Final push brings Warriors win

In a physical back and forth game coaches expect their lead players to make big plays and Susquehanna’s Mason Deakin and Elk Lake’s Rierdan Reyan didn’t disappoint.
Both players made key plays in the final 30 seconds of the boy’s final of the annual Susquehanna County Holiday Tournament held at Blue Ridge High School last week.
After Deakin slithered into the lane and brought the Saber faithful to their feet with a short jumper in the lane to give Susquehanna 54-53 lead, Reyan responded with the knockout punch.
On Elk Lake’s ensuing possession Reyan drove the baseline kissing a floater off the glass to put the Warriors up for good, and on the inbounds drew a player control foul on Deakin. A play that not only gave the Warriors back possession of the ball but also put Deakin on the bench with his fifth foul.
Nate Preston hit one of two foul shots for the final margin, and Susquehanna came down with a chance to tie or win the game with a three pointer, but with their point guard on the bench, Elk Lake’s intense pressure forced a pass that Reyan quickly jumped in front of and raced down the court as the final buzzer sounded.
Reyan, the Tournament MVP, finished with 18 points and was aided by Hunter Bomboy who finished with 14. Deakin joined Reyan on the All Tournament team and paced the Sabers with 22 points, and Bryce Baldwin chipped in with 12.
“It was a battle out there,” said Reyan. “Both teams were hustling and playing with intensity and getting after the ball.”
Warriors coach Rich Emmons was happy with his team’s start, something he said they have struggled with early in the season.
“Notoriously we’ve been slow in the first half, and I thought we out to a good first half, and that’s really the first we’ve done that this season,” said Emmons.
The first two quarters were a back and forth battle of short runs before Elk Lake sprung to a 37-29 halftime lead. They would extend that lead 43-32 in the third when Susquehanna Coach Lawrence Tompkins switched things up defensively employing a 2-3 zone to slow the Warriors down.
“We’re down and we needed to do something to change the course of the game,” said Tompkins. “Clearly the man wasn’t working….we thought we could do something to change the tempo and the flow of the game.”
Tompkins thought another adjustment that helped is when the Sabers went to a smaller lineup and spread the floor offensively.
“We played a couple guards a little more than usual and they responded with some great plays and gave us more than we expected,” Tompkins said.
Seniors Travis Craig and Alex McHugh found themselves on the floor much of the fourth quarter, and McHugh scored 8 of his 9 points between the third and fourth quarters.
“I thought that was a big key for them,” said Emmons. “We put so much focus on Bryce (Baldwin) and Deakin that a guy like McHugh comes in gets some penetration and knocks down a couple buckets, and we go from being up 10, to only being up two or four.”
Earlier in the day Montrose downed Blue Ridge 55-37 in the consolation game. Brennan Gilhool scored 18 points to pace Montrose and earn All Tournament selection, Evan Snyder added 10. Blue Ridge was paced by All Tourney selection Sam Cosmello who finished with 16.
All-Tournament Team
Reyan was selected as Tournament Most Valuable Players and was joined on the All Tournament team by teammate Joe McAleer, Susquehanna’s Deakin, Brennan Gilhool of Montrose, and Sam Cosmello, Blue Ridge
Preliminary Rounds
The first day of the tournament found Susquehanna defeating Montrose 50-44 in overtime. Deakin led the way with 18 points and McHugh added 10. Montrose was paced by Gilhool with 13 points and Tyler Rebello chipped in with 10.
Elk Lake defeated Blue Ridge 53-46 on its way to the Championship. Reyan led the way with 21 points and McAleer had 10. Kaleb Folk paced the Raiders with 15 points and Cosmello scored 13.

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