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|Tuesday, August 2, 2016|| ||Week
9||Playoffs|| || |
|Court # 1||Court # 1||Time||COURT # 2||COURT # 2|| |
|# 1 vs # 8|| ||7:40
PM||# 2 vs # 7|| || |
|# 3 vs # 6|| ||8:30 PM||# 4 vs # 5|| || |
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August 3, 2016|| ||Week 9|| || || |
|Court # 1||Court # 1||Time|| || || |
|1/8 vs 4/5|| ||7:40 PM|| || || |
|2/7 vs 3/6|| ||8:30 PM|| || || |
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|Thursday, August 5, 2016||Playoffs||Week 9||Playoffs|| || |
|Court # 1||Court # 1||Time|| || || |
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Eat, Sleep, Hoop Website
Coach Of the Year: Dave Mullaney
H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: Tide's Melochick, Blue Devils' Santana share
all-area honorsPublished: April 23, 2016
By Mike Carnahan
Pottsville's Jordan Melochick and Shenandoah Valley's
Joel Santana couldn't be more opposite when it comes their respective playing styles on the basketball court.
is quiet, but tough, strong and versatile. He's able to do all the little things well and play any position. His contributions
sometimes go unnoticed.
Santana has those qualities, too. But he's more flashy, bringing a level of
excitement with a playmaking ability that is hard to miss.
The styles are different, but for Melochick
and Santana, the results are the same: Winning basketball.
For their performances this past season,
Melochick and Santana are the 2015-16 Republican-Herald All-Area Boys' Basketball Co-Players of the Year.
a 6-foot-3 senior guard-forward, led the Crimson Tide in scoring with 13.8 points per game (399 total). He added 5.4 rebounds
and 2.8 assists per game, knocked down 23 3-pointers and was 112-for-153 (73 percent) from the foul line.
finished his career with 1,067 points as Pottsville went 28-1 for the second consecutive year. Melochick was a four-year starter
for the Crimson Tide, who were 101-14 during his career.
Santana, a 5-8 point guard, is a dynamic offensive
player who can score on penetration and with outside shooting. He led the Schuylkill League in scoring at 22.5 points per
game (630 total). Santana, the Republican-Herald All-Area Rookie of the Year last year, was the Blue Devils' team leader in
assists at 4.1 per game, added 5.8 rebounds per game, finished second on the team in 3-pointers with 54 and was 122-for-162
(75 percent) from the foul line. He also went over the 1,000-point mark for his career and currently has 1,060.
helped lead Shenandoah Valley (19-9, 10-3 Division III) to the division title and berth in the Schuylkill League playoffs,
the Blue Devils' first since 1984. Shenandoah Valley, the District 11 Class A runner-up, also reached the quarterfinal round
of the PIAA playoffs for the first time since 1977.
The Rookie of the Year is Lourdes freshman Thomas
Schultz, a 6-5 forward, finished fourth in the league in scoring at 19.1 points per game (478
total). A strong inside presence, he also averaged 7.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. After an 8-14 campaign in 2014-15,
Red Raiders finished 18-7 and reached the consolation game of the District 4 Class A playoffs,
losing to Sullivan County 41-40 on Feb. 27.
Pottsville's Dave Mullaney is the Coach of the Year.
having an inexperienced squad to begin the season, Mullaney guided the Crimson Tide to another 28-1 record. Pottsville won
its seventh consecutive Schuylkill League Division I title and its sixth overall league title since 2010 with a 65-47 victory
over Blue Mountain on Feb. 12. Pottsville followed with its second straight District 11 Class AAA championship, a 65-55 victory
over the Eagles on Feb 26. The Crimson Tide beat West Scranton 43-25 in the first round of the PIAA playoffs March 4 before
losing to Lower Moreland 52-47 in the second round March 8.
Quiet Melochick becomes Tide's leader
has played basketball since he was in the third grade. He went out for Pottsville's baseball team his freshman and sophomore
years, but since then, it's been all basketball. Melochick isn't sure why he enjoys the game, but the way he plays, it doesn't
Mullaney has always felt that Melochick had a high basketball IQ. For his first three years,
Melochick played behind stars Travis Blankenhorn and Eli Nabholz. This season, however, Melochick was Pottsville's only returning
starter and his offseason work focused on becoming the best all-around player possible.
had to try and be the best leader I could be for everybody since I had the most experience out of everybody and just try to
help them out as best as I could," he said.
Still, Melochick didn't feel any extra pressure on
himself entering the year.
"I felt like my teammates would rise to the occasion and really step
up for the challenge that we faced, not having that much experience," he said.
He scored around five more points per game this season than he did last year on a team
that also featured two others who averaged in double figures in junior Jordan Abdo (13.1) and senior Maldeen Thomas (10.3).
What stands out for Mullaney is how Melochick was able to play all five positions on both ends of the floor at a high level.
is probably his versatility, just being good at so many different things," Mullaney said. "He is just a winner.
He makes winning plays all the time, stuff people wouldn't even notice. He does just every tiny little thing right with the
basketball on both ends of the floor."
Still, Melochick put up big offensive numbers when needed.
The perfect example was his 22 points during a 57-53 win over Bethlehem Catholic in the District 11 Class AAA semifinals Feb.
23. Melochick hit the game-tying 3-pointer with 9.1 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to force overtime.
also went over 1,000 points for his career in the win. Hitting the mark was an unique accomplishment for Melochick, since
he never averaged over double figures his previous three seasons.
"That fact that he was a 1,000-point
scorer is almost amazing to me because he was just a reluctant scorer," Mullaney said. "I've never been around,
college or high school or anything, that a kid who scored 1,000 points never took a bad shot. Usually you have those kids
and you kind of let them go and you say ‘O.K., you took a bad one, it is O.K.' With him, he just never did. Completely
Melochick also never missed a game in four years with the Crimson Tide and is proud
to be able to contribute to what has become the most successful boys' basketball program in the Schuylkill League.
is really an honor to be able to play for Pottsville the past four years and have the coaching staff that we have, to be able
to coach me for those four years, it was just amazing," he said.
Melochick's talents haven't gone
unnoticed at the next level, either. He will continue his playing career as Division II Bloomsburg University after he graduates.
Melochick considered Division III Susquehanna, but he wanted to play Division II since he was offered the opportunity.
thought it would be a good challenge for me to play at the highest level I can," he said.
work makes Santana even more dynamitic
Santana has been around basketball all his life. Both sides
of his family play the sport and they would always take him to games and even let him take part.
is originally from Brooklyn, New York. He brought that style of basketball with him when he moved to Shenandoah two years
ago and was able to adjust to the Schuylkill League's tough, physical play.
"I put my talent and
toughness together and I just play my game," Santana said.
Santana averaged 20.5 points per game
last season, mostly by driving to the basket and finishing inside. That is still the strength of his game. But Santana added
another dimension to his game this season: a pull-up jumper.
"In the offseason he really worked
on a step-back, pull-up jumper because he knew that everybody was gearing to stop his penetration," Blue Devils coach
Robbie Miller said. "I think what made him so hard to stop this year was the fact that he wasn't complacent. He wasn't
just accepting how good he was the year before. He really wanted to get better."
Indeed he did.
Santana felt being more consistent with the jumper made a big difference.
"I felt like coming
into this season, I wanted to attack the basket," he said. "Once they (the defense) realize I am going to keep attacking,
they are going to play back, I am going to pull back and hit the jump shot. I kind of knocked some down this year."
reached double figures in every game but one and scored 20 or more points in a game 20 times. Santana lead the league's best
offense (60.9 points per game) that also featured Jermanie McNeil (12.1 ppg.) and Ian McCole (11.0).
season high was 39 points against Nativity on Jan. 28, one of his most memorable games. The other was the first round of the
PIAA Class A playoffs against then undefeated and District 4 powerhouse St. John Neumann on March 4.
off a disappointing 53-38 loss to Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg in the District 11 championship game, Miller wanted a signature
win from his Blue Devils to erase a somewhat up-and-down regular season.
Santana delivered, scoring
33 points, including 23 in the second half, as the Blue Devils overcame a 10-point, third-quarter deficit. He went over 1,000
for his career during the game as Shenandoah Valley won its first state playoff game since March 15, 1977.
Blue Devils went on to beat Delco Christian 62-58 in the second round March 8 before losing to Constitution 62-47 in the quarterfinals
"I am just blessed to be a part of what we did this year," Santana said.
also received recognition after the season when he was named to the Class A second team on the 2015-16 Pennsylvania Sports
Writers' All-State Boys' Basketball Team.
"That was a huge blessing for me," Santana said.
"I felt like I really wanted first team, but I got something. Next year, I am just going to take it and get first team.
I am very excited to get second team. That is a big honor for me."
Schultz makes major impact
entered the season with the news that junior center Larry Czeponis, a two-year starter, would miss the entire year with a
rare bone disease. The Red Raiders needed somebody to step up offensively and Schultz answered.
coach Pete Long knew Schultz, who's from Mount Carmel, had the talent. But Long was surprised just how well Schultz did.
just plays hard the whole game," Long said. "His attitude and demeanor as a freshman, it was really awesome.
a big jump from eighth grade to varsity basketball and to be honest with you, I knew coming in that he was going to be good,
but I didn't think he was going to be that good. I think it was a pleasant surprise to me, my staff and his teammates."
has the ability to get to the rim and also possesses a pull-up jumper. He also handles the ball well, something that was needed
as Lourdes went to full-court pressure defense this season.
Long was also impressed with how Schultz
continued to produce as the season progressed. Long expected that, after the Schuylkill League coaches saw him the first time
through the league schedule, it would be harder for Schultz to score. But his production never dropped off.
reached double figures in every game except the loss to Sullivan County in the District 4 Class A consolation game.
thought it would be a little tougher for him to score his points, but he still did it," Long said. "And we were
like ‘Man, this kid is tough.' What a good kid, too. The thing about it is, in practice, he just makes everybody better
because he competes in every drill and in every sprint and is such a luxury to have as a coach."
called Schultz the best freshman he's seen in the league since Pottsville's Nick Schlitzer. If his first season is any indication,
he has a great career ahead of him.
New faces, same results for Tide under Mullaney
Crimson Tide were expected to be great in 2014-15 with all five starters returning, and they were.
only returning starter back for Pottsville this season was Melochick. Mullaney wasn't concerned with the Crimson Tide's talent,
but the lack of experience and how they would react in close games.
The non-league schedule was a concern,
too, as many of those games, such as Wilson West Lawn, Governor Mifflin, Williamsport and Shamokin, were on the road.
the end of the season, it was a non-issue, making this year's undefeated regular-season even more impressive than 2014-15.
told our team that," Mullaney said. "I think even the way our schedule set up, a lot of our tougher, non-league
games were on the road. I definitely think our schedule was set up tougher this year."
regular-season victory was a 58-52, double-overtime win over Berks Catholic at Martz Hall on Feb. 3. The Crimson Tide were
in trouble several times, but found a way to win. Abdo hit the game-tying 3-pointer in regulation to force overtime, while
Pottsville went 16-for-23 from the foul line over the two overtime periods to get the win.
set up Pottsville's postseason run. The Crimson Tide were down by 10 early in the second quarter and eight early in the third
to Shenandoah Valley in the league semifinals Feb. 11 before winning 62-45. Pottsville also battled back from a 43-37 deficit
after three quarters in the District 11 semifinals against Bethlehem Catholic before winning in overtime.
season was again a testament to the kind of program Mullaney has put together at Pottsville and the kind of players it has
produced. The Crimson Tide's half-court, man-to-man defense was again the best in the Schuylkill League, allowing 36.5 points
per game, while the offense (56.8 ppg) was patient, looking for the best shot no matter where, or who, it came from.
felt the key to the season was the play of seniors Tanner Gerchak, Thomas, Melochick, Christian Witman, Patrick Schenk and
Mike O'Pake. The group had to patiently wait for their opportunity this season and each of them contributed at some point
during the year.
"I loved our seniors," Mullaney said. "I know that is kind of cliché
to say that but there was just something about them, the unselfishness about them. They just wanted to do whatever it took
"I loved how different kids stepped up in different big games. They all had their moments,
and I just think they were just all about us winning and doing whatever it took to do that. There wasn't a lot of selfishness
in that group at all."
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POTTSVILLE NAMED SUPER 16 BOYS
WNEP 16 Champions
2016 WNEP 16 Final BOYS RANKINGS:
Super 16 Basketball FINAL Countdown 2016
RANK TEAM RECORD PREVIOUS
1 Pottsville 28-1 1
2 Scranton Prep 25-3
3 Abington Heights 23-3 4
4 Lewisburg 26-3 5
6 Shamokin Area 25-3 4
7 St. John Neumann 24-1
8 Pocono Mountain West 21-5 8
2015 - 2016 Seniors
Most Wins in any 4 year period in School History
2 District XI AAA Championships
3 Schuylkill League Championships
2016 District XI AAA Champions
2016 Schuylkill League Champions
PIAA BOYS' HOOPS: Pottsville falls in 2nd round of Class AAA playoffs
Published: March 9, 2016
READING - There's an old basketball adage that says teams "live and die" by 3-point shooting.
Pottsville's tremendous boys' basketball season was effectively killed by 3-point shooting Tuesday night.
Lower Moreland drained 3-pointers on four consecutive possessions late in the fourth quarter to defeat the Crimson
Tide 52-47 in a PIAA Class AAA second-round playoff game at the Geigle Complex.
Moreland (21-5), the District 1 runner-up, advances to Friday's quarterfinals to face District 12 champion and defending state
champion Neumann-Goretti, a 113-71 winner over Scranton Prep.
which included the Tide's fifth Schuylkill League title in six years and second consecutive District 11 crown, comes to an
end at 28-1.
