Last updated: January 18. 2014 10:37PM - 2493 Views
By - dlevarse@timesleader.com

King's Tom Heston takes aim at the basket as Eastern's Jimmie Willis defends during a Freedom Conference matchup Saturday in Wilkes-Barre.
King's Tom Heston takes aim at the basket as Eastern's Jimmie Willis defends during a Freedom Conference matchup Saturday in Wilkes-Barre.
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WILKES-BARRE — King’s had come through with a signature win on Wednesday. The Monarchs weren’t about to waste it on Saturday.

Coming off of a confidence-boosting road win at DeSales, the King’s men’s basketball team responded with its fourth straight victory, racing past Eastern 74-61 on Saturday at Scandlon Gymnasium.

The Monarchs resumed Freedom Conference play this week with an 0-2 league record and an always daunting trip to DeSales up first. But King’s was able to erase a late deficit to upend the Bulldogs before delivering a decisive win against the Eagles.

“You have to follow it up with another one,” King’s coach J.P. Andrejko said. “You lose at home, and it just doesn’t matter. So this was a real important game for us and I thought we came out and we were ready to play.”

Kyle Hammonds was again at the forefront for the Monarchs (9-6, 2-2 Freedom). The senior guard scored a game-high 30 points on 12-of-20 shooting while hitting 5-of-9 from behind the arc.

In six games since returning from semester break, Hammonds is averaging more than 25 points and leads the conference in scoring for the season.

Always capable of putting together a hot streak, Hammonds is now playing the best ball of his career.

“By far,” Andrejko said. “By far. His confidence is just out of the building, it’s so high. And the consistency — it’s night-in and night-out now. We know what he’s going to be giving us.”

Fellow senior Joe Caffrey added 19 poins while freshman Dan Rutecki narrowly missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.

Christian Skrepenak came through with eight points and eight boards for the Monarchs in 13 minutes.

Andrejko said he was most pleased to see his squad take control of the game in the final minutes. King’s rallied past DeSales down the stretch Wednesday and turned back a late effort by the Eagles (7-8, 1-3) on Saturday.

“Last week we worked on end-of-game situations,” Andrejko said. “And to see that carry over from practice to games, when you look at it and it actually happens — wow. It gives you that feeling of, ‘They’re getting it.’ And I think this team is starting to get it.”


King’s 74, Eastern 61

EASTERN (61): Anthony Parenti 0-6 0-0 0, Austin Carroll 1-6 0-0 3, Jimmie Willis 4-10 1-2 10, Malcolm Garrison 2-4 0-0 6, Caleb Knudsen 4-5 2-2 12, Ben Connor 1-2 0-1 2, Shaquan Turk 7-13 2-2 18, Jordan Diggs 3-5 3-4 10, Keith Crowell 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 22-56 8-11 61.

KING’S (74): Alex Cardoza 0-2 0-0 0, Joe Caffrey 3-7 11-14 19, Kyle Hammonds 12-20 1-1 30, Tom Heston 1-13 2-4 4, Dan Rutecki 4-7 2-2 10, Nate Oliver 0-4 3-3 3, Rich Douglas 0-0 0-0 0, Connor Hughes 0-0 0-0 0, Tim O’Shea 0-1 0-0 0, John Dini 0-0 0-0 0, Christian Skrepenak 4-9 0-0 8, Derek Wilkins 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 24-67 19-24 74.

Halftime— King’s, 45-36

Three-point field goals— EU 9-25 (Knudsen 2-2, Garrison 2-4, Turk 2-4, Willis 1-3, Diggs 1-3, Carroll 1-4, Connor 0-1, Tyson 0-1, Parenti 0-3); KC 7-16 (Hammonds 5-9, Caffrey 2-2, Cardoza 0-1, Wilkins 0-1, Oliver 0-3).


Lady Monarchs fall

Already shorthanded in the backcourt, the King’s women saw another guard go down with an injury in a 65-50 loss to Eastern.

Freshman Shae Grim was able to walk off the court under her own power in the first half Saturday but spent the rest of the game with ice on her left knee and was on crutches afterward.

“It’s just tough because she’s one of our best players,” King’s coach Brian Donoghue said. “She’s one of our best offensive players and she’s a kid who just came off an ACL tear (in her right knee). You don’t want to see anyone go down, let alone someone who’s just gone through the process in the last 10 months.”

Grim became a mainstay in the starting lineup when junior Ashley Davies was sidelined at the end of November.

Junior stalwart Marissa Manning led the Lady Monarchs (4-11, 0-4 Freedom) on Saturday, finishing with 17 points. Freshman Kayla Feairheller had 16 to go with eight rebounds.

As the tempo picked up after halftime, Eastern (9-6, 4-0) went on a 13-3 run to take over the game. The Eagles led by as many as 19 in the second half, holding off King’s the rest of the way.

“We’ve just got to find a way to get in the playoffs and go from there,” Donoghue said. “We’re always pretty good in a one-game setting. We want to get ourselves there, and we’ve dug a pretty big hole. Just do our best to play well in the next game they put in front of us and see how we fare in the next three weeks.”


Eastern 65, King’s 50

EASTERN (65): Gina DiDomenico 4-12 2-3 12, Kaleigh Boreman 3-9 1-1 8, Kaitlyn Dougherty 3-14 1-1 8, Emily Lavin 5-10 0-0 10, Meghan Nowak 7-12 7-7 21, Yazlane Villegas 0-1 0-0 0, Emily Carmel 1-2 1-1 4, Bethany Zimmerman 0-2 0-0 0, Tori Grossi 1-5 0-1 2. Totals 24-67 12-14 65.

KING’S (50): Kasey Seitz 2-4 0-0 4, Shae Grim 0-0 2-2 2, Jennifer Fabian 2-8 0-0 4, Kayla Feairheller 6-19 4-4 16, Marissa Manning 6-15 3-7 17, Taylor Sweeney 0-0 0-0 0, Katie Dugan 0-6 0-0 0, Jessica McHugh 1-7 0-0 3, Sara Krupinski 0-0 0-0 0, Tara Zdancewicz 1-4 2-2 4. Totals 18-63 11-15 50.

Halftime — Eastern, 33-23

Three-point field goals — EU 5-20 (DiDomenico 2-4, Carmel 1-2, Dougherty 1-4, Boreman 1-7, Nowak 0-1, Villegas 0-1, Zimmerman 0-1); KC 3-29 (Manning 2-5, McHugh 1-7, Seitz 0-1, Fabian 0-1, Zdancewicz 0-2, Dugan 0-5, Feairheller 0-8)

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