BY JOBY FAWCETT
With an opportunity to seize first place in Division III of the Lackawanna League, Colby Major made sure it didn’t slip through his team’s fingers.
Playing with tenacity on defense, Montrose rolled to a convincing 66-42 win over Blue Ridge on Thursday night in a battle of boys basketball teams that were involved in a playoff for the first-half title.
Limiting the Raiders to 23 percent shooting, and fueled by 22 points from Major, Montrose improved to 3-0 in the second half, the lone remaining unbeaten in Division III.
“We played as a team and played great defense,” Major said. “That’s all that we need to win games.”
In the first half, Montrose (13-5 overall) dominated the game defensively, challenging every shot and clogging up the passing lanes. The Meteors also controlled the glass, grabbing 28 rebounds while building a 28-13 lead.
“The first half was rough for us,” Blue Ridge coach Brian Woodruff said. “We scored 13 points, and we average about 60 a game. That was a big hole to try to climb out of.
“They are a tough matchup for us because they have size.”
When Blue Ridge (2-1 in the division, 10-8 overall) made its only run at the Meteors, the defense tightened up. A Matt Principe 3-pointer pulled the Raiders to within 48-37 with 3:30 to play when Montrose coach Todd Smith called a timeout.
Returning the floor more intense, Montrose went on a 16-2 tear over the next two-and-a-half minutes and enjoyed a 64-39 advantage.
Tom Lewis scored nine of his 13 points during the run, which featured several fastbreaks and the Meteors taking advantage of the extra pass.
“We just got some fastbreaks going and we started playing better,” said Lewis, who missed some time with a knee injury. “This is a big win because they are one of the best teams in the division.”
Montrose ended the game holding a 53-23 advantage in rebounding as Major and Steve Squires each hauled in 11.
“They are a scrappy team and they go after the ball,” said Squires, who also added eight points. “We knew if we kept them off the boards, we could win.”
Alex Cardoza paced Blue Ridge with 18 points. However, the Raiders never found the range, making 6 of 22 from beyond the 3-point line.
On Friday night, the Eagles defeated Mountain View by a margin of 67-39 at home.
The Meteors paced Mountain View 13-12 in the first quarter and 20-8 in the second to hold a 33-20 lead at halftime.
After the break, the Meteors dominated scoring with a 27-7 rally over Mountain View, and despite a 12-7 run by the Eagles in the fourth, Montrose took the win.
Colby Major scored 16 points and Cameron Dean added 14 to lead Montrose, while Bill Stranburg chipped in with 13 points.
Julian Williams led Mountain View with nine points while Chris Herman scored eight.
The Blue Ridge boys’ basketball team grabbed a 71-63 overtime win over Lakeland at home on Friday night.
The Raiders paced Lakeland 21-18 in the first quarter, before the Chiefs would outscore Blue Ridge 16-13 in the second to tie the game up at 34 apiece by halftime.
After the break, Lakeland outscored the Raiders 20-10 in the third, but despite the deficit Blue Ridge paced Lakeland 18-8 in the fourth to send the game into overtime.
In extra minutes, Blue Ridge paced scoring efforts 9-1 to take home the victory.
Sawyer Dearborn hit six three-pointers and scored a career-high 32 points for Blue Ridge while Alex Cardoza had 13 assists and four steals.
Dylan Pruitt dropped in 10 points while Matt Principe added nine for the Raiders.
Elk Lake’s boys’ basketball team edged out Susquehanna 39-38 on the road on Friday night in a Division III matchup.
The Warriors fell behind early as Susquehanna outscored them 11-10 in the first, however, Elk Lake led scoring 11-10 in the second to see the game tied at 21 by the half.
After the break, Elk Lake edged out Susquehanna, 8-7, in the fourth, and after each team scored 10 in the fourth, the Warriors took the win.
Ryan Wilson and Mark Bush led Elk Lake with 10 points apiece while Bryan Grosvenor and Joe Woolcock each added five.
Susquehanna was paced by Andrzej Tomczyk with 13 points while Cole Mallery added 12.
Susquehanna’s Saber boys’ basketball team grabbed a 71-50 victory over the Mountain View Eagles at home on Thursday night.
The Sabers outscored the Eagles 16-6 in the first quarter and went on a 20-15 run in the second to hold a 36-21 lead at halftime.
After the break, the Sabers outscored the Eagles 20-3 in the third, and despite a 28-15 rally by the Eagles in the fourth, Susquehanna picked up the win.
Andrzej Tomczyk scored a game-high 25 points and Cole Mallery had 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Sabers.
Julian Williams and Chris Herman scored eight points apiece to pace the Eagles.
The Forest City boys’ basketball team was handed a 47-24 loss at Lackawanna Trail on Friday night.
Lackawanna Trail led the scoring effort, 8-3, in the first quarter before posting a 12-10 run over the Foresters in the second to lead 20-13 at halftime.
After the break, the Lions came out to lead scoring 14-6 in the third before capping the win with a 13-5 scoring run in the fourth quarter.
Forest City was paced by Joe Caruso, who had 15 points, while Zack Mendoza dropped in seven points.