Nativity overcomes slow start to beat Weatherly
In the first quarter Tuesday night in Weatherly neither the Wreckers nor Nativity showed much promise on the offensive end of the floor.
In fact, the two teams combined for just 15 points in the first frame.
It became evident that the first team that could get the ball rolling on offense would probably be the squad on the winning side of things.
Fortunately, for Nativity Coach Chris McLaughlin his team's shots started to fall as the Hill Toppers out-scored Nativity 19-9 in the second quarter en-route to a 54-33 Division III Schuylkill League victory.
"We didn't really make any adjustments after the first quarter because we were getting the shots we wanted," said McLaughlin. "All we needed were some shots to fall to get things going for us and shots started dropping in the second."
Nativity's defensive pressure also picked up in the second with an extended 2-2-1 zone that gave Weatherly ball-handlers issues throughout the game. Weatherly was held to just 14 points combined in the second and third quarter and single digits three out of four.
"We made defense a major priority coming into this season because we knew we could struggle at times offensively," added McLaughlin. "I feel like we're starting to develop a defensive concept with this team and that bodes well for us moving forward."
Nativity took the lead with 4:55 in the second with a Luke Navitsky put-back after a Weatherly turnover at mid-court. Nativity then used a little outside shooting in the last three minutes of the quarter to get their offense going. Back-to-back Bryan Mellon treys and a Zach Gasper three right as time expired in the second gave Nativity a 25-17 lead going into the half.
Even with the Nativity pressure, Weatherly was able to breakthrough on occasion, but every time the Wreckers got to the rim they missed key field goals that could have gotten them back in the game.
"We just need to do a better job of executing when we have scoring opportunities," said Weatherly Coach Ron Cann. "We need better presence in the paint and we have to become more physical or teams are just going to beat up on us. I have to credit my kids because they didn't give up, but plain and simple we have to execute better offensively."
Zach Gasper and Kyle Kaledas helped lead the Toppers to victory with 13 and 12 points apiece.
Scott Coll led the Wreckers with 11, while Brett Stallone chipped in with nine.
Holohan 1-0-0-4, Mellon 2-0-0-6, Gasper 5-1-1-13, Yordy 0-0-0-0, 5-1-1-12, Palamar 0-0-0-0, Navitsky 4-0-0-8, Chiplonia 1-0-0-2, Birosik 4-1-2-9. TOTALS: 22-3-4-54.
Coll 3-4-5-11, L. Reiner 1-0-2-2, Stallone 4-1-2-9, J. Reiner 2-0-0-6, Haganey 0-0-0-0, Walton 2-1-1-5, Wallish 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 11-5-10-33.
Nativity 7 18 11 18 - 54
Weatherly 8 9 5 11 - 33
Three-pointers: Weatherly - J. Reiner 2, Stallone 1, Coll 1; Nativity - Mellon 2, Gasper 1, Kaledas 1.