"They were very good defensively, and we knew
they could shoot it," Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. "For the most part, we did a nice job. Late,
they got loose."
Offensively, Pottsville was never able to find its rhythm
shooting from the outside.
The Tide opened the game 0-for-6 from the field, falling
behind 6-0 just four minutes into the game. Pottsville finished the game 15-for-40 shooting (38 percent), but was just 3-for-23
(13 percent) from 3-point range.
"Their objective coming in was to take
away our post game," Mullaney said. "They wanted to go front and back of people, and they did a good job with that.
It was tough for us to get paint touches that way.
"The thing that was open
for us was the 3-point shot."
Lower Moreland, whose tallest player was just
6-foot-3, packed it in defensively to contain 6-3 Jordan Melochick and 6-7 Ian Renninger, leaving the Crimson Tide with wide-open
looks from the outside.
Most of the time, however, Pottsville didn't hit them.
"We got open looks that we normally knock down," senior guard Tanner Gerchak said. "Tonight they just
didn't fall. That happens. It sucks it has to happen 29 games into the year."
their rough outside shooting, Pottsville stayed in the game behind its tough defense and its ability to drive to the basket.
A 15-2 run over an eight-minute stretch of the first half gave Pottsville a 15-8 lead, and an 18-14 advantage at
The Lions opened the second half on a 10-2 run to take a 24-20
lead midway through the third, but Pottsville countered with a 10-0 spurt to build a 30-24 advantage and led 30-26 after three.
Patrick Schenk started the spurt with a 3-pointer, Renninger had three points inside and Jordan Abdo scored on a
layup and hit two free throws.
Abdo led the Tide with 15 points, while Melochick
had 14 and Renninger contributed eight points and eight rebounds. Nearly all of those points came off dribble penetration
or lob passes inside.
"I thought coming into this year we'd be a 3-point
shooting team, and we haven't shot it great the second half of the year," Mullaney said. "We started attacking the
basket, and our guys did a great job of that."
Lower Moreland, which hit
14 3-pointers in its first-round win over Milton Hershey, was held to just one trey through the first three quarters.
That changed in the fourth.
With the game tied at 35, a pair of free
throws by Melochick gave Pottsville a 37-35 lead with 4:13 to go.
The next four
times they had the ball, the Lions were able to get dribble penetration by guard Danny Duffy, who led all scorers with 23
points. When the Pottsville defense collapsed, Duffy kicked it out to a wide-open gunner from the outside.
"They were just a lot more aggressive getting to the lane making plays," Gerchak said. "When that
happens, the defensive collapses and shots open up. They hit all of them. That's basketball sometimes."
Dicky Rhoads and Tyler Millan each hit triples before Nick Smolka buried back-to-back shots from the left corner.
The final one gave Lower Moreland a 47-44 lead with 1:28 left.
The Lions then
iced it from the line, hitting 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch as Pottsville struggled to hit outside shots.
"We were probably helping too much," Mullaney said. "We made a switch putting Melochick on (Duffy),
and Melo pretty much shuts everybody down. I think we were helping a little more than we needed to, because I think he could
have guarded him 1-on-1. That left their shooters open, and that was our downfall.
just lost guys here and there."
After the game, Mullaney and his players
reflected on what was another magical season for the Crimson Tide.
graduation losses, Pottsville won Schuylkill League and District 11 Class AAA titles en route to 28 straight wins entering
"It was an amazing season. I couldn't be more proud. I'm just sad
to see six seniors in there crying," Mullaney said.
"I couldn't be
more proud of our seniors. They were amazing this year. I'm around them so much, probably 300 days a year, and they're like
family to me. It's tough to see them hurting right now.
"It's going to hurt
now, but the 28-1, the Schuylkill and district titles, nobody expected that out of us this year. That's a credit to them.
They're great kids."
Class AAA Second Round
At Geigle Complex, Reading
POTTSVILLE (47) - Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Thomas 1 0-0 3, Melochick 5 4-4 14, Witman 0 0-0 0, Jo. Abdo 4 6-7 15, Schenk
2 0-0 5, Renninger 3 2-5 8, Ju. Abdo 0 2-2 2. Totals 15 14-18 47.
(52) - Wiggins 1 0-4 2, Millan 3 3-4 11, Duffy 8 7-8 23, Fazio 1 0-0 2, Rhoads 2 0-1 6, Keys 0 0-0 0, Smolda 2 0-0 6, Gould
1 0-0 2. Totals 18 10-17 52.
Potts (28-1) 6 12 12 17 - 47 LM (23-7) 6 8 12 26
3-point FGs: Thomas, Jo. Abdo, Schenk, Millan 2, Rhoads 2, Smolda 2
Pottsville Crimson Tide
47 - Lower Moreland 52
Crimson Tide Plays Tonight!
1-2 Lower Moreland (22-6) vs. 11-1 Pottsville (28-0)
When: Today, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Geigle Complex, Reading
Directions: Follow PA-61 South into Reading. Turn
left onto Spring Street after passing Charles Evans Cemetery. Turn right onto N. 13th St., and high school will be on the
About the Lions
Head coach: Seth Barron (5th season)
How got here: Beat
District 3 third-place finisher Milton Hershey 67-56 in first round of PIAA playoffs
Team stats: Offense (64.7), defense (52.3)
watch (Positions, statistics not available): Danny Duffy (sr., 5-10), Jake Fazio (sr., 6-1), Mike Gould (sr., 5-8), Tyler
Millan (sr., 6-2), Dicky Rhoads (sr., 5-8), Nick Smolda (jr., 6-0), Cobe Wiggins (jr., 6-3)
About the Crimson Tide
Head coach: Dave Mullaney (9th
How got here: Beat District 2 third-place finisher West
Scranton 43-25 in first round of PIAA playoffs
Team stats: Offense
(57.1), defense (35.9)
Probable starting lineup: G Tanner Gerchak
(sr., 5-7, 2.9), G Maldeen Thomas (sr., 6-1, 10.6 ppg, 39 3-pointers), F Jordan Melochick (sr., 6-3, 13.8 ppg), G Christian
Witman (sr., 6-3, 2.9), G Jordan Abdo (jr., 5-11, 13.0, 37 3-pionters)
Key reserves: G Justin Abdo (jr., 5-11, 1.2), F Ian Renninger (soph., 6-7, 7.1), G Patrick Schenk (sr., 6-3, 5.5)
Millan had 20
points, Smolda 19 and Rhoades 16 in Lions' first-round win over Milton Hershey. Duffy, who went over 1,000 points for his
career in December and averages around 20 points per game, had eight. Lions were 14-of-26 from 3-point land in the game, with
Millan and Smolda hitting five apiece and Rhoades four. ... Melochick and Thomas had 13 points apiece, while Jordan Abdo added
11 in Crimson Tide's first-round win. Defense was in control from the start, holding West Scranton to single-digit points
in each quarter. ... According to Mullaney, Lions are a skilled team and one of the best outside shooting teams Crimson Tide
have seen all season, with Millan and Smolda hitting around 60 3-pointers apiece during the season. Like to run, but comfortable
in any style. Play man-to-man defense and will show some full-court pressure, too. ... Crimson Tide held an opponent to 40
or fewer points in a game 17 times this season. Most they allowed was 55 against Blue Mountain in District 11 championship
game. ... Win Friday was Crimson Tide's third consecutive in first round of PIAA playoffs. Have been knocked out of PIAA playoffs
the past two years by Susquehanna Township. ... Teams met in first round of PIAA playoffs in 2014, with Crimson Tide winning
What's next? Winner advances to Friday's quarterfinal against
winner of game between 2-1 Scranton Prep and 12-2 Neumann-Goretti.
Complied by Mike Carnahan
plays Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 7:30 at the Geigle Complex at Reading High School
Crimson Tide verus Lower Moreland
PIAA BOYS' BB: Crimson Tide knock off West Scranton in Class AAA first round
By Mike Carnahan
Published: March 5, 2016
MINERSVILLE - Pottsville's Maldeen Thomas picked the perfect time to come out of a mini offensive slump.
The Crimson Tide's defense was on from the start. It added up to another first-round win for Pottsville in the PIAA
Class AAA playoffs.
Thomas scored 13 points to lead a balanced attack, while
the Crimson Tide's defense frustrated West Scranton for most of the night during a 43-25 victory Friday at Minersville Area
High School's Thomas Fitzpatrick Gymnasium.
Jordan Melochick added 13 points
and Jordan Abdo 11 for Pottsville (28-0), which won its third consecutive opening-round game in the PIAA playoffs. The Crimson
Tide beat Lower Moreland (58-38) in 2014 and Valley View (63-37) last year.
second round is where the Crimson Tide's season has ended the past two years. Next up is the District 1 runner-up Lower Moreland
(20-5) on Tuesday at a site and time to be determined. Lower Moreland beat Milton Hershey, the District 3 third-place finisher,
67-56 in a first-round game Friday.
For Thomas, it was his first PIAA playoff
victory as a starter.
"It feels great to win a game like this, especially
in the state playoffs," Thomas said. "I am just glad our team came out with a win and we will prepare for the next
Thomas, who came in averaging 10.5 points per game, averaged only
6.3 per game during Pottsville's District 11 championship run, including two in the Crimson Tide's 65-55 victory over Blue
Mountain in the title game.
Thomas spent some extra time the past few days at
the YMCA working on his shooting, and it paid off Friday.
"I came into the
game thinking I was going to be more aggressive offensively, keep my pace up defensively and just play well in a big game
like this," he said.
Thomas' biggest quarter was the third when he scored
five points. All of his points were set up by steals, including two of his own. His first steal lead to Thomas getting fouled
on a drive. He made 1-of-2.
Melochick had a steal on the Invaders' next possession.
That led to a transition layup from Thomas, who was fouled on the shot. He missed the free throw, but Pottsville led 25-13
with 5:36 left in the frame. Thomas' second steal led to a layup of his own with 1:05 remaining, giving the Crimson Tide a
Thomas' steal and layup were part of an 8-0 Pottsville run from
late in the third quarter to early in the fourth that made it 38-18, effectively putting the game away.
The Crimson Tide's man-to-man defense was in control from the start. West Scranton (17-10), the third-place finisher
out of District 2, had trouble finding any rhythm on offense. And on the occasions the Invaders did get shots, they weren't
The focus was to shut down West Scranton's Cole Stetzar, the Invaders'
leading scorer who came in averaging 13.9 points. Pottsville's Christian Witman was matched up with Stetzar for most of the
night and did the job, as Stetzar finished with just three points.
led West Scranton with nine points.
"I thought we did pretty well as a team,"
Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said of his defense, which held an opponent to 40 points or less for the 16th time this season.
"I through Christian Witman really stepped up for us. That was a team effort, but Christian was on him (Stetzar) the
majority of the game and he did a great job there."
The Invaders didn't
have a bad shooting night, hitting 11-for-26 (42 percent) from the floor, but did turn the ball over 17 times, including 11
in the first half. The Crimson Tide went on a 12-0 run from late in the first quarter into early the second quarter that turned
a 5-5 tie into a 17-5 lead.
PIAA Boys' AAA First Round
At Minersville High School
WEST SCRANTON (25) - Minnick 0 0-0 0, Lipowitch 1 0-0 2, Carlton 0 0-0 0, Stetzar 1 0-0 3, Fendrick 2 0-0 4, R. Mangan
0 0-0 0, A. Mangan 0 0-0 0, Merrifield 0 0-0 0, Williams 3 1-4 7, Cuillo 0 0-0 0, Fanning 4 1-2 9, Harrington 0 0-0 0, Scardo
0 0-0 0, Medici 0 0-0 0, Hart 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 2-6 25.
POTTSVILLE (43) - Ju.
Abdo 0 1-2 1, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Wood 0 0-0 0, Thomas 6 1-3 13, Melochick 5 2-2 13, Witman 0 1-2 1, Pellish 0 0-0 0, Jo. Abdo
3 4-5 11, Renninger 1 0-0 2, Schenk 1 0-0 2, O'Pake 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 9-14 43.
(17-10) 5 6 7 7 - 25 Potts (28-0) 12 8 14 9 - 43
3-point FGs: Stetzar, Melochick,
Crimson Tide Rolls to 28 - 0
With a 43-25 victory over West Scranton
Pottsville - West Scranton
2016 PIAA AAA State Tournament - 1st Round
Pottsville Crimson Tide verus West Scranton
Friday, March 4, 2015
Come out and support the Crimson
2016 District XI AAA Champions
Crimson Tide repeat Class AAA title
Published: February 27, 2016
FOUNTAIN SPRINGS - Pottsville's Tanner Gerchak quickly showed that Friday wasn't going to be an "ordinary"
offensive performance for the usually quiet senior guard.
The Crimson Tide's
defense was its usual self in the second quarter, helping ensure another championship celebration was in store at end of the
Gerchak scored a season-high 11 points and Pottsville clamped down on
Blue Mountain in the second quarter en route to a 65-55 victory in the District 11 Class AAA boys' basketball championship
game at North Schuylkill's Cesari-Hope Gymnasium.
The victory gives Pottsville
its second straight District 11 Class AAA crown and improves the unbeaten Crimson Tide to 27-0.
Gerchak scored the Crimson Tide's first points of the night on a 3-pointer, one of the three treys he had in the
game. But it was the defense in the second quarter that helped turn the tide as No. 1 Pottsville outscored the No. 3 Eagles
11-5 in the quarter to take a 21-14 halftime lead.
Blue Mountain (21-6) hung
around the rest of the night, but could never overtake the Crimson Tide, who beat the Eagles for the fourth time this season.
