Boys basketball: Jawane Buckner leads Meyers past Holy Redeemer

By John Erzar - [email protected]
Meyers’ Cole Wallker goes up for a shot against Holy Redeemer’s J.D. Turosky during Wednesday’s game. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Meyers’ Kendall Brewster (4) tries to block a shot by Holy Redeemer’s Collin Cook. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Holy Redeemer’s Joey Judge shoots over Meyers’ Jawane Buckner. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Meyers’ Jawane Buckner scored 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in Wednesday’s victory over Holy Redeemer. - - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — Wednesday night’s 48-40 victory over Holy Redeemer pretty much epitomized the Meyers Mohawks’ season thus far.

At times, they looked formidable. At others, they looked quite shaky. But through it all, they had someone able to keep things moving along — senior guard Jawane Buckner.

Buckner, the Times Leader Player of the Year last season, scored 27 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the Wyoming Valley Conference boys basketball interdivisional game.

Meyers (6-2 Div. 2, 7-6 overall) moved into a first-place tie with Nanticoke (6-2, 10-3) in Division 2. Redeemer fell to 5-3 in Division 3 and 9-4 overall, slipping farther away from first-place Wyoming Seminary (7-2 Div. 3, 12-3).

Meyers has won consecutive WVC divisional titles, but this season presented a challenge. Four starters graduated and two other players expected to contribute moved away. That left Buckner as the lone player with varsity experience.

“Since the beginning of the season, we’ve gotten way better,” Buckner said. “The beginning of the season, we were just young with new players. But the coach, he’s done a good job putting in good offenses we could run with the size we have. And get me the ball, get me open.”

Buckner helped shut off a Redeemer rally attempt that saw the Royals close within 30-25 entering the fourth quarter.

After Najese Hood hit a short jumper to start the final period, Buckner followed with a drive where he pump faked in mid-air before shooting. Then came a 3-pointer and an inside basket from his hands as the Mohawks used a 9-0 run to open a double-digit lead.

Buckner was the only senior on the court for Meyers, which used two freshmen extensively during the game.

“It’s a little farther ahead than frankly we thought it would be,” Meyers coach Pat Toole said. “But I think that’s because of the fact that in most games we’re playing I have the best player on the floor. (Buckner) creates for other guys and now kids are getting comfortable in taking shots and doing some things.”

Meyers was building a comfortable lead, up 25-15 at halftime, only to have things go somewhat awry in the third quarter.

After committing two turnovers in the first half, the Mohawks committed six in the third quarter. They went without a field goal until Buckner nailed a 3-pointer at 1:37. Until then, their lone two points came on free throws by freshman Blake Masker.

Redeemer’s problem, though, was it didn’t straighten out its shooting. The Royals continued to struggle from the field, with big man J.D. Turosky the only player showing any consistency.

The result — Redeemer managed to shave just five points off the deficit.

“At that point, our defense picked up a little bit and I thought we had them a little rattled,” Redeemer coach Paul Guido said. “We were trying to get it tied at the end of the quarter, and we ended up down five. We didn’t get enough out of that quarter with that little burst we had to shorten the gap.”

Buckner then led Meyers’ spurt to start the fourth and keep Redeemer at arm’s length.

Turosky and Collin Cook finished with double-doubles for Redeemer. Turosky had 16 points and 14 rebounds. Cook had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Hazleton Area 75, GAR 50

Hazleton Area used a 48-point second half to pull away from GAR.

Jeff Planutis scored 25 to pace the victory. Josh Samec and Sparky Wolk added 13 each.

Will Johnson had 21 for GAR.

Wyoming Seminary 77, Northwest 64

Dimitri Gnall and Nick Ganter helped the Blue Knights build a 21-point halftime lead, then they hung on despite Northwest’s 26-pointfourth quarter.

Gnall scored 12 of his game-high 22 points over the first two quarters and Ganter hit the first eight of his 14 as Sem stormed intointermission with a 40-19 lead. Jeremy Callahan finished with 13 points in the victory.

Sam Saxe led the Rangers with 21 points, while Jaxson Yaple added 17 and Bryce Koser had 11.

Berwick 68, Pittston Area 64, OT

Damon Beckhorn scored the final six of his 21 points in overtime, rallying the Bulldogs to victory.

Alec Markle hit 10 of his game-high 26 points in the fourth quarter and the extra session and Ken Marshman finished with 12 points forBerwick.

Brian Miller paced Pittston Area with 23 points.

Meyers 48, Holy Redeemer 40

MEYERS (48) — Kendall Brewster 3 0-0 7, Keegan Brewster 2 0-0 5, Cole Walker 0 0-2 0, Jawane Buckner 9 6-6 27, Najese 2 0-2 4, Blake Masker 1 3-4 5, Tanner Nilon 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 9-14 48.

HOLY REDEEMER (40) — Bryce Yencha 0 0-0 0, Joey Judge 2 2-4 6, JD Turosky 7 2-6 16, Collin Cook 4 2-2 11, Sean Wills 0 0-0 0, Derek Answini 0 0-0 0, Eli Tucker 0 0-0 0, Jake Adonizio 2 0-1 7, Chris Banas 0 0-0 0.Totals 16 6-12 40.

