The Pleasant Valley boys' basketball team had been hanging on for its district lives for nearly two weeks.
Friday night the Bears couldn't hold on any longer.
Stroudsburg went on a 15-0 run to open the fourth quarter and ran away from the Bears, 61-44 in Mountain Valley Conference play. Pleasant Valley didn't make a field goal until 1:50 left in the game and by that time it was too late. The loss eliminates the Bears from the District 11 playoffs.
"We just couldn't make a shot," said Pleasant Valley head coach Ken Piontkowski. "We had a number of open shots throughout the game but couldn't get any of them to go down. I even remember a few lay-ups that we missed. At the end of the day they all add up."
Needing to win their next two games in order to make the playoffs, the Bears came out with a lot of passion in the first quarter. In fact, the locals may have been a little too pumped up as a few of their early shots were way off. After a few minutes the Bears settled down and took a 13-8 lead into the second quarter.
Unfortunately, that is where the fun ended for Pleasant Valley. The Bears went on the first of their two elongated cold streaks in the game and fell behind 22-18 at the break. It wasn't just that the Bears couldn't make a shot, but that they didn't guard or battle with anyone either.
"I can live with us not making shots," said Piontkowski. "Some nights your shot just doesn't fall. There isn't much you can do about that except believe that the next one is going in.
"But for us to almost back down and not battle and compete with Stroudsburg is unacceptable. That has kind of been our problem all year. We don't always seem to have that energy needed to compete night in and night out. That is probably why our season is going to be over after Saturday."
The second half was much of the same for Pleasant Valley. The Bears stayed with the Mounties in the third quarter, as they were outscored by just a point. Still, Stroudsburg got a lot of easy looks and made the Bears pay.
Down five heading into the fourth quarter, the Bears were hit with the dagger early in the final frame. Stroudsburg's Sidney Stone buried an open three to get things rolling. On the same play, Pleasant Valley's Richie Irving was hit with a pushing foul and gave the ball back to the Mounties. On the free possession, Stroudsburg's Gavin Williams nailed another three to put his team up 11 (47-36).
The consecutive triples sparked a 15-0 run for the Mounties that pretty much put the game out of reach. Pleasant Valley didn't convert its first field goal until it had pulled all of its starters with just under two minutes left in the game.
"There were two six-point swings in this game that really cost us," Piontkowski said. "Irving got called for a change on a bucket that could have been a three-point play, and then (Stroudsburg) comes down and hits a three.
"Then the two straight three pointers early in the fourth really killed us. I don't necessarily agree with the calls, but what can you do."
Mike Sharpe once again led the Bears in scoring with 13 points. Teammate Pat Kregeloh was the only other player in double figures, as he finished with ten.
With Pocono Mountain East remaining on Saturday, Pleasant Valley has the chance to finish with nine wins on the year.
"I think we will be better next year," said Piontkowski. "And that's not me having favoritism. Another year of the kids playing with each other along with some good underclassmen coming up should make us deeper. Some of the other teams will be losing some key players as well, so I think the MVC playoffs and the district playoffs will be well within our reach."
S. Poorman 0-0-0-0, M. Poorman 7-0-1-14, Williams 7-0-1-16, Labar 2-1-1-6, Stone 9-0-0-21, Fabian 0-0-0-0, Northern 1-1-2-3, Wells 0-1-1-1, Taylor 0-0-0-0, Bryant 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 26-3-6-61.
Stanovick 2-3-4-7, Irving 2-0-0-4, McQuay 0-0-0-0, Sharpe 6-0-0-13, Kregeloh 4-1-4-10, Wild 0-2-3-2, Conklin 0-0-0-0, Biney 2-0-0-6, Garcia 1-0-0-2, Castner 0-0-0-0, Z. Knudsen 0-0-0-0, Williams 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 17-6-11-44.
Stroudsburg 8 14 19 20 - 61
Pleasant Vy. 13 5 18 8 - 4
Three-Pointers: S - Stone 3, Williams 2, Labar 1; PV - Biney 2, Sharpe 1, Kregeloh 1.