The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 14, 2012

Boys basketball: Meslener, Lewisburg rally to beat red-hot Greenwood

LEWISBURG -- Lewisburg's Marcus Meslener had his head turned as he walked into the locker room following Monday's game, nearly knocking over coach John Vaji -- who was on his way out to meet with reporters -- in the process.

That was par for the course Monday, because the 6-foot-4 senior center bulled his way past people for most of the fourth quarter. Meslener led a second-half charge that saw the Green Dragons rally from 15 points down, as he scored eight fourth-quarter points in leading Lewisburg to a 54-48 nonleague win over Greenwood.

"I'm finally getting my groove a little bit," Meslener said. "It was a big game and I really wanted to win. (We) just came through."

With the win, the Green Dragons improve to 17-4, and they beat a team that hadn't lost since Dec. 10.

"We knew it was going to be a tough battle," Vaji said. "To our kids' credit, they persevered."

The Wildcats (18-2), who will almost certainly be the top seed for the upcoming District 3 Class A playoffs, led by 15 early in the third quarter and still had a nine-point advantage with 5:45 to go. But they didn't make a field goal for the final six minutes of the game.

"In the second half, they didn't get many transition buckets," Vaji said, "and they didn't get too many open looks. ... We did a much better job defensively in the second half."

Meslener scored a game-high 17 points, Cam Cassels added 12, and Travis Conrad had 10. The Green Dragons, who went 0-for-2 from the foul line in the first half, buried 16 after intermission.

"We committed a lot of fouls in the second half," Greenwood coach Kent Houser said. "We had five fouls less than three minutes into the (second) half. That's the perfect prescription to lose on the road. You've got to make the other team score on you with the clock running."

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