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Montoursville takes energy out of Hughesville early

Hunter Shearer buried an open 3-pointer. Dillon Young made back-to-back steals on consecutive Hughesville possessions, and he and Peyton Mussina turned them into easy layups.

At that point, all the life was sucked out of a hobbled Spartans bench.

Montoursville stunned a packed house of senior night inside Hughesville’s gym with a 60-33 win on Monday night.

As the Warriors are getting healthy at the right time of the season, the Spartans are still trying to piece together a roster ravaged by injuries to Nick Trevouledes and Garrett Boyer. It’s late in the season and Hughesville is still searching for its team chemistry after it wrapped up its regular season Monday night.

“We knew the gym was going to be loud and full of energy so I wanted to come out and play hard, get zoned in and play a good game,” said Young, who scored 12 points, added seven rebounds and four assists.

Young and Mussina (13 points, 4 rebounds) formed a tandem at the front of the defense that picked apart the Hughesville gameplan.

“There’s really not a whole lot to say about the game,” said Hughesville coach Nick Tagliaferri, who was still searching for words to sum up the game in its aftermath. “I can’t really explain what happened (Monday) night.”

The Warriors asserted their dominance early with the return of 6-foot, 5-inch center Austin Loe from a foot injury, and he patrolled the low post. His presence spread out the Hughesville offense and made the Spartans to settle for longer shots or drive to the hoop and get blocked by Loe. It made for an easy night for Montoursville to grab rebounds, get out in transition quickly and wear down the Hughesville side.

“With Austin in the middle it was really tough to get shots off and him being in the lane really affected (Hughesville’s) offense,” Montoursville coach Mike Mussina said.

Montoursville built an 18-10 lead after the first quarter as Josh Burger knocked down a 3 and followed with a jumper after Young sucked in the Spartan defense and kicked the ball out to Burger. Loe dropped a long-range shot as the Warriors mounted a 10-4 run to end the quarter. Peyton Mussina made a pair of free throws, Shearer and Young hit 1 of 2, and Loe finished off the quarter with a layup for seven points.

“I felt pretty good out there,” Loe said. “We took care of business early and were able to get the win.”

Loe and the Warriors continued to upset the Spartans’ offensive rhythm holding an 18-4 second-quarter advantage and a 36-14 lead at the break. Loe blocked an Ethan Snyder shot before Young grabbed the rebound and went coast-to-coast for a layup sparking a 10-1 run.

“We’ve had some pretty good wins and everyone is getting healthy so we are feeling pretty strong right now,” Young said. “With Austin out there he makes a huge difference because he’s a big body inside and very strong. He’s a great leader for the team.”

Hughesville had no answer for Loe and the Montoursville defense as the Warriors cruised to the final buzzer. The Spartans were led by Blake Sherwood’s eight points and Tagliaferri emptied his bench with Josh Heiney scoring two 3s from the left corner, Coleton Kilgore and Trent Knarr also added a pair of layups in the fourth quarter.

MONTOURSVILLE (60)

Brandon Good 2 0-1 4; Dillon Young 4 4-6 12; Josh Burger 1 3-5 5; Zach Mallery 1 0-0 3; Jake Simms 2 2-2 7; Hunter Shearer 2 1-2 7; Austin Loe 4 0-0 9; Peyton Mussina 5 2-2 13. Totals 21 12-18 60.

HUGHESVILLE (33)

Clayton Poust 2 0-0 4; Blake Sherwood 4 0-0 8; Justus Leighow 1 1-3 3; Carter Cowburn 2 1-3 5; Steele Evangelisti 1 0-0 2; Austin Sheatler 0 1-2 1; Josh Heiney 2 0-0 6; Coleton Kilgore 1 0-0 2; Dylan Bieber 0 0-1 0; Trent Knarr 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 3-9 33.

Montoursville 18 18 17 7 — 60

Hughesville 10 4 9 10 — 33

3-point goals: Montoursville 6 (Shearer 2, Mussina, Mallery, Loe), Hughesville 2 (Heiney).

JV: Montoursville, 32-30. High scorer: Isaiah Fenner, Landon Reeder, M, 9; Heiney, H, 11.

Record: Montoursville (16-4), Hughesville (15-5).

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