Mont Alto entered tonight's game with the best record in the PSUAC and got everything that Hazleton could throw at them. Sparked by a tough zone defense Hazleton was able to slow down Mont Alto in the paint during a back and forth first half.
"The coaching staff told the players before the game that we were facing a team that is playing for their playoff life" said Coach Schenzel. " I really thought that Coach Rush came down very prepared and had a good game plan to take Jerome out of the game. We made some adjustments at halftime and were able to prevail."
The first half started out with Mont Alto coming out and setting the tone early with a made three point shot from Theo Remy and then a quick 5-0 run sparked by the Chaos press. Hazleton fought back and limited pressing chances by clamping down on defense and scoring on their end. Hazleton took the lead at 8-7 and from there the game was back and forth with Hazleton scoring at the halftime buzzer for 31-30 lead.
The second half started with a Kevin Holston layup, but Hazleton, who made 11 three point shots, hit a three pointer to take the lead back. The game was back and forth until the 15:40 mark when Theo Remy hit another three pointer and the Mont went on a 12-0 run. With the score 50-40 for Mont Alto at the 7:43 mark Hazleton mounted another push that cut the lead to 60-58 with 1:17 left on the clock. Mont Alto had possession of the ball and got a good look for Theo Remy but he missed. Mykel Barber of Mont Alto however grabbed a huge rebound. Mont Alto was able to take more time off the clock. Hazleton rebounded a missed shot and took it to the other end. Jerome Evans came up big with a block and recovered the ball. He was fouled and made both free throws wrapped around some timeouts called by Hazleton to ice him.
Hazleton was never able to get another shot off as Barber was able to steal the ball to end the game. "We have had more easy games then tough ones this year. I feel like we could play better, but we got a good win at home and now need to keep improving" said Schenzel.
Mont Alto was led in scoring by Theo Remy who has kept his hot touch from three point range going. Jerome Evans had a big day on the boards with 12 and limited the USCAA and PSUAC leading rebounder Jordan Singletary to 5. Zack Thomas provided a big spark off the bench in the second half with his defensive energy.
Mont Alto is idle until February 1st when it travels to PSU Wilkes Barre. This will be the start of crucial 5 game road trip. This is the best start since Mont Alto entered the PSUAC in conference play at 9-0.