Wallenpaupack Area boys team is on a roll in early season action

Five games into the year and the Wallenpaupack Area boys varsity basketball team is undefeated.

After taking two games to claim the title at the annual Hawley Tip-Off Tournament, the Buckhorns strung together three more wins putting them at 5-0.

Timber Sale

The recent run began on Dec. 13 when Forest City Regional landed on the shores of the Big Lake.

It didn’t take long for the Buckhorns to chop down the Foresters. In the first quarter, Paupack posted 27 points to their guests’ nine.

Further pruning came in the second period when the hosts notched 24 more while holding the visitors to just an additional seven.

At the half, the Bucks were up 51-16.

The clear-cutting continued into the third. Paupack boosted its tally by another 22 points while allowing just nine more by Forest City. Now 73-25 heading into the last period, Paupack eased off the throttle. The Bucks scored just six points while the Foresters ground out four more for a final of 79-29.

Sophomore Elijah Rosenthal led the Buckhorns by hitting six 3-pointers and went 3-for-4 at the line for a sizzling 23 points on the night.

Senior Zach Kiesendahl checked in with 14 points from the field and classmate MacBrennan Peet chimed in with a pair of treys and went 2-for-2 on free throws foe a total of 10.

Also hitting double digits was sophomore Izaiah Santiago, who mirrored Peet’s contributions exactly.

Warriors Walloped

The Purple and White hit the road on Dec. 19 when they ventured to Elk Lake.

The Warriors put up slightly stiffer resistance then the Buckhorns previous challengers.

Both squads fared somewhat equally in the opening stanza with Paupack closing with a 12-11 lead.

Soon enough, however, the Bucks shifted into high gear and netted 20 to Elk Lake’s 10, making it a 32-21 game at halftime.

The gap remained the same following the third quarter and ended with the Bucks up 52-31.

Not letting up through the final moments, Paupack poured it on and chalked up another 16 to bring the night’s tally to 68-40.

Rosenthal added another trio of 3-pointers and went 5-for-6 at the stripe for a game high of 20. Clocking in with 17, classmate Gabe Springer dominated inside with 16 and also picked up one on free throws.

Whuppin’ Cough

Back at home the following evening, the Buckhorns welcomed the boys from Coughlin.

The visiting Crusaders took an early 8-6 lead after the first quarter but soon began to lag behind the hosts as Paupack surged in the second period to take a 19-13 lead by intermission.

The local lads doubled their score in the third quarter while squashing Coughlin’s offensive attempts. The Bucks posted 19 to the Crusaders seven making it a 38-20 game on the way to the last period.

Although the guests re-grouped to come back with 19, the home team held fast and racked up 20 to maintain their lead and emerge with a 58-39 win.

Rolling up 14 on the night, Rosenthal landed four from downtown and made good both times he came to the line.

A half-a-dozen buckets from close-up got Springer 12 points and senior Michael Burk a pair of threes, one deuce, and hit 2-of-2 free throws.

Over & Out

Paupack skipper Chris Strong, pleased so far with how things are going, noted that it has been a solid team effort with consistent contributions coming from many players.

Junior Derrick Vosburg, for example, is second in 3-pointers with seven and has been great at the line, only missing two of his 11 attempts.

As of the Coughlin game, he’s third in scoring with 46 behind Springer’s 60 and Rosenthal’s 90. Kiesendahl, Burk, and Santiago have all broken the 20-point mark and Peet was just one shy with 19.

“I was worried we would play down to the level of some of the teams we were facing but that hasn’t happened,” said Strong.

“Every day we’re making improvements.”

The Bucks journey to the Maple City on Dec. 26 and 28 for the Honesdale Jaycees Tournament and will face East Stroudsburg South on the opening night at 6:30 p.m.

They’ll face either the hosting Hornets or Lake-Lehman on day two. They are back at Honesdale on Jan. 3 for the league opener and then come home to face North Pocono on Jan. 6.