Callahan’s Hot Day Cuts Down String Theory

March 10, 2019 GMT

WILKES-BARRE — The 3-point shot in basketball is worth more than a standard field goal for good reason.

But the added difficulty and longer distance of 3-pointers didn’t seem to bother Jeremy Callahan on Saturday.

The hot-handed Callahan made seven 3s as part of a 25-point effort, leading Wyoming Seminary to a 75-41 win against String Theory in the first round of the PIAA Class 3A playoffs at Wilkes University.

“Jeremy Callahan has the green light every time he’s open for 3, because when he’s shooting an open 3, it’s as good as anybody else shooting a layup,” said Sem head coach Pete Moses. “He’s a clutch shooter. He’s a big-time shooter.”

The District 2 champion Blue Knights (26-2) improved their win streak to 10 games.

If Sem wins its 11th game in a row, however, it’ll have to do so Wednesday against reigning state champion Neumann-Goretti, an 83-48 winner against Lancaster Mennonite.

Sem was eliminated from last season’s state tournament with a 62-44 loss against Neumann-Goretti.

“I think last year it was something to be excited about, and I think we left our season like, ‘Oh, it was a good season. They’re a better team,’” said Callahan, a junior guard. “But I think we’ve matured. I think we know we can do something, especially with our game last year. It was a close game until the end, so I think we’re ready to just accept the challenge.”

After Saturday’s game was tied at 2, Callahan knocked down a 3 from the right corner to give Sem a 5-2 lead.

Callahan moved closer to the top of the arc for his next 3, which made it 8-2. Then, Callahan spotted up from the left corner and made another 3 to go ahead 11-5.

After making his first three 3-point attempts, Callahan finished the game 7 of 10 from beyond the arc.

“Definitely a lot of preparation — before games, during practice, and even after practice shooting with my dad and getting into gyms,” said Callahan, whose father, Bill Callahan, was a 1,000-point scorer for GAR. “It’s just repetition. It’s just doing it over and over until you feel right and then going into the game with good confidence.”

While Sem controlled the entire first half, it never had a particularly big lead.

Sem led 18-9 at the end of the first quarter and 32-22 at halftime.

“We talked to the guys (at halftime) about extending the lead,” Moses said. “It was 10 at halftime. We said we had to get it up to 15, 16, and know that we could put our foot on the gas here and accelerate. We didn’t want to let this team hang around, not with Tyler Spann. He’s just too good of a player.”

Spann, a senior guard for the District 12 four-seed Knights (9-16), scored 20 points.

He even had a solid third quarter, going back-and-forth in the opening minutes when he was matching Sem’s Nick Ganter, Jake Koretz and Todd Phillips score-for-score.

The dagger score came midway through the third quarter when Koretz made a cross-court pass — his third assist in the quarter — to an open Callahan, who knocked down a 3 in the left corner.

Callahan’s score made it 46-29 and Sem cruised from there.

Phillips finished with 15 points for Sem and Koretz added six points, all coming in the first three quarters before Sem emptied its bench.

Senior forward Dimitri Gnall added 10 points and five rebounds in the win.

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mbufano@citizensvoice.com; 570-821-2060;

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String Theory (41)

T. Spann 9 0-0 20, K. Turner 2 5-6 9, D. Norman 2 0-2 4, L. Thomas 1 0-0 3, H. Mosley 1 0-3 3, J. Nelson 1 0-2 2, B. Garton 0 0-0 0, T. Gravelle 0 0-0 0, M. Starchia 0 0-0 0, E. Cavanaugh 0 0-0 0, C. Astacio 0 0-0 0, J. Quinn 0 0-0 0, Totals 16 5-13 41.

Wyoming Seminary (75)

J. Callahan 7 4-4 25, T. Phillips 6 1-2 15, D. Gnall 4 1-2 10, J. Koretz 3 0-1 6, E. Meuser 3 0-0 6, N. Bufalino 1 1-1 3, R. Anderson 0 3-4 3, N. Ganter 1 1-1 3, A. Meuser 1 0-0 2, B. Paglia 1 0-0 2, A. Maddock 0 0-0 0, G. Flanley 0 0-0 0, J. Coates 0 0-0 0, A. Murphy 0 0-0 0, Totals 27 11-15 75.

String Theory 9 13 13 6—41

Wyoming Seminary 18 14 26 17—75

3-point goals: T. Spann () 2, L. Thomas () 1, H. Mosley () 1, J. Callahan (Sem) 7, T. Phillips (Sem) 2, D. Gnall (Sem) 1.