Friday was Pottsville's second championship this year after the Crimson Tide
beat the Eagles in the Schuylkill
League title game Feb. 12. It was the Tide's
seventh district title overall and second consecutive championship after a 57-41 win over Allentown Central Catholic last
Next up for Pottsville is West Scranton, the third-place finisher out of
District 2, in the first round of the PIAA playoffs Friday, March 4.
also advances, and will take on District 4 champion Lewisburg next Friday.
was one of four new starters for Pottsville this season and he couldn't have picked a better time to turn in his best offensive
performance of the season Friday.
"It is almost leaving me speechless,"
Gerchak said. "It is just good for myself, my coaches and my teammates and school in general and really the city."
Gerchak came in averaging 2.7 points per game, with his previous season high being eight points against Jim Thorpe
on Jan. 13. He hit two 3s in the first quarter Friday, drained a buzzer-beater to end the third and went 2-of-4 from the foul
line in the fourth. He also had a pair of assists and ended up guarding the Eagles' Mark Chelius for most of the second half
after Jordan Melochick got into foul trouble in the first half.
Gerchak's 3 from
the wing at the end of the third gave Pottsville a 43-32 lead.
"At the end
of a couple of practices, I stick around and fire up some half-court shots," Gerchak said. "The coaches are always
like ‘It you get one of those in the game, you better make it.' When I saw Melo was struggling to get the ball, I saw
it coming to me and I just put it up. I guess the practice paid off."
led the Crimson Tide with 20 points, scoring 16 in the second half, with 10 coming in the third quarter. He also had six rebounds.
Senior Jordan Abdo added 10 points, while sophomore Ian Renninger compiled 10 points and eight rebounds in a balanced scoring
attack for the Crimson Tide.
"It just feels great to win another one,"
said Melochick, who was Pottsville's only returning starter from last year's 28-1 team. "All the hard work we put in,
it paid off tonight."
Aaron Albertini drained six 3-pointers and scored
a team-high 20 points for the Eagles, who were in their first district title game since 2007. Chelius added 17 points and
five assists, while Brayden Lewis netted 13 points.
Blue Mountain led 14-12 with
6:30 remaining in the second quarter after Albertini hit a 3-pointer from wing.
last the Eagles' last lead of the game. It was also Blue Mountain's last points of the first half and final points for nearly
nine minutes as the Eagles went 0-for-13 from the floor during that stretch.
seems to happen every time you play Pottsville, you go through a 5-6 minute stretch where you go without a field goal,"
Eagles coach Dustin Werdt said. "We were getting some looks, but they were rushed. They speed you up offensively. When
you are looking to take a shot there is somebody hanging on you or somebody there defending you. Even when you are open, you
are not open against them."
As Blue Mountain struggled to score, Pottsville
slowly took control.
A 3-pointer from Melochick off a cross-court pass from Patrick
Schenk gave the Crimson Tide the lead for good with 4:41 left in the first half. It started an 11-0 run that lasted into the
A Lewis jumper off a pick at the top of the circle with 6:06 left
in third quarter broke the drought and sliced Pottsville's lead to 23-16.
really weren't doing things consistently on the defensive end in the first quarter," Crimson Tide coach Dave Mullaney
said. "There were some gambles and different things we don't want to be doing. I thought we locked in better in the second
quarter and we stayed pretty consistent the rest of the game."
built a 40-28 lead after Melochick hit two fouls shots with 2:09 remaining in the third quarter. The Eagles hung around the
rest of the game, but the closest they got was 43-34 early in the fourth quarter. The Crimson Tide shot 10-of-15 from the
field in the second half and were 18-of-26 from the foul line in the fourth quarter.
year's Pottsville team had the difficult task of following last year's squad. But the results for the Crimson Tide at this
point in the season are same as they were last year - another perfect record heading into states.
"Living up to last year's expectations were tough," Gerchak said. "We lost a great group of guys.
It is a program, that is why it is always next man up. We just wanted to leave our own mark on the program and really just
hats off to coach (Mullaney)."
Added Melochick: "I think it was really
big for us, because nobody thought we could do what we did last year. We just proved everyone wrong."
District 11 Class AAA Championship
At North Schuylkill High School
BLUE MOUNTAIN (55) - Puzzi 0 1-2 1,
Kerstetter 0 0-0 0, Welsh 0 0-0 0, Lewis 6 1-1 13, Albertini 6 2-2 20, Chelius 5 6-8 17, Zerbe 0 2-3 2, Hoynoski 0 0-0 0,
Biever 1 0-0 2. Totals 18 12-16 55.
POTTSVILLE (65) - Ju. Abdo 0 0-0 0, Gerchak
3 2-4 11, Thomas 1 0-0 2, Melochick 4 10-13 20, Witman 1 2-2 4, Jo. Abdo 3 4-7 10, Renninger 3 4-5 10, Schenk 2 4-7 8. Totals
17 26-38 65.
BM (21-6) 9 5 18 23 - 55 Pot (27-0) 10 11 22 22 - 65
3-point FGs: Albertini 6, Chelius, Gerchak 3, Melochick 2
District XI AAA Championship
Pottsville Crimson Tide vs Blue Mountain Eagles
Friday, February 26, 2016
North Schuylkill High School
Friday's championship preview capsules
by mike carnahan
Published: February 26, 2016
No. 3 Blue Mountain (21-5) vs. No. 1 Pottsville
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Cesari-Hope Gymnasium, North Schuylkill High School
About the Eagles
Head coach: Dustin Werdt (13th season)
How they got here: Beat No. 6
Notre Dame-Green Pond 67-64 in overtime in quarterfinals, beat No. 2 Salisbury 66-64 in overtime in semifinals
Last appearance in district championship game: 2007 - Beat Southern Lehigh 56-47 in Class AAA
Previous district titles: Four overall - Class AAA (1996, 2003, 2007), Class B (1958)
Team statistics: Offense (60.1), defense (48.3)
Probable starting lineup:
F-C Connor Kerstetter (jr., 6-2, 2.7 ppg), G-F Brayden Lewis (jr., 5-11, 10.0), G Aaron Albertini (jr., 6-2, 10.1 ppg, 44
3-pointers), G Mark Chelius (sr., 5-8, 17.3 ppg, 37 3-pointers), C Jakob Biever (soph., 6-7, 7.4)
Key reserves: G-F Christian Puzzi (sr., 6-1, 3.8), G Spencer Welsh (jr., 6-0, 2.5), G-F Mason Zerbe (jr., 6-3, 5.1)
About the Crimson Tide
Head coach: Dave Mullaney (9th season)
How they got here: Beat No. 9 Lehighton 52-31 in quarterfinals, beat No. 5 Bethlehem Catholic 57-53 in overtime in
Last appearance in district championship game: 2015 - Beat Allentown
Central Catholic 57-41 in Class AAA
Previous district titles: Six overall - Class
AAA (1984, 1985, 1990, 2010, 2015); Class A (1942)
Team statistics: Offense (57.3
points per game), defense (35.6)
Probable starting lineup: G Tanner Gerchak (sr.,
5-7, 2.7 ppg), G Maldeen Thomas (sr., 6-1, 10.8 ppg, 39 3-pointers), F Jordan Melochick (sr., 6-3, 13.5), G Christian Witman
(sr., 6-3, 2.8), G Jordan Abdo (jr., 5-11, 13.2 ppg, 36 3-pointers)
G Justin Abdo (jr., 5-11, 1.2 ppg), F Ian Renninger (soph., 6-7, 7.2), G Patrick Schenk (sr., 6-3, 5.5)
Chelius had 15 points, Albertini 14 and Welsh 12 for Eagles
in semifinal win over Salisbury. Zerbe hit game-tying 3-pointer with 1 second remaining in regulation off a tipped rebound
by Puzzi to knot the contest at 59 and send it into overtime. Albertini gave the Eagles the lead for good on a 3-pointer with
43 seconds left in overtime. Eagles were down 38-30 early in second half. ... Melochick led Crimson Tide in semifinal victory
with 22 points, while Jordan Abdo added 18 as they rallied from 43-37 deficit after three quarters. Melochick, who went over
1,000 points for his career in the game, hit a game-tying 3 with 9.1 seconds left. Two free throws apiece from Melochick and
Thomas accounted for the Crimson Tide's points in overtime. ... Fourth meeting between the two teams this season. Crimson
Tide won 60-47 on Dec. 15, 57-49 on Jan. 18 and 65-47 in Schuylkill League title game Feb. 12. League title was Crimson Tide's
sixth since 2010, while Eagles' appearance in the league title game was their first since 2007. ... Both teams will play man-to-man
on defense. The Eagles prefer a somewhat faster-paced tempo, while the Crimson Tide like a more deliberate tempo. ... First
time teams have met head-to-head in district title game. ... Eagles are last Schuylkill League team to beat Crimson Tide during
regular season after a 51-33 victory Jan. 27, 2014. ... First all-Schuylkill League district championship game in Class AAA
since North Schuylkill beat Blue Mountain 58-51 in 1999.
What's next?: Both teams
advance to PIAA Class AAA playoffs. Winner takes on third-place finisher from District 2 in first round, while runner-up faces
District 4 champion.
Crimson Tide Marsh"Melo"'s
57 - 53 in Overtime
Jordan "Melo" Melochick 1000th point
Pottsville tops Bethlehem Catholic in OT
by leroy boyer
Published: February 24, 2016
ORWIGSBURG - Pottsville's tough non-league schedule prepared it for games like Tuesday's 57-53, overtime victory
over Bethlehem Catholic in a District 11 Class AAA boys' basketball semifinal.
the Crimson Tide faced adversity, they knew how to handle it.
needed a big defensive play, somebody made one.
When the Crimson Tide needed
to hit a big shot, somebody stepped up and drained one.
The result? A third straight
trip to the PIAA playoffs and a shot at back-to-back district titles.
Melochick scored a game-high 22 points, including the 1,000th of his career, as Pottsville rallied past the Golden Hawks in
front of a packed house at Blue Mountain High School.
The victory improves the
top-seeded Crimson Tide to 26-0 and sets up an all-Schuylkill League title tilt with Blue Mountain in Friday's championship
game. The Eagles advanced with a 66-64 overtime win over Salisbury.
an awesome feeling," Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said afterward. "We knew we were going to be in this type of
game tonight. We were very fortunate to be on the right side of it."
non-league schedule included wins over Glen Mills, Wilson West Lawn, Governor Mifflin, Williamsport, Shamokin, Salisbury and
Berks Catholic, giving the Crimson Tide a taste of what it's like to play with some of the best teams in the eastern part
of the state.
That experience came in handy when Bethlehem Catholic (14-10) used
great play by its dynamic guard tandem of DeAndre Tillett and Micaiah Fraction to outscore Pottsville 17-9 in the third quarter
and build a 43-37 lead after three frames. Tillett scored 20 of his team-high 21 points over the first three frames, while
Fraction had eight of his 13.
That's when Mullaney - with a tip of the hat to
assistant John Toomey - changed things up defensively and put Maldeen Thomas on Tillett.
"Maldeen has made plays for us all year," Mullaney said. "John Toomey made that switch defensively.
We wanted to go with somebody different (on Tillett), and as soon as I asked he pointed to Maldeen Thomas right away. That
was the absolute difference in the game. We were struggling with him.
just adds that little bit extra. That's not something you teach. He's just a great athlete."
Thomas responded with a game-changing play that typified Pottsville's entire defensive philosophy.
With the Tide down by six, the 6-foot-1 senior poked the ball away from Tillett at midcourt and dove onto the floor
for the loose ball. As he corralled the ball and started to roll, he found Jordan Abdo alone in the frontcourt with a bounce
pass that led to a three-point play.
"I knew I was doing well offensively,
and I had to step up defensively," said Thomas, who made a similar steal later in the fourth quarter. "I knew I
had to step up and make a big play defensively.
"I just beat (Tillett) to
a spot. I knew he was a drive-first type of player and I had to beat him to a spot."
Added Mullaney: "When we were down six, we were on the brink there. He made a great play."
Abdo, who finished with 18 points, followed that sequence with a driving layup on Pottsville's next possession to
slice Bethlehem Catholic's lead to 43-42, and the teams battled back and forth the rest of the way.
Abdo's 15-foot jumper, off a high screen by Melochick, tied the game at 48 with 3:02 remaining, but Fraction buried
a 3-pointer to put the Golden Hawks back ahead.
Bethlehem Catholic still led
53-50 after Justin Paz hit the second of two free throws with 18.1 seconds left.
his team needing a big shot, Melochick delivered.
Getting the ball on the left
wing, Melochick squared up and calmly drained a 3-pointer to tie it with 9.1 seconds left. When Tillett missed a runner in
the paint, the game headed to overtime.
"We ran wave-through and they set
a player screen for me," Melochick said. "I was deep, but I was able to set myself, so that helped me a lot. I was
able to get my shot on line, and that made it easier to make.
"It felt awesome.
I don't know how to describe it."
It was the second standing ovation for
Melochick, who scored the 1,000th point of his career on a step-back jumper as time expired in the first quarter to give Pottsville
a 16-15 lead. The Tide led 28-26 at intermission.
"We ran a play for me
and I got the ball isolated on the post," Melochick said of the milestone shot. "He was playing off me a little,
so I gave him a little jab step, did a step back and made it. That felt good to finally get it off my chest."
Pottsville's defense dominated the four-minute extra session, as the Hawks shot 0-for-6 from the field and committed
a turnover. Ian Renninger collected four of his game-high 13 rebounds in the final moments, helping Pottsville prevent any
Melochick put Pottsville ahead with a free throw
with 2:47 left, then made it 55-53 on another free throw with 53 seconds left. A pair of free throws by Thomas iced the victory
with 7.5 seconds left.
When Pottsville needed a big play, Melochick was the guy
who stepped up offensively.
"Jordan Melochick is a superstar," Mullaney
said. "If you look at it from a coach's perspective and what he can do on the basketball floor, it's amazing. Guard 1-5,
score in a variety of ways. There's no flash with him. He's just a great, great player."
