Hornets advance to District title game
By: Ed Weaver / February 28, 2013
For the first time since the 1998-99 season under coach Steve Adams, the boys basketball team advanced to the District IV title game, as the Hornets downed East Juniata, 53-29.
The Hornets played great, all-around team defense to limit East Juniata's duo of Nick Lorenz and 6' 6" center Bailey Coder to just 10 points, all by Lorenz.
"I said going in, if we can hold (Coder and Lorenz) to 20, 21 points, we'd have a very good chance of winning that game," said head coach Todd Outman.
The Hornets' swarming defense fronted Coder all night to hold him scoreless, and Sophomore Kieron Smethers, who guarded him the majority of the night, played a big part in holding him to 0 points.
"We held him (Coder) to 0, so we executed our game plan very well," Smethers said. " I was able to use my height to block some shots and get position on him."
Wellsboro jumped out to an early 8-0 with just under six minutes in the first quarter and never looked back. After the end of the first quarter 17-6 and would extend their lead to 29-17 at the half.
Unlike last Friday night's game with Canton, the Hornets played to win and got great offensive production from Senior captains Matt Reese and Jordan Jackson. Reese, known more for his defense, was the game's leading scorer with 16 points, 12 of which came in the second half when Reese was in foul trouble. Jackson added 15 on the night to join Reese as the other scorer in double figures.
Smethers contributed 9 points (3-4 from the foul line) along with 3 blocks, Sophomore Michael Pietropola had 6 points, Junior Joey Doganiero had 5 points, and Junior Dylan Prough finished with 2.
With East Juniata now behind them, the top-seeded Hornets are now looking forward to accomplishing their season goal of winning a District IV championship.
"This win means a lot," Smethers stated. "I've been playing with these guys since 7th grade and to compete for a district title is something we've been working towards all season."
The feat won't be easy, however, as the Hornets will face a tough, quick Loyalsock team this Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. at Mansfield University. Jackson is very optimistic abouth the Hornets chances.
"They (Loyalsock) play a similar style of basketball that we do," said Jackson. "They're a fast-paced team with a big guy in the middle. We're going to have to play the type of ball that brought us this far."