BERWICK – Wyoming Valley West weathered the first storm Saturday afternoon, emerging relatively unscathed.
The second blast, though, froze the Spartans’ run in the District 2-4 Class 4A boys basketball tournament.
Williamsport pulled away with seven consecutive points in the fourth quarter to defeat Valley West 67-56 in a semifinal game at the Berwick Middle School.
“The difference was that stretch in those four minutes,” Valley West coach George Reimiller said.
District 4’s Williamsport (20-2) will play Scranton (19-5) for the championship and a berth in the state tournament. The two teams will play Wednesday at a site and time to be determined.
As for Valley West (16-9), the Spartans will have to wait until that game is over to see if their season continues. If Scranton loses, Scranton and Valley West will play March 2 for the District 2 Class 4A title. If Scranton defeats Williamsport, Scranton is the D2-4A champion and Valley West’s season is over.
Williamsport, ranked seventh in the state in Class 4A, threatened to take control late in the second half. A 10-0 run turned a two-point deficit into a 29-21 lead for the Millionaires. Valley West stopped the bleeding with a jumper by Chris McCue to end the half.
Valley West, led by the timely shooting of Larry Anderscavage, then caught Williamsport 34-34 midway through the third quarter. The Spartans never took the lead the rest of the way, but stayed on Williamsport’s heels.
“We knew Wyoming Valley West was going to come out and play with a lot of confidence,” Williamsport coach Allen Taylor said. “We’re one of the better teams in the state and teams at this time of the year are going to give you their best shot.”
Until the Millionaires’ 7-0 run.
Christopher Kelly started it by tossing in a rebound, an area where Williamsport finished with a 35-22 advantage. Two Valley West turnovers then led to a three-pointer, a layup and a 55-44 Williamsport lead with 4:44 to play.
“I talked to the kids and told them what we didn’t do very well was rebound,” Reimiller said. “I would say they were getting four or five shots to one when they were crashing the boards.”
Anderscavage and Jamie Calloway patched up some of the damage from three-point range. Williamsport’s Tom Ross, though, was just as accurate with his perimeter shots, with his third three-pointer in the fourth ending any upset hopes.
Williamsport also kept Valley West’s 6-foot-6 Jaquan Ingram in check most of the game. The Spartans’ leading scorer was held to seven points and one field goal. Anderscavage led the team with 14 points and Calloway had 13 off the bench.
“We had success with him (Ingram) last time. I think he had eight points,” said Taylor, referring to a 66-53 victory over the Spartans on Dec. 22.
: Chris McCue 3 0-0 7, Brett Good 2 4-4 9, Lucky Williams 1 0-0 2, Jacquan Ingram 1 5-6 7, Larry Anderscavage 6 0-0 14, Evan McCue 1 0-0 2, Jamie Calloway 5 0-0 13, Husam Abdurruzzaq 1 0-2 2. Totals 20 9-12 56.
: Greg Ousley 2 0-0 4, Jahad Thomas 3 4-8 10, Herb Stelly 2 0-1 4, Tyler Gardner 0 0-0 0, Thomas Ross 5 0-0 14, Isaiah Washington 4 8-11 18, Achilles Watson 4 1-2 9, Brandon Fedoriw 0 0-0 0, Chris Kinley 3 2-2 8. Totals 23 15-24 67.
— WVW 7 (Calloway 3, Anderscavage 2, C. McCue, Good); WIL 6 (Ross 4, Washington 2).