Olympians top Panther Valley on Hurley’s shot
Jim Thorpe’s James Adames pulls down a rebound in front of Panther Valley’s Collin Eidle. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Jim Thorpe has been on the other end of a number of games this season, having lost three times by four points or less entering Monday’s contest against Schuylkill League Division 1 rival Panther Valley.
This time, however, Thorpe was finally able to get the bucket it needed at the end of a game.
An acrobatic midair offensive rebound and putback by Thorpe’s Caiden Hurley proved to be the game-winner with 1.2 seconds remaining, as the Olympians (3-8, 1-3) escaped with a victory.
“I was just trying to get position, and then when the second shot went up, I was able to get free and I put it up,” said Hurley. “I was trying to get it up there, maybe get fouled, but it went in and then right away I was thinking we have to get back on defense.
“It was really just a huge win for us. This could be the win we needed to jump start our season.”
Any time Panther Valley (7-4, 2-3) and Jim Thorpe get together, it’s usually a back-and-forth affair. And Monday’s contest was no exception.
The largest lead was just eight points – held by Jim Thorpe midway through the second quarter – and no team had more than a six-point lead at the end of the first, second or third.
It was tight throughout, as Thorpe led by one after the first, and by six at the half. The Panthers took the lead in the third, and held a two-point advantage heading into the fourth.
The Olympians received two clutch triples by Adam Lauer and James Adames in the final period.
Lauer’s three tied the game at 38 at the 4:21 mark. After the Panthers went on a 4-0 run to take a 42-38 lead, Adames stroked a corner trifecta to get the Olympians within one.
Adames and Lauer combined for 31 of the Olympians 43 points, including a combined six three-pointers.
“Adames and Lauer, those guys were great tonight for us. They hit some big shots, but they also took the ball to the basket and were able to get to the foul line; they played strong,” said Thorpe head coach Jason McElmoyle. “Tonight, we made some big shots when it counted, got them to go down late when we needed it. Above all, I’m just really excited for those kids in our locker room. It’s a great win for them.”
On the ensuing PV possession, a miscommunication between Brandon Stilitino and Aaron Guitierrez at half court resulted in a pass that Adames grabbed with around 20 seconds remaining.
Turnovers were an issue for the Panthers, as they committed 25 — and none more costly than the one setting up the Olympians final offensive possession.
“We were dribbling entirely too much on offense. It’s something that we talk about; it’s something we need to continue to work on,” said PV head coach Pat Crampsie. “When we’re dribbling too much, we’re not moving around, we’re not freeing up our shooters, and we’re not creating driving lanes — and it led to a bunch of turnovers for us.”
After a Thorpe timeout, the Olympians worked the ball for a potential game-winner, but weren’t able to connect. The Panthers initially were able to corral the rebound, but a heads up play by Adames forced a jump ball, giving Thorpe the ball under its own basket with eight seconds left.
On the inbounds play, Hurley got the ball to Adames on the right block, but his quick attempt was no good. An offensive board and putback by Jared Marykwas was short, and that’s when Hurley found the ball in the air and flipped it in for the win.
LEADERS ... Adames led the way for Thorpe with 19 points, while Lauer added 12. For the Panthers, Gutierrez scored 14, and Marcharro and Stilitino helped out with 12 apiece.
MAN-TO-MAN ... The Olympians’ defense was big on the night, holding PV 13 points below its season average. “Chris Condly did a great job on Stilitino; Caiden did a great job on Marcharro. I can’t say enough about how hard these kids worked tonight. They did the little things very well,” said McElmoyle.”
Condly 1-1-2-3, Richards 0-1-2-1, Burak 0-0-0-0, Hurley 2-0-0-5, Adames 6-4-8-19, Lauer 3-3-4-12, Marykwas 1-1-2-3. TOTALS: 13-10-18-43.
Marchorro 4-3-5-12, Gutierrez 6-0-2-14, Stilitino 4-2-2-12, Krapf 0-0-0-0, Kindt 0-0-0-0, Eidle 1-0-0-2, Hadley 0-0-0-0, Hoben 0-0-0-0, Roth 0-0-0-0, White 1-0-2-2, Turner 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 16-5-11-42.
Jim Thorpe 13 13 8 9 - 43
Panther Valley 12 8 16 6 - 42
Three-pointers: Jim Thorpe - Adames 3, Lauer 3, Hurley 1; Panther Valley - Gutierrez 2, Stilitino 2, Marcharro 1.