HS BASKETBALL: Mid Valley Rides Run To Rout
WILKES-BARRE — Mid Valley closed the first half on a big run and Meyers couldn’t keep up.
The Spartans went into halftime scoring 15 of the game’s last 17 points, taking advantage of the Mohawks’ turnovers and poor shooting and went on to win, 45-29, in a nonleague boys basketball game Friday night.
“I was really happy that it was a team victory for us,” Mid Valley coach Mike Abda said. “I thought everybody on our team played unselfishly. We got a lot of contributions from the bench tonight. We played hard, but more important, we played smart. Meyers was very athletic; coach (Pat) Toole does a fantastic job, and this is a big win on the road for us.”
Mid Valley (2-1) held Meyers to 2 of 9 shooting from the field in the second quarter and came back from an early deficit. Najese Hood scored on a layup to begin the quarter, stretching Meyers’ lead to 13-6 before it all started to fall apart.
Mid Valley’s six-point halftime advantage swelled to a 14-point lead, 34-20, after three quarters.
The Spartans had only one player score in double-figures, senior Vinny Talluto, who knocked down seven field goals — including a pair of 3-pointers — and made two free-throw attempts for 18 points.
“We have different guys we try to run (the offense) through, but certainly, Vinny’s one of them,” Abda said. “He’s a mismatch because he can handle the ball and he can shoot. But he also could play in the post at 6-foot-3. It was a good game for him all-around.”
Seven of Mid Valley’s eight players who saw playing time scored, including Craig Mercanti, who came off the bench and added five points. Mercanti’s best contribution was a dagger 3-pointer from the top of the key in the third quarter, which gave the Spartans their first double-digit lead, 28-17.
Tyler O’Connor added eight points.
Meyers is writing the final chapter of the program this season, with Wilkes-Barre Area’s consolidation plan set to begin next year with the merging of athletic programs. Facing the pressure of wanting to go out on a high note, the Mohawks went into this matchup looking for their first win.
“We’re a work in progress and we have to find some ways to score on the offensive end,” said Toole, who led Meyers to a district championship in 2016. “It starts with me. I’ve gotta define roles on the team and put us in a better position to have some success. We’re certainly not doing that. We struggle, obviously, getting any kind of dribble penetration and our lack of team speed is obvious.”
Now 0-3, Meyers has been outscored, 191-105 — but it isn’t necessarily as gloomy as it sounds.
Meyers’ first two games were against returning state qualifiers Scranton Prep and Archbishop Carroll. Mid Valley beat Meyers last season, but the Mohawks still finished strong with a .500 record in the regular season.
“I thought we took a step forward in the game against Archbishop Carroll,” Toole said. “I thought tonight we took a step back.”
Blake Masker led Meyers with six points. Hood and Brewster added five points each.
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Mid Valley (2-1) — V. Talluto 7 2-2 18, T. O’Connor 4 0-0 8, C. Mercanti 2 0-0 5, M. Longo 2 0-1 4, S. Rosencrans 0 4-6 4, M. Miller 2 0-2 4, B. Kucharski 1 0-0 2, J. Cardenas 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 6-11 45.
Meyers (0-3) — B. Masker 2 2-3 6, N. Hood 1 3-4 5, K. Brewster 2 0-0 5, J. Gilgallon 2 0-0 4, K. Brewster 2 0-0 4, C. Walker 1 0-0 2, D. Kasper 1 0-0 2, J. Diggs 0 1-2 1, T. Nilon 0 0-0 0, J. Yancey 0 0-0 0, W. Gumbs 0 0-2 0. Totals: 11 6-11 29.
Mid Valley 6 15 13 11—45
Meyers 11 4 5 9—29
3-point goals: V. Talluto (MV) 2, C. Mercanti (MV) 1, K. Brewster (Mey) 1.