CLINTON TWP. — Lackawanna Trail led after the first and second quarters, but a burst by Montrose in the third carried the Meteors to a 63-42 win over the Lions in a Lackawanna League Division 4 boys basketball game Jan. 28.
Travis Ankoff scored six of his team-high 12 points in the first quarter when the Lions held a 10-9 advantage and John Maier scored six of his nine points in the second quarter when Lackawanna Trail (4-11, 2-4 Div. 4) pushed its lead to three.
Lackawanna Trail head coach Christian Sunseri felt his team played its best in the first half when everyone was touching the ball.
“Our ball movement was a big thing for us,” he said. “The ball moved; it didn’t stick. In the second half, they put a little pressure on us and we thought about where we needed to pass the ball instead of being on point.”
Montrose began the second half with a 16-2 run and outscored the Lions, 29-11, in the third quarter. Jacob Peck, who finished with 13 points and two steals, made three 3-pointers during the third for the Meteors.
“Our game plan was to get the ball out of (Trail’s) hands and make them make mistakes, and then convert with layups,” Montrose head coach Cody Ivey said. “We needed to stop giving them easy possessions on their offensive end. We locked down on defense which led to easy transition baskets.”
Montrose also hurt the Lions with second-half points in the third quarter.
“We knew they were very big and they do a good job crashing the glass,” Sunseri said. They got a lot of extra shots, which either turned into a basket, a foul or both.”
A 7-0 run by Montrose (8-7, 4-2) to start the fourth quarter stretched the Meteors lead to 22 points with six minutes left to play.
“We were actually in the same position, up three at halftime, in our last two games and we lost both (by about 20),” Sunseri said. “They put a little pressure on us and we turned the ball over. We’re struggling to handle the ball. We need to find a way to limit our turnovers and improve our rebounding.”
Divisions 3 and 4 of the Lackawanna League play their league seasons in halves and, despite some struggles in the first half, the Lions can be a contender in the second half, Sunseri feels.
“The nice thing about our league is the second half offers a clean slate for everybody,” he said. “I think we’ve shown that we’ve been in a game with every team in our league and we won two of the six games.”
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.