BY JOBY FAWCETT
Colby Major made up for lost time and kept his final season alive.
Facing a playoff elimination game, the ailing senior shrugged off a sore ankle that sidelined him late in the regular season and scored 26 points with six assists to lead ninth-ranked Montrose to a 74-60 win over 10th-rankedBlue Ridgeon Monday night.
Montrose (18-7) advanced to the Lackawanna Class AA play-in final againstDunmorethat will determine the No. 4 and No. 5 seed for the District 2 playoffs.
“This is awesome,” Major said. “I love getting the chance to get to play in the District 2 playoffs.”
Montrose, which lost two of its last three games, ran an efficient offense that resulted in good looks at the basket. The Meteors finished plays going 26 of 39 from the floor in the game, but really burned the nets by hitting 10 of 13 in the third.
During the first five minutes of the second half, Montrose made its first six shots while building a 39-29 advantage. Senior Cory Adams hit all four of his shots, giving him eight of his 12 points.
“I don’t think of myself as a scorer,” said Adams, who made 6 of 9 shots overall. “When I help, it helps the team. That gives us a little boost.
“Coach (Todd Smith) told me to take the ball to the basket and that’s what I tried to do.”
Montrose finished the quarter strong as Cameron Dean scored five of his 15 points as the lead stood at 48-38.
Also battling a sore ankle, Dean established himself early in the game by crashing the boards and dishing out assists, then became a factor in the fourth quarter at the foul line. He hit 6 of 7 and had five of his 16 rebounds as the Meteors iced the game.
“I had to establish myself inside to get my teammates shots and distribute the ball,” Dean said. “I started off the season well at the free-throw line and I had a little rough spot with free throws, but I guess I got it back.
“It’s great to be on our way to districts.”
In the first half, the Lackawanna DivisionIIIrivals went at each other in their fourth meeting of the season with high intensity.
Montrose built a 10-4 lead in the first six minutes, but Blue Ridge’s Alex Cardoza rallied his team to within 12-10 by the end.
Then in the second,Blue Ridge(15-8) grabbed some of the momentum. Jesse Pruitt, Cardoza and Sawyer Dearborn all had 3-pointers that gave the Raiders a 22-20 lead and countered Montrose’s advantage in the paint as Tom Lewis and Major had four points each.
But a late 7-2 surge, highlighted by a 23-foot 3-pointer and a three-point play from Major, put the Meteors in charge, 27-24, and that energy carried to the third when they outscoredBlue Ridge, 21-14.
Montrose made only four field goals in the fourth, but seven free throws from Major and Dean, and five more from Jordan Smith staved off any rally by the Raiders.
“Any time you get behind them, they do a great job of spreading it out and they finish,”Blue Ridgecoach Brian Woodruff said. “They are very disciplined. You have to be right with them or leading if you want to beat them in the fourth quarter.”
On Saturday, the Montrose boys’ took a 60-39 win overMountain Viewat home in the District II Class AA play-in tournament paced by Tom Lewis who scored 21 points and Major who added 13 while Dean chipped in seven.
Mountain View, whose season was ended, was paced by Joel Madas with 17 points and Nate Goodenough with 10.
A day before, Montrose faced a 59-48 loss from Lakeland at home in the Lackawanna League DivisionIIIall-season championship game, led by Lewis with 22 points while Dean had 11 and Major chipped in seven.
Earlier in the week the Meteors took a 49-30 loss fromLakelandin theLackawannaLeague DivisionIIIsecond-half championship game on Tuesday.
TheBlue Ridgeboys’ basketball team defeated Mid Valley, 72-63, on the road Saturday in the District II Class AA play-in game to advance to the semifinals against Montrose on Monday night, where the Raiders ended their season with a 74-60 loss.
On Saturday, Sawyer Dearborn hit six three-pointers and scored a game-high 34 points to leadBlue Ridgein the victory.
Blue Ridgefell behind early as Mid Valley outscored them 15-9 in the first, however,Blue Ridgewent into halftime with a 34-31 lead after a 25-16 run in the second.
In the second half, Mid Valley pacedBlue Ridge19-16 in the third, but the Raiders capped the win with a 22-13 run in the fourth quarter.
Jesse Pruitt added 16 points for the Raiders while Alex Cardoza had 10 and Chris Carlsen chipped in six points.
Earlier in the week,Blue Ridgegrabbed a 59-44 victory overForestCityon the road on Tuesday night.
The Raiders got ahead 10-6 after the first and held a 25-16 lead over the Foresters by halftime.
In the second half,Blue RidgepacedForestCity18-16 in the third and capped off the win with a 16-12 run in the fourth.
Pruitt had six three-pointers and finished with a game-high 29 points to lead the Raiders while Cardoza added 14 points and Carlsen chipped in 10.
David Cavalieri ledForestCitywith 13 points while Matt Nevins had nine.
TheElkLakeboys’ basketball team was handed a 43-32 loss atDunmorein a District II Class AA play-in game, after the team took a convincing 70-44 victory overMountain Viewat home on Tuesday night.
AgainstDunmore, the season-ended game started with the Bucks taking a 12-4 lead over the Warriors in the first quarter.Dunmorethen went on to lead the Warriors 16-10 at halftime.
ElkLakecame out in the third quarter to come within one point of Dunmore with a 17-12 run in the third, however, the Bucks capped the win with a 14-5 run in the fourth.
ElkLakewas paced by Tanner Reyan with nine points while Matt Woolcock had seven, Rob Heft scored five and Ryan Wilson chipped in four.
On Tuesday, the Warriors paced the Eagles through the first quarter with a 14-5 run, before Mountain View would outscored the Warriors 19-15 in the second to make it a 29-24 Warrior game at halftime.
In the second half,ElkLakecame out to score 17 points in the third quarter and capped off the game with a 24-13 run in the fourth.
Heft scored 20 points to paceElkLakewhile Matt Cuomo added 13, Reyan had 12 and Woolcock and Wilson each scored seven.
Mountain Viewwas paced by Nate Goodenough with 18 points, including five three-pointers, while Mike Wakalowski chipped in six.
The Susquehanna boys’ basketball team took a 70-63 non-league win over Berwick on Saturday as Andrzej Tomczyk scored his 1,000th career point.
Tomczyk posted 26 points to reach the milestone on a free-throw with 35 seconds remaining in the game.
Cole Mallery had 29 points and 11 rebounds for the Sabers as they played to a 37-34 lead by halftime and then capped the game after a 15-11 scoring run in the fourth quarter.
On Tuesday, Susquehanna faced a 68-43 loss from Lackawanna Trail’s Lions on the road.
Trail got ahead early with a 24-14 run in the first quarter and controlled the game 33-25 by halftime.
In the second half, the Lions came out to pace Susquehanna 14-6 in the third and then pinned the loss on the Sabers with a 21-12 run in the fourth quarter.
Susquehanna was paced by Mallery with 12 points while Tomczyk scored nine and Austin Cowperthwait chipped in eight.