Coming off of a tough loss to Pocono Mountain West on Monday, the Pleasant Valley boys' basketball team was looking to bounce back against its other Pocono Mountain rival.
Unfortunately for the Bears, they couldn't throw the ball in the ocean.
Pleasant Valley couldn't find its shot as a collective unit and ended up shooting 15-for-60 from the field on the night. On the other side of the ball, the Bears had trouble staying in front of East's Kamall Richards and Lamont Tillery. Though it was close at times, the Cardinals flew away from the Bears in the fourth quarter and won 73-45 in Mountain Valley Conference play.
"Richards and Tillery were tough match-ups for us," said Pleasant Valley head coach Ken Piontkowski. "They are too big for a guard and too quick for a forward, so I kind of felt like I was on thin ice all night long trying to piece together our defense against them.
"At the same time we couldn't hit a shot. Most of our shots were contested, but you have to be able to knock down more than 15 shots if you want to win. Our shooting, particularly in the second half, killed us."
East opened the game with a 12-4 run and forced Piontkowski into a timeout at the 4:30 mark. The Bears responded with nine points thanks to five points from Nick Stanovick and four points from Rich Irving, but allowed the Cardinals to put up 12 and take a 24-13 lead.
Pleasant Valley continued to battle into the second quarter and drew within six (31-25) after a Mike Sharpe three-pointer. However, the Cardinals came out of their timeout and proceeded to knock down a three from the top of the key to quickly push the lead back to nine. That would be the difference going into the half.
"I thought we were a little timid early on," said Piontkowski. "It kind of looked like we were still a little out of it from the West loss. Then again, giving up 36 first-half points didn't help either."
Things then went downhill for the Bears in the second half, as they shot a mere 4-for-35 in the final two quarters. Meanwhile, the Cardinals racked up 37 more points after the break, including 23 in the fourth quarter.
Stanovick led the Bears with 12 points. Irving chipped in 10.
Pleasant Valley will play Stroudsburg on Saturday and will be looking to write a better ending to a bad week.
"It's been a long week," said Piontkowski. "We were looking at these two games to see how we would measure up against the top teams in our conference and we didn't get anywhere near the results we were looking for.
"All we can do is keep fighting and trying to get better. If we can get a win (Friday) then we will have at least something to build on."
POCONO MOUNTAIN EAST
Pachero 1-0-1-2, Richards 8-7-10-23, Tillery 6-0-1-12, Garcia 4-0-0-10, Bursis 4-1-1-10, Grotevant 2-1-2-6, Munson 1-0-0-2, Ruiz 0-0-0-0, Harris 2-2-2-6, Stapler 1-0-0-2. TOTALS: 29-11-17-73.
Wright 0-0-0-0, Stanovick 4-2-2-12, Irving 3-4-5-10, Wild 1-1-2-3, Sharpe 3-0-0-8, Guadagna 1-0-0-2, Blot 0-0-0-0, Franklin 2-1-2-5, Bok 0-0-0-0, Dekmar 1-0-0-3, Wierzbicki 0-0-0-0, Gerolimatos 0-0-0-0, Williams 0-2-2-2. TOTALS: 15-10-13-45.
PM East 24 12 14 23 - 73
Pleasant Vy 13 14 10 8 - 45
Three-Pointers: PME - Garcia 2, Bursis 1, Grotevant 1; PV - Stanovick 2, Sharpe 2, Dekmar.