Bears maul Raiders
COAL TOWNSHIP - Mahanoy Area coach Mickey Holland has seen his share of basketball battles over the years, most of which he's won.
But he probably has rarely been as happy as he was Thursday night after his Golden Bears came to Lourdes Regional and completely took it to the Red Raiders, 52-28, in a Schuylkill League crossover game.
Mahanoy Area (10-3) held Lourdes (9-3) to under 20 percent shooting (9-for-46), got balanced, patient offense and completely dominated what Holland thinks is a pretty good team.
"I'm really pleased. This was probably our best game this year. We definitely played well," Holland said. "Lourdes is a good team."
The Golden Bears limited Lourdes to single-digit scoring in every quarter but the last, when Lourdes tried to pick up the pace a little in desperation. In a sense, the Red Raiders' lack of a 3-point threat and insistence on working the ball inside kind of played into Mahanoy Area's hands.
Leading the charge for Mahanoy Area was center Tyler Cavenas, who had an impressive double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds, but really did a lot more than that. He added two assists, three steals and three blocked shots to his line and controlled the inside at both ends.
"He probably altered a few shots, too," Holland said. "Tyler did a great job in the paint."
Cavenas got plenty of help, though.
Larry McNeil hit 4 of 9 3-point attempts, scoring 14 points with six rebounds, Dylan Mahmoud scored 10 points and had six assists, and Kyle McGee added nine points. The Golden Bears shot 53 percent overall (17 for 32) and almost 44 percent (7 for 16) from 3-point range.
Ironically, Lourdes coach Pete Long wasn't too displeased with his team.
"They beat us," Long said. "They played great help defense and it was a combination of things. We also shot poorly when we did get open shots. But I thought we did a good job of staying with our offense, but nothing fell for us. Then we started to press a little and it got away."
Anthony Pennypacker battled hard for the Red Raiders, scoring 15 points, but 11 of those came in the first half and he eventually tired and started missing some of his shots.
"Anthony was the only one trying to make things happen and he kind of wore down," Long said. "Their big guy played great. We have trouble with big kids anyway because we're undersized, but he really knew his role."
MAHANOY AREA (52) - Cavenas 5 5-6 15, Mahmoud 3 2-4 10, McNeil 5 0-1 14, McGee 3 2-2 9, Miller 1 2-2 4, Merchlinsky 0 0-0 0, Richmond 0 0-0 0, Wronski 0 0-0 0, Yedsena 0 0-0 0, Kuzma 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 11-15 52.
LOURDES (28) - Menapace 2 2-2 7, Pennypacker 5 5-7 15, Savitski 1 0-0 2, Oquendo 1 0-0 2, Howal 0 0-0 0, Gilger 0 2-2 2, T. Holleran 0 0-0 0. Totals 9 9-11 28.
3-point FGs: Mahanoy Area (7) - Mahmoud 2, McNeil 4, McGee; Lourdes (1) - Menapace.
JV: Mahanoy Area 64 (Vedsean 13), Lourdes 25 (Luke Holleran 9)