PIAA basketball: Wyoming Seminary boys advance; Holy Redeemer beaten at the buzzer

By Tom Robinson - For Times Leader
Wyoming Seminary’s Todd Phillips goes in for two points against Mastery Charter South Saturday in Wilkes-Barre. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Wyoming Seminary’s Jeremy Callahan, left, drives to the hoop ahead of Master Charter South’s Ebrima Kora in PIAA Class 3A boys basketball opening round action at Wilkes University’s Marts Center in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Wyoming Seminary’s Nick Ganter shoots ahead of Master Charter South’s Hamid Gindraw in PIAA Class 3A boys basketball in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Wyoming Seminary’s Dimitri Gnall, left, goes to the hoop ahead of Mastery Charter South defender Ebrima Kora in PIAA Class 3A boys basketball action Saturday in Wilkes-Barre. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Wyoming Seminary’s Todd Phillips, right, drives the baseline against Mastery Charter South’s Deion Harris in PIAA Class 3A boys opening round basketball action Saturday in Wilkes-Barre. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE – When time counting down eventually became an ally, Wyoming Seminary used it expertly, protecting the ball until Mastery Charter South fouled, then converting enough free throws to gradually expand a lead.

Two plays when the Blue Knights were fighting the clock, however, were instrumental in getting Wyoming Seminary into position to excel in its return to PIAA state play for the first time in 26 years.

Jeremy Callahan and Dimitri Gnall each made buzzer-beating plays in the first half and finished as their team’s top scorers Saturday when the Blue Knights defeated Mastery Charter South from Philadelphia 62-47 at Wilkes University.

District 2 champion Wyoming Seminary (22-4) advances into the second round of the Class 3A tournament Wednesday against defending state champion Neumann-Goretti (19-6). The District 1 champion opened its title defense Saturday with an 80-59 victory over Steelton-Highspire.

Callahan scored 21 points, including a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer.

Gnall added 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. He raced up floor to score on a strong drive to the basket just before the first-quarter buzzer sounded, giving Wyoming Seminary a 17-13 lead.

“That was great athleticism by him and great time-recognition,” Wyoming Seminary coach C.J. Kersey said.

Gnall’s basket followed a Callahan 3-pointer as the Blue Knights scored the last five points of the first quarter. They kept going with the first eight of the second quarter for a 25-13 lead before the Cougars scored again with 3:30 left in the half.

Mastery Charter South kept battling but never got closer than nine.

Callahan had eight points in a span of 1:47 to end the first half and start the second. It was part of a 10-4 run to a 39-24 lead and included a 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer.

Tyler Maddock faced heavy defensive pressure at the point, but cleared himself for one of five assists, getting the ball to Callahan wide open on the right wing with just enough time left to launch the shot.

“Our guards did a great job of recognizing Jeremy was open and making the extra pass,” Kersey said. “He’s a kid who can really shoot the ball, but this year hasn’t scored as much as he did last year. It’s not because he’s not capable. We’ve got a little more balance on our team, but tonight, we really needed him to hit some big shots and he stepped up.

“At the end of the second quarter, Tyler made a great extra pass to get Jeremy open.”

With the information he was able to gather on a new opponent, Kersey gave his team three keys going into the state opener — taking care of the ball with a disciplined offensive approach, eliminate transition baskets and keep Mastery Charter South off the offensive boards.

The Blue Knights committed just 10 turnovers, gave up only eight points in transition and held the Cougars to four offensive rebounds, only one of which was converted into a basket.

“I thought our guys did a really good job of executing the things we talked about going into the game,” Kersey said.

When the Cougars could only take the ball away twice in the entire fourth quarter, they wound up having three players foul out while the Blue Knights were shooting 12-for-17 from the line in the last 4:24.

Vincent Boykin had 18 points and Deion Harris hit his first six shots while adding 12 for Mastery Charter South.

Loyalsock 62, Holy Redeemer 60

Holy Redeemer’s season came to a heartbreaking end as Loyalsock’s Gerald Ross hit a jumper at the buzzer to eliminate the Royals from the PIAA Class 3A playoffs.

Ross’ buzzer-beater sent District 4 runner-up Loyalsock (21-7) to Wednesday’s second round where the Lancers will play D1 champion Valley Forge (24-6). Valley Forge defeated D12 fifth seed Penn Treaty 80-60 in its first round game.

D2 runner-up Redeemer ended its season at 18-8.

Redeemer led 47-41 entering the fourth quarter, but Loyalsock managed to wrestle the lead away and take a 59-55 advantage with under a minute left. Joey Judge moved the Royals within 59-58 with a 3-pointer and later tied the game 60-60 with a bucket with 25 ticks remaining.

Loyalsock wore down the clock to 2.9 seconds before calling a timeout and setting up the game-winner by Ross, who led all scorers with 23 points.

