Wallenpaupack Area completes a regular season sweep of Honesdale
Fans of '60s music may remember the Chambers Brothers hit "Time Has Come Today."
For the Wallenpaupack Area Buckhorns and Honesdale Hornets, the time finally arrived on Wednesday night.
Delayed twice by snowstorms, at long last the Hornets buzzed into town for their second regular season tangle with the Bucks.
The mid-week match-up drew a large crowd and those who intended on just watching the varsity game were treated to a late-running JV game as both sides were tied 41-41 at the end of regulation.
The younger Bucks gave up three points in the OT, but ended up clenching the win with deuces from Rashawn Battle and TJ Root as well a one good free throw from Jamal Blanding to seal the deal.
Battle led Paupack with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Blanding chalked up a slew of steals and John Pillar played a physical game in the paint..
Fueled up by a 50-49 win over West Scranton just one night earlier, the Buckhorns were riding high and looking to take the stingers out of the Hornets for a second time.
Backed by a packed and vocal fan section it was obvious the Paupack squad was charged up.
Similarly, Honesdale was also jazzed from a victory versus Western Wayne the previous night, and had brought with them a sizable escort of Hornet faithful seeking payback for the January 11 defeat.
The Buckhorns wasted no time getting points on the board as Anthony Bouselli and Nico Tereschak both found the hoop on early rebounds.
Kyle Carney quickly added Hornet points to the score sheet with a 3-pointer and a follow-up deuce.
John Steffen launched a trey for the Bucks, but was matched by Carney.
A bucket delivered by Jake Brown earned him his first points of the night while Patrick Hart eased in two for the Hornets.
The neck-and-neck battle continued through the quarter. Steffen, Brown, and Bouselli each added another bucket while Chris Nagel and Kevin Miller closed the gap to within one point.
However, but the Bucks led after one, 15-14.
Physical play and the to-and-fro scoring continued in the second quarter.
Eric Miller delivered a 3-pointer early on for the Buckhorns. Nagel added a bucket for the Hornets, was matched by a two points from Bouselli, and then added another Honesdale 2-pointer.
Brown then made back-to-back trips to the line, hitting one on his first and draining both on the second visit.
Jon Gillow, Nick Casazza, and Ian Langendoefer hit for two, two, and three, respectively, to pull the Hornets ahead briefly, but Tereschak nailed a baseline jumper to tie it up again.
Blanding hit from outside the arc, taking the lead for the Bucks, but then 2-pointers were exchanged by the Miller's from each side.
Casazza hit 1-for-2 from the line before the half drew to a close, but at halftime, Paupack held on to the lead 30-28.
Nagle led off the second half by tying up the game with a deuce, and the heated game set off the fire alarm!
Flashing strobes and blaring buzzers caused a stoppage of play and the crowd began to evacuate the gymnasium.
Howevver, they were ushered back in as the smoking popcorn machine that tripped the alarm was determined not to be a threat.
After the re-start, Gillow took the Hornets ahead with a 2-pointer, but Eric Miller fired back with a Buckhorn 3-pointer.
A trip to the line by Gillow gave Honesdale another point by Kevin Miller put the Hornets in the lead again.
Jake Brown then began to do what he does best: score.
Fouled on a fast break, he drained to free throws; drove in hard for a lay-up; then went 1-for-2 on another set of foul shots.
Carney added a bucket for the Hornets but Brown hit again from the paint.
Another trey from Eric Miller capped off the Bucks scoring for the quarter.
However, before time lapsed, Kevin Miller went 2-for-2 from the line for Honesdale, cutting their deficit, but still behind the Buckhorns 43-39.
Honesdale opened up the fourth quarter with a deuce from Kevin Miller.
Brown countered with two points of his own, but Casazza fired in a 2-pointer as well keeping the Hornets within two.
Fouls had piled up on both sides by now and aside from three baskets by Brown, the rest of the Paupack points would come from free throws.
Steffen went 1-for-2 twice and Bouselli also went 1-for-2 on one trip.
Brown stepped up to the line four times and made all eight shots driving his points total for the night to 28.
Casazza was 1-for-2 and Miller racked up the rest of Honesdale's points making 3-of-4 free throws and netting three field goals as well to help the Hornet cause.
But, at the close of the game, Paupack stood victorious once more with a 60-54 win.
"This is the Wayne-Pike regions version of the Lakers/Celtics," said Coach Rich McGinnis.
"There's great energy here. It means a lot to the kids and to the fans. It was a close game and the fire alarm made things even kookier.
"We had a lot of kids contribute to the win, even players that didn't get a basket or score as much as they normally do, helped with the defense and really made the difference."
McGinnis cited Tyler Brexel and Eric Miller as key players and also noted Anthony Bouselli's hard play in the trenches as well as Jake Brown's ability to take control.
"The kids played hard on both sides," McGinnis said. "And, I hope it's games like this they can look back on years later."