District 11 Class AAA Semifinal
At Blue Mountain High School
BETHLEHEM CATHOLIC (53) - Fraction 4 2-2
13, Tillett 7 3-4 21, Paz 1 2-3 4, Dawson-Amaah 3 1-3 7, Posch 1 2-2 4, Spigner 0 2-2 2, Jones 1 0-1 2. Totals 17 12-17 53.
POTTSVILLE (57) - Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Thomas 0 8-10 8, Melochick 7 6-9 22, Witman
0 0-0 0, Jo. Abdo 7 3-5 18, Ju. Abdo 0 0-0 0, Renninger 3 0-0 6, Schenk 1 0-0 3. Totals 18 17-24 57.
BC (14-10) 15 11 17 10 0 - 53 Potts (26-0) 16 12 9 16 4 - 57
FGs: Fraction 3, Tillett 4, Melochick 2, Jo. Abdo, Schenk
Bethlehem Catholic boys can't hold off Pottsville in District
11 Class 3A semifinals
ORWIGSBURG - Bethlehem Catholic coach Ray Barbosa felt like his team left a win get away in Tuesday
evening's District 11 Class 3A semifinals at Blue Mountain High School.
quarters, the Golden Hawks used their speed, quickness and DeAndre Tillett's 20 points to open a six-point advantage over
undefeated No. 1 seed Pottsville. But their offense stalled in the fourth period and was non-existent in overtime.
Senior Jordan Melochick's 3-pointer with 9.1 seconds remaining in regulation forced overtime and a rejuvenated Pottsville
team held No. 5 Bethlehem Catholic scoreless in overtime to pull out a 57-53 triumph.
The Crimson Tide (26-0) advance to play No. 3 Blue Mountain in Friday night's championship game at a site and time
to be determined.
"It's tough," said Barbosa, the former
Allen star in his first season as a high school head coach. "You're up 3 with like 18 seconds left and you lose. We miss
some free throws and that guy [Melochick] comes down and hits that big 3-pointer. We fought hard all game and I really wanted
it for my guys."
Bethlehem Catholic held a lead or was tied throughout the
fourth quarter. The Golden Hawks went ahead 51-48 when Micaiah Fraction drained a corner 3-pointer off a pass from Tillett
with 2:32 remaining.
Pottsville closed within 51-50 on a pair of Jordan Abdo
free throws with 1:49 left.
Barbosa's club then missed 3 of 5 attempts from the
foul line in the final 60 seconds, including the front end of a one-and-one. Still, Becahi was ahead 53-50 after Justin Paz
dropped the second of two free-throws with 18.1 to play.
That set the stage for
Melochick, who scored his 1,000th career point, to swish the tying 3-pointer. He finished with a game-high 22 points in the
"I thought we defended him well," Barbosa said.
"He's a great inside-outside player and he hit that big 3. Geez, was that a big shot."
"That's the shot we wanted," Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. "He's a good 3-point shooter."
In overtime, the Golden Hawks got several good shots off but nothing would stay down. They went 0-for-6 from the
field. The best shot of that four-minute extra session was an open wing 3 for Tillett. It spun out.
Bethlehem Catholic played the final 2:32 of regulation and all of overtime without a field goal.
Pottsville also went without a conversion from the field in OT but the Tide connected on 4 of 8 free throws.
"Yeah, it did feel like it was in," Tillett said of his overtime 3, "but my last couple shots all
did the same thing. They went in and out. That fourth quarter and overtime, I wasn't feeling it."
Tillett was feeling it for three quarters. He made four triples and consistently beat his defender off the dribble
to create shots for himself or teammates.
His 3-pointer with 3:01 left in the
third period gave the Golden Hawks a 41-35 lead and Kweku Dawson-Amoah's layup with 2:25 remaining put Becahi ahead 43-37
entering the final quarter.
The biggest sequence of the game, according to Mullaney,
came early in the fourth when Maldeen Thomas batted the ball away from Tillett near midcourt, dove to the floor to retrieve
it and passed ahead to Abdo, who turned it into a three-point play.
to spark the Crimson Tide.
"My assistant [John Toomey] suggested putting
Thomas on Tillett," the Pottsville coach said, "and those two steals he forced were the difference, in my opinion.
The play where he stole it and dove the floor, then passed ahead for the three points was the biggest play of the game."
Fraction finished with 13 for the Golden Hawks. Dawson-Amoah contributed seven points and 11 rebounds.
Abdo complemented Melochick's 22 points with an 18-point effort.
now prepares to play a familiar foe for the District 11 title, while Bethlehem Catholic readies for a third-place consolation
game against Salisbury, which lost to Blue Mountain 66-64 in overtime in Tuesday's semifinal at Freedom. The winner of Becahi-Salisbury
will earn the district's third spot in the PIAA 3A tournament.
have an opportunity to get to states," Tillett said, "and we want to take advantage of it."
"It's already time we forget about this one and keep playing," Barbosa said. "We've still got a lot
to play for and we want to put together another strong effort on Friday night."
Blouse is a freelance writer.
Copyright © 2016, The Morning Call
article is related to: Basketball,
Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association,
Melo Meter has been broken!!
Melochick scores 22 points to pass 1000 points for his career!
Jordan "Melo" Melochick scores his 1000th point!
Tide plays Bethlehem Catholic
Tonight at Blue Mountain
Come Out and Support the Crimson Tide
HS BOYS BB: Tuesday's D-11 preview capsules
by mike carnahan
Published: February 23, 2016
District 11 Boys' Basketball
No. 5 Bethlehem Catholic (14-9)
vs. No. 1 Pottsville (25-0)
When: Today, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Blue Mountain High School, Orwigsburg
About the Golden Hawks
Head coach: Ray Barbosa (1st season)
How they got here: Beat No. 4 Allentown
Central Catholic 55-46 in Friday's quarterfinals
Probable starting lineup: G
Micaiah Fraction (sr., 5-foot-7, 8.7 points per game), G DeAndre Tillett (sr., 5-8, 11.1), G Justin Paz (fr., 5-7, 10.7),
F Kweku Dawson-Amoah (sr., 6-5, 13.4), F Andrew Posch (sr., 6-3, 5.6)
F Julian Spigner (sr., 6-3, 6.7), F Anthony Jones (soph., 6-4, 1.5).
Head coach: Dave Mullaney (9th season)
How they got here: Beat No. 9 Lehighton 52-31 in Friday's quarterfinals
starting lineup: G Tanner Gerchak (sr., 5-7, 2.8 ppg), G Maldeen Thomas (sr., 6-1, 11.0), F Jordan Melochick (sr., 6-3, 13.2),
G Christian Witman (sr., 6-3, 2.9), G Jordan Abdo (jr., 5-11, 13.0)
G Justin Abdo (jr., 5-11, 1.3), F Ian Renninger (soph., 6-7, 7.3), G Patrick Schenk (sr., 6-3, 5.6)
Game notes: Fraction led the Golden Hawks with 17 points in their quarterfinal victory, while Tillett added 12. ...
Golden Hawks were down 33-30 entering the fourth quarter before going on a 13-0 run to take the lead for good. Fraction scored
seven straight points during the run. ... Jordan Abdo had 11 points in quarterfinal-round victory, while Witman and Melochick
added 10 apiece. Witman's 10 points were a career high. Crimson Tide led 11-10 after the first quarter and then held a 41-21
scoring advantage the rest of the game. ... Hawks, who were 3-19 last season, finished third in Eastern Pennsylvania Conference
Steel Division standings and lost to Parkland 65-51 in first round of league playoffs. ... Golden Hawks will play either an
up-tempo game or run their offense out of half-court sets, depending on the opposition. ... Crimson Tide like to wear teams
down with their half-court, man-to-man defense. ... Melochick, who is the only returning starter from last season, needs five
points to reach 1,000 for his career.
What's next?: Winner advances to Friday's
District 11 Class AAA championship game vs. the winner of No. 3 Blue Mountain and No. 2 Salisbury. Winner earns PIAA playoff
berth. Loser takes on Blue Mountain-Salisbury loser Friday in consolation game. Loser can qualify for PIAA playoffs with win
in Friday's consolation game.
Crimson Tide Rolls to
a 52 - 31 victory over Lehighton
Improves to 25 - 0
Pottsville boys dump Lehighton
By Leroy Boyer
Published: February 20, 2016
MINERSVILLE - The Pottsville boys' basketball team doesn't have a player that jumps off a stat sheet.
There isn't a player averaging 20 points a game, one that's being pursued by NCAA Division I college coaches or one
that's scored 1,000 career points.
Instead, the Crimson Tide do it with defense,
shutting down the opponent's top scorers, creating points off turnovers and scoring in transition.
Offensively, somebody different steps up every game in what has become a balanced attack.
All of that was the case Friday in a 52-31 rout of Lehighton in a District 11 Class AAA quarterfinal at Minersville
Area High School's Fitzpatrick Gymnasium.
Jordan Abdo led a trio of double-digit
scorers with 11 points, Christian Witman scored a season-high 10 and the Crimson Tide forced 16 turnovers to improve to 25-0
Top-seeded Pottsville will face No. 5 Bethlehem Catholic, a 55-46 winner
over Allentown Central Catholic, in Tuesday's semifinals at a site and time to be determined.
"We have a bunch of guys that can do a bunch of things," said Witman, who entered the game averaging 2.6
points per game. "We all bring what we have to the table every single night. Sometimes it's points, sometimes it's steals,
sometimes it's rebounds.
"We just go out there every single play and play
as hard as we can."
Abdo was the guy who stepped up in the first half, scoring
six of his points in a 16-6 run that put the Crimson Tide up 25-16 at intermission.
(14-10) grabbed a 10-9 lead late in the first quarter on a pair of free throws by Damian Mele before Pottsville went on a
quick 6-0 spurt to take control. Jordan Melochick scored on a drive, Abdo hit a jumper and Maldeen Thomas converted a steal
into a layup.
Pottsville forced 11 turnovers in the first half, with Thomas scoring
seven of his nine points.
"I thought Maldeen Thomas played with a ton of
energy tonight," Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. "Even when we were struggling offensively, his energy defensively
creating transition points was big in the first half."
The Crimson Tide's
goal in the first half was to drive to the basket and get Lehighton's two big men, Nick Chambers and Hunter Greene, in foul
trouble. Chambers picked up his third foul with 6:56 left in the second quarter and finished with just four points, while
Greene was saddled with his fourth foul with 5:33 left in the third quarter.
fouled out, but the foul trouble limited their effectiveness. Greene led the Indians with nine points, scoring six in the
first half and his other three on free throws in the fourth quarter.
wanted to get their bigs in foul trouble, because we knew they didn't have a great bench," Abdo said. "Every time
we get a mismatch, we try to take advantage and score as many points as we can."
Pottsville opened the second half on a 15-3 run to put the game out of reach. Lehighton committed five turnovers
in that span and hit just 1-of-8 shots.
Witman was the offensive catalyst, starting
the run on a short jumper off a feed from Tanner Gerchak, then burying a pair of 3-pointers later in the run.
Witman's final 3-pointer gave Pottsville a 40-19 lead with 2:26 left in the third quarter, and Lehighton never got
closer than 16 points the rest of the way.
"I'm usually a role player. Play
good defense, get on the floor," Witman said. "Ten points is my highest scoring game all year."
Added Mullaney: "We tell our guys that if they're confident, shoot it. It's easier to do it within the flow
of an offense. He's played well for us all year, distributing the ball and defensively. It's great to see him hit a couple
of shots in a big game tonight."
Melochick finished with 10 points and nine
rebounds for Pottsville and needs just five more points to reach 1,000 for his career. He also drew the defensive assignment
on Chambers, who scored 13 and 12 points in the two Schuylkill League Division I contests between the teams earlier this season.
"Their defense is fantastic," Lehighton coach Rich Oertner said. "I don't think they're a great offensive
team. I think they're a fantastic defensive team, and that's where their scoring comes from. They just wear you down."
District 11 Class AAA Quarterfinals
LEHIGHTON (31) - McDowell 2 0-0 5, Zwetolitz 2 0-1 5,
Mele 1 2-3 4, Chambers 1 2-2 4, Greene 3 3-5 9, Venuto 0 1-2 1, Carpenter 1 0-1 2, Howland 0 1-2 1. Totals 10 9-16 31.
POTTSVILLE (52) - Gerchak 1 0-0 2, Thomas 4 1-4 9, Melochick 5 0-0 10, Witman 4 0-0 10, Jo. Abdo 5 1-4 11, Ju. Abdo
1 0-0 2, Renninger 2 0-0 4, Schenk 2 0-0 4, O'Pake 0 0-0 0, Wood 0 0-0 0, Pellish 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 2-8 52.
Leh. (14-9) 10 6 6 9 - 31
Potts. (24-0) 11 14 15 12 - 52
3-point FGs: McDowell, Zwetolitz, Witman 2
Crimson Tide plays Lehighton
Friday at Minersville in the First Round of District XI AAA
2016 Schuylkill League Champions
Crimson Tide win another Schuylkill League title
By Mike Carnahan
Published: February 13,
Jordan Melochick has had the opportunity to enjoy plenty of championships during his career for the Pottsville boys'
He got to be a part of another Friday night. This one was just
a little bit more special.
Melochick, a senior playing in his final game at Martz
Hall, recorded a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds to help the Crimson Tide roll past Blue Mountain 65-47 for their
second straight Schuylkill League boys' title and sixth in seven years.
has appeared in seven consecutive league finals and has won 16 titles overall. The only loss during the recent run was a 45-44
defeat to Mahanoy Area in the 2014 title game.
Melochick, who's been a four-year
starter for the Crimson Tide, has had a hand in Pottsville's last three league championships.