Collin Cook and Nick Prociak led Redeemer with 15 points each. Derek Answini scored 12 on four 3-pointers. Judge finished with nine.

PIAA Class 3A first round

Wyoming Seminary 62, Mastery Charter South 47

MASTERY CHARTER SOUTH (47) — Deion Harris 6 0-0 12, Hamid Gindraw 1 1-2 3, Vincent Boykin 8 0-0 18, Miles Middleton 3 0-0 7, Jalen Watkins 2 1-4 5, Ebrima Kora 0 0-0 0, Kyree Monroe 1 0-0 2, Khaoeeo Bailey-Smith 0 0-0 0, Dajaun Barr 0 0-0 0, Nyseam Starks 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 2-6 47.

WYOMING SEMINARY (62) — Tyler Maddock 0 4-6 4, Todd Phillips 3 2-5 8, Jeremy Callahan 6 5-6 21, Dimitri Gnall 4 4-6 13, Nicholas Ganter 2 2-3 6, Ethan Meuser 0 0-1 0, Jake Koretz 3 2-2 9, Nicolas Bufalino 0 0-0 0, Gavin Flanley 0 1-2 1, Andrew Maddock 0 0-0 0, Alex Meuser 0 0-0 0, Aidan Murphy 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 20-31 62.

Mastery Charter`13`9`11`14 — 47

Wyo. Seminary`17`19`10`16 — 62

Three-point goals — MCS 3 (Boykin 2, Middleton), WS 6 (Callahan 4, Gnall, Koretz).

Loyalsock 62, Holy Redeemer 60

HOLY REDEEMER (60) — Bryce Yencha 2 1-2 5, Derek Answini 4 0-0 12, Joey Judge 3 2-4 9, Jake Adonizio 0 0-0 0, JD Turosky 2 0-2 4, Collin Cook 5 4-5 15, Sean Wills 0 0-0 0, Nick Prociak 6 3-5 15. Totals 22 10-18 60.

LOYALSOCK (62) — Brandon Bauman 2 0-0 6, Gerald Ross 9 1-2 23, Collin Graver 0 0-0 0, Anthony Pastore 2 0-0 5, Connor Watkins 2 0-0 5, Mitch Klingerman 3 0-0 7, Bam Birma 0 2-5 2, R.Watkins 0 0-0 0, Adrian Gair 4 2-3 11. Totals 22 5-10 62.

Holy Redeemer`9`20`18`13 — 60

Loyalsock`11`11`19`21 — 62

Three-point goals — HR 6 (Answini 4, Judge, Cook), LOY 10 (Bauman 2, Ross 4, Pastore, C.Watkins, Klingerman, Gair).

Wyoming Seminary’s Todd Phillips goes in for two points against Mastery Charter South Saturday in Wilkes-Barre.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_TTL031118HSBB-Sem-Mastery_2.jpgWyoming Seminary’s Todd Phillips goes in for two points against Mastery Charter South Saturday in Wilkes-Barre. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Wyoming Seminary’s Jeremy Callahan, left, drives to the hoop ahead of Master Charter South’s Ebrima Kora in PIAA Class 3A boys basketball opening round action at Wilkes University’s Marts Center in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_TTL031118HSBB-Sem-Mastery_1.jpgWyoming Seminary’s Jeremy Callahan, left, drives to the hoop ahead of Master Charter South’s Ebrima Kora in PIAA Class 3A boys basketball opening round action at Wilkes University’s Marts Center in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Wyoming Seminary’s Nick Ganter shoots ahead of Master Charter South’s Hamid Gindraw in PIAA Class 3A boys basketball in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_TTL031118HSBB-Sem-Mastery_3.jpgWyoming Seminary’s Nick Ganter shoots ahead of Master Charter South’s Hamid Gindraw in PIAA Class 3A boys basketball in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Wyoming Seminary’s Dimitri Gnall, left, goes to the hoop ahead of Mastery Charter South defender Ebrima Kora in PIAA Class 3A boys basketball action Saturday in Wilkes-Barre.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_TTL031118HSBB-Sem-Mastery_4.jpgWyoming Seminary’s Dimitri Gnall, left, goes to the hoop ahead of Mastery Charter South defender Ebrima Kora in PIAA Class 3A boys basketball action Saturday in Wilkes-Barre. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Wyoming Seminary’s Todd Phillips, right, drives the baseline against Mastery Charter South’s Deion Harris in PIAA Class 3A boys opening round basketball action Saturday in Wilkes-Barre.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_TTL031118HSBB-Sem-Mastery_5.jpgWyoming Seminary’s Todd Phillips, right, drives the baseline against Mastery Charter South’s Deion Harris in PIAA Class 3A boys opening round basketball action Saturday in Wilkes-Barre. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Sem wins opener, gets defending 3A champ next

By Tom Robinson

For Times Leader

Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLsports

Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLsports