EXETER – Nathan Schlichter looks forward to the day when he can remove the “we’re very young” excuse from his postgame analysis.
For now, the explanation remains valid and the Lake-Lehman boys basketball coach has to look for positive signs that his team is making improvements.
Bench play provided that encouragement Wednesday night when the visiting Black Knights battled back in the second half before falling to unbeaten Wyoming Area, 62-43, in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2-3 crossover game.
The bench combination of Alex Magdalinski, Ibrahim Dabsheh and Trey Borger outproduced the five-man Wyoming Area crew of reserves 19-3 in points, 9-4 in rebounds and 2-1 in blocked shots.
Their efforts were largely responsible for Lake-Lehman cutting a 27-point deficit in the third quarter to 11 points early enough in the fourth to force Wyoming Area coach Pete Moses into using timeouts to make adjustments and stop the momentum swing.
Schlichter altered Magdalinski’s role when the sophomore forward consistently seemed to play better upon re-entering the game than he did when it started.
“He’s actually playing more than he probably was before because he’s playing better,” Schlichter said. “He likes it and it’s been a benefit for us.”
Magdalinski had three of his five points and four of his five rebounds in the second quarter when Lake-Lehman settled down from a 17-2 Wyoming Area start to remain within 31-14 at the half.
Dabsheh sparked the second-half rally. He hit four straight 3-pointers in a span of 4:10 to cut a 46-22 deficit late in the third quarter to 52-38 with 5:30 left.
“Up at the Honesdale Tournament, he started to hit,” Schlichter said of Dabsheh, who had three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter of the consolation game that was the team’s last previous outing. “He was doing great in the preseason, then he kind of went on a cold stretch.
“ … He’s very streaky.”
The Black Knights extended the run to 24-8 to get within 54-43 midway through the fourth before Wyoming Area regained command.
Max Paczewski, who had five assists, and C.J. Cercone, who had seven rebounds, each added seven points for the Black Knights.
Paczewski had four of his assists, beating Wyoming Area’s pressure and hitting open 3-point shooters, during the second-half rally.
Lake-Lehman fell to 0-2 in the division and 1-7 overall.
Alex Charlton and Joey Parsons led the way Wednesday when Dallas remained unbeaten in WVC Division 1 play with a victory at Crestwood.
Charlton scored 13 of his game-high 20 points and Parsons had nine of his 19 to help the Mountaineers break out to a 25-6 lead after one quarter.
Crestwood closed to within 35-26 at halftime, but then the Dallas defense took over.
The Mountaineers held Camden Boris scoreless after he had 11 points in the first half. They limited Sean Murphy to a 3-pointer after he had scored eight points in the second quarter.
The Mountaineers opened the lead back to 50-32 after three quarters. They matched defending champion Hazleton Area at 2-0 in the division.
Holy Redeemer 40
The Tigers scored the final 11 points to defeat the defending Division 3 champions and improve to 2-0 with the home win in the crossover game.
Tyler Faux scored 21 points, hitting four of Tunkhannock’s seven 3-pointers.
Tunkhannock shared the Division 2 lead through two games with Meyers, Nanticoke and Wyoming Area.
Bethlehem Liberty 66
Dallas finished third in the Patriot Holiday Tournament in Bethlehem with the Dec. 29 victory.
Dallas suffered its first loss of the season Dec. 28 in the opening round of the Patriot Holiday Tournament in Bethlehem when its rally from a 35-16 halftime deficit fell short.
Woodson, the eventual tournament champion from Fairfax, Va., is 7-4.
Wallenpaupack posted the Dec. 28 win in the consolation game of the Honesdale Jaycees Tournament.
The Buckhorns allowed just five field goals in the first 24 minutes while opening leads of 14-3 after one quarter, 28-9 at halftime and 45-14 through three quarters.
Dabsheh scored a team-high nine points on his fourth-quarter 3-pointers.
Corrina Scoblick and Savannah Purdy scored 18 points each to lead Lake-Lehman to the win in the Tuesday WVC Division 2-3 crossover game.
Lake-Lehman is one of five Division 2 teams to start 2-0.
Madison Borum added 14 in the win.
The Black Knights used an 18-1 third quarter to extend a 29-20 halftime lead to 47-21.
Abby Ritz scored 25 points Tuesday as Tunkhannock joined the WVC Division 2 teams at 2-0.
Sam Generotti added 14 points and Kelly Barber had 13 for the Lady Tigers, who opened a 20-4 lead after one quarter.
Conestoga Valley Holiday Classic
Steven Newell and Shawn Henniger led the way for Dallas, each reaching the championship match, when the Mountaineers finished 17th of 26 teams in the Dec. 29-30 tournament.
Newell lost in overtime in the 170-pound final. Henninger was pinned at 285.
Kade Kravits placed fifth at 145.
Lake-Lehman had four wrestlers place in the top eight of the same tournament and wound up 14th in the team standings.
Robert Long (126) and Kaleb Konigus (285) led the Black Knights by finishing third.
Nick Zaboski was fifth at 160 and Hunter Burke was eighth at 138.
Tunkhannock Kiwanis Tournament
Sam Rice won the 195-pound title to lead Tunkhannock to the championship of its own tournament for the second time in three years.
The Tigers led the 26-team field, outscoring West Scranton, 165 ½-150, at the top of the standings.
Rice was one of four finalists for Tunkhannock.
Dave Evans (106), Tom Traver (138) and Connor Munley (182) each dropped low-scoring, one-point decisions in the finals to finish second.
David Gavek (120) and Gavin D’Amato (132) were each fourth while Ethan Munley (126) took seventh and Matt Rosentel (113) eighth.