Duran key to Red Tornadoes' 10-point victory
WILLIAMSPORT - Mount Carmel's Elijah Duran has had a problem this season of picking up early fouls, which has put him on the bench for much more time than he'd like.
It happened again Tuesday, when Duran picked up his second foul barely four minutes into the Red Tornadoes' District 4 AA playoff game against Williamson. But this time, Duran sat out the rest of the quarter, then
came back strong to play perhaps his best game of the season. Duran scored 19 points with nine rebounds, made 7 of 10 shots and didn't collect another foul the rest of the game, and Zach Tocyloski came off the bench to score 16 points, making 3 of 5 3-point shots, as the Red Tornadoes defeated Williamson, 59-49, at Williamsport Area High School.
Mount Carmel (14-9) will play Lewisburg in the quarterfinal round this weekend at a site and time to be determined.
"I knew this was a big game for us," Duran said. "I knew when I got back in I had to keep my cool and that I couldn't be as aggressive as I'd like, but I still had to play good defense."
"We probably played the best team defense we've played all year, and that was probably the best defense Eli has played this season," Mount Carmel coach John Lazicki said.
Duran's job was to watch his 6-foot, 3-inch center counterpart, Hunter Huyett, and although a look at Huyett's statistics (25 points, eight rebounds, seven blocked shots) might not convince you of the defensive job Duran did, he did what he had to do.
"He was a really good shooter but I tried to stay with him when he went outside because I knew he was looking to shoot first," Duran said. "He was looking to shoot instead of drive to the basket."
Duran scored eight of points in the second quarter, as the Red Tornadoes came back from a 14-10 deficit to take an eight-point halftime lead, 26-18. They were able to maintain that lead most of the second half.
Williamson (12-11) closed the gap to 39-34 at the the end of the third quarter and had it down to five again after Huyett bombed a 3-point shot in early in the fourth. But Tocyloski came right back and nailed his third trey of the game to put the lead back up to eight and the Red Tornadoes banged home foul shots the rest of the way to protect the lead.
"That basket was the biggest of the game," Lazicki said. "If he comes down there and misses and they get the rebound and score again, who knows what might have happened. But as it was, we were even and we kept the lead. Tocy was huge again. He had 18 against Shamokin. He's a player who can do that when he has confidence in himself."
Ben Scicchitano had a strong game for Mount Carmel as well. He scored nine points with five rebounds, four assists and three steals, and was particularly good in the first half when Mount Carmel took the lead. Rob Varano added nine rebounds to the cause.
Troy Adriance chipped in with 17 points for Williamson, but the rest of the Warriors' lineup scored seven points and shot a combined 3 for 20 from the floor.
"This was a good win for us," Lazicki said. "It's our first playoff win in some time and these kids deserve it. They're a very good group of kids."
WILLIAMSON (49) - 1 0-1 2, Cevette 1 0-0 3, Daley 1 0-0 2, Adriance 6 3-4 17, Huyett 11 1-1 25, Haight 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 4-6 49.
MOUNT CARMEL (59) - Tocyloski 5 3-4 16, Varano 2 0-0 4, Duran 7 5-9 19, Scicchitano 3 2-2 9, Kwiatkowski 1 3-4 5, Beierschmitt 0 0-0 0, Heromin 1 1-2 4, Wasilewski 0 0-0 0, Kelly 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 14-21 59.
3-point FGs: Williamson (5) - Cevette, Adriance 2, Huyett 2; Mount Carmel (5) - Tocyloski 3, Scicchitano, Heromin.