EXETER – When the only game of the holidays was postponed, Wyoming Area wound up with an unplanned 12-day break in the boys basketball schedule.
A fast start, followed by the steady production of the Matt Wright-Sam Greenfield inside combination, allowed the Warriors to pick up where they left off before Christmas.
Wyoming Area never trailed while remaining unbeaten with a 62-43 Wyoming Valley Conference victory Wednesday.
The game technically ranked as the closest of the season in six games to date for the Warriors, but they opened leads of 17-2 late in the first quarter and 46-19 midway through the third quarter.
“I thought that by Lehman playing zone against us, they wanted to slow down the tempo of the game,” Wyoming Area coach Pete Moses said. “We were still able to score 31 in the first half.
“To score 31 when they’re playing predominantly zone, I’m pleased with that. They didn’t slow us down.”
The Warriors matched that total in the second half and came in just under their average of 64.8 points per game.
Wright hit six straight shots at one point on the way to 18 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Greenfield had 16 points, six rebounds, a team-high five assists and two blocked shots.
“I was happy with the way our two bigs played,” Moses said. “Matt and Sam combined for 34 of our 62, but they also played well together and passed well.”
Greenfield was able to work the baseline and set up Wright moving down from the high post.
Wyoming Area never trailed even though Greenfield and Wright combined for just one field goal and four points in the first quarter.
Kyre Zielinski worked inside to score four straight points, breaking the last tie at 2-2.
Dylan Melberger then sandwiched two 3-pointers around one by Aaron Zezza before a Greenfield tip in completed the streak for the 17-2 lead.
Wright scored eight points in the second quarter, including six in the first 3:47 to open a 26-7 lead.
Moses saw something for the Warriors to work on while building a 31-14 halftime lead.
“I was a little disappointed that we had given up eight offensive rebounds,” he said. “Even when they were not getting offensive rebounds, they were getting their hands on balls with deflections and tips.
“We have to do a little better job there.”
After winning the first five games by an average of 33.4 points, the Warriors were tested a bit when the Black Knights hit five 3-pointers while putting together a 24-8, second-half burst to get within, 54-43 with four minutes left.
“That may have been a blessing in disguise,” Moses said. “We learned a little bit about how to close out games.”
Zezza finished with 11 points and four assists in the win. Zielinski had eight points, six rebounds, three steals and three assists.
The game was the team’s annual fundraiser for Little Eric’s Foundation in memory of Eric Speicher, a Wyoming Area student who died in 2013 at age 14 from brain cancer. In the past three years, the foundation has donated nearly $75,000 to cancer research and to assist families of children with cancer.