By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
DANVILLE -- It was a slow start to the District 4 Class AA quarterfinal game on Friday night between the Lewisburg and Mount Carmel boys.
The Red Tornadoes controlled the opening tip-off and had the ball for the first 51-seconds of the game, but came away empty.
Senior Erich Kline gave Lewisburg a lead on a jumper in the paint on the Green Dragons first possession. Mount Carmel's Tyler Kwiatkowski gave the Red Tornadoes a 3-2 lead on a 3-point shot with 3:56 left in the first quarter.
It would be the last lead for Mount Carmel as Travis Conrad scored 18 points to lead four Green Dragons in double figures as they advanced with a 66-47 win at Danville's McCloskey Center.
Conrad answered Kiatkowski's three with the first of his two first-quarter 3s put Lewisburg (22-3) up 5-3.
The Green Dragons' lead grew to 14-9 at the end of the first and 33-19 at halftime.
"Even though we got off to a slow start, it was a good team effort," Lewisburg head coach John Vaji said. "We made the most of the extra pass and we did a heck of a job on getting the defensive rebounds. We did not let Mount Carmel get too many second-chance opportunities."
Freshman Sam Allen contributed 10 points while adding two blocked shots.
"Sam stepped up and played hard," Vaji noted. "Everyone did when they came in."
It was the third time this year the two teams had meet with Lewisburg winning all three games.
"What more could you ask for on the defensive end," Vaji added. "They scored 47 points -- but they had to earn everyone of them."
Leading by 14 at the break, the shots seem to fall for Lewisburg in the second half while Mount Carmel (14-10) struggled.
The Red Tornadoes missed its first two shots of the third quarter and committed a turnover on its third possession.
Rob Varano led Mount Carmel in scoring with 10.
Lewisburg stretched its lead to 22 when Allen got the roll on jumper in the paint as Lewisburg opened the quarter on an 8-2 run.
Conrad, who was 10-for-13 from the free-throw line, knew the offense had to get going if the Green Dragons were going to continue their season.
"We've been a little stagnant on offense recently and we really worked to get the extra pass going," he said. "We didn't want to go home. We knew if we didn't win, we wouldn't have practice tomorrow."
Lewisburg made four of its six 3-point field goals in the first half. They finished 14-of-23 from the line as Kline scored 16 while Mike Driscoll netted 14.