For the second time this week, the Pleasant Valley boys basketball team played a game that went down to the wire. However, this time the Bears showed they had a killer instinct, knocking off Mountain Valley Conference rival East Stroudsburg North, 35-34.
Pleasant Valley suffered a double-overtime loss to Dieruff earlier this week, falling 63-71 to the Huskies.
The Bears led for much of the contest, but saw their lead slip away in the fourth quarter as East Stroudsburg North took a 34-33 lead on an Isaiah Battle jumper with 1:30 left in the game.
North's Will Quiles, who led the Timberwolves with 12 points, drove to the basket with 47 seconds left, drawing a foul and earning a trip to the free throw line. Quiles missed the first of a one-and-one at the line and Pleasant Valley grabbed the rebound.
Devon Howard pushed the ball up the court for the Bears with the clock winding down and the game hanging in the balance.
Howard, who had nine points in the game, drove hard to the basket and shot a runner in the lane but couldn't get it to fall.
Pleasant Valley's leading scorer, Marquis Brown, was right behind Howard for the put back to give the Bears the 35-34 lead with :17.7 left in the game.
East Stroudsburg North had time for one last shot but couldn't get a good look, as the three-point attempt sailed wide and Pleasant Valley hung on for the win.
Pleasant Valley coach Ken Piontkowski was happy with the win but knows his team will have to play better as the season goes on.
"We were totally outplayed tonight," Piontkowski said. "East Stroudsburg North probably deserved to win this game.
"But, I've been on the other side of these games and I know what it feels like."
Piontkowski thought his team's biggest flaw was a lack of effort.
"We had no effort or hustle tonight," Piontkowski said. "I thought we had good effort against Dieruff but I didn't see it tonight.
"We're going to have a hard time competing in (PIAA District 11) AAAA games if we play like we did tonight."
Pleasant Valley won't have to wait long for a chance to work on their mistakes, as the Bears take on Nazareth today at 2 p.m.
"I'm looking for a bounce back against Nazareth," Piontkowski said. "I'm looking for effort tomorrow."
Mills 0-0-1-0, Battle 1-1-2-3, Thompson 2-0-2-4, Quiles 4-4-8-12, Drakeford 3-2-4-9, Cox 3-0-0-6. TOTALS: 13-7-17-34.
Brown 6-2-4-14, Skutnik 0-1-2-1, Howard 3-3-6-9, Deegan 1-0-0-2, Sharpe 0-1-2-1, Hrbek 1-0-0-3, Jones 1-0-0-2, Pazienza 0-1-2-1, Robinson 1-0-0-2. TOTALS: 13-8-16-35.
ES North 5 12 6 11 - 34
Pleasant Vy. 8 11 9 7 - 35
Three-pointers: ESN - Drakeford 1; PV - Hrbek 1.