Roger Wilson attacked Hughesville players the way teammate Ryan Bogaczyk has pain. Together, the two Loyalsock seniors proved a potent combination Monday night.
Wilson blocked a career-high 12 shots in only 22 minutes while Bogaczyk scored 11 first-half points in a flash as Loyalsock overcame a slow start and thumped visiting Hughesville, 70-47. Wilson added 10 points and was just two rebounds from a triple-double. Bogaczyk, who broke his ankle a day before preseason practice opened, scored all 11 of his points and grabbed four rebounds during two pivotal first-half bursts that gave Loyalsock a 15-point halftime lead.
"There's still pain in the Achilles and the ankle and the side but it's something I have to live with," said Bogaczyk. "Especially with me being a captain and having another great captain like Roger, we realize we have to take control of the team and lead them to where they want to go."
Jeremiah McCarty (15) and Brandon Fortin (22)?of Hughesville try to keep the ball as Loyalsock’s Roger Wilson reaches in Monday at Loyalsock. View additional photos at cu.sungazette.com.
They did a good job Monday and Loyalsock (16-3, 11-0) remained a game ahead of Lewisburg (18-1, 10-1) in the HAC-II. Hughesville (10-8, 6-5) actually led 8-0 early but Wilson soon started changing the game's complexion, consistently blocking shots whenever Spartans ventured into the lane.
By the end of the first quarter, Wilson had four blocks. By halftime he had nine and he blocked No. 10 early in the third quarter as Loyalsock started blowing things open. Even when Wilson did not block shots he had an impact, as Hughesville missed several inside shots. The Spartans made only five field goals in the middle quarters.
"At the beginning of the game I already felt it. I didn't know what was going to happen but I felt like all my energy was going to spill out on the floor," Wilson said. "Each time they came in I thought, 'Why are you driving in when I'm down here?' That's my mentality right now, so I gave them a reason not to do that anymore."
"The thing with Roger is he has learned how to maintain his composure and that has enhanced the other aspects of his game," Loyalsock coach Ron Insinger said. "He's picked it up and he has good timing and instincts. He's become a natural leader too. The kids really look up to him."
While Wilson slowed the Hughesville offense, Bogaczyk damaged its defense in the first half. The senior forward made four straight shots at one point and hit five of his final six.
Bogaczyk scored the first-quarter's final five points as Loyalsock pulled even at 13-13. He then put the Lancers ahead to stay early in the second, making a difficult, running, underhand floater while being fouled. Hughesville hung tough and was down just 23-19 midway through the second when Bogaczyk went to work again and scored four straight points to spark a half-ending 14-3 run.
Bogaczyk was a starter on last year's district champion but has come off the bench while working back from his injury this season. He said doctors told him things were complicated because he tried rushing back from a three-month injury in three weeks. Still, Bogaczyk is starting to round into form and that is a huge bonus as Loyalsock tries defending its crown.
"I'm tired of being hurt. There's no way I'm going to let my injury keep me out any more, not a chance," Bogaczyk said. "I thought to myself in the beginning of the game there's no more time to heal. I have to be 100 percent now. There's no way I'm going to sit out and do anything else. I'm just going to go out and do what I've done for the last three years."
"He's definitely coming back to his game. The Ryan Bogaczyk that I know is back," Wilson said. "He scraps every time. Any time there's a loose ball he's right there and he usually gets it."
Loyalsock erased any hopes of a Hughesville comeback early in the third quarter when Omar Little went on a tear and scored 13 straight points. The explosive sophomore guard made a nice pass before going on his scoring binge. By the time it was over, Loyalsock led 52-26 and had forced six Hughesville turnovers during that span.
Little was the game's high scorer with 13 points and four assists while Kyle Datres added four assists, three steals and played good defense. Josh Howell had four points and five rebounds off the bench while Mike Pastore had seven points and four assists.
Hughesville took it to Loyalsock early, going up 8-0 less than three minutes in. Tristan Jeffreys scored seven first-quarter points and Fred Newhart finished with 10 points and six rebounds. Hughesville's young players performed well late and freshman Trey Smith looked like a future star, scoring nine fourth-quarter points.
Tristan Jeffreys 3 0-2 7, Fred Newhart 5 0-0 10, Brandon Fortin 0 3-4 3, Sean Poust 0 0-0 0, Tyler Mitcheltree 0 4-4 4, Kamaal Burkholder 0 0-0 0, Austin Benedict 1 0-0 2, Jermiah McCarty 1 0-1 2, Trey Smith 4 0-0 9, Adam Welch 0 0-0 0, Clint Snyder 1 3-4 6, Ty Stugart 0 0-0 0, Logan Henry 1 0-0 2, Kody Minier 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 10-15 47.
Roger Wilson 5 0-1 10, Kyle Datres 2 0-0 4, Omar Little 6 1-1 13, Ben Sosa 3 2-2 8, Mike Pastore 2 2-2 7, Luke Glavin 0 2-2 2, Ryan Bogaczyk 5 1-3 11, Josh Howell 2 0-0 4, Wes Lapoint 0 0-0 0, Tommy Baggett 0 0-0 0, Robbie Klein 1 0-0 2, Corey Young 2 0-0 5, Brennan Casale 1 0-0 2, Ryan Loeh 1 0-0 2. Totals 30 8-11 70.
Hughesville13 9 6 19-47
Loyalsock13 24 21 22-70
3-pointers: Hughesville 3 (Jeffreys, Smith, Snyder); Loyalsock 2 (Pastore, Young).
Records: Loyalsock 16-3, 11-0 HAC-II. Hughesville 10-9, 6-5.