Hopkins, Planutis duo sparks Team White win

By Tom Fox - For Times Leader | April 1st, 2016 10:41 pm

By Tom Fox

For Times Leader

Coughlin’s Jose Rivera of Division 1, left, drives past Wyoming Area’s Anthony Shaver of Division 2-3 in the 47th annual Dr. George P. Moses WVC Boys All-Star Classic at Holy Redeemer High School in Wilkes-Barre on Friday night.
http://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_BoysAllStarBB_1.jpgCoughlin’s Jose Rivera of Division 1, left, drives past Wyoming Area’s Anthony Shaver of Division 2-3 in the 47th annual Dr. George P. Moses WVC Boys All-Star Classic at Holy Redeemer High School in Wilkes-Barre on Friday night.
Hazleton Area’s Bobby Planutis of Division 1, left, drives past Holy Redeemer’s Zachary Brennan of Division 2-3 in the 47th annual Dr. George P. Moses WVC Boys All-Star Classic at Holy Redeemer High School in Wilkes-Barre on Friday night.
http://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_BoysAllStarBB_2.jpgHazleton Area’s Bobby Planutis of Division 1, left, drives past Holy Redeemer’s Zachary Brennan of Division 2-3 in the 47th annual Dr. George P. Moses WVC Boys All-Star Classic at Holy Redeemer High School in Wilkes-Barre on Friday night.
Berwick’s Tyler Evans of Division 1 drives to the hoop in the 47th annual Dr. George P. Moses WVC Boys All-Star Classic at Holy Redeemer High School in Wilkes-Barre on Friday night.
http://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_BoysAllStarBB_3.jpgBerwick’s Tyler Evans of Division 1 drives to the hoop in the 47th annual Dr. George P. Moses WVC Boys All-Star Classic at Holy Redeemer High School in Wilkes-Barre on Friday night.

WILKES-BARRE — By watching them, you would never know that Robbie Hopkins and Bobby Planutis were on opposing teams in the regular season.

Yet, when they were on the fast break together, the two Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 players just meshed together.

Crestwood’s Hopkins threw a picturesque alley-opp pass for the Hazleton Area big man to slam home with authority, capping off a 61-point second half as Team White stormed past Team Blue, 95-82, in the annual Dr. George P. Moses Senior All-Star game Friday night at Holy Redeemer.

Planutis and GAR’s Dajon Rush were each named MVPs of their respective squads. Planutis finished with a game-high 17 points – 13 of those in the second half – while Rush had a team-high 10 for Team Blue.

Team White consisted of Division 1 teams Pittston Area, Crestwood, Valley West, Hazleton, Coughlin, Berwick, Tunkhannock and Dallas. Team Blue were made up from the Division 2 and Division 3 teams: Nanticoke, Wyoming Area, GAR, Hanover Area, Lake-Lehman, Redeemer, Meyers, Wyoming Seminary, Northwest Area and MMI.

“It’s fun to get together with these seniors for one last time,” Planutis said. “There are so many kids in this league that can really play.”

Really, it just took some time to shake off the rust.

But once Planutis did, he was spot-on.

Inside post moves. Uncontested lay-ups. Even a pull-up trifecta from the wing.

It was two consecutive buckets by Planutis and a wide-open 3-pointer from Crestwood’s Jason Klusewitz that gave Team White a 57-50 lead early in the second half.

“I just couldn’t get anything to fall in the first half,” Planutis said. “Once I got into a flow with the guys, everything seemed to go smooth. The dunk was just great. Dunking is the best.”

Maybe Team White just needed to knock the rust off the rims in the second half. And several dunks did just that.

Pittston Area’s Jordan Black dropped two through the nets in the first four minutes, and Crestwood’s Mendall Foreman followed suit, racking up six points in the final 20 minutes – all via tomahawk slams.

Black finished with 12 points – 10 in the second half.

“It’s an all-star game, and your last high school basketball game, so you want to make every minute count,” Black said. “It’s amazing. I got some dunks to fall in the second half, and that kind of got me into a rhythm.”

Team Blue tried to creep back into the game late.

An offensive rebound and putback by Nanticoke Area’s Brent Piontkowski, and a wing 3-pointer from Rush trimmed the White lead to 80-75.

Coughlin’s Devin Rajza cut the comeback hopes down quickly.

He hit three 3-pointers – all from almost the same exact spot – in the final 90 seconds. The Crusaders ended his night with 16 points.

“I knew that I could shoot like that. It just took some time to get back into the groove,” Rajza said. “My teammates kept telling me to shoot, so I did. I just had to get my form back, and make sure my feet were set. I couldn’t ask to go out in a better way.”

GAR’s Tino Altavilla, who won the 3-point contest at halftime, finished with nine points, while teammate Marquan Kemp and Meyers’ Ryan Wasley each added eight for Team Blue. Wyoming Area’s Anthony Shaver and Redeemer’s Zach Brennan each chipped in seven.

“I think once I started to relax in the 3-point contest and take my time, the shots started to fall,” Altavilla said. “I felt some pressure, but that kind of eased up once that first one fell down.”

The Crestwood trio of Foreman, Klusewitz and Hopkins had a combined 23 points for Team White.

Team White 95, Team Blue 82

Team White `34`61 – 95

Team Blue `36`46 – 82

Team White (95)

Marquise Anderscavage 1 0-0 2, Tony Maloney 2 0-0 5, Dylan Osticco 2 0-0 4, Jordan Black 6 0-0 12, Tyler Evans 1 1-2 3, Jose Rivera 2 0-0 5, Devin Rajza 6 0-0 14, Robbie Hopkins 3 0-0 8, Bobby Planutis 8 0-0 17, Josh Malkemes 0 0-0 0, Eli McAllister 2 0-0 5, Tanner Gattuso 0 0-0 0, Jason Klusewitz 3 0-0 7, Mendell Foreman 4 0-0 8, Max Melito 2 0-0 5.

3-point field goals: Rajza 4, Hopkins 2, Maloney 1, Rivera 1, Palnutis 1, McAllister 1, Klusewitz 1, Melito 1.

Team Blue (82)

Josh Stish 1 0-0 3, Scott Stout 2 0-0 6, Dajon Rush 4 0-0 10, Tino Altavilla 3 0-0 9, Nick Minich 2 0-0 4, Eddie Lukowski 0 0-0 0, Eddie Herbener 2 0-0 5, Patrick Ganter 2 0-0 4, Anthony Shaver 3 0-0 7, Zach Brennan 3 0-0 7, Brent Piontkowski 2 0-0 4, Ryan Wasley 4 0-0 8, Raheem Twyman 3 0-0 6, Marquan Kemp 4 0-0 8, Jeff Bevacqua 1 0-0 3.

3-point field goals: Altavilla 3, Rush 2, Stout 2, Stish 1, Herbener 1, Shaver 1, Brennan 1, Bevacqua 1.


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