The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

February 22, 2014

Boys basketball: Lewisburg downs Wellsboro

LEWISBURG — Coming into Saturday’s game, Lewisburg coach John Vaji preached one thing to his Green Dragons team: rebounding.

Vaji knew the importance of it, and more than likely, so did the Green Dragons. Vaji’s message didn’t go unheard, and Lewisburg stepped it up on Saturday afternoon against Wellsboro.

“Coach was just saying you got to get them off the boards,” Lewisburg senior Will Sigl said. “If you win the battle of the boards, you have a good shot to win the game, and that’s what we did.”

Rebounding was a big factor for Lewisburg as the Green Dragons grabbed twice as many boards as Wellsboro, including holding the Green Hornets to just two offensive rebounds, and walked away from Donald H. Eichhorn Middle School in Lewisburg on Saturday afternoon with a 64-47 win in the District 4 Class AA quarterfinals.

Lewisburg (20-3) advances to face Southern Columbia — a double-overtime winner against previously undefeated East Juniata — at a time and place to be determined in the semifinals this week.

“We couldn’t let them get second- or third-chance opportunities and I thought our guys did a real good job on the defensive boards today,” Vaji said. “Overall for what we wanted to do, I thought the boys did a great job.”

Lewisburg held a 28-14 total advantage off the glass against Wellsboro (19-6). The Green Hornets didn’t have a single offensive board in the first half.

“They’re limiting us to one shot. ... Their height has been a factor for us (against them in past meetings),” Wellsboro coach Todd Outman said. “Coming into game, what we wanted to do was hold (Sam) Allen down. He didn’t play a lot, but I thought we did a decent job.

“We weren’t quite prepared for them to shoot that well behind the arc, and that’s what they did and eventually, that ended up being the difference in the game.”

Lewisburg hit three huge treys in a 59-second span to close out the first quarter to build up a seven-point lead. As a team, Lewisburg sank five 3-pointers, three of which came from Matt Fedorjaka and two from Jesse Flannery.

“They were huge. They made some small runs, but our guards kept hitting threes and when your guards don’t miss threes, it’s hard to lose games,” Sigl said with a laugh.

Dawson Prough would sink a nice layup for Wellsboro just inside of five minutes in the second quarter to make it a 25-22 game, but that would be the closest the Green Hornets would get the rest of the way.

After a total of six lead changes in the first quarter alone, Lewisburg’s 9-0 run to close the first put the Green Dragons ahead for good.

Lewisburg would use a 10-0 run late in the second quarter to build up a double-digit lead. Once Lewisburg led by 10, Wellsboro never again brought the deficit down into single figures.

Joe Doganiero played solid offensively with 14 points for Wellsboro, while Mike Pietropola added 11.

The Green Dragons had three players hit double-figures, with sophomore Sam Allen leading the charge with 16 points as Matt Fedorjaka and Jesse Flannery hit 12. Sigl just missed a double-double, scoring nine points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

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