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Lock Haven falls to regionally-ranked East Stroudsburg

LOCK HAVEN — Going into Wednesday night’s meeting against East Stroudsburg, Lock Haven head coach Mike Nestor was hoping only that his depleted squad could hold its own with the regionally-ranked Warriors.

However, after keeping their deficit in the 10-12 range for the first dozen minutes, the depth of the Warriors took over as they cruised to a 77-62 win over the Bald Eagles.

“Honestly what happened was expected in terms of the style,” said Nestor. “The one things that stood out was offensive rebounding which they are good at, but at the same time, we didn’t do a very good job with it. Our insides just have to do a better job of going to the glass.”

With the lack of available players, Nestor had a gameplan for allowing certain players to take perimeter shots for the Warriors.

“One went 5 of 6, another one goes 2 of 4 and another one goes 1 of 2 from the three,” said Nestor. “When that happens, you are more or less digging yourself a hole that is almost impossible to dig yourself out of.”

Knowing what his team was giving up in terms of available players, Nestor like the intensity they played with.

“We scrapped. We lost by 15 so that is a scrap,” Nestor said. “Their scrapping was what I always expect. Keeping them to 77 points is also pretty solid. They score a lot of points. We turned the ball over 17 times, 12 from your two better players, but they are playing against a press for 40 minutes so that is not that bad. In the end, they just had too much manpower for us to deal with.”

The Warriors came out smoking as they racked up a 16-6 lead four minutes into the game.

Hanging around for the next eight minutes while keeping contact, the Bald Eagles cut their deficit back to single digits (20-27) with nine minutes left in the opening period.

But that was as close as the Eagles would get to the Warriors as they outscored LHU, 14-4, down the stretch to take a 41-24 lead to the locker room at the break.

The Bald Eagles would cut their deficit to a dozen in the first few minutes of the second half, but again, the Warriors went to work on offense as they built their lead back to 20 (55-35) with 14 minutes left.

From that point on over the final 10 minutes, the two teams traded points to the final of 77-62.

Nestor did receive some good news when Christian Kelly, who went out with a bad ankle sprain a week ago, showed signs of coming back in the near future.

“Hopefully we can get CK back here, if not this week maybe next week,” said Nestor. “We’ll just have to play it by ear and see where he is at that point. We don’t want to push it because we are playing some really good teams and to aggravate something now that could hurt us when the playoffs roll around, I just don’t think it is worth it to push the issue.”

As he has so many times this season, Matt Cerruti was once again the leading scorer for LHU with 28 points, Cerruti joined by Matt McPherson who finished with 17. In addition to his scoring, Cerruti also yanked down 10 boards for his double-double.

East Stroudsburg 77, Lock Haven 62

ESU (16-6, 13-3 PSAC)

Ryan Smith 9-16 21, Josh Williams 8-13 0-0 18, Montrel Morgan 6-8 0-0 17, Jakwan Jones 2-6 0-0 4, Nick Giordano 0-10 0-0 0, Troy Jones 2-6 0-0 6, Shamir Johnson 1-3 1-2 3, Ish Horn 1-2 0-0 2, Michal Weiss 1-2 0-2 2, Mike Millsip 1-2 0-0 2, Jacob Godfrey 1-1 0-0 2, Steven Stoney 0-3 0-0 0, Carlos Pepin 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 32-73 3-6 77.

LHU (10-11, 7-9 PSAC)

Matt Cerruti 10-18 7-11 28, Jesse McPherson 7-11 3-4 17, Jihad Barnes 3-9 2-4 8, Damian Young 2-4 0-0 5, Noah Warren 0-3 2-2 2, Ibrahim Sylla 1-3 0-0 2, Khaleeq Campbell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-48 14-21 62.

Halftime: ESU 41-24. 3-point goals: ESU 10-29 (Smith 1-2, Williams 2-4, Morgan 5-6, Jones 0-3, Giordano 0-6, Horn 0-1, Jones 2-5, Stoney 0-1, Johnson 0-1); LHU 2-12 (Cerruti 1-5, Barnes 0-1, Young 1-3, Warren 0-3). Fouled out: ESU-none. LHU-none. Rebounds: ESU 46 (Williams 11); LHU 25 (Cerruti 10). Assists: ESU 19 (Jones 7); LHU 5 (Barnes 2). Total fouls: ESU 20, LHU 8. A: 151.

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