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Hazleton Area‚??s Biasi dominating in new role JOHN ERZAR NOTEBOOK


March 17. 2013 2:59AM
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A CHANGE IN position has Hazleton Area junior Sal Biasi putting up some very impressive numbers.


Biasi scored 41 points Tuesday night in a 69-65 loss to Wyoming Valley West. It was the most points scored by a player in Wyoming Valley Conference play.


We've put him in position now as the point guard, Hazleton Area coach Mike Joseph said. He has that rare ability to score for himself, but also find teammates.


Biasi played the off-guard last season and averaged 13.4 points and hit a team-high 62 three-pointers. So far through 12 games, he is averaging 27.2 points and has made 39 threes to lead the team in both categories.


Biasi also leads the Cougars with 67 assists and 32 steals. He is second on the team in rebounds with 62, showing his all-around game is among the best in the WVC.


One of the best things about him is his work ethic, Joseph said. He's worked really, really hard from last season to this season.


BATTLE FOR FIRST

First place will be on the line tonight in Division I, but not at the game nearly everyone expect.


Hazleton Area plays at Crestwood in one of the WVC's best rivalries. But both teams stumbled Tuesday, setting up the Pittston Area (4-1) at Wyoming Valley West (5-0) game as the battle for first.


Tonight's game in Plymouth should be a good one. There will be a nice matchup inside between Valley West's 6-foot-6 Jaquan Ingram and Pittston Area's 6-5 Mason Gross. Both teams can also go about seven or eight deep.


While the game should be a good one, remember there are no first-half and second-half seasonal champions. That means Hazleton Area (4-1) and Crestwood (3-2) could get right back into the race. Heck, victories by Hazleton Area and Pittston Area would set up a three-way tie for the top.


DISTRICT 2 RANKINGS

This is the first try at doing top-10 rankings for District 2 basketball. It's much more difficult than doing top-15 rankings for football.


Anyway, they're just for fun. The teams can sort things out for real during the district tournaments.


HIGHS AND LOWS

A couple nuggets from Pittston Area's 39-36 victory over Crestwood on Tuesday.


It was the third consecutive time Crestwood held the Patriots under 40 points. The Comets won two matchups last season by identical 49-37 scores.


Five of the last seven meetings have been decided by three points or less. Crestwood has won three of the five.


The 36 points were the fewest scored by Crestwood in its last 22 games. The last time the Comets scored fewer was in a 49-35 loss to Hazleton Area last season.


When Crestwood doesn't score at least 40 points, the results aren't good. The Comets have lost their last 16 games when they don't crack 40.


Pittston Area's 39 points weren't its worst output of the season. The Patriots lost 37-29 to Holy Cross and 52-23 to Scranton Prep earlier.


BREAKING THE STREAK

Berwick's 50-47 victory over Coughlin on Tuesday was the Dawgs' first WVC regular-season win over an opponent other than Wyoming Area since the 2007-08 season.


Over the previous four seasons, Berwick won only two conference games, both against Wyoming Area. The Dawgs' last conference victory against someone other than the Warriors prior to Tuesday was on Feb. 9, 2008, when they defeated Tunkhannock 57-49.


Eric May led Tuesday's win with 21 points.


FIRST-TIME WINNER

Holy Redeemer is in its sixth season, yet the Royals hadn't played Wyoming Seminary … until Tuesday.


Seminary came away with the victory as Seth Callahan scored 25 points in the 46-40 win. The Blue Knights were also helped by the return of E.J. Flippen, who was out with an illness. He scored 15 more.


DON'T LOOK NOW …

Anybody who wrote off GAR after a 0-7 start appears to be wrong. The Grenadiers won their sixth in a row by defeating Wyoming Area 71-41. Standout Isaiah Francis returned to the lineup after missing two games with an ankle injury. Lamont Twyman is also back after missing time with an illness.



Times Leader District 2 Top 10

These are the first rankings of the season. Overall records do not include any games played Thursday.



Team…Rec


1. Meyers…11-1


2. Abington Heights…10-2


3. Scranton…12-1


4. Holy Cross…9-3


5. Mid Valley…11-2


6. Delaware Valley…10-3


7. Riverside…9-4


8. Scranton Prep…8-5


9. Wyoming Valley West…8-5


10. Hazleton Area…8-4



Given consideration: Crestwood (8-5); Dunmore (7-5); Elk Lake (10-2); GAR (6-7); Honesdale (9-2); Old Forge (9-4); Pittston Area (8-5); Wallenpaupack (9-4).





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