"This one feels a little bit better because I am a senior this year," Melochick said. "I was just
trying to be a leader for everybody else and pave the way for them."
was some drama in the semifinals Thursday after Pottsville (24-0), the Division I champs, fell behind by 10 points early in
the second quarter and eight early in the third against Division III champ Shenandoah Valley. A big second half carried the
Crimson Tide to a 62-45 victory.
There was no such drama Friday.
Pottsville took the lead for good at 9-8 on a putback by Ian Renninger with 1:53 remaining in the first
quarter. The Crimson Tide then went on a 17-6 run to end the first half to go up 31-18 at halftime. Pottsville increased
its advantage to 46-30 at the end of the third quarter.
Melochick has quietly
put together a solid career for Pottsville, playing along side players such as Travis Blankenhorn and Eli Nabholz. Melochick
was the only returning starter for Pottsville this season, and has compiled the best offensive season of his career. He came
into Friday's game leading the team in scoring at 13.4 points per game.
on the court haven't changed a bit, either. The Crimson Tide are still kings of the Schuylkill League.
"All the time we put in the offseason," Melochick said of the keys to the season. "We play together
all the time and that really helped us a lot throughout the season."
was one of four Pottsville players that scored in double figures Friday. Junior Jordan Abdo had 18 points and seven rebounds,
while sophomore Ian Renninger came off the bench to add a season-high 17 points and seven boards. Maldeen Thomas also had
10 points and five rebounds for the Crimson Tide.
Senior Mark Chelius led the
Eagles (19-5), playing in their first league championship game since 2007, with 18 points. The Division I wild card, Blue
Mountain had been able to stay with Pottsville during their two regular-season meetings this season, but that wasn't the case
The Eagles finished the night 14-of-37 (38 percent) from the floor and
were outmuscled on the boards as Pottsville held a 28-14 rebounding edge.
Pottsville took it to us," Blue Mountain coach Dustin Werdt said. "They played well, they shot the ball well, they
attacked the basket. They did everything offensively you want a team to do."
Crimson Tide were 23-of-40 (58 percent) from the floor Friday, including a 5-of-8 showing from 3-point land. All five of the
3-pointers came in the first half as Pottsville hit on 5-of-7. Thomas had two 3s in the first half for the Crimson Tide, with
his second coming on a step-back shot from the corner with 2:52 left in the half that gave Pottsville a 24-15 lead.
Tanner Gerchak, Patrick Schenk and Abdo also had 3s in the first 16 minutes for the Crimson Tide. Abdo's 3 from the
wing came with 1:14 remaining in the first half to put Pottsville up 30-18.
were pretty selective shooting them," Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. "It is one thing just to throw them up
but if we can run some offense, get the ball moving a little bit, try to work inside out, you have a better chance that those
are going to go in."
Melochick scored the Crimson Tide's first points of
the second half on a drive down the lane. He later another drive down the lane at 3:24 to make it 39-23.
Pottsville built its biggest lead of the night to that point with 6:16 to go in the game after Abdo knocked two foul
shots in a 1-and-1 situation, making it 52-30.
"We really had an emphasis
on we really needed to get back to winning every quarter," Mullaney said. "In the past couple of weeks, we've been
making runs that are good enough to get wins, but we are not winning every quarter. That is something we always prided ourselves
in years past and everybody bought into that tonight. In each quarter, we were pretty consistent."
Schuylkill League Boys' Championship
At Martz Hall
BLUE MOUNTAIN (47) - Puzzi 1 0-0 2, Kerstetter 0 0-0 0,
Welsh 0 0-0 0, Lewis 4 0-0 9, Albertini 2 2-2 7, Chelius 5 6-7 18, Zerbe 1 5-8 7, Hoynoski 0 0-1 0, Biever 2 0-0 4. Totals
15 13-18 47.
POTTSVILLE (65) - Ju. Abdo 0 0-0 0, Gerchak 1 0-0 3, Thomas 3 2-4
10, Melochick 3 5-7 11, Witman 0 0-1 0, Jo. Abdo 6 5-5 18, Renninger 8 1-3 17, Schenk 2 1-2 6. Totals 23 14-22 65.
BM (19-5) 8 10 12 17 - 47 Pot (24-0) 12 19 15 19 - 65
Lewis, Albertini, Chelius 2, Gerchak, Thomas 2, Jo. Abdo, Schenk
Renninger's play off bench key for Tide
Published: February 13, 2016
Ian Renninger's job in Friday's
Schuylkill League boys' basketball championship game was simple.
Come off the
bench, spell the Pottsville starters for a few minutes, play tough defense and crash the boards.
The production the Crimson Tide got out of the 6-foot-7 sophomore was well beyond their expectations.
Renninger scored a season-high 17 points, pulled down seven rebounds and recorded three blocks in Pottsville's 65-47
rout of Blue Mountain at Martz Hall.
Dominating the middle on both ends of the
floor, Renninger turned the fourth quarter into the Schuylkill League Dunk Contest, throwing down three slams as Pottsville
(24-0) won its second straight Schuylkill League boys' title and sixth in seven years.
"Ian we kind of look at as another starter for us, he's so talented. He plays starter's minutes," Pottsville
coach Dave Mullaney said. "Tonight he was huge.
"His offensive rebounding
in the first half ... that was so critical for us offensively. He also had some blocks on the other end."
Renninger, Patrick Schenk and Justin Abdo were part of a Crimson Tide bench that produced 23 points and had a big
hand in Pottsville's first-half success.
All three entered the game midway through
the first quarter and had an immediate impact.
Schenk, a 6-3 senior, drained
a triple from the top of the key as part of a 6-0 run that gave Pottsville a quick 7-2 lead.
Abdo, a 5-11 junior and the twin brother of starter Jordan Abdo, took care of the ballhandling duties when senior
guard Tanner Gerchak got into foul trouble.
"As a bench, we try to come
in and do what the starters do," said Schenk, who finished with six points. "No let-off. Keep it the same all the
"Coach lets us shoot if we're confident. It feels great to make any
type of contribution, especially in a championship game like this."
Mullaney: "Patrick Schenk has hit big shots for us all year. He really understands our system and has gotten better and
better as a defender. We're always comfortable with him."
job was to contain Blue Mountain's center, 6-7 sophomore Jakob Biever. Biever scored a pair of baskets on a layup and a hook
shot as part of a 6-0 run that gave Blue Mountain an 8-7 lead with 2:19 left in the first quarter.
Renninger not only contained Biever, but the Pottsville defense didn't let him score the rest of the game.
Renninger, meanwhile, scored consecutive baskets off offensive rebounds late in the first quarter to give Pottsville
a 12-8 lead after one frame, then added another recycled basket in the second quarter.
His buckets were part of a concentrated effort by Pottsville to dominate the glass, get offensive rebounds and create
second-chance scoring opportunities.
Renninger's second-quarter bucket started
a 14-4 run to close the first half that gave Pottsville a 31-18 halftime lead.
kid is a great athlete. He's got size, he can jump. He does a great job attacking the rim for offensive boards," Blue
Mountain coach Dustin Werdt said of Renninger.
"A lot of their offensive
rebounds came because we got beat off the dribble and we had to help with our big guy, and (Renninger) crashed. Give him credit.
He did a great job."
Jordan Abdo (18 points) and Jordan Melochick (11 points,
12 rebounds) took over the game in the second half for Pottsville, helping the Crimson Tide extend their lead to 52-30 early
in the fourth.
That's when Renninger stole the limelight and excited a paid crowd
His first dunk came off a feed from Melochick with 4:50 left. He followed
that with a layup, then added two more dunks off perfect passes from Gerchak and Jordan Abdo.
All three slams fired up a boisterous Pottsville student section that was right above the Tide's basket and put an
exclamation point on another Schuylkill League championship.
"It just comes.
I don't really try for it, it just happens," Renninger said of his dunks. "I'm not going to lie ... it's pretty
cool dunking in front of all these people. It was awesome."
Pottsville - Blue Mountain Highlights
Schuylkill League Boys' Basketball Championship Preview Capsule
H.S. BOYS BASKETBALL: Schuylkill League Championship Preview Capsule
Published: February 12, 2016
Schuylkill League Boys'
Basketball Championship Preview Capsule
Blue Mountain (19-4) vs. Pottsville (23-0)
When: Tonight, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Martz Hall, Pottsville
Tickets: $5 for adults, $3 for students/senior citizens in advance at competing schools. All tickets $5 at door
About Blue Mountain
Head coach: Dustin Werdt (13th season)
Previous league championship game appearances (since 1985): Two overall, two titles (2003, 2007)
Last appearance in league championship game: 2007 - Beat Mahanoy Area 48-46
statistics: Offense (62.8 points per game), defense (46.2)
lineup: G Mark Chelius (sr., 5-8, 16.6 ppg), G Aaron Albertini (jr., 6-2, 10.4), G-F Brayden Lewis (jr., 5-11, 10.1), F-C
Connor Kerstetter (jr., 6-2, 2.9), C Jakob Biever (soph., 6-7, 8.0)
G-F Christian Puzzi (sr., 6-1, 4.1), G Spencer Welsh (jr., 6-0, 2.2), G-F Mason Zerbe (jr., 6-3, 4.3)
Head coach: Dave Mullaney (9th season)
Previous Schuylkill League championship game (since 1985): 13 overall, 11 titles (1985, 1989, 1993, 1995, 2000, 2004,
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015)
Last appearance in league title game: 2015 - Beat
Tamaqua 33-28 in overtime in title game
Team statistics: Offense (59.8 points
per game), defense (34.6)
Probable starting lineup: G Tanner Gerchak (jr., 5-11,
2.9 ppg), G Maldeen Thomas (sr., 6-1, 11.1), F Jordan Melochick (sr., 6-3, 13.4), G Christian Witman (sr., 6-3, 2.7), G Jordan
Abdo (jr., 5-11, 12.9)
Key reserves: F Ian Renninger (soph., 6-7, 6.9), G Patrick
Schenk (sr., 6-3, 5.7), G Justin Abdo (jr., 5-11, 1.3)
Third meeting between the two Division I rivals this season. The Crimson Tide won first match-up 60-47 at Blue Mountain
on Dec. 15 and the second 57-49 at Martz Hall on Jan. 18. ... Jordan Abdo had scored 34 points during the Crimson Tide's two
wins over the Eagles this season, while Melochick has 30, including 21 in the second meeting. ... Chelius has 23 points in
the Eagles' two meetings with Pottsville, including 20 in the Jan. 18 contest. ... The Eagles are only one of six teams this
season to score 45 or more points in a game against the Crimson Tide. ... The Eagles were the last Schuylkill League Division
I team to beat the Crimson Tide, winning 51-33 on Jan. 27, 2014, at Blue Mountain. Since then, the Crimson Tide have gone
59-4 overall, including the postseason. ... Crimson Tide went undefeated during the regular season for the second consecutive
year, winning 47 straight regular-season games since loss to Eagles in 2014. ... Thomas leads the Tide in 3-pointers with
37, while Jordan Abdo had 34. ... Albertini has 42 3-pointers for the Eagles, with Chelius hitting 33. ... This will be the
first time the Crimson Tide and Eagles have met in a league championship game, according to available records that date to
- Compiled by Mike Carnahan
Pottsville - Shenandoah Highlights
H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: Crimson Tide down Shenandoan Valley to reach Schuylkill League finals
By Mike Carnahan
Published: February 12, 2016
With 1:56 to go
Thursday night, two "It's all over" chants broke out from the Pottsville student section at Martz Hall.
The Crimson Tide were in the process of finishing off their 19th double-digit victory of the season. It was quite
a turnaround from where the night started.
Jordan Abdo had a big second half
on both ends of the floor, finishing with a game-high 19 points, as Pottsville overcame Shenandoah Valley 62-45 in the Schuylkill
League boys' basketball semifinals.
The Blue Devils (16-7), the Division III
champs, had upset on their minds when they led 23-13 early in the second quarter and 38-30 early in the second half.
That's when Pottsville's defense showed up.
The Crimson Tide (23-0),
the Division I champs, held Shenandoah Valley to nine second-half points. Pottsville took the lead for good early in the fourth
quarter and finished the game on a 19-2 run to reach the league title game for the seventh straight year.
The Crimson Tide will look to win their sixth title since 2010 at 7:30 tonight against a familiar opponent in Blue
Mountain (19-4). The Eagles, the Division I wild card, beat Division II champ Minersville 63-55 in Thursday's other semifinal.
"We weren't worried at all,"Abdo said about the halftime deficit. "We are not used to being down,
but we weren't worried about it. We just kept doing our thing and kept grinding it out until we got a victory."
The Crimson Tide have been involved in plenty of blowout wins this season, but have faced their share of adversity,
too. The most recent was Feb. 3 against Berks Catholic when Pottsville trailed 37-33 with 1:53 left in the game. But the Crimson
Tide battled back as Abdo tied the game on a 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter, and Pottsville went on to win 58-52 in
"That was an important win for us," Abdo said. "That
helped us get a feel for what the playoffs are going to be like and know every game is going to be close. It is not going
to be a blowout anymore."
That experience paid off Thursday.
In his first season as a starter, Abdo was one of the heroes for the Crimson Tide on Thursday.
Abdo scored 15 points in the second half, including eight in the fourth quarter. The junior guard had only one field
goal over the final eight minutes, but was 5-of-7 from the foul line as he drove to the basket,
drawing fouls to put him on the line. Abdo's two foul shots after a drive with 7:39 left in the game gave Pottsville
the lead for good at 45-43.
"We figured they were starting to play man-to-man
on us so we could go to the basket more, draw some fouls and get some easy buckets," Abdo said.
Abdo also came through on the defensive end.
