The Wyoming Area boys basketball team did not know what it was like to win a Eugene R. DeMinico II Game until a second-half comeback last season.
Now, the Warriors are threatening to make a habit of it.
Sam Greenfield scored 20 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, dished out three assists and earned team Most Valuable Player honors Tuesday night to lead host Wyoming Area to a 46-30 victory over rival Pittston Area in the memorial game, which is also a Wyoming Valley Conference crossover contest.
“I was very happy for the senior boys,” Wyoming Area coach Pete Moses said. “With it being a senior-heavy team, for those kids to be able to say that they beat Pittston their senior year, I know how important that is at Wyoming Area.
“I learned that very quickly.”
Greenfield had 11 points in the first half to help Wyoming Area to a 21-9 lead. He had five of the points, while four other teammates also scored, in a 15-2 run to end the first half.
“Obviously, when we are playing teams, he’s a lot of their focal point when they’re preparing,” Moses said. “He has the ability to handle that.”
Aaron Zezza added 10 points in the win while Kyre Zielinski had eight points and three assists.
Dominic DeLuca came off the bench to contribute six points, six rebounds and three steals.
“Dominic DeLuca’s performance was huge,” Moses said. “There’s two things we’ve been talking to Dominic about. This is his first year of varsity basketball.
“Both things he did exceptionally well in that game. He had zero turnovers in that game. He had a put-back in the first half. We’ve been trying to get him to realize that with his strength, his ability to finish around the basket is going to be big for him throughout his career. I was more proud of that put-back than anything.”
Pittston Area struggled offensively, but sophomore Andrew Krawczyk was brilliant defensively while earning the Patriots’ MVP Award.
Krawczyk, who scored seven points, swatted away five shots and grabbed 11 of his game-high 13 rebounds on the defensive end.
“That wasn’t something that I was shocked by,” Pittston Area coach Alan Kiesinger said of Krawczyk’s shot-blocking. “He’s a pretty athletic kid.
“There are times when it does take you back a little bit. We kind of saw a preview of that in the summer leagues.”
The power with which Krawczyk rejected shots was impressive.
“He’s a kid you kind of have to watch out for when you have the ball in the lane,” Kiesinger said.
Naseem Guillaume scored Pittston Area’s last seven points of the third quarter and finished with a team-high nine points. He brought the Patriots as close as 27-20 and kept them within 29-21 after three quarters.
Wyoming Area made just enough free throws in the fourth quarter, going 11-for-21, to stretch its lead and pull away.
“It was a hard-fought game,” Moses said. “It was a great atmosphere for the boys. It will prepare them for Division 2.
“It was a big crowd; it was loud and they handled themselves well. I’m very proud of them.”
The game honors the memory of DeMinico, a 2000 Seton Catholic graduate who earned the Army’s Commendation Medal for Valor for his service in Iraq. The police officer died in a Jenkins Township motor vehicle accident early on Thanksgiving mornin, 2005.
Proceeds from the game benefit the Pittston City and Pittston Twp. K-9 Units.
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