Seniors lead Red Raiders to win
COAL TOWNSHIP - It was fitting that on Lourdes' Senior Night, the Red Raiders' seniors came through.
In a basketball game which at times looked more like demolition derby, Lourdes held Mount Carmel to 14 second-half points and rallied for a 47-37 non-league win behind its seniors.
They accounted for 43 of Lourdes' 47 points. Matt Savitski scored 16 points and Anthony Pennypacker 13, and fellow seniors Mike Menapace and Zack Oquendo added nine and five points, respectively, and each had seven rebounds as the Red Raiders finished the regular season 17-5. Mount Carmel, which had won four straight, dropped to 11-9 and has two regular season games left.
"This was a real good win," Lourdes coach Pete Long said. "Mount Carmel is a quality team. This is a great group of seniors. I've enjoyed coaching them. Their parents have raised them the right way.
"They play hard. Our shots weren't falling, just like against Williams Valley, but I told them to keep shooting. Then I thought our halfcourt trap put some pressure on them and we got some transition baskets."
The Red Tornadoes held a 23-21 halftime lead but never could put much together in the second half. Their troubles mounted when center Elijah Duran was ejected from the game with 2:47 left in the third quarter for throwing an elbow in retaliation at Tyler Holleran, who nudged him with a shoulder. Duran will have to sit out the Tornadoes' next game.
The game was physical from the start, and got more so as it went on.
"I told our kids, it's not football and it's not wrestling," Long said. "We're a better basketball team, so just go out and play basketball."
"We were out of it tonight," said Mount Carmel coach John Lazicki. "We weren't running any of our offenses at all. I'm embarrassed by the way we ran our offense. Defensively, we lost our men all night. I don't understand how we can play great defense against a team like Loyalsock and then play like this."
Still, Mount Carmel wasn't out of the game until the waning minutes when Lourdes scored the final six points.
The box score indicates Mount Carmel's problems, though. The Red Tornadoes shot 28 percent (15 for 53) overall and were 1 for 13 from 3-point range. Zach Tocyloski and Christian Kelly, both coming off the bench, had seven points each to lead Mount Carmel and no player had more than one assist.
"One 3-pointer and against a zone," Lazicki said.
Lourdes will now await the start of the District Four A tournament. Mount Carmel has games remaining with Warrior Run and Shamokin before playing in the AA tournament.
MOUNT CARMEL (37) - Tocyloski 3 0-0 7, Varano 2 0-0 4, Duran 1 0-0 2, Heromin 2 2-3 6, Scicchitano 0 1-2 1, Wasilewski 1 0-0 2, Kwiatkowski 2 2-3 6, Beierschmitt 1 0-0 2, Kelly 3 1-4 7. Totals 15 6-12 37.
LOURDES (47) - Menapace 4 1-2 9, Gilger 0 0-0 0, Pennypacker 5 1-2 13, Savitski 4 6-8 16, Oquendo 1 3-4 5, T. Holleran 0 0-0 0, Howal 2 0-0 4. Totals 16 11-16 47.
3-point FGs: Mount Carmel (1) - Tocyloski; Lourdes (4) - Pennypacker 2, Savitski 2
JV: Mount Carmel 54, Lourdes 22