ARCHBALD – After a rough regular season, Lackawanna Trail opened the playoffs with the toughest assignment in District 2 Class A basketball.
Old Forge broke away late in the first quarter Feb. 18 to reach its 10th straight district championship game by beating the Lions, 74-44, in the semifinals at Valley View High School.
While Old Forge moved to the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza where it will try to secure its ninth title in those 10 appearances, Lackawanna Trail began looking ahead.
“We kind of have a core group now going forward so in the summer we want to keep that group together, keep it working, play in a summer league, keep playing together,” Lions coach Christian Sunseri said. “We know there are no buts about it, we have to get better.”
The struggles of a 3-20 season in which the Lions finished sixth and fifth out of seven teams in the two halves of the Lackawanna League Division 4 season were somewhat anticipated. The Lions had lost all five starters to graduation after a third-place, 10-win season in 2014-15.
“All the guys that started varsity this year didn’t really play any varsity time last year,” Sunseri said. “It was really a big jump for all of them.
“ … It didn’t really show in the win-loss column but we’ve improved a lot from the beginning of the season.”
Old Forge got 17 points from Nick Pelosi and 15 from Ben Grochowski in the win.
The Lions only lead was at 2-0. They were held to four points for almost 11 minutes to go from an 8-7 deficit to a 35-11 hole late in the half.
Cody Stuenzi led the Lions with 17 points and eight rebounds. Steven Scioscia had five assists.