Shenandoah Valley's Joel
Santana, the Schuylkill League's leading scorer who came in averaging 22.2 points per game, scored 12 points over the first
10 minutes of the game before he went to the bench with his third personal foul with 5:40 left in the first half.
Santana, who finished the night with 17 points, returned for second half with Abdo matched up on the talented junior
guard. Santana scored only five second half points, shooting 2-of-8 from the floor in the final 16 minutes.
Jordan Melochick was originally supposed to guard Santana for most of the night, but when he got into foul trouble
in first half, Abdo ended up with the responsibility.
Overall, Shenandoah Valley
shot just 3-of-15 from floor in the second half, including an 0-of-7 showing from 3-point land.
The Blue Devils were held scoreless for a 6-minute, 20-second stretch of the second half.
"I think Jordan Abdo did a really nice job on Santana," Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. "We just
chased guys off the 3-point line much better. That was the difference in the game."
Maldeen Thomas also had a big second half for Pottsville, scoring 10 of his 15 points to go along with five rebounds.
Melochick added 11 points and six boards.
If the Blue Devils had any hopes for
upset, they needed to get off to good start. That's what happened.
Valley was 8-of-14 shooting in the first quarter, including two 3-pointers apiece from Jermaine McNeil and Santana, while
Ian McCole, who finished the game with 11 points, added another. A drive by Santana down the lane early in the second quarter
gave Shenandoah Valley a 23-13 lead.
"We abandoned our dribble hand-off
offense because we figured they would be ready for that," Shenandoah Valley head coach Robbie Miller said. "We wanted
to swing the ball around the perimeter and look for back cuts for open layups. When we did go dribble hand-off we stepped
back and knocked down a lot of big 3s. We found some openings we saw on the film and our kids did a great job of making it
The Blue Devils also led 38-30 on a slash down the lane by Santana
at 7:24 of the third quarter.
That's when Pottsville began its comeback, going
on a 13-5 run to tie the game at 43 after three frames.
Schuylkill League Semifinal
At Martz Hall
SHENANDOAH VALLEY (45) - Raisner 0 0-0 0, McNeil 3 0-0 9, Santana 7 1-2 17, I. McCole 4 0-0 11, Alvarez 2 0-0 4,
Creasy 0 0-0 0, Chagolla 1 0-0 2, Michalik 0 0-0 0, Cabrera 0 0-0 0, Allegretta 0 0-0 0, White 0 2-2 2, Uholik 0 0-0 0, Kosar
0 0-0 0, McCole 0 0-0 0, T. McCole 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 3-4 45.
- Ju. Abdo 0 0-1 0, Gerchak 1 0-0 3, Thomas 7 0-0 15, Melochick 4 3-4 11, Witman 3 1-1 7, Jo. Abdo 5 7-10 19, Renninger 3
1-4 7, Schenck 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 12-20 62.
SV (16-7) 21 15 7 2 - 45 Pot (23-0)
13 17 13 19 - 62
3-point FGs: McNeil 3, Santana 2, I. McCole 3, Gerchak, Thomas,
Pottsville Beats Shenandoah Valley
62 - 45 to move to 23 - 0.
The Crimson Tide will Play Blue Mountain in the Schuylkill League Finals
Crimson Tide plays Thursday
Night at 7:30 at Martz Hall
Schuylkill League Boys’ Basketball Semifinals Preview Capsules
Thursday, February 11, at Martz Hall
Blue Mountain (18-4, Division I wild card)
(19-3, Division II champs), 6 p.m.
About Blue Mountain
Head coach: Dustin Werdt (13th season)
Previous Schuylkill League playoff appearances (since 1985): Five overall, two titles (2003, 2007)
Last appearance: 2014 — Lost to Mahanoy Area 49-35 in semifinals
League rankings: Offense (2nd, 60.0 points per game), defense (4th, 45.8 ppg)
Probable starting lineup: G Mark Chelius (sr., 5-8, 16.4 ppg), G Aaron Albertini (jr.,
6-2, 10.3), G-F Brayden Lewis (jr., 5-11, 10.2), F-C Connor Kerstetter (jr., 6-2, 2.8), C Jakob Biever (soph., 6-7, 8.0)
Key reserves: G-F Christian Puzzi (sr., 6-1, 4.3), G Spencer Welsh (jr., 6-0, 2.3),
G-F Mason Zerbe (jr., 6-3, 4.1)
Head coach: Cliff Woodford (9th season)
Previous Schuylkill League playoff appearances (since 1985): Four
Last appearance: 2015 — Lost to Tamaqua 59-53 in semifinals
League rankings: Offense (4th, 58.2), defense (2nd, 43.3)
starting lineup: G Jon McBreen (sr., 6-3, 8.0 ppg), G Chris Leshko (sr., 6-3, 15.1), G Adam Stoppie (sr., 6-0, 4.9), G Shane
Hoffman (jr., 5-10, 6.3), G David Graham (sr., 6-0, 12.9)
reserves: F Aaron Snyder (jr., 6-0, 2.7), G Keidre Taylor (soph., 5-10, 1.8), G Lucas Rinaldo (jr., 5-10 2.2)
Shenandoah Valley (16-6,
Division III champ)
vs. Pottsville (22-0, Division I champ), 7:30
About Shenandoah Valley
Head coach: Robbie Miller (6th season)
League playoff appearances (since 1985): None
Offense (1st, 61.2), defense (11th, 51.0)
Probable starting lineup:
G Joel Santana (jr., 5-10, 22.2 ppg), G Jermaine McNeil (jr., 6-1, 12.5), F Ian McCole (sr., 6-1, 11.1), F Isaiah Alvarez
(jr., 6-2, 3.3), F Josh White (sr., 6-3, 4.1)
Key reserves: G
Ricardo Chagolla (sr., 5-11, 5.0), F Bobby Ryan (jr., 6-1, 1.1)
Head coach: Dave Mullaney (9th season)
Previous Schuylkill League playoff appearances (since 1979): 18 overall, 15 titles (1980,
1981, 1983, 1984,1985, 1989, 1993, 1995, 2000, 2004, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015)
Last appearance: 2015 — Beat Tamaqua 33-28 in overtime in title game
League rankings: Offense (6th, 57.0), defense (1st, 34.1)
starting lineup: G Tanner Gerchak (jr., 5-11, 2.9 ppg), G Maldeen Thomas (sr., 6-1, 10.9), F Jordan Melochick (sr., 6-3, 13.5),
G Christian Witman (sr., 6-3, 2.5), G Jordan Abdo (jr., 5-11, 12.6)
reserves: F Ian Renninger (soph., 6-7, 7.0), G Patrick Schenk (sr., 6-3, 5.9), G Justin Abdo (jr., 5-11, 1.4)
— Compiled by Mike Carnahan
Crimson Tide Rolls to Second Perfect
Regular Season in a Row
22 - 0
It was a new season with almost an entirely new starting lineup. And yet the results are the same for
the Pottsville boys' basketball team.
The Crimson Tide are perfect again.
Maldeen Thomas scored 15 points as Pottsville got off to a strong start and finished with an undefeated regular season
for the second straight year after a 54-27 victory over Jim Thorpe in a Schuylkill League Division I contest Friday night
at Martz Hall.
The win was the 47 consecutive regular-season victory for the
Crimson Tide, as well as their 31st straight win in the division. Pottsville's last regular-season loss was to Blue Mountain
on Jan. 27, 2014. Since then, the Crimson Tide have gone 60-2 overall. The only two were losses were to Susquenhanna Township
in the second round of the PIAA Class AAA playoffs in 2014 and 2015.
seven of his points in the first quarter Friday as Pottsville got out to a 15-1 lead after the first eight minutes. Ian Renninger
added 12 points on the night for the Crimson Tide, while Jordan Abdo had eight.
Micciche scored eight points to pace the Olympians, who wrap up the regular season at Marian this afternoon and then are off
until the start of the District 11 Class AAA playoffs.
Pottsville, the Division
I champ, takes on Division III champ Shenandoah Valley in the Schuylkill League semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Martz Hall.
Division I wild card Blue Mountain faces Division II champ Minersville in the opener at 6.
JIM THORPE (27) - Carroll 2 0-0 6, Elmore 0 3-4 3, Micciche 4 0-1 8, Jefferson 0 0-0 0, Green 3 0-0 6, Lauer 1 0-0
2, Twardzik 0 0-0 0, Joyce 0 0-0 0, McElmoyle 0 0-0 0, Rosachac 1 0-0 2. Totals 11 3-5 27.
POTTSVILLE (54) - Ju. Abdo 1 0-0 2, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Wood 0 0-0 0, Thomas 6 1-3 15, Melochick 2 0-0 5, Witman 1 0-0
2, Pellish 1 0-0 2, Jo. Abdo 4 0-2 8, Renninger 6 0-3 12, Schenk 2 0-2 6, O'Pake 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 1-10 54.
JT (12-10, 8-7) 1 8 4 14 - 27 Pot (23-0, 15-0) 15 14 16 9 - 54
FGs: Carroll 2, Thomas 2, Melochick, Schenk 2
JV score: Pottsville 56-25
Senior Night 2016
Most Successful Four Years in School History!
- 13 - Record *** and still counting.
Schuylkill League hoops playoffs set
SUNDAY, FEB. 7
Division I girls' tiebreaker, at Minersville
vs. Pottsville, 2 p.m. (if needed)
TUESDAY, FEB. 9
Schuylkill Boys' Basketball semifinals
At Martz Hall, Pottsville
Blue Mountain vs. Minersville,
Shenandoah Valley vs. Pottsville, 7:30 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 10
Girls' Basketball semifinals
At Martz Hall, Pottsville
Wild Card vs. Minersville, 6 p.m.
Marian vs. Division I champion, 7:30 p.m.
At Martz Hall, Pottsville
Schuylkill Girls' Basketball championship
Schuylkill Boys' Basketball championship
Semifinal winners, 7:30 p.m.
Crimson Tide Wins 58-52 in
Double overtime over Berks Catholic to improve to 21 - 0
The Pottsville boys' basketball team is one win away from its second consecutive undefeated regular
Jordan Abdo hit a 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter to tie the game, while
the Crimson Tide had a strong showing from the foul line over two overtime periods to get past Berks Catholic 58-52 in a non-league,
double-overtime thriller Wednesday at Martz Hall.
Abdo, whose trey with 33.3
seconds remaining in regulation tied the game at 38, finished the night with 16 points. Jordan Melochick had a game-high for
the Crimson Tide with 18.
Pottsville shot 16-for-23 from the foul line in the
overtime periods, with eight of those free throws coming from Melochick.
Thomas added 12 points for the Crimson Tide. Two foul shots from Thomas late in the second overtime gave Pottsville the lead
for good at 54-52. He added another with 19 seconds remaining to make it 56-52.
Lutz paced the Saints, who were leading 37-33 with 1:53 left in regulation, with 14 points, while Luis Garcia added 10. Garcia's
game-tying shot as time expired in the first overtime knocked the game at 46 and sent the contest to double overtime. The
loss snapped Berks Catholic's 11-game winning streak.
The Crimson Tide have now
won 46 consecutive regular-season games. Pottsville look to complete another perfect regular season Friday when it hosts Jim
BERKS CATHOLIC (52) -Nein 1 0-0 3, Lutz 5 3-7 14, Wilson
1 2-2 4, Twyman 0 0-0 0, Nesby 3 0-0 7, Garcia 4 2-2 10, Calloway 3 1-3 7, Rivera 1 0-2 2, Jack 2 0-0 5. Totals 20 8-16 52.
POTTSVILLE (58) - Ju. Abdo 0 0-0 0, Gerchak 0 1-2 1, Thomas 3 4-7 12, Melochick
5 8-11 18, Witman 1 0-2 2, Jo. Abdo 4 6-9 16, Renninger 2 0-0 4, Schenk 2 0-0 5. Totals 17 19-31 58.
BC (14-7) 7 13 12 6 9 5 - 52 Pott (21-0) 15 2 12 9 9 11 - 58
FGs: Nein, Lutz, Nesby, Jack, Thomas 2, Jo. Abdo 2, Schenk
JV score: Berks Catholic
POTTSVILLE CRIMSON TIDE HIGHLIGHTS
Crimson Tide moves to 20 - 0
LEHIGHTON - Jordan Abdo netted 11 of his game-high 18 points in the second half as the Crimson Tide erased a halftime
deficit to post their 45th consecutive regular-season win, defeating the Indians in a Division I contest.
Abdo made all six of his attempted free throws in the second half, tallying nine points in the decisive fourth quarter
as Pottsville outscored Lehighton 19-7 in the final frame. Jordan Melochick added 10 points and Maldeen Thomas contributed
nine for the Tide.
Nick Chambers paced Lehighton with 12 points.
POTTSVILLE (53) - Ju. Abdo 0 2-4 2, Gerchak 2 0-0 5, Thomas 3 2-2 9,
Melochick 3 4-5 10, Witman 0 0-0 0, Jo. Abdo 5 6-6 18, Renninger 1 1-2 3, Schenk 2 0-0 6. Totals 16 15-19 53.
LEHIGHTON (36) - Troxell 0 0-0 0, McDowell 4 0-1 9, Zwetolitz 1 0-0 3, Mele 3 0-0 7, Howland 0 0-0 0, Chambers 4
4-6 12, Green 2 0-0 5. Totals 14 4-7 36.
Po (20-0, 13-0) 12 12 10 19 - 53 Le
(12-9, 5-8) 13 12 4 7 - 36
3-point FGs: Gerchak, Thomas, Jo. Abdo 2, Schenk
2, McDowell, Zwetolitz, Mele, Greene
JV score: Pottsville 42-20
Crimson Tide Prepares For Lehighton - WNEP16
Crimson Tide Rolls over Tamaqua
Blue Raiders 67 - 40 to Go 19 - 0
Pottsville clinches 7th straight Division I title
From Staff Reports
Published: January 31, 2016
TAMAQUA - A day after an impressive win over one of the best teams in the Colonial League, the Pottsville boys' basketball
team wrapped up another Schuylkill League division title Saturday afternoon.
