great group of guys to play with and it’s a lot of fun,” Moyer said. “We’re just trying to build off that. We were 1-0 today and we’re trying to be 1-0 the next game as well.”

“They trust each other. This team is all together, there’ no doubt about it. They play together and they work hard together,” Gresh said. “When one of them has success they’re excited for each other and that’s awesome.”

South showed plenty of promise throughout its comeback. The Mounties are a young team that started no seniors last night, but have some emerging players to build around. Three players scored in double figures and four more grabbed at least five rebounds. South opened the fourth quarter on a 10-2 run and provided several encouraging signs moving forward.

“I just wish we would have come out in the first half and played the way we did in the second half. We’re slowly getting there and the kids are starting to see that we can actually compete and we’re finally getting to the point the South program used to be,” first-year coach Rob Houseknecht said. ” I give it to those guys. They come in and work hard every day and to come back from 15 down going into the fourth quarter to seven, I couldn’t ask for a better group of kids than I have right now. We’ll get to work and I’m very pleased to be their coach.”

Sinibaldi played his best scholastic game and looks like a player who could be mighty dangerous moving forward. The junior guard has a nice all-around skill set and scored a career-high 23 points while adding seven rebounds and two blocks. Sinibaldi has a nice shot, but also attacked the basket well and scored eight fourth-quarter points, twice making it a seven-point game.

“Pete Sinibaldi had been struggling and tonight he found his stroke and got to the foul line and made some layups,” House­knecht said. “He is getting away from shooting 3s and settling for jumpers so much and is attacking the rim and that’s the best part of his game.”

Cole Lentz was vital to helping South rally and scored eight of his 14 points in the third quarter while adding four assists. Tristin Weaver looks like a potential force inside, scoring six of his 10 points during the fourth-quarter rally and adding five rebounds. A.J. Flick grabbed seven rebounds and emerging point guard Ethan Laudenslager made some nice plays going to the basket.

MUNCY (70)

Matt Coyner 6 7-12 20, Nate Paisley 5 2-4 15, Noah Rymsza 3 2-4 10, Dylan Wilt 1 0-0 2, Kolby Moyer 7 2-2 21, Jordan Yaple 0 2-2 2, Levi Messenger 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 15-24 70.

SOUTH (61)

Cole Lentz 7 0-2 14, Tristin Weaver 5 0-1 10, Dean Seman 0 0-0 0, Pete Sinibaldi 9 4-4 23, A.J. Flick 2 0-0 4, Ashton Martin 1 2-4 4, Spencer Karasek 0 0-0 0, Ryan Weinhoffer 1 0-0 2, Ethan Laudenslager 2 0-0 4. Totals 27 6-11 61.

Muncy 21 19 17 13–70

South 12 14 15 20–61

3-pointers: Muncy 11 (Moyer 5, Paisley 3, Rymsza 2, Coyner); South 1 (Sinibaldi).

Records: Muncy 1-0. South 0-2.

JV Score: South 58-41.