COAL TOWNSHIP — When the Shamokin Area junior varsity boys basketball team came out and drained 13 3-pointers against Shikellamy, the varsity team apparently took that as a challenge.
The Indians made 14 buckets from beyond the arc en route to an 81-54 domination of the Braves Saturday at the Shamokin Area Middle-High School gymnasium.
Both the Indians and Braves shot 47 percent from the field in the first half, yet Shamokin managed to win the scoring battle, 38-23, by creating a 10-3 turnover margin and shooting lights out from 3-point range.
By the end of the game, the Indians had shot an extremely impressive 42.4 percent (14-of-33) from 3-point range. Mason Filarski’s five 3-pointers helped propel him to the top of the team’s scoring chart with 19 points, despite Joey Masser having a dominant first half that included 12 points and four rebounds.
Shamokin head coach Chris Zimmerman said he is pleased that the team seems to be snapping out of its bad shooting streak that had plagued the squad in recent weeks.
“It’s amazing what can happen when the ball goes in,” he said. “We went through a stretch there where we weren’t making many shots and people were saying, ‘What’s wrong with the team?’ or ‘You’re struggling against zones.’
“Sometimes you just have to make some shots and I think the last two weeks we’ve been looking good. As long as we get good shots, we have some guys who can make them and they know they have the green light as long as they’re playing hard and taking the right type of shots.”
Zimmerman said he felt the team did an admirable job of taking good shots, which is an integral part of his loosely-governed offense.
“Offensively, you can’t think,” he said. “We are not really a pattern team, we’re a motion team and we have different concepts. If they’re playing within the concepts and the framework of our offense — let it rip.”
Third Quarter Run
The Indians squashed all chances of a Braves’ comeback in the third quarter, using a 20-2 run to put the game even further out of reach.
Brent Reed got the ball rolling by converting a 3-pointer before Filarski, Masser, Jahleke West and Collin Bowers got in on the run.
Shamokin scored 29 points in the eight-minute period, shooting 52 percent from the floor despite making more shots from beyond the arc (6) than inside the arc (5).
Here Comes MCA
Zimmerman referred to Monday’s regular season meeting with Mount Carmel as an exciting matchup that will feature two of the better boys basketball teams in the area.
Set to take place at Shamokin on senior night, the Indians will face a 15-3 Mount Carmel team that has been highly touted this year.
“It’s a big game for us and it should be a good one,” he said. “Getting the win today (against Shikellamy) is definitely a plus for us heading into it.”
At halftime of the game, the first Shamokin Area team to win a district basketball title will be honored. Four players from the 1968-1969 squad are expected to attend the ceremony — Andy Farrow, Dave Romanoski, Dennis Scandle and Tony Carnuccio.