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H.S Boys Basketball: Holy Redeemer survives late scare from Nanticoke Area

Jan. 19—NANTICOKE — A nine-point lead with 47 seconds left nearly evaporated completely — but Holy Redeemer did just enough, and used up just enough clock, to hang on for the win.

Nanticoke Area's frantic fourth-quarter comeback fell just a point short, as Redeemer survived some late-game miscues and issues at the free-throw line to beat the Trojans 44-43, improving to 4-1 in Division 2 in the process.

"It got a little hairy, a little helter-skelter on us at the end there, but it's a road conference victory," said Redeemer coach Paul Guido. "This is a brutal place to play, we've had brutal games with these guys ... tonight was just another chapter in that book."

The Royals broke out of the gates quick, outscoring Nanticoke Area 18-8 after one quarter and holding a lead right around that margin for most of the game, never pulling away but doing a great job defensively to limit Nanticoke Area's scorers and keep them from making a run.

And then, with under a minute remaining and Holy Redeemer leading 42-33, things began to get a little dicey.

Woes at the free throw line didn't help — the Royals had multiple fourth-quarter trips to the line that either resulted in a 1-for-2 result or an empty trip. As a team, Redeemer shot 6-for-14 from the stripe in the fourth quarter, leaving the door open for the Trojans.

"I was disappointed with our free throw shooting down the stretch," Guido said. "It was guys that we want the ball in their hands, we think that they could make them."

Three-pointers from PJ Remley and Liam Mullery trimmed Redeemer's lead down to five points, 44-39 with 20 seconds left. Redeemer turned the ball over on the ensuing inbounds play, and Nanticoke Area's Gavin Turak drew contact on a layup attempt and earned himself a trip to the line.

Turak made the first to cut the lead to four, missed the second but Nanticoke managed to grab the offensive rebound.

The Trojans let too much time run off the clock, however, trying to find an open look. Mullery banked home another deep three, but it was right at the buzzer and could only make it a one-point game.

It wasn't an ideal final stretch for the Royals, but the free throws that did fall — one each from Brayden Sock and David Popson in the final minute of the game, Redeemer's two top scorers on the night — ended up being crucial, preventing Mullery's last-second three ball from being a game-winner.

Sock and Popson were both huge parts of that hot start for Redeemer, with Sock scoring six of his team-high 16 points in the first quarter and Popson contributing four early points and a lot of work on the glass. He would finish with 14 points.

"That was something we talked about on the way down here, was that it was important for us to get off to a good start," Guido said. "That's something we haven't necessarily been doing through the year, so I think it was huge."

Mullery led Nanticoke Area with 17 points, but was held scoreless through the entirety of the second and third quarters, only really getting cooking again late in the game.

Turak added 14 points and was able to keep the Trojans afloat during the middle quarters.

Redeemer improved to 8-7 and 4-1 in Division 2 with the win, while Nanticoke falls to 6-10 overall and 3-3 in division play.

WVC Division 2 Boys Basketball

Holy Redeemer 44, Nanticoke Area 43

HOLY REDEEMER (44) — Quaglia 0 0-4 0, Atherton 2 4-6 8, Sekol 0 0-0 0, Sabatini 2 0-0 4, Lacari 0 0-0 0, Hurst 1 0-0 2, Casey 0 0-0 0, Sock 4 4-6 16, Dubaskas 0 0-0 0, Popson 6 2-2 14. Totals 15 10-18 44.

NANTICOKE AREA (43) — Remley 1 0-0 3, Turak 5 3-4 14, Michel 1 0-0 3, Spencer 1 0-0 2, Li. Mullery 6 1-2 17, Mitchell 2 0-0 4, Ball 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 4-6 43.

Holy Redeemer'18'6'10'10 — 44

Nanticoke Area'8'11'5'19 — 43

Three-point goals: HR 4 (Sock 4). NAN 7 (Li. Mullery 4, Remley, Turak, Michel).