At Elk Lake, Caden Ramey hit a jumper with 4 seconds left in overtime to lift the Warriors to a 46-45 victory in the annual Red Wallace Game.
Carbondale Area’s Jaehim Brooker sent the game into the extra period when he beat the buzzer for a layup at the end of regulation.
The gym was electric all night, as the bonus period varsity game followed an intense double overtime junior varsity game.
“I never lost confidence in our team,” said senior Brant Marshall. “We were all so energized after the JV game, we knew we could keep it going.”
Every season, the Warriors and Chargers open against each other in the scholarship game that honors Mike “Red” Wallace.
The Warriors last won the yearly contest in the 2015-16 season.
Wallace played for the Boston Celtics during the 1946–47 Basketball Association of America season, the first in the league’s existence, before he was traded to the Toronto Huskies. He also played for various teams in the American Basketball League.
In college, Wallace played for two seasons at Keystone College, which at the time was a junior college, and finished his career at the University of Scranton. Wallace coached teams in the Eastern Professional Basketball League, winning the league championship in 1958–59 with the Wilkes-Barre Barons.
But, most important to the small school in Dimock, he coached the Warriors boys’ basketball team and won two state championships.
The game, which is in its 43rd year, is 30-13 in favor of the Chargers.
Elk Lake athletic director Tony Blaisure said that traditionally a senior player has won the MVP award, but that it wasn’t criteria.
“A $500 scholarship goes to a senior at the end of the year, and he is chosen by our coaches,” Blaisure explained. “But the MVP goes to the best player on the court that night. That player is chosen by the Carbondale coach.”
Matthew Mowry led the winners with 19 points and was named his team’s MVP in the game.
Head Coach Rich Emmons said, “I think you’ll see this lineup quite a bit this year, we’re in the process of trying to develop more depth within our upperclassmen right now.”
He added, “As the offense develops, we will have adequate size underneath as well as enough guard play to have scoring come from multiple guys. We have confidence that our bigs can score around the rim- as well as our guards making jump shots and getting to the rim.”
Emmons also had praise for sophomores Jake Gustin and Trever Graham after the game.
“Jake and Trever, although small in size, give us multiple ball handlers, and as Matt (Mowry) develops his guard skills, will give us even more possibilities handling the ball,” he said. “Jake and Trever are both seeing the floor better this year and learning to trust their preparation for opposing defenses and where their teammates should be on the floor on offense.”
Ray Ofner poured in 26 for Carbondale Area and was named the Chargers’ MVP.
Marshall added, “It felt really good to get that first win.”
Emmons said, “I was proud of our guys stepping up, from freshmen to seniors, and picking up the win. We know that we have to improve to have a successful year, but a win in early December will always help come playoff seeding in March.”
EL 46, Carbondale 45
Carbondale 14 8 6 10 5 45
Elk Lake 9 14 10 7 6 46
Carbondale Area (0-1) - R. Ofner 10 6-9 26, L. Fox-Newcomb 3 0-0 9, J. Miller 1 2-2 4, J. Brooker 2 0-1 4, J. Hayner 1 0-1 2, M. Heenan 0 0-0 0, J. Allen 0 0-0 0, B. Salitsky 0 0-0 0, C. Virkitus 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 8-13 45.
Elk Lake (1-0) - M. Mowry 8 1-2 19, T. Graham 1 5-10 8, C. Ramey 3 0-2 6, J. Gustin 2 0-0 5, W. Casselbury 2 0-0 4, B. Marshall 2 0-0 4, D. McGee 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 6-14 46.
3-point goals: L. Fox-Newcomb (C) 3, M. Mowry (EL)
2, T. Graham (EL), J.