HANOVER TWP. – Wyoming Area coach Pete Moses is proud that this year’s team does not have one clear scoring leader.
Although Tony Saitta and Sam Greenfield lead the way overall, the role can change from game to game based on the hot hand or what works against a particular defense.
Thursday night, the role of offensive leader changed from quarter to quarter.
Kyre Zielinski’s play on both ends of the floor got the Warriors started, then a different teammate took charge on offense as Wyoming Area outscored host Hanover Area in every quarter of a 67-51 Division 2 victory that lifted the team to the .500 mark in the Wyoming Valley Conference.
Kyle Musto, Greenfield and Matt Wright each used a different approach and each played a significant part in lifting Wyoming Area to 5-5 in the conference and 8-11 overall going into Saturday night’s game against Meyers.
“We won by 16 points and our high scorer (Saitta) has one,” Moses said. “I’m not sure that could have happened for us last year.”
Zielinski had six points in an 8-1 run to end the first quarter, erasing the final deficit and putting the Warriors in control. He did his scoring in the final 3:24 of the quarter, starting with a steal that he turned into a lay-up to break the last tie. He also had the last four points of the quarter for a 13-8 lead.
From there, Zielinski helped pick up the pace with three steals in the second quarter. He waited for Hanover Area to commit against the press, then used his quickness for steals that led to easy baskets.
“I just try to react what they’re doing,” said Zielinski, who finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, five steals and four assists. “Then, we just look to run.
“I try to find the open looks. Whatever makes it easier for us to score.”
Musto took a feed from Zielinski off of one of those steals to extend the run to 10-1 to open the second quarter.
“Kyre defends and he’s a threat on offense,” Moses said.
Musto then took his own approach to leading the offense.
The team’s “zone-buster,” as Moses describes him, Musto hit his first three 3-point attempts of the game. He had two while scoring eight points in the first 3:27 of the second quarter for a 26-13 lead.
Patiently waiting for his openings to launch the team’s most accurate long-distance shot, Musto finished with 15 points in less than 20 minutes. He was 3-for-4 from 3-point range, 4-for-6 overall from the floor and 4-for-4 from the line.
“Since Wright was injured a few games back, Kyle has really stepped up into much more or a role and he has accepted it wonderfully,” Moses said. “His confidence as a shooter is tremendous and since he has been playing more minutes, he has really contributed to our offense.”
Greenfield had nine points and seven rebounds in the first half, then took over in the third quarter.
On another team, the 6-foot-2 sophomore might be a small forward, but with Wyoming Area’s lack of height, he is at center. Greenfield used his mobility to make that work, running the floor for four baskets, driving for a three-point play and cutting to the basket for another score during the second half to finish with a game-high 22 points and eight rebounds.
“He’s doing a great job of facing the basket and taking guys off the dribble,” Moses said. “He’s doing a great job of making front cuts and back cuts.
“To his credit, I’m probably playing him out of position … he’s playing center against some big boys, but we’re using that to our advantage because he’s faster than a lot of those kids.”
Greenfield had Wyoming Area’s first five points of the third quarter and seven points in the first five minutes of the second half to produce the game’s biggest lead at 39-24.
When Hanover Area rallied behind the 3-point shooting of Tyler Diggs to get within 44-39 with 5:25 left, Wright took over.
Scoreless to that point, Wright came off the bench to score eight points in less than three minutes to fuel a game-clinching, 10-0 run. He added two free throws late to finish with 10 points.
The Warriors shot 13-for-17 from the line after the Hawkeyes closed within five.
Saitta had six assists in the win.
Wyoming Area 65, Holy Redeemer 57
Tony Saitta scored 15 points to lead four players in double figures and Wyoming Area fought off a second-half Holy Redeemer comeback Tuesday night for a 65-57 victory in a WVC Division 2-3 crossover game.
Anthony Nardell and Anthony Shaver added 12 points each and Sam Greenfield scored 10 points in the win.
The Warriors led 20-13 after one quarter and 32-18 at halftime with the help of seven 3-pointers.
Wyoming Area held strong after Holy Redeemer closed to 53-51.
Anthony Shaver scored on a lay-up against the press and the Warriors settled in at the foul line for a 12-6 finish.
“The 3-pointers gave us a nice cushion,” Wyoming Area coach Pete Moses said. “It was a bend, don’t break kind of game for us.
“ … The thing that made the win special for me as a coach is we got tested. They had it down to two and we hung on and then extended the lead again.”
Jason Stachokus led Holy Redeemer with 19 points.
Moses was pleased with the play by the Warriors frontcourt against 6-for-8 Royals center John Carr, who finished with 15 points.
Greenfield and Shaver each finished in double figures while playing against Carr.
Berwick 58, Pittston Area 48
Tyler Evans scored 29 points to lead Berwick past visiting Pittston Area, 58-48, in a WVC Division 1 game Thursday night.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 15-4 lead after one quarter.
Dylan Osticco scored 16 points for the Patriots, who fell to 2-9 in the division and 6-13 overall. Matt McGlynn hit the team’s only three 3-pointers while adding 12 points.
Wyoming Valley West 61, Pittston Area 58
Aaron Austin finished with 18 points and was 5-for-6 from the line in the fourth quarter when Wyoming Valley West went 15-for-18 to hold on for a 61-58 Division 1 win over Pittston Area.
Pittston Area led 13-9 after one quarter and trailed 27-26 at halftime.
Sean Judge scored seven of his 13 points in the third quarter when the Spartans opened the lead to 44-34.
Jordan Black had 10 of his 22 points and Dylan Osticco had eight of his 13 in the fourth quarter to lead Pittston Area’s comeback attempt.