Melochick scored 17 points as the Crimson Tide rolled past Tamaqua 67-40 to clinch their seventh consecutive Division I championship.
Ian Renninger and Patrick Schenk added 15 points apiece for the Pottsville,
which knocked down nine 3-pointers in the game. The Crimson Tide, who beat Salisbury 47-27 in a non-league contest Friday,
jumped out to a 40-22 lead Saturday..
Thad Zuber finished with a game-high 23
points for the Blue Raiders.
POTTSVILLE (67) - Ju. Abdo 1 0-0 2,
Gerchak 3 0-0 7, Wood 0 0-0 0, Thomas 3 0-0 8, Melochick 6 2-4 17, Witman 0 1-2 1, Pellish 1 0-0 2, Jo. Abdo 0 0-0 0, Renninger
7 1-3 15, Schenk 6 0-0 15, O'Pake 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 4-9 67.
TAMAQUA (40) -
Blaker 0 0-0 0, Wassell 1 0-0 2, Kurek 0 0-0 0, Zuber 8 4-4 23, Scott 1 0-1 2, Wargula 0 0-0 0, Rother 0 0-0 0, Murphy 0 0-0
0, Rivera 0 0-0 0, Davidson 1 0-0 2, Gregoire 4 1-3 9, Bates 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 5-8 40.
Pott (19-0, 12-0) 20 20 16 11 - 67 Tam (6-14, 4-8) 13 9 10 8 - 40
FGs: Gerchak, Thomas 2, Melochick 3, Schenk 3, Zuber 3
JV score: Pottsville 43-28
Crimson Tide Moves to 18-0 with
a 47-27 victory of Salisbury Falcons
Pottsville stifles Salisbury
by leroy boyer
Published: January 30, 2016
games in late January usually don't mean too much to basketball teams prepping for the postseason.
For Pottsville, however, Friday's tussle with the best team in the Colonial League, Salisbury, gave the Crimson Tide
a chance to gauge itself against a possible district playoff opponent.
defensive effort proved Pottsville is right where it wants to be in its quest to repeat as District 11 Class AAA champ.
Jordan Melochick and Maldeen Thomas each scored 12 points and Pottsville held Salisbury to 23 percent shooting in
a convincing 47-27 victory at Martz Hall.
The victory keeps Pottsville unbeaten
at 18-0 and extends the Crimson Tide's regular-season win streak to 43 straight games.
"We can play with anybody in the district," Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. "We're really happy
with the way our kids played.
"We still didn't shoot the way we wanted to
shoot, especially from the free-throw line, but everything else I thought our kids did really well tonight."
What Pottsville does well is play defense, and the Crimson Tide put on a display over the final three quarters.
After the two teams battled through a pretty even first quarter, Pottsville held Salisbury to 6-for-27 shooting (22
percent) over the final 24 minutes and forced 17 turnovers.
The Tide's defense
was extremely dominant for a 9-minute, 20-second stretch that covered the latter part of the second quarter and most of the
Salisbury (17-3) was held without a field goal during that stretch,
opening the second half 0-for-6 from the field with seven turnovers.
went on a 12-1 run in that time period, expanding a 22-17 lead to 34-18 late in the third quarter. Salisbury didn't get closer
than 15 points the rest of the way.
"It was a lesson in defensive intensity,"
Salisbury coach Jason Weaver said. "How Pottsville played on defense showed us we have to work so much harder on defense.
"It was a credit to them for their defensive effort. We couldn't get open, we couldn't run an offense, we tried
everything in our repertoire to run an offense. We just struggled to get open."
Pottsville got a balanced effort, with Thomas scoring nine of his points in the first half and Melochick scoring nine of his
points in the second half.
Jordan Abdo, a regular starter who came off the bench
Friday due to an injury, tallied seven of his nine points in the first half, while Ian Renninger also scored nine points.
Pottsville shot 18-for-39 (46 percent) from the field and committed just 11 turnovers.
"We have a lot of guys that can put the ball in the basket," Mullaney said. "I was really pleased
with the way we ran our offense tonight. The 47 (points) didn't show it, but I thought we did some nice things.
"We had a couple of missed opportunities here and there, but we just dug in defensively and didn't give up anything
easy. They had to work for everything. They had a couple of drives and kicks that hurt us, but I thought our kids played hard
Melochick was the key in the second half as Pottsville outscored
Salisbury 20-9. The senior forward scored most of his points on drives to the basket.
"They had a bigger kid on me, so I was just trying to be aggressive, get in the lane and make plays for myself
and my teammates," Melochick said. "Try to get in the lane, get the defense to collapse, then kick it out to make
Pottsville wasn't flawless, as a 7-for-18 effort from the foul
line raised red flags. The Crimson Tide also gave up six offensive rebounds in the first quarter that allowed the Falcons
to stay close.
What Friday's win does, however, is give confidence to a team
that lacks postseason experience. Only Melochick saw extensive time in the Tide's run to the second round of the state playoffs
the past two seasons.
Pottsville entered the night ranked first in the District
11 Class AAA power ratings, while Salisbury was second. ACC, Blue Mountain, Notre Dame-Green Pond, Saucon Valley, North Schuylkill,
Jim Thorpe and Lehighton have also clinched berths in a loaded Class AAA district field, with Bethlehem Catholic and Northwestern
Lehigh on the bubble.
The Falcons are in position to earn a first-round bye in
the Colonial League playoffs, while Bangor, Notre Dame and Saucon Valley are also in title contention.
"It was a big win for us," Melochick said. "It helps our confidence to beat a team like this."
SALISBURY (27) - Weber 2 0-0 4, Cooperman 2 0-0 5, Reichenbach
1 4-6 7, Belletiere 1 0-0 2, Jones 2 0-0 6, Costello 1 0-0 2, Slutsky 0 1-2 1, Frankenfield 0 0-0 0, Adams 0 0-0 0, Galantini
0 0-0 0, S. Snyder 0 0-0 0. Totals 9 5-8 27.
POTTSVILLE (47) - Gerchak 0 0-1
0, Thomas 5 1-2 12, Melochick 5 1-6 12, Witman 0 1-2 1, Renninger 4 1-1 9, Ju. Abdo 0 1-2 1, Jo. Abdo 3 2-4 9, Schenk 1 0-0
3, O'Pake 0 0-0 0, Pellish 0 0-0 0, Wood 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 7-18 47.
10 8 2 7 - 27 Potts (18-0) 13 14 7 13 - 47
3-point FGs: Cooperman, Reichenbach,
Jones 2, Thomas, Melochick, Jo. Abdo, Schenk
JV score: Pottsville 41-38
Pottsville Dunks Panther Valley
54 - 20
Moves To 17 - 0
Panther Valley 20
Maldeen Thomas scored eight points of his 11 points in the first quarter as the Crimson Tide clinched a seventh straight
Schuylkill League playoff berth with a rout of the Panthers in a Division I game at Martz Hall.
Jordan Melochick (10) and Ian Renninger (10) combined for 14 of Pottsville’s 20 points in the second quarter.
PANTHER VALLEY (20) — Figueroa 2 0-0 5, Stanko 0 3-6 3, Micholik
0 0-0 0, Miller 0 2-4 2, Hudicka 2 4-4 10, Fisher 0 0-0 0, Blasko 0 0-0 0, Emmert 0 0-0 0. Totals 4 9-14 20.
POTTSVILLE (54) — Ju. Abdo 1 0-0 2, Gerchak 1 0-0 2, Wood 1 0-2 2, Thomas 4 0-0 11, Melochick 4 1-1 10, Witman
2 0-0 4, Pellish 1 0-0 2, Renninger 5 0-1 10, Schenk 3 2-2 9, O’Pake 1 0-0 2. Totals 23 3-6 54.
PV (5-13, 2-9) 5 6 4 5 — 20 Po (17-0, 11-0) 14 20 9 11 — 54
3-point FGs: Figueroa, Hudicka 2, Thomas 3, Melochick, Schenk
Crimson Tide Holds off North
Schuylkill 57 - 47 to move to 16 - 0
ANDY MATSKO/STAFF PHOTO Pottsville’s Jordan
Abdo, left, scoops up a shot as North Schuylkill’s Tevin Murray defends during Wednesday’s game. Abdo scored 15
points to help the Crimson Tide post a 57-47 victory.
In a game decided in the final quarter, Pottsville
faced one of its toughest challengers yet in North Schuylkill.
its lead shrink to two points, the Crimson Tide relied on Jordan Abdo’s seven points in the fourth period to hold off
the Spartans 57-47 in a Schuylkill League Division I contest Wednesday at Martz Hall.
Abdo finished with 15 points, while Jordan Melochick led Pottsville with 18. The Tide shot 11-for-18 from the foul
line in the fourth quarter to outscore the Spartans 17-9.
Maldeen Thomas added
13 points for Pottsville, which remains undefeated.
Tevin Murray led North Schuylkill
with 15 points, including seven in a 20-13 third quarter, and Bobby Grigas netted 11 points.
The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, but was bumped up due to the threat of a possible winter storm this
NORTH SCHUYLKILL (47)
— Weist 2 0-0 4, Murray 5 5-6 15, Mazur 1 0-0 3, Wood 3 0-0 9, Smith 1 1-2 4, Grigas 4 1-2 11, Jordan 0 1-4 1. Totals
16 8-14 47.
POTTSVILLE (57) — Ju. Abdo 1 0-0 3, Gerchak 0 0-0 0,
Thomas 3 7-8 13, Melochick 4 9-11 18, Witman 1 0-0 2, Jo. Abdo 4 6-8 15, Renninger 3 0-1 6, Schenk 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 22-28
NS (8-7, 4-5) 5 13 20 9 — 47 Pott (16-0, 10-0) 11 16 13 17 — 57
3-point FGs: Mazur, Wood 3, Smith, Grigas 2, Ju. Abdo, Melochick, Jo.
JV score: Pottsville 49-23
Crimson Tide Schenks's Blue Mountain 57-49
Moves to 15-0
H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: Crimson Tide pull away late to down Blue Mountain
Published: January 19, 2016
JACQUELINE DORMER/STAFF PHOTO Pottsville’s Maldeen Thomas drives
along the baseline as Blue Mountain’s Mark Chelius defends during Monday’s Schuylkill League Division I game.
JACQUELINE DORMER/STAFF PHOTO Pottsville's Jordan Abdo controls the
ball during their game against Blue Mountain during the Schuylkill League Division I boys' basketball game at Martz Hall in
Pottsville on Monday evening, January 18, 2016.
Pottsville’s perfect season and division
lead were in serious jeopardy Monday night.
But the Crimson Tide saved their best for last and the result was another
Senior Jordan Melochick scored eight of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead bucket,
as Pottsville pulled away late and downed Blue Mountain 57-49 in a Schuylkill League Division I contest at Martz Hall.
win moved the Crimson Tide (15-0, 9-0 D-I) another step closer to their seventh consecutive division title and another spot
in the Schuylkill League playoffs. Pottsville now has a two-game lead over the Eagles (12-4, 7-2 D-I) in the division.
Crimson Tide, who entered the top 10 in the City of Basketball Love State Basketball Rankings for the first time this season
Monday at No. 8, saw their regular-season winning streak reach 39 games with Monday’s victory. It was also Pottsville’s
26th straight division win.
“It is always tough against Blue Mountain,” Melochick said. “It always
feels good to come out with a win against them. It is always big.”
The Crimson Tide won the season’s first
meeting 60-47 on Dec. 15. The Eagles rallied from a 30-17, third-quarter deficit and cut it to four in
quarter before the Crimson Tide finished on an 11-2 run.
Blue Mountain trailed 40-30 entering the fourth Monday and
tied the game twice, the final time at 42 with 3:03 remaining when Mark Chelius hit two free throws after he was fouled on
The Eagles called a timeout, and Pottsville ran a set play for Melochick. He got a pass down low from Ian Renninger,
and shot with his right hand. The ball hit the backboard and rolled around before finally going in to give the Crimson Tide
the lead for good with 2:38 left in the game.
“We ran a play for me and I just sealed him (the defender) and we
got an easy bucket out of it,” Melochick said.
Melochick’s score started a game-ending 15-7 run for Pottsville.
The field goal was only one for Melochick in the fourth quarter, as he went 6-for-6 from the foul line down the stretch. After
going 2-for-14 from the free-throw line over the first three quarters, the Crimson Tide were a perfect 10-for-10 in the fourth.
a play we run to try and get him the ball in the post,” Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said of Melochick’s go-ahead
bucket. “They did a nice job of taking away from the wing, but were able to get a high-low out of it. We made a nice
“We didn’t execute for a lot of the game, but there were some times down the stretch we were
able to execute.”
Jordan Abdo finished with 16 points for Pottsville, while Patrick Schenck came off the bench
to add 14 points. Melochick also grabbed eight rebounds.
The Crimson Tide were 18-of-44 (41 percent) from the field
Monday, including a 9-of-17 (53 percent) performance from 3-point land.
Abdo and Schenck had four 3s apiece. Three of
Schenck’s treys came in the second half, with his final 3 following Melochick’s go-ahead bucket that gave Pottsville’s
a 47-42 advantage with 1:52 remaining.
“This kid has put in so much time, I am just so proud of him and so happy
for him because I think he won us this game tonight,” Mullaney said. “He has put as much time in as anybody who
has come through our program.”
