DV is tenacious against winning 'skyscrapers' from Scranton Prep

There were not many chances for a defensive rebound because Scranton seldom missed

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  • The opening jump: Leo O. Boyle, Scranton Prep (left), and Matt Campbell, Delaware Valley (Photo by Ken Hubeny Sr.)

  • Zach Klapak (Photo by Ken Hubeny Sr.)

  • Hassan Keys (Photo by Ken Hubeny Sr.)

  • Dylan Kelly (Photo by Ken Hubeny Sr.)

  • Clay Chelak (Photo by Ken Hubeny Sr.)

  • Clay Chelak (Photo by Ken Hubeny Sr.)

  • Tyler Magee (Photo by Ken Hubeny Sr.)

By Ken Hubeny Sr.

— On Feb. 6, Delaware Valley beat Honesdale 47-34 to win the Lackawanna League Division 2 basketball title for the third straight year.

With this cheerful news in mind, I will now fill you in on the very rough night DV had when Scranton Prep came to town three days later.

As soon as I saw these skyscraper players for Scranton Prep, I knew this was going to be tough. And it was.

The JVs lost 57-44. Then the Varsity lost 74-38.

The JV game was at least somewhat competitive, although Scranton was just too big and too sure in shooting. They passed very crisply and made most of their shots. At one point there was a real pretty alley oop pass to Scranton's 6-foot-6 Rehys Merritt, who then jammed a two-handed dunk. The only thing that prevented a complete runaway was the tenacity and defence of Delaware Valley's JVs.

Giving credit where credit is due, then, it must be said: Scranton Prep was big, strong, talented, and relentless. But Delaware Valley wouldn't give an inch. They poured their hearts out and played tough throughout the entire game. You can't ask for more than that.

Up comes the Varsity. Scranton Prep takes the floor with 6-foot-7 Leo O'Boyle, 6-foot-6 Rehys Merritt, and 6-foot-5 Wes Simons on their roster, with the little (um) guys all around 6-foot-1 to 6-foot-3.

The one who impressed me the most that night on the Scranton team was Wes Simons. He was just very exciting to watch — shooting, slashing, rebounding, and passing. He had a great night.

Scranton Prep was not only big, they were fast. They passed cleanly and shot the lights out. There were not many chances to get a defensive rebound because Scranton seldom missed. To their credit, though, when DV had the chance to rebound, they got their fair share.

The DV players are very tough competitors. Although this was not their night, although they trailed by large margins for most of the game, they played on like tigers. They never quit.

This was Senior Night, so all starters were in their last year. Later in the first period, some underclassmen were eventually brought in. Scoring is as we come to expect with DV — shared very well across the players.

Blake Gearhard, as usual, leads the way. I counted 11 points for him. Hassan Keys hit a smooth 3-pointer as well as a 2-pointer and 2 foul shots. Clay Chelak drilled two 3-pointers in the fourth period, and Matt Campbell, Dylan Kelly, and Zach Klapak all scored too.

Jared Odynsky, who had a preseason injury and could not play all year, was brought in for one shot. The ball was passed to him under the basket, and Scranton allowed him to take the shot uncontested. He scored and then came out of the game. This is the kind of sportsmanship that warms your heart.

Thanks goes to both teams for this fine act of sportsmanship.

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