MCA tops Southern
MOUNT CARMEL - There are no style points in basketball, but if there were, they would have been few and far between - for either team - in Mount Carmel Area's 62-61 Heartland II victory over Southern Columbia Tuesday night.
But Tornadoes' coach John Lazicki, whose team has struggled some for wins through the early part of the season, would take five or six in a row just like it.
What Mount Carmel did was fight. The Tornadoes showed grit. They never quit. And, oh yeah, they hung on.
"With both hands," Lazicki said after the game. "Southern Columbia doesn't quit, they play hard.
"But my kids don't quit either."
The Tornadoes trailed early. They were down five at the end of the first quarter, but a huge second quarter gave them a 3-point edge by the half. They ran that up to 10 with less than two minutes to play in the third, then the hanging on began as the Tigers clawed back.
It was that second quarter, when Mount Carmel hung 23 on the board, that turned the tide.
"We play pretty good basketball, then we stop playing pretty good basketball," Southern coach Dave Yost said. "Then we have to fight to get back.
"We play well in spurts, but the second quarter has been our major demise lately."
Both teams had multiple players in double-figure scoring. Mike Klebon, with a game-high 19, Matt Klock with 17 and Bryce Parry with 13 paced Southern.
Zach Tocyloski, who came off the bench to score a team-high 14, Tyler Kwiatkowski with 13, Elijah Duran with 12 and Ben Scicchitano with 11 were the Mount Carmel leaders.
And it might have been Scicchitano whose points were the biggest of all.
After the Tigers fought back from that 10-point deficit to make it anybody's game down the stretch, he scored seven of his 11 inside the final two minutes to allow the Tornadoes to maintain their slim advantage.
"Ben (Scicchitano) sure came up huge," Lazicki said. "He's a true basketball player, works at it all year, and he plays hard."
The victory takes away some of the sting Mount Carmel felt after dropping three of its most recent four games.
"Those were three good teams - Mahanoy, Lewisburg and Loyalsock," Lazicki said.
For the Tigers, the loss was their second straight after claiming the championship of their own holiday invitational tournament.
"This game was an example of what we have been having trouble with the past week or so," Yost said, referring to his team poor second quarter after going out to an early lead.
"It's fixable. It's a couple little things here and there. We have to realize we need to play 32 minutes, we have to compete four quarters."
SOUTHERN (61) - Klebon 7 3-4 19, Parry 4 4-6 13, Klock 7 1-2 17, Mostik 2 0-1 4, Young 0 0-0 0, Kleman 2 0-0 4, Woods 0 0-0 0, Palacz 0 0-0 0, Rarig 1 0-0 2, Olson 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 8-13 61.
MOUNT CARMEL (62) - Varano 3 0-4 6, Heromin 2 0-2 4, Kwiatkowski 5 3-6 13, Beierschmitt 1 0-0 2, Duran 5 2-3 12, Tocyloski 5 1-2 14, Scicchitano 3 5-7 11, Wasilewski 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 11-20 62.
3-point FGs: Klebon 2, Klock 2, Parry, Tocyloski 3.