COAL TOWNSHIP - Lourdes Regional, with perhaps its youngest team ever, won its 1,000th game in school history Thursday and the Red Raiders, despite their youth, won it the way most of the other 999 wins were recorded - with painstaking defense.

Facing another young, struggling team in Schuylkill Haven, the Red Raiders forced 21 turnovers and held the Hurricanes to 22 points in a 48-22 Schuylkill League Division III win.

The Red Raiders, now 9-9 overall, weren't too bad offensively, either, shooting just under 50 percent from the floor (17 of 35) and 12 of 13 from the foul line.

"Absolutely, this is a great accomplishment for a team this young," said Lourdes head coach Pete Long. "Nobody even thought they'd have a chance at it this year. But these kids come to play every night. Some nights we're outmanned but we compete."

Last night, the Red Raiders were clearly a better team.

"Everything we talked about - turnovers, playing hard - we did," Long said. "Our shooting was confident and I think our matchup zone was as good as it gets. We kept changing it up, from a 1-3-1 to a 2-3 or 3-2, and they didn't adjust."

It was so effective that through three quarters, the Hurricanes had more turnovers than shots.

Lourdes went up 15-9 in the first quarter and after a very deliberate

second quarter by both teams, the Red Raiders hiked the lead to 33-16 at the end of three quarters.

The 1,000-win mark was particularly significant for point guard Mike Gilger, the only senior on the team. He has had to sacrifice personal statistics for the good of his young teammates, and has had nights when he's been hounded into lots of turnovers.

He was the catalyst last night, with seven points, five assists and six steals.

"It means a lot because this is such a young bunch of kids," Gilger said. "We have a sophomore, a junior and three freshmen besides me and it's hard being the only senior. But if we make the playoffs (Lourdes needs two more wins) it will be a big step for the future of the program, and I'll be happy watching these kids the next few years."

"Eleven wins is our 20 (wins)," Long said. "If we get to that it will be an amazing accomplishment, and I'm not even thinking about who we'd play."

Freshman Larry Czeponis led Lourdes' offense, as he has done often, with 12 points. Kenny Pawelczyk added 10 points, hitting 4 of 5 shots from the floor.

Mike Ulsh led Schuylkill Haven with seven points.

Game Summary

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN (22) - Charles 0 0-0 0, Blulis 0 2-2 2, Conage 0 0-0 0, Ulsh 3 0-2 7, Webb 2 0-0 5, Hughes 1 0-1 2, McLaughlin 0 0-0 0, Fanelli 1 0-0 2, Fryer 1 1-2 3, Naus 0 1-2 1. Totals 8 4-9 22.

LOURDES (48) - L, Holleran 1 0-0 3, Gilger 3 1-1 7, Pawelczyk 4 1-1 10, Fobia 1 5-6 8, Padula 2 0-0 4, Czeponis 5 2-2 12, Nguyen 1 0-0 2, Bucanelli 0 0-0 0, A. Holleran 0 0-0 0, Maneval 0 0-0 0, O'Brian 0 0-0 0, Zarkowski 0 2-2 2, Feese 0 0-1 0, Ahrensfield 0 0-0 0, Henninger 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 12-13 48.

3-point FGs: Schuylkill Haven (2) - Ulsh, Webb; Lourdes (3) - L. Holleran, Pawelczyk, Fobia.

JV score: Schuylkill Haven 35-34.