Central Mountain Wildcats drop critical home contest during late season playoff push
By KENNY VARNER
For The Express
LOCK HAVEN – It was a tough night on the hardwood for the Central Mountain boys basketball team, Friday night at home against Shamokin.
The Indians, coming in with an 8-5 record on the year, had control early on and had its A-game going throughout, to control the contest and drop CM 67-47.
Central Mountain got a double-double out of Collin James, finishing with 15 boards and 13 points.
Offensively, Shamokin finished with three players in double figures on the night.
Leading the Indians was Joey Musser with 16 points.
Collin Bowers chipped in with 14.
Rounding out Shamokin’s double-digit finishers was Mason Filarski with 12. All of Filarski’s baskets came from three-point range.
“I don’t think we played very smart basketball tonight. I thought our decision-making across the board was off, whether it was with the ball in our hands, shot selection or standing rather than cutting. I just don’t think we played a smart basketball game,” said Central Mountain coach Tyler Bardo. “When you’re not hitting shots, and they are, it’s a bad combination. We tried a couple different things. We felt the best defense was a zone. However, we couldn’t get a body on a body and rebound early on. So we went to man. They were just more aggressive.”
Things started off well for the Wildcats on their first possession when Jake Skrtich roped a three right off the bat.
On the following Indians’ possession, Massey went to the heart of the Central Mountain defense and hit a runner in the lane, cutting it to 3-2.
After a missed Wildcat shot, Bowers put Shamokin up by two as he hit from way downtown for the three.
Central Mountain took back the lead on a triple by Tanner Lavelle, making it 6-5 with 5:37 left in the first.
Connor Soo upped the lead to three as he pulled down an offensive board and put it back up for the score.
From there, the Indians went on a 6-0 run getting buckets from Nafees Love, and Masser, as well a triple from Filarski, taking back the lead at 12-8.
Central Mountain collected a bucket from Zane Probst to stop the scoreless stretch, cutting it to a two-point ball game.
Love upped the lead once again to four on an inside shot in traffic.
Soo hit one-of-two from the charity stripe to cut the lead to three.
But Shamokin would get the last four points of the period, taking an 18-11 lead into the second.
Things started to get away from the Wildcats in the second period.
With a bucket from Bowers and a triple from Filarski, Shamokin built up a 23-11 advantage with still over six minutes left.
Jones, after going scoreless in the first, got a scoop shot in the lane to go.
But the period belonged to Filarski as he scored the next two consecutive triples to extend the Indians’ lead to 29-13.
The last triple forced a time out by Central Mountain. Out of the time out,the Wildcats got another bucket in the paint from Jones.
But again, the Indians ended the half with four points to take a 33-18 advantage in to the intermission.
Both teams came out firing in the third quarter as the Wildcats finished the stanza with as many points as they got in the entire first half, 18.
However, Shamokin was five points better, posting a 23-point effort.
As the fourth quarter got underway, the Indians held a 56-36 lead.
Both teams battled back-and-fourth in the final stanza as both put up 11 points. But the Indians went home the winners of a 20-point contest, 67-47.
In the JV contest, Shamokin took a 63-58 nail biter.
Central Mountain is back in action Monday as it hosts Lewisburg.
Shamokin 67, Central Mountain 47
SH 18 15 23 11 – 67
CM 11 7 18 11 – 47
Scoring: Shamokin – Joey Masser 8 0-0 16, Tarig Braggs 2 0-0 4,Collin Bowers 6 0-0 14, Jahleke West 2 0-0 5, Matt Schiccatano 2 0-0 4, Nafees Love 3 0-0 6,Joey Tarr 1 0-0 2, Mason Filarski 4 0-0 12, Colin Seldor 1 0-0 2, Brent Reed 1 0-0 2. Totals 30 0-1 67. Central Mountain – JT Pentz 3 0-0 6, Collin Jones 6 1-3 13, Aidan Major 1 0-0 2, Jake Skrtich 1 2-3 5, Cade McCloskey 1 0-0 3, Tanner Lavelle 2 0-2 5, Conner Soo 3 2-3 8, Zane Probst 2 1-1 5. Totals 19 6-12 47.