NANTICOKE – Forget that painful overtime loss and slippery ride home about a month ago. That was ancient history as far as the Wyoming Seminary Blue Knights were concerned. They were playing for the moment Wednesday night.
And they will be playing in the near future.
E.J. Flippen scored 19 points and Sean Callahan added 18 as Seminary routed Nanticoke 57-37 in a District 2 Class 2A boys basketball first-round game.
Ninth-seeded Seminary (13-7) will now faced top-seeded Meyers (21-2) on Saturday at a site and time to be announced. Meyers won the regular-season games 72-49 and 63-44.
A few things are going to be key for us – taking care of the basketball and limiting them to one shot as much as possible, said Seminary coach C.J. Kersey, speaking on the assumption Meyers was going to defeat 16th-seeded Carbondale on Wednesday night. They're a good team, have very good talent and are very well coached. We'll just do the best we can to prepare and see how things go.
Things went much better in Seminary's return visit to Nanticoke. Back on a snowy Jan. 25 night, Nanticoke tied the game at the end of regulation on a buzzer-beating rebound basket and won 57-55 in overtime.
While that loss stung, it didn't affect Seminary's mindset Wednesday.
We just wanted to come out and play our game, Seminary senior guard Jason Ellis said. We left that in the past. We just wanted to play our game and not focus on what they were doing and make sure we came out ready to take on the challenge.
Flippen established himself as a force inside early despite having to battle a pair of taller opponents. Callahan was steady throughout and the catalyst in a 10-0 run in the third quarter run that led to a 41-28 advantage. Ellis ran the offense and seemed to be in position at the right time for long rebounds, finishing with six boards and eight points.
Still, the game resembled the previous matchup at times. Seminary saw its 12-point second-quarter lead dwindle to 27-20 by halftime. Mike Malshefski, the only constant offensively for Nanticoke, helped cut the deficit to 27-25 early in the third.
Even midway through the third Nanticoke trailed by only three until Ellis' pull-up jumper started the 10-0 spurt.
We cut it down, Nanticoke coach Ken Bartuska said, but we really expended a lot of energy. Our guys were tired. Callahan is so tough to contain. E.J. had a big game, especially early on. It was really difficult for us to catch up.
Malshefski scored 14 to pace eight-seeded Nanticoke, which ended its season at 11-11.
Wyoming Seminary 57, Nanticoke 37
WYOMING SEMINARY(57): Jason Ellis 4 0-1 8, E.J. Flippen 9 1-2 19, Allen Chuang 0 0-0 0, Ander Gonzalez 1 0-0 2, Doug Thomas 0 0-0 0, Sami El-Mashtoub 0 0-0 0, Brad Sedor 2 0-0 4, Zach Wise 3 0-0 6, Seth Callahan 5 7-8 18, Jake Ridilla 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 8-11 57.
NANTICOKE (37): Tyler Myers 2 2-2 6, Scott Stout 0 1-2 1, Ed Lukowski 0 1-2 1, Scott Morganti 0 0-0 0, Mike Malshefski 4 6-8 14, Brent Piontkowski 3 0-0 6, Jordan Williams 0 0-0 0, Ben Sersen 0 0-0 0, Matt Winters 0 0-0 0, Rees Roberts 1 0-0 2, Nick Valenti 2 1-2 5, Joe Shimko 1 0-0 2, Robert Burke 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 11-16 37.
3-Point Field Goals— SEM 1 (Callahan); NAN 0.