Chelius lead the Eagles with 20 points, while Brayden Lewis added 12 points and
Blue Mountain led by seven at 21-14 midway through the second quarter after a 3-pointer from the wing
by Aaron Albertini. The Eagles’ last lead came when Lewis hit a foul-line jumper with 5:02 left in the third quarter,
making it 29-28.
The Eagles slowly crawled back in the game to tie it twice in fourth quarter.
A pair of free
throws by Lewis tied it at 40 with 3:46 remaining. After Melochick hit two foul shots after he was fouled on a back-down move
in the paint, Chelius tied it one final time at 42 with 3:46 remaining.
“We were very fortunate to come away with
a win,” Mullaney said. “We did not do the things we were focused on trying to do. We have no attention to detail
right now. These guys have usually responded in the past and I hope they will again.”
MOUNTAIN (49) — Puzzi 0 0-0 0, Kerstetter 0 0-0 0, Welsh 1 0-0 3, Lewis 4 4-4 12, Albertini 2 0-0 6, Chelius 5 9-11
20, Zerbe 0 0-0 0, Hoynoski 0 0-0 0, Biever 3 2-2 8. Totals 15 15-17 49.
POTTSVILLE (57) —
Ju. Abdo 1 0-0 2, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Wood 0 0-0 0, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Melochick 6 8-11 21, Witman 0 0-0 0, Jo. Abdo 5 2-2 16, Renninger
2 0-9 4, Schenck 4 2-2 14. Totals 18 12-24 57.
BM (12-4, 7-2) 13 12 5 19 — 19
Pot (15-0, 9-0) 12 11 17 17 — 57
3-point FGs: Welsh, Albertini 2, Chelius, Melochick,
Jo. Abdo 4, Schenck 4
JV score: Blue Mountain 43-41
Crimson Tide Marsh "Melo"
s Pine Grove
Pine Grove 13
PINE GROVE - Jordan Melochick scored 24 points, including 13 in a 32-7 first half, as Pottsville steamrolled Pine
Grove in Division I action.
Jordan Abdo added 11 points and Patrick Schenk had
10 for the undefeated Crimson Tide.
POTTSVILLE (55) - Ju. Abdo 0
0-0 0, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Wood 0 0-0 0, Melochick 10 2-3 24, Witman 0 0-0 0, Pellish 1 0-0 2, Jo. Abdo 5 0-0 11, Renninger 3
0-0 6, Schenk 4 0-0 10, O'Pake 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 2-3 55.
PINE GROVE (13) -
Ibarra 0 1-4 1, Kreiser 0 0-0 0, Pena 0 0-0 0. A. Griffiths 1 0-0 2, Leininger 2 0-0 4, Bertasavage 0 0-0 0, C. Griffiths
0 0-0 0, Omlor 0 0-0 0, Rutledge 1 0-0 2, Snedden 1 2-2 4. Totals 5 3-6 13.
(14-0, 8-0) 15 17 17 6 - 55 PG (2-14, 0-8) 2 5 4 2 - 13
3-point FGs: Melochick
2, Jo. Abdo, Schenk 2
JV score: Pottsville 60-21
Crimson Tide rolls to 13 - 0
Jim Thorpe 31
JIM THORPE - Jordan Abdo bagged three 3-pointers and scored 17 points as the Crimson Tide pulled away for a Division
I rout of the Olympians to remain unbeaten.
Jordan Melochick added 17 points,
while Ian Renninger contributed 10 for Pottsville.
Chris Micciche finished with
nine points to pace Jim Thorpe.
(59) - Ju. Abdo 1 0-0 2, Gerchak 3 1-2 8, Wood 0 0-0 0, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Melochick 5 7-8 17, Witman 0 0-0 0, Pellish 0 0-0
0, Jo. Abdo 6 2-3 17, Renninger 4 2-4 10, Schenk 2 0-0 5, O'Pake 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 12-17 59.
JIM THORPE (31) - Carroll 0 1-2 1, Elmore 2 2-2 6, Micciche 3 2-2 9, Jefferson 0 0-0 0, Green 4 0-0 8, Lauer 1 0-0
2, Twardzik 0 0-0 0, Joyce 0 0-0 0, McElmoyle 1 0-0 3, Rosahac 1 0-0 2. Totals 12 5-6 31.
Pott (13-0, 7-0) 13 14 15 17 - 59 JT (8-6, 4-3) 11 4 9 7 - 31
FGs: Jo. Abdo 3, Gerchak, Schenk, Micciche, McElmoyle
H.S. BOYS BASKETBALL: Crimson Tide down Shamokin to remain undefeated
By Mike Carnahan
Published: January 12, 2016
COAL TOWNSHIP - Pottsville's bid for a second consecutive undefeated regular season took another
step forward Monday evening.
Muldeen Thomas had a game-high 18 points to pace
three Pottsville players in double figures, while the defense turned in another stellar effort in a 52-38 non-league victory
over previously undefeated Shamokin.
Jordan Melochick added 12 points and Jordan
Abdo had 10 as the Crimson Tide (12-0) won their 37th consecutive regular-season contest. There is still plenty of basketball
remaining, starting at Jim Thorpe tonight, that will complete the first half of Pottsville's Schuylkill League Division I
schedule. The Crimson Tide still have another go-round through the division, plus a date with currently undefeated Salisbury
(12-0) on Jan. 30 at Martz Hall.
For now, the Crimson Tide were able to enjoy
one of their biggest wins of the season.
"I think it a huge win for our
program." Thomas said. "It was just a hard-fought game from both teams and I am glad we came out with a victory.
"It is definitely the biggest win of the season for me. It is just a huge win."
Monday's game was a matchup of two former Schuylkill League Division I rivals who are currently both others to watch
in Class AAA in the latest City of Basketball Love State Rankings. Although it was hardly easy, it wasn't really all that
close of a game, either.
Pottsville's defense led the way again. Shamokin (12-1)
averaging 62.7 points per game, but didn't come close to hitting that
Monday. The Indians' previous low mark was 48 in their season opener against Hershey on Dec. 4.
Shamokin was 15-of-50 (30 percent) from the floor Monday, and was held to five points in both the first and third
quarters. It was the ninth time this season Pottsville held an opponent to 40 or fewer points in a game.
"We played well tonight," Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. We have not been playing nearly that well,
but I thought our kids responded tonight.
"I don't want to single one guy
out because Shamokin's guards are so talented. You are putting 3-4 kids out there at a time who can all shoot the 3 and all
go off the dribble and all make plays. It was a collective effort on the defensive end."
Offensively, the Crimson Tide were efficient and patient against Shamokin's changing defensive looks, shooting 18-of-34
(53 percent) from the field.
Thomas, who added five rebounds, did most of his
damage in the first half with 12 points. He had the game's opening points on a reverse, baseline layup and added a jumper
in the lane and 3-pointer from the corner as Pottsville built a 12-2 advantage after Thomas' trey.
Thomas added another layup and 3-pointer in the second quarter. His 3-pointer in the quarter was part of a key 12-6
run to end the first half for Pottsville. Shamokin attacked the offensive glass in the second quarter and turned two offensive
rebounds into 3-pointers by Jakob Weaver and Ryan Sebasovich, who led Shamokin with 14 points, that pulled the Indians to
within 17-15 with 3:15 remaining in the half.
But Pottsville's run built the
advantage back to 29-21 as Melochick scored the final six consecutive points on a hook shot, a shot inside and a fall-away
baseline jumper with 3 seconds remaining.
Abdo opened the season half on a 3-pointer
from the wing, while Melochick scored inside off a dump-down pass from Thomas. It gave Pottsville its largest lead of the
game at 34-21.
"Pottsville knew what we wanted to do and on top of it they
are about as fundamentally sound defensively as you could be," Shamokin coach Chris Zimmerman said. "We were going
to have to work on offense and we knew we were going to have to make some tough shots at times. But what was disappointing
was that when we got some easy shots, we missed them. And when you play a team that defends like they do, you can't miss them
because you don't know if you are going to be another open one."
POTTSVILLE (52) - Ju. Abdo 1 0-0 3, Gerchak 1 0-0 2, Wood 0 0-0 0, Thomas 6 4-4 18, Melochick 5 2-5 12, Witman 2
0-0 4, Jo. Abdo 2 5-7 10, Renninger 0 0-0 0, Schenck 1 0-0 3. Totals 18 11-16 52.
(38) - Sebasovich 6 0-0 14, DiRienzo 2 0-0 5, Jones 0 0-0 0, Reprich 2 1-2 6, Weaver 3 2-5 9, Donahue 2 0-1 4, Campbell 0
0-0 0, Taylor 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 3-8 38.
Pot (12-0) 12 17 9 14 - 52 Sham (12-1)
5 16 5 12 - 38
3-point FGs: Ju. Abdo, Thomas 2, Jo. Abdo, Schenck, Sebasovich
2, DiRienzo, Reprich, Weaver
JV score: Pottsville 50-29
Indians hit with 1st loss
Pottsville pushes past Shamokin 52- 38 during battle of the unbeatens
COAL TOWNSHIP - When undefeated teams meet in any sport, it's a good bet the one that plays better
defense will win.
That was Pottsville Monday night, when the Crimson Tide took
Shamokin out of its game with a stifling defensive effort on the way to a 52-38 win over the Indians in a non-league game.
The Crimson Tide improved to 12-0 overall, and the Indians dropped their first game after opening the season with 12 straight
Pottsville held the Indians to five points in the first quarter, repeated
that effort in the third quarter and used its bigger size and heft inside to shoot almost 53 percent from the floor (18-34)
against a defense which was pretty harassing in its own right. By comparison, Shamokin shot less than 30 percent (15-51),
including 5-21 from 3-point range).
"I thought we defended very well
tonight," said Pottsville coach David Mullaney. "They (Shamokin) are a very talented and well-coached team and I
have all the respect in the world for them and their coaches. We played well tonight, and we hadn't been playing anywhere
near that well the past couple games. I don't think I can point to any one guy who really played well; we got strong games
collectively from three or four guys."
Shamokin came out making just 2 of
10 shots in the first quarter and the Indians seemed to press the rest of the game. They cut the lead to 42-34 early in the
fourth quarter but never got closer.
"They're so fundamentally sound,"
Shamokin coach Chris Zimmerman said. "They know us and we know them. They do a real good job of taking you out of your
comfort zone, and when that happens, then you start pressing a little bit."
so, had the Indians banged in a couple of buckets at certain points, either from outside or in, the game likely would have
gone much closer to the wire.
"We missed, I think, four or five layups in
the first half," Zimmerman said. "Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't. I think we did a good job of competing.
But we started to get frustrated. They were a lot tougher than we were. Physically we kind of expected that, but I thought
they were mentally tougher too."
Mullaney said part of his team's strategy
was to take away Shamokin's back door offense.
"When you have four guards
who can all shoot and pass like they do, part of their game plan, I'm sure, was to back door us off our defense out front,
and for the most part, we took that away," he said. "They rely a lot on switching screens and we worked really hard
on that in practice. We had two of our best practices of the year getting ready for this game."
Seniors Muldeen Thomas and Jordan Melochick led the Crimson Tide. Thomas scored 18 points with six rebounds, hitting
6 of 9 shots, and Melochick had 12 points, four rebounds and three steals, and hit 5 of 8 shots. Jordan Abdo added 10 points
and six rebounds, and every player but the last one in the game had at least one assist.
Ryan Sebasovich scored 14 points to pace Shamokin but the other seven players shot a combined 9 for 34 from the floor.
POTTSVILLE (52) - Gerchak 1 0-0 2,
Thomas 6 4-4 18, Melochick 5 2-5 12,
Witman 2 0-0 4, Jo. Abdo 2 5-7 9,
Schenk 1 0-0 3, Renninger 0 0-0 0, Ju.
Abdo 1 0-0 3, Wood 0 0-0 0. Totals 18
SHAMOKIN (38) - Sebasovich 6 0-
0 14, DiRienzo 2 0-0 5, Reiprich 2 1-2 6,
Weaver 3 2-4 9, Donahue
2 0-1 4, Taylor
0 0-0 0, Jones 0 0-0 0, Campbell 0 0-0 0.
Totals 15 3-7 38.
Pottsville (12-0)...12 17 9 14
Shamokin (12-1)... 516 5 12 -
3-point FGs: Pottsville (5) - Thomas
2, Jo. Abdo, Schenk,
Ju. Abdo; Shamokin (5) - Sebasovich 2, DiRienzo,
JV score: Pottsville
Roll Tide-Click on link for Highlights of Pottsville-Shamokin Game
Crimson Tide continues it's
Winning Ways moves to 11 - 0
Maldeen Thomas and Jordan Abdo scored 15 points apiece
as Pottsville used a 16-4 first period to down Lehighton a in Division I contest.
Melochick added 11 points, including six in the first quarter for the undefeated Crimson Tide.
Nick Chambers led the Indians with 13 points, while Damian Mele pitched in 11.
Pottsville clinched a berth in the District 11 Class AAA playoffs with the win.
LEHIGHTON (45) - Troxell 1 0-0 3, Schaeffer 0 0-0 0, McDowell 3 0-0 8, Zwetolitz 2 2-2 8, Mele 5 0-0 11, Howland
0 0-0 0, Chambers 4 5-7 13, Greene 1 0-3 2. Totals 16 7-12 45.
- Ju. Abdo 0 0-0 0, Gerchak 0 1-2 1, Wood 0 0-0 0, Thomas 5 3-7 15, Melochick 5 1-2 11, Witman 2 0-2 4, Jo. Abdo 4 7-10 15,
Renninger 2 0-0 4, Schenk 2 0-0 4 Totals 20 12-23 54.
Leh (8-4, 3-3) 4 8 12
21 - 45 Pott (11-0, 6-0) 16 7 11 20 - 54
3-point FGs: Troxell, McDowell 2, Zwetolitz
2, Mele, Thomas 2