Late Tri-Valley rally edges Weatherly
For the first 28 minutes, Weatherly sure didn't look like the young inexperienced team coming in with a 2-7 record.
Then, reality hit, and the Wreckers showed that they were exactly that in the final four minutes of the game, as Tri-Valley rallied to a 56-50 Schuylkill League victory.
With Weatherly leading 50-45 with 4:07 remaining in the contest, Mike Fortune sunk a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to three points. That ignited an 11-0 Bulldogs run to close out the game, as the Wreckers missed their final 10 shots from the floor.
A Zack Wasilus three-pointer tied the game at 50-50 and the Bulldogs where 10-for-12 from the free throw line over the final four minutes of the contest. During that same stretch, Weatherly committed three turnovers and missed eight shots.
"The kids played very hard and they did everything we asked them to do," stated Weatherly head coach Ron Cann. "The game got away from us there at the end, but I'm proud of the kids and we'll certainly use this as a learning experience to build on."
After averaging 31.8 points per game in their five losses to start the season, the Wreckers have averaged 43.2 points in their last five games (2-3).
"From the beginning of they year until now, we're a totally different team," praised Cann of his team's improvement. "But with that being said, we're still young and the kids need to learn how to win and have confidence in themselves when the game's on the line. Slowly but surely we're getting there."
Tri-Valley started out strong with a 20-12 lead after the first quarter and was ahead 28-19 with 3:55 remaining in the first half.
However, Weatherly didn't back down and turned the momentum in its favor with an 8-0 run to close out a first half, in which they trailed 28-27.
"That run there at the end of the first half was huge because it instilled some confidence in them," added Cann. "When you start to believe in yourself, goods things usually happen."
Weatherly made four of its first five shots to start the second half and took a 37-34 lead on a Brett Stallone three-point play. Tri-Valley battled back to take a 42-39 lead, but the Wreckers made their first five shots of the fourth quarter to up the antee to 50-45, their largest lead of the game.
"Tri-Valley was missing one of its big guys tonight, so we wanted to try to work the ball inside to Charlie (Wallish) and Samson (Walton)," noted Cann. "For the most part, it work and I really thought we had them there at the end, but we just need to learn how to finish teams off."
Walton had a double-double to lead Weatherly (2-8, 0-6) with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Stallone added 11 points.
For Tri-Valley (7-3, 3-3), Fortune led the way with 21 points followed by Cale Bruso with 13.
In the JV game, the Wreckers posted a 52-32 victory behind Tyler Sipler's 17 points.
Beaver 2-2-2-6, Bruso 5-2-5-13, Wasilus 3-3-4-11, Fry 0-0-2-0, Fortune 8-4-4-21, Opozda 2-1-2-5. TOTALS: 20-12-19-56.
Coll 4-0-0-9, Miller 0-0-0-0, Stallone 4-3-3-11, J. Reiner 2-2-5-7, Haganey 1-1-2-3, Walton 6-0-0-12, Wallish 4-0-0-8. TOTALS: 21-6-10-50.
Tri-Valley 20 8 14 14 - 56
Weatherly 12 15 12 11 - 50
Three-Pointers: TV - Wasilus 2, Bruso 1, Fortune 1; W - Coll 1, J. Reiner 1.