SCRANTON – Scranton Prep knew the game was not over when it opened an 11-point lead in the first five minutes.
The Cavaliers made sure to finish off Dunmore when they put together a streak of 12 straight points midway through the fourth quarter of a 65-55 win in Thursday night's Lynett Memorial boys basketball opener.
I think the kids were prepared for Dunmore to make a run, Scranton Prep coach Joe Ferguson said. We couldn't put them away. But when they did respond, we knew what to do.
James Fives, Noah Beh and Tim Rose finished off strong efforts by leading the decisive streak.
The run gave Scranton Prep a 59-46 lead with 3:08 remaining and Dunmore did not get closer than eight the rest of the way.
Scranton Prep returned to the championship game of the 62nd annual tournament for the first time in five years. The Cavaliers, who entered this year's event with a record 16 championships, had lost in the first round for four straight years.
The Cavaliers (5-2) grabbed seven of the game's last eight rebounds to finish off the Bucks (5-2).
I thought we did a great job on the boards, Ferguson said. When Dunmore has beaten us in the past, it's been on the boards.
Dunmore scored the first 10 points of the second half after trailing, 37-23, at halftime. The Bucks eventually closed the gap to a single point twice in the fourth quarter, first on John Rinaldi's third dunk of the game, then on two Michael Boland free throws.
Beh took advantage of two slick passes from his teammates – Mac Temples and then Rose – to begin and end the streak that broke the game open.
Fives followed Beh's basket by hitting a 3-pointer from the top of the key in a game-high, 22-point effort.
Rose, a sophomore guard, scored five straight points before feeding Beh to complete the run. He finished with eight points, four assists and two steals.
Beh led the inside effort with 14 points and 12 rebounds. He converted a rebound for a 13-2 lead with 3:19 left in the first quarter.
We just penetrated and played as a team, said Fives, who scored the game's first five points and help Scranton Prep score the first seven and never trail. We played together and we executed.
Ferguson praised the way his team shared the ball while hitting seven of its first 11 shots for a 19-5 lead.
Matt Knowles finished with 13 points. He joined Temples in each hitting all four foul shots while the Cavaliers were going 21-for-26 (80.8 percent).
Matt Clark finished with 19 points and Rinaldi had 16 points, seven assists and four steals for Dunmore, which had played in four straight finals.