First Posted: 3/9/2015
SCRANTON – The Cavaliers put their explosive offense on display in the second half Friday night.
The Classics showed off their stifling defense in the first half Saturday afternoon.
Both Scranton Prep basketball teams breezed through the first round of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class AAA playoffs with weekend victories.
The Cavaliers shot 64 percent for the game and scored 55 points in the second half to run away with an 88-58 victory over Shamokin at Lackawanna College.
The Classics forced 19 turnovers while allowing just 11 points in the first half of a 64-37 romp over Lewisburg at Williamsport High School.
Both teams got strong all-around efforts from their Division I-committed point guards.
Binghamton University-bound Tim Rose led the way in Friday night’s game with 25 points, seven assists, five rebounds and two steals.
Jess Genco, a Northeastern University recruit, had 19 points, seven steals, six assists and five rebounds Saturday.
Rose helped make sure the District 2 champion Cavaliers (24-3) never trailed. He made his first four shots – on three drives and an offensive rebound – to score eight points while assisting on three of the team’s other four baskets for a 17-11 lead with 2:18 left in the first quarter.
“Coach (Andrew Kettel) told me to just try to run the show and get everyone involved,” Rose said. “I did my best to drive and kick and set things up for myself and my teammates.”
Bobby Casey had six points and Paddy Casey added four when Scranton Prep closed the first half on a 13-2 run to a 33-21 lead.
Coach Chris Zimmerman warned his Shamokin team not to get caught in a running game with Scranton Prep.
The Indians saw why in the second half when Rose scored 17 points by hitting four of six shots from the floor and making eight straight free throws before his only miss.
“Rose is a handful,” Zimmerman said. “Obviously, (Bobby) Casey is very good, but Rose just broke our defense down.
“We didn’t have an answer for him. He beats one guy in the backcourt, then you have to help and he’s got a lot of options. With their size inside and their shooters on the perimeter, they’re a tough team to stop.”
Scranton Prep outscored Shamokin, 30-5, in a stretch of 12:02 to end the first half and start the second half, turning a one-point game into a 50-24 blowout. To finish the night, the Cavaliers piled on 38 points in the final 10:20.
“That’s what we were afraid of,” Zimmerman said. “We talked about slowing the game down and, for a quarter and a half, we were doing that, but probably not as slow as we would have liked to play.
“As you start to get down, it’s not that they don’t want to listen, but the kids see the scoreboard and think ‘oh, we’ve got to go’. … As much as we want to play fast, we knew we couldn’t do it over the course of the game.”
Scranton Prep shot 64.2 percent (34-for-53) from the floor. Of the nine Cavaliers to shoot in the game, seven hit better than 50 percent and another made half his attempts.
Paddy Casey came off the bench to shoot 6-for-8 while scoring 15 points. Bobby Casey and Matt Bednarz added 13 points each for Scranton Prep, which has averaged more than 90 points in five playoff games.
Bednarz had five offensive rebounds to lead a 35-17 dominance on the boards.
Feliph Taylor went 9-for-10 while leading Shamokin with 18 points.
The Scranton Prep girls faced an additional obstacle because of their semifinal upset loss in the district tournament. As District 2’s third-place team, the Classics drew the District 4 champions in their home area.
The Classics (25-2) were never threatened while advancing into a Wednesday round-of-16 matchup with Archbishop Wood from Philadelphia, the District 12 champion.
Genco had 11 points, five steals and four assists in the first half for a 30-11 lead at the break.
Madison Ashby added nine points and Bridget Walsh had eight.