Coming off of an opening-night victory over Northampton, the Pleasant Valley boys' basketball team was hoping to pick up another big non-conference win Saturday night against Wyoming Valley West.
The Bears gave the Spartans all they could handle, but poor-shooting, a rough fourth quarter and some ill-timed turnovers doomed their chances late. The locals went 15-for-54 from the field and connected on only 15-of 27 free throws in a 61-49 defeat.
"We definitely had our chances, but we just couldn't make a shot," said Pleasant Valley head coach Ken Piontkowski. "We had some opportunities to get a couple three-point plays and couldn't even finish on lay-ups. You can maybe expect that on the road, but not in your own gym."
Pleasant Valley made a few shots early, but most of them were in close. The Bears jumped out to 5-0 lead within the first minute-and-a-half thanks to center Mike Sharpe. However, Wyoming Valley West responded with a 10-0 run and forced Piontkowski to call a timeout at the 4:13 mark. James McCann nailed back-to-back three-pointers for the Spartans and gave his team a 6-5 lead with just two shots.
The Spartans extended their lead to five by halftime. McCann added six more points in the second quarter and finished with a game-high 21. Forward Eugene Lewis added five in the quarter as well. He had 14 on the night despite sitting most of the third quarter in foul trouble.
Pleasant Valley fought back as a Tevin Franklin three-pointer with 1:17 to go in the third quarter gave the Bears a 40-38 lead. It was their first lead since they led early in the first.
Wyoming Valley West opened the fourth with a 5-0 run and forced Pleasant Valley into another timeout. The break didn't help, as the Bears were still unable to muster any offense. They didn't score their first point until the 4:50 mark and scored just nine points in the crucial quarter.
"We were just cold the whole night," Piontkowski said. "We missed more free throws. We were able to stop the clock and had a chance for some free points and we still couldn't knock them down. I'm not very happy about that."
Sharpe led the Bears with 14 points and was 5-for-11 from the field. Guard Nick Stanovick added ten points, but was a mere 2-for-12 shooting.
Pleasant Valley sits at 1-1 after its first two games of the season. Although Piontkowski is upset with Saturday's loss, he is pleased with the effort his team has put forth so far.
"Obviously I would like to win every game we play, but I guess a split with Northampton and Wyoming Valley West isn't too bad," said Piontkowski. "Last year these may have been two games where we could have been out of it early. This year we have played with an intensity that I didn't necessarily see last year.
WYOMING VALLEY WEST
McCann 7-3-4-21, Hoinski 1-2-2-5, McClary 1-1-2-3, Smicherko 5-3-7-13, Williams 0-0-0-0, Rostkowski 0-0-0-0, Moore 0-0-0-0, Ingram 1-3-4-5, Gimble 0-0-0-0, Lewis 6-2-4-14. TOTALS: 21-14-23-61.
Franklin 2-2-2-8, Conklin 0-0-0-0, Wright 2-3-9-7, Sharpe 5-4-6-14, Bok 0-0-0-0, Irving 3-1-3-7, Stanovick 2-4-5-10, Wild 1-1-2-3. TOTALS: 15-15-27-49.
Wyoming VW 13 16 11 21 - 61
Pleasant Vy. 11 13 16 9 - 49
Three-pointers: WVW - McCann 4, Hoinski 1; PV - Franklin 2, Stanovick 2.