Last updated: March 12. 2014 11:48PM - 3940 Views
By - jerzar@timesleader.com

Ryan Wasley (No. 44) from Meyers puts up a shot during Wednesday's PIAA Class 2A boys basketball game.
Ryan Wasley (No. 44) from Meyers puts up a shot during Wednesday's PIAA Class 2A boys basketball game.
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BETHLEHEM — With a quick step and emphatic slam dunk, Tyriek Steward showed that Meyers meant business Wednesday night.

And if that didn’t do it, then a game-changing run in the third quarter did.

Steward triggered the outburst that snapped a tie score and propelled Meyers to a 51-41 victory over District 12 runner-up West Catholic in the second round of the PIAA Class 2A boys basketball tournament.

District 2 champ Meyers (21-7) will play D12 third seed Del-Val Charter (19-7) on Saturday in the quarterfinals. West Catholic ended it season at 12-14.

“If you would have told me after the Coughlin game and a few earlier games we’d be in the Elite Eight in the state right now,” Meyers coach Pat Toole said. “I just couldn’t be happier. Now I get to go home and watch some film.”

Wyoming Valley Conference teams haven’t fared well against D12 opponents since the Philadelphia Catholic League joined the PIAA in 2008. They had lost four of five matchups. So Steward’s dunk not only produced the fifth of six lead changes in the first half, but also sent a message.

“Once again, nobody believes in us,” said Steward, who finished with a team-high 18 points. “Everyone thinks we’re not that good. I really don’t know why, but that’s what people seem to think. I feel that’s what’s given our team a lift day in and day out.”

The biggest lift came after West Catholic’s Devonta Peterie hit a three-pointer to put the Burrs up 27-26 with 4:57 left in the third quarter. Steward was fouled shooting a three-pointer and hit all three free throws.

“Don’t ask me why we’re making free throws all of a sudden,” Toole said, “but we seem to be making some free throws now.”

Steward’s three points from the foul line triggered a 12-4 run to end the quarter. Lamont Twyman’s pull-up jumper that took a hard bounce off the rim and fell in at the buzzer gave the Mohawks a 38-31 entering the fourth quarter.

Meyers bumped the lead to 42-33 with 5:37 to play when Ryan Wasley, the team’s 6-foot-5 center, hit an outside basket.

“At that point, I turned to one of my assistant and said ‘Maybe it is our night,’” Toole said.

And it was. West Catholic was able to get within 42-37 with three minutes to play, but Meyers was able to milk the clock and hit several free throws down the stretch.

“It’s all about team these days,” Steward said. “You’ve got to be smart with the ball against teams like this that are long and athletic. That’s what we did in the fourth quarter.”

Wasley and guard Shahee Aurelus each added 10 points for Meyers. Josh Townsend, West Catholic’s 6-foot-5 forward, gave Meyers the most trouble. He finished with a double-double of 11 points and 14 rebounds.

Meyers 51, West Catholic 41

WEST CATHOLIC (41) — Stefan Jones 0 0-0 0, Devonta Peterie 3 4-4 11, Jalen Robertson-Cosby 0 1-2 1, Jahmil Harris 6 3-5 18, Josh Townsend 5 1-2 11, Brandon Cole 0 0-0 0, Matthew Davis 0 0-2 0, Jalil Branch 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 9-15 41.

MEYERS (51) — Shahee Aurelus 4 0-0 10, Lamont Twuman 1 5-5 7, Matt DeMarco 1 3-4 6, Tyriek Steward 5 8-10 20, Ryan Wasley 5 0-0 10, Tyon Thomas 0 0-0 0, Dominic Pittman 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 16-19 51.

West Catholic`10`12`9`10`—`41


Three-point goals — WC 4 (Peterie, Harris 3); MEY 3 (Aurelus 2, DeMarco).

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