Lehighton girls, PV boys win
MIKE FEIFEL/TIMES NEWS Panther Valley's Thad Ogozalek takes a jump shot as Lehighton's Cordell Wall (left) looks on.
It was a night of milestones Saturday when Lehighton hosted Panther Valley in a boys-girls doubleheader.
But as any player or coach will tell you, a milestone doesn't mean as much unless it's accomplished with a win.
For both Lehighton senior Jordyn Homyak and Panther mentor Pat Crampsie, their individual achievements became more special after their respective teams ended the evening with victories.
Homyak reached 1,000 career points the sixth female in school history to do so when she coverted an early free throw, but it was her play down the stretch that helped the Lady Indians earn a 35-29 triumph.
Earlier in the evening, Crampsie coached his 200th game a 58-48 win becoming just the second PV head coach ever to reach that mark.
Needing just three points to reach the coveted 1,000 mark, Homyak took care of the formalities early.
After hitting two foul shots just 21 seconds into the game, the senior added another with 4:56 left in the opening quarter to give her team a 3-0 start and set of a congratulatory celebration from the student section.
Soon after the festivities, though, the visitors gained control of the contest.
Panther Valley freshman Madison Blasko hit three second-quarter field goals to help her team claim a 17-13 halftime lead. The advantage reached six points when Trayvonda Rice opened the second half with an offensive rebound and putback.
"We controlled a good portion of the game," said PV head coach Josh Wank, whose team dropped to 2-6. "We played well enough to win for a majority of the minutes. Down the stretch, though, we didn't make the plays. And that's pretty much the tale of the tape.
"It's frustrating for us but give Lehighton credit. They could have folded when we got up. They have senior leadership. Homyak is a heck of a player. We tried to limit her penetration and it worked well for most of the game. She kind of pulled them through. You could tell she willed them to a victory."
Homyak closed the third quarter with a three-pointer and a jumper to help her team regain the lead at 25-22.
The advantage see-sawed back to PV at 27-26, however, thanks to putbacks from Brittany Cunfer and Blasko.
Lehighton (2-6) went on top for good with 3:21 to play when Maria Magyar came off the bench and hit a shot from behind the arc. Homyak, who finished with a game-high 17 points, sealed the win by penetrating the lane, getting fouled, and converting at the charity stripe.
"She's a go-to player," said Lehighton mentor Tony Thomas. "Down the stretch, we want the ball in her hands. She's just a clutch player. That's who we want at the free throw line.
"This whole year we've been the Cardiac Kids. We're coming from behind in the second half. PV scrapped, fought us and had us down the stretch but fortunately we came out with the win."
In the opener of Saturday's twinbill, Panther Valley used a pair of 10-0 runs and then held off a late Lehighton charge to give Coach Crampsie a win in Game No. 200.
Ironically, the PV mentor wasn't even aware of his milestone until told about it after the contest.
"Really, wow I had no idea," was his reaction. "That's a lot of games."
Crampsie joins Phil Rader (206) as the only coaches with 200 games at PV.
The Panthers (3-6) gained control in the second quarter when Thad Ogozalek hit a pair of treys during a 10-0 spurt that turned a tie game into a 20-10 lead. Midway through the third frame, Nick McArdle also drained a pair of treys to spark another 10-0 stretch that upped the margin to 36-20.
"Early in the game we were taking quick shots, and we need to get ourselves in a rhythm," said Crampsie. "When we're moving the ball and getting close touches, then we start knocking down shots. They're square, stepping into it and not rushed.
"In the second quarter we started doing a good job of moving the ball around and Thad got hot. The guys made sure they found him, and confidence goes a long way."
Ogozalek finished with a team and career high 18 points, including seven in the final period.
In that closing frame, though, the Indians (0-9) battled to get back in the game.
Trailing 47-31 with 6:30 left to play, the host team used pressure and a couple long-distance shots from Nate Kresge to close the gap.
Kresge hit for eight points, including a putback with 1:29 to go to key a 17-6 spread and pull Lehighton within 53-48.
Free throws from Zach Stanko, Ogozalek and McArdle secured the Panther victory.
"We didn't play good, disciplined basketball and missed too many layups," said Indian mentor Mike O'Brien. "We only had 12 points in the first half.
"We hustled and got back into it, but give credit to them. They hit some key outside shots. It was just too big a deficit to crawl out of."
Ogozalek was just one of four Panthers in double figures as Stanko and McArdle each finished with 13 and Nate Mathewson added 10.
For Lehighton, Cordell Wall finished with a game-high 21 points and also pulled down down seven rebounds.
Hadesty 0-0-0-0, Stanko 4-4-7-13, McArdle 3-5-9-13, Ogozalek 6-2-5-18, Santiago 0-0-0-0, Revell 1-0-0-2, Kerschner 1-0-0-2, Mathewson 5-0-0-10. TOTALS: 20-11-21-58.
A. Rossino 2-0-0-4, DJ Rossino 2-3-6-9, Kresge 3-0-0-8, Guyn 0-2-4-2, Scott 0-0-0-0, Wall 8-5-6-21, Szacska 2-0-0-4, Evans 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 17-10-16-48.
Panther Vy. 8 14 20 16 - 58
Lehighton 8 4 17 19 - 48
Three-pointers: Panther Valley - Ogozalek 4, McArdle 2, Stanko 1; Lehighton - DJ Rossino 2, Kresge 2.
Blasko 5-0-1-10, Thomas 1-0-0-2, Paul 0-0-0-0, Rice 1-1-2-3, Markovich 0-0-0-0, Cullen 1-0-0-3, Cunfer 2-2-4-6, Zlock 1-3-4-5. TOTALS: 11-6-11-29.
Homyak 3-10-14-17, Green 1-0-1-2, Barclay 1-0-0-2, Magyar 1-0-0-3, Yurasits 2-0-2-5, Evans 0-0-2-0, Klotz 1-1-4-3, Teno 1-1-2-3. TOTALS: 10-12-25-35.
Panther Vy. 4 13 5 7 - 29
Lehighton 8 5 12 10 - 35
Three-pointers: Panther Valley - Cullen 1; Lehighton - Homyak 1, Magyar 1, Yurasits 1.