K of C tourney tips off Friday at SAHS
Three local teams will be part of the four-team field Friday night when the 46th annual Shamokin Knights of Columbus Holiday Basketball Tournament tips off at the Shamokin Area High School gym.
This year's tournament will be a boys-teams-only event, although Saturday, between the consolation and championship games, the Shamokin Area girls will meet the Lourdes Regional girls, giving fans a little more bang for their buck.
In opening-night matchups, Line Mountain and Lourdes will square off in the opener, while Shamokin will tangle with Minersville, the only tourney team not from the immediate area.
In the only matchup between any of the four thus far this season, Lourdes scored a 41-34 victory over Minersville. Zack Oquendo did most of the damage in that one for the Red Raiders, scoring 21 points.
Oquendo (14.8 ppg), Anthony Pennypacker (13.8) and Matt Savitski (10.5) all average in double figures for Lourdes, which won its own tournament to open the season and has five victories to go against only one defeat.
Line Mountain, which struggled to a 5-17 mark last year, has already match that victory total this season, winning five of its first eight games.
The Eagles have shown an ability to score, surpassing the 70-point mark twice in eight games and averaging 60.5 per contest.
Senior Bill Breinich is the team's scoring leader, averaging 18.8 per game, and has already dropped in an area-high 17 3-pointers. Cole Rickert scores at a 14.1 per game clip and is the Eagles' other potent offensive option.
Shamokin is off to a 1-5 start, but the young Indians - no starters returned from last season, and two freshmen have played prominent roles - have likely played the toughest schedule in the area thus far.
Their lone victory was 63-49 over Hughesville in the opening game of the season, which was the opening game of Mifflinburg's tipoff tournament.
Kevin Carsto has been Shamokin's scoring leader, averaging exactly 10 points per game. Austin Stine and Dan Delbaugh are close behind at 9.8 and 8.5, respectively.
Minersville enters with a 2-4 mark.
Southern Columbia will be hosting its own holiday tournament.
Scheduled to meet in Friday night's semifinals are Milton and North Schuylkill at 6 p.m., and Northwest and the host Tigers at 7:30.
Southern has played only three games thus far, dropping two, but has also shown the ability to score points in a big way, surpassing 70 in two of those games.
Matt Klock, Bryce Parry and Mike Klebon have been the big scorers, averaging 17.7, 16.3 and 15.3, respectively.
(Roth is Sports Editor
of The News-Item)