COAL TOWNSHIP — The Shamokin Area boys basketball team looked very good in the Indians’ 85-55 win over North Schuylkill Thursday in the semifinals of the Bob Probert Memorial Holiday Tournament, but head coach Chris Zimmerman is still looking for improvement.
The Indians (6-1) shot just under 60 percent from the floor, placed five players in double figures and thoroughly dismantled the Spartans (2-5) from the start. But Zimmerman thought a six-day layoff hurt the Indians a little.
“I’m a little disappointed because I thought we played very sloppy at times,” Zimmerman said. “I know that sounds bad after a 30-point win. But for us to be as good as I think we can be, we have to clean some things up. We hadn’t played in six days and had the Christmas break. I’m real happy with how we played offensively but I thought we had some breakdowns on defense.”
Shamokin will play Southern Columbia, a 47-45 winner over Lourdes in the other semifinal, in the championship game tonight. North Schuylkill will play Lourdes in the consolation game.
Shamokin broke out to a 24-11 lead in the first quarter, shooting 11 for 17 from the field and North Schuylkill never got closer. The Indians eventually built a 39-17 lead in the first half.
Joey Masser led the way with a 16-point, 12-rebound double double, hitting 7 of 9 shots. Mason Filarski scored 17 points, making 8 of 13 shots. Tariq Braggs, Jahleke West and Collin Bowers added 13, 12 and 11 points, respectively.
“We have a lot of weapons and to the guys’ credit, they’re not chasing points,” Zimmerman said. “They want to win. They know if we move the ball well, the open man is going to get points.”
One obvious sore spot, however, was foul shooting. The Indians made just 11 of 26 foul shots.
North Schuylkill senior guard Zack Stokes led all scorers with 19 points, and Nathan Burke added 14.
Zimmerman said he expects a tough contest in the final.
“I thought it (Lourdes vs. Southern) was a coin toss,” he said. “It’s going to be a good game.”