Harmony boys upend Moshannon Valley|
Thursday, January 3, 2013
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
WESTOVER - There is no place like home.
The Harmony boys basketball team spent all of December on the road due to renovations in the gymnasium. They returned home on Wednesday evening for the first time this season and didn't disappoint, but not without a scare in the first half.
Moshannon Valley took a two-point lead into halftime due to widespread shooting, but the Owls outscored Mo Valley 19-4 in the third quarter on their way to a 62-45 victory over the Black Knights.
"The guys have been looking forward to getting home," said Harmony head coach Doug Martz. "It was nice to finally get here. Who knows? A lot of teams have their jitters early in the season when they have a home game. We may have had a little of that early in the game. Not that we should, but we very well might have."
"We were pumped up to come out," said Mo Valley head coach Mike LaFuria. "They were enthused. In the second half, it was the turnovers again just killing us. We just turned the ball over (too much) in the third quarter."
Down 28-26 at the half, the Owls got themselves in the scoring column early and often in the third quarter, while forcing many Mo Valley turnovers.
A Logan Sral free throw with 5:42 remaining in the quarter gave Harmony its first lead since early in the first quarter. Moments later, Tyler Tiesi drew a foul on a bucket to spark the run for the Owls.
The Owls closed the game in the fourth quarter, feeding the ball often to senior Evan Novella. Novella scored seven of his game-high 22 points in the period. The center also pulled down eight rebounds on the night to lead the Owls in their second-half comeback.
"He's doing such a better job taking the ball hard to the basket and getting a good angle as he gets off his layups," said Martz of Novella. "He's been playing more consistent. He's been taking advantage when he has a size advantage.
"He's just getting good shots for himself and doing a good job from the foul line."
"All the guys played well, it was just too many turnovers," said LaFuria. "We just couldn't make any shots in the third quarter."
Down 4-0 early in the first quarter, the Knights got a pair of 3-pointers from Jim McHugh and Eric Sherkel. Sherkel drained another trey later in the quarter and had three in the game to lead the Knights with 10 points.
"It was a sloppy start," said Martz. "We just weren't crisp in the first quarter. It was really a lot of unforced errors for us. It was just a bad feel early, and we just didn't play a crisp half of basketball in the first half at all."
Mo Valley expanded its lead to eight points in the middle of the second quarter, but Harmony battled back late in the frame. Nate Young had eight points in the stanza, while Novella scored seven.
Young ended the game with 14 points and pulled down 15 rebounds.
"Nate is just the epitome of consistency for us," said Martz. "Some guys on the team score more than Nate. Sometimes he's the high scorer, but every game, Nate is consistent. His energy level is what helped us get through that first half and then energize us in the second half."
"It was a good league game. I give (Mo Valley) credit. This was our first home game, and it's a league game. They came in here and they really gave it to us. I thought they really played good basketball. But I also give credit to us for getting ourselves through it in the second half because of how hard they worked."
Harmony won the junior varsity game, 39-22. Brandon Fox scored 18 points for the Owls, while Stephan Kovalick led Mo Valley with 10 points.
Both teams will be back in action tomorrow. Harmony, which improved to 3-5 overall and 2-1 in the Mo Valley League, travels to Portage. The Knights (0-6, 0-1) host Mount Union.
Bubb 3 1-1 7, Harlow 4 0-0 8, McHugh 2 3-4 8, Sherkel 3 1-2 10, Bailey 1 0-0 3, Demko 3 0-0 7, Krupa 1 0-0 2, Frailey 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 5-7 45.
Novella 10 2-3 22, Young 7 0-0 14, Tiesi 2 4-5 8, Sral 4 4-6 12, Lucas 1 0-0 3, Kurtz 1 1-2 3, Fox 0 0-0 0, Fritz 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25 11-16 62.
Three-pointers: McHugh, Sherkel 3, Bailey, Demko; Lucas.
Score by Quarters
Moshannon Valley 13 15 4 13-45
Harmony 8 18 19 17-62