Meyers`16`9`5`18—

Holy Redeemer`9`6`10`15 — 40

Three-point goals — MEY 5 (Ken.Brewster, Kee.Brewster, Buckner 3); HR 2 (Adonizio, Cook).

Hazleton Area 75, GAR 50

HAZLETON AREA (75) — Jeff Planutis 12 0-0 25, Josh Samec 5 3-3 13, Sparky Wolk 5 0-1 13, Alex D’Angelo 2 0-0 6, Da’Mir Faison 2 1-2 5, Jecxander Moronta 1 0-0 3, Kyle Franek 1 0-0 2, Joe Grula 0 0-0 0, Scott Shamany 0 0-0 0, Nikolas Norman 0 0-0 0, Ramddy Melendez 0 0-0 0, Warren Seigendall 0 0-0 0. Totals 32 6-8 75.

GAR (50) — Will Johnson 8 4-6 21, Tyler Young 4 0-0 9, Simon Peter 3 0-0 8, Jared O’Day 3 0-0 6, Kahlil White 1 0-0 2, Jean Carlos-Rodriguez 1 0-0 2, Curon Smith 1 0-0 2, Aaron Farrell 0 0-0 0, Curtis Smith 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 4-6 50.

Hazleton Area`13`16`24`24 — 75

GAR`9`16`9`16 — 50

Three-point goals — HAZ 7 (Wolk 3, D’Angelo 2, Planutis 1, Moronta 1); GAR 4 (Peter 2, Johnson 1, Young 1).

Wyoming Seminary 77, Northwest 64

NORTHWEST (64) — Matt Pierontoni 1 0-0 3, Tyler Stevens 3 0-0 8, Sam Saxe 5 9-10 21, Matt Saxe 1 0-0 3, Jaxson Yaple 5 3-4 17, Bryce Koser 4 3-4 11, Walker Yaple 0 1-2 1. Totals 19 16-20 64.

WYOMING SEM (77) — Tyler Maddock 1 0-0 3, Jake Koretz 2 3-4 9, Nic Bufalino 0 2-2 2, Alex Meuser 0 0-0 0, Todd Phillips 3 2-4 10, Jeremy Callahan 2 7-11 13, Ethan Meuser 2 1-2 5, Dimitri Gnall 9 4-4 22, Nick Ganter 5 4-4 14, Dan Paglia 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 23-33 77.

Northwest`8`11`19`26 — 64

Wyoming Sem`14`26`19`18 — 77

Three-point goals — NW 10 (Yaple 4, Stevens 2, S. Saxe 2, M. Saxe, Pierontoni); SEM 6 (Koretz 2, Phillips 2, Callahan 2).

Berwick 68, Pittston Area 64 (OT)

PITTSTON AREA (64) — Sevion Leak 0 0-0 0, Trevor Tigue 0 0-0 0, Naseem Guillaume 3 6-8 12, Logan Booth 5 1-4 13, Keemar Woodruff 0 2-2 2, Brennan Higgins 4 0-2 8, Mike George 0 0-0 0, Andrew Krawczyk 2 0-0 6, Brian Miller 11 0-2 23. Totals 25 9-18 64.

BERWICK (68) — Ken Marshman 3 5-7 12, Alec Markle 9 3-3 26, Damon Beckhorn 7 4-6 21, Connor Hanson 0 0-0 0, Zach Evans 1 0-0 2, Denver Knorr 0 1-2 1, Kevin Tanribilir 0 0-0 0, Joe Norce 3 0-4 6. Totals 23 13-22 68.

Pittston Area`13`10`16`17`8 — 64

Berwick`13`10`17`16`12 — 68

Three-point goals — PA 5 (Krawczyk 2, Booth 2, Miller); BER 9 (Markle 5, Beckhorn 3, Marshman).

Meyers’ Cole Wallker goes up for a shot against Holy Redeemer’s J.D. Turosky during Wednesday’s game.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_TTL0122518Meyers-Redeemer1.jpgMeyers’ Cole Wallker goes up for a shot against Holy Redeemer’s J.D. Turosky during Wednesday’s game. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Meyers’ Kendall Brewster (4) tries to block a shot by Holy Redeemer’s Collin Cook.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_TTL0122518Meyers-Redeemer3.jpgMeyers’ Kendall Brewster (4) tries to block a shot by Holy Redeemer’s Collin Cook. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Holy Redeemer’s Joey Judge shoots over Meyers’ Jawane Buckner.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_TTL0122518Meyers-Redeemer4.jpgHoly Redeemer’s Joey Judge shoots over Meyers’ Jawane Buckner. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Meyers’ Jawane Buckner scored 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in Wednesday’s victory over Holy Redeemer.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_TTL0122518Meyers-Redeemer2.jpgMeyers’ Jawane Buckner scored 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in Wednesday’s victory over Holy Redeemer. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

By John Erzar

[email protected]

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar