King’s earns win
WILKES-BARRE — They came out timid, almost unsure of themselves when it came time to take a shot.
Even when King’s started to shoot from the field, the shots were less than ideal for the time and flow of the game.
That was the problem the Monarchs were facing. The flow of the game was not to their style. Manhattanville slowed things down and was deliberate on offense, leading to a bit of frustration on the part of the Monarchs.
But once Joshua Bailey got loose for a pair of 3-pointers in the latter part of the first half, the game began to open up. When the second half started, the Monarchs dialed up the pressure on the defensive end of the floor and rode the momentum to an 83-70 victory Saturday afternoon at the Scandlon Gymnasium.
“As the start of the second half, we talked about getting better defensive pressure,” King’s coach J.P. Andrejko said. “We turned them over, and the turnovers led to some easy buckets. We got in a rhythm, and got the pace of the game to where we want it to be. In the first half, the pace of the game was too slow and (Manhattanville) was able to get in their sets and run their stuff.”
King’s was able to take the lead at the half after Connor Callejas made two free throws and Lenny Radziak hit a 3-pointer. The Monarchs were able to withstand Manhattanville shooting 50 percent from the floor in the first half and turning the ball over 12 times.
The second half was a totally different story for the Monarchs. They came out with more energy and were flying to the ball on the defensive end of the floor. They forced Manhattanville into 14 turnovers in the second half, and those easy baskets at the other end of the floor helped jump-start a game-changing 12-5 run to open up a nine-point lead. However, the Monarchs weren’t finished just yet.
King’s put together another run, outscoring the Valiants 11-0 over a span of 3:17 to help the Monarchs increase the lead to 25 points. Callejas scored four points in the spurt, while Tyler Millan, Chris Fazzini and Dan Angelo all contributed baskets.
“I think that the biggest thing defensively is that we held them to 33 percent shooting in the second half,” Andrejko said. “Our defense really had something to do with it.”
The win helped the Monarchs cap a 2-0 week after going to FDU on Wednesday night and picking up a win. King’s is now 7-8 overall and 3-1 in the Freedom Conference with games at Misericordia and Wilkes coming up this week.
King’s finished with four players in double figures. Callejas led the way with 19. Fazzini had 15, Joshua Bailey 14 and Millan 12.
“In this league, when you get two wins in one week, it is rare anymore,” Andrejko said. “Just with the way everyone is so balanced and we just beat each other up. I told them on Wednesday that winning on the road is the hardest part. Of course you have to come home and take care of your home court. But this group is just so young, I don’t think they get that part yet. They just go play. Nothing really seems to bother them.”
Monarchs’ Lenny Radziak goes up for a shot past Manhattanville’s Timmy Quinlan on Saturday.
King’s Chris Fazzini (24) goes in for a layup during Saturday’s game against Manhattanville.