Division 1 teams damage Warriors’ Division 2 title hopes

By Tom Robinson - For Sunday Dispatch
Wyoming Area’s Justin Alder (No. 5) drives to the hoop past Dallas’ Ben O’Connell during the game at Wyoming Area Secondary Center in Exeter. - Sean McKeag | Dallas Post
Wyoming Area’s Aaron Zezza, right, goes for a layup against Dallas’ Matt Mathers during the game at the Wyoming Area Secondary Center in Exeter. - Sean McKeag | Dallas Post
Wyoming Area’s Kyre Zielinski (No. 22) drives the ball to the basket between Dallas’ Nick Kocher and Alex Charlton (No. 0) during the game at Wyoming Area Secondary Center in Exeter. - Sean McKeag | Dallas Post

EXETER – Wyoming Area was able to overcome an early nine-point deficit Tuesday night in its home Wyoming Valley Conference boys basketball game against Dallas.

The Warriors were not, however, able to overcome the 26 turnovers the Mountaineers forced while falling for the second straight night and the third time in four games, 72-51.

The losses to Division 1 second- and third-place teams Dallas and Crestwood knocked Wyoming Area two games off the pace in the Division 2 race.

“Their defensive rotations were very good,” Wyoming Area coach Pete Moses said. “When we had motion and when we did run our offense effectively and kick the ball out, they closed out on shooters very quickly.

“Some of our guys that traditionally knock some 3s down for us or get some open looks, their defenders were there more quickly than they might have been with some other teams we played.”

The Warriors needed Aaron Zezza’s 3-pointer to get within 15-9 at the end of the first quarter.

Sam Greenfield scored 12 of his team-high 18 points in the second quarter and put Wyoming Area ahead, 18-17, with 4:10 left in the half on a 3-pointer from the right side.

After Dallas tied the game at 20-20, Greenfield scored five in a row on a three-point play off a Kyre Zielinski steal and a turnaround jumper from the left side.

The Warriors’ biggest lead was immediately followed by a 17-point streak by the Mountaineers – the last 10 of the first half and the first seven of the second half to take control.

Wyoming Area closed the 37-25 deficit to 45-40 with 1:45 left in the third quarter. Zezza got that started by hitting three 3-pointers in a span of two minutes.

Dallas pulled away for good by scoring the next eight points, then adding a 10-2 run in the fourth quarter.

“They’re able to use their press two different ways,” Moses said. “They’re able to use the press to slow the game down, but they’re also able to use it to speed the game up when they need to speed the game up. They do that very well.”

Joey Parsons scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half to lead Dallas. Jay Bittner added 18 points, including 11 in the third quarter.

Zezza finished with five 3-pointers and 17 points. Zielinski added 10 points.

Wyoming Area’s Justin Alder (No. 5) drives to the hoop past Dallas’ Ben O’Connell during the game at Wyoming Area Secondary Center in Exeter.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_PSD012818WyoAreaDallasHSBB1.jpgWyoming Area’s Justin Alder (No. 5) drives to the hoop past Dallas’ Ben O’Connell during the game at Wyoming Area Secondary Center in Exeter. Sean McKeag | Dallas Post

Wyoming Area’s Aaron Zezza, right, goes for a layup against Dallas’ Matt Mathers during the game at the Wyoming Area Secondary Center in Exeter.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_PSD012818WyoAreaDallasHSBB2.jpgWyoming Area’s Aaron Zezza, right, goes for a layup against Dallas’ Matt Mathers during the game at the Wyoming Area Secondary Center in Exeter. Sean McKeag | Dallas Post

Wyoming Area’s Kyre Zielinski (No. 22) drives the ball to the basket between Dallas’ Nick Kocher and Alex Charlton (No. 0) during the game at Wyoming Area Secondary Center in Exeter.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_PSD012818WyoAreaDallasHSBB3.jpgWyoming Area’s Kyre Zielinski (No. 22) drives the ball to the basket between Dallas’ Nick Kocher and Alex Charlton (No. 0) during the game at Wyoming Area Secondary Center in Exeter. Sean McKeag | Dallas Post

By Tom Robinson

For Sunday Dispatch

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.