Jeannette makes plays down stretch to stave off Greensburg Salem rally

Monday, January 24, 2022 | 11:21 PM

Greensburg Salem was coming back furiously late in the third quarter.

A 22-point lead for Jeannette was dwindling — fast — as the Golden Lions scored 18 straight points to close the gap considerably.

Did Jeannette coach Adrian Batts call timeout during the run?

“No, but maybe I should have there,” Batts said. “I wanted to see some leadership there. I wanted someone to step up in that situation.”

His players accepted the challenge.

Jeannette saw several players make plays down the stretch as it held back the host Golden Lions, 74-60, in a nonsection boys basketball game on a snowy Monday night.

“In all of our losses, the third quarter has been so bad for us,” Batts said. “It’s been our Achilles’ heel. We stopped moving it and slowed down. We needed someone to lead us.”

Take your pick on who led the Jayhawks (8-7), who had lost five of six and were hoping to slow the tear Greensburg Salem senior guard Ben Thomas has been on since he returned from a knee injury.

Seniors Anton Good and Nas Thompson and junior Shane Mickens all tied for the team scoring lead with 15 points, while junior Jalen Bass finished with 12 points — eight in the fourth.

Senior point guard Kesean Crosby scored all seven of his points in the final quarter (5 of 6 free throws), and senior guard Tyler Horn chipped in eight points, including two 3-pointers.

Thompson and Good also hit two 3s each and Mickens added one.

Good had 13 in the first half.

“Jeannette is a good team, and they really shot it well,” Golden Lions coach Mark Zahorchak said. “You can’t just worry about one guy. I think it helped that we played them man.”

Back to Thomas, who arguably cooled off after back-to-back 40-point games (against Hempfield and Geibel) in his first action of the season. He finished with a game-high 22, including 10 of 12 free throws.

He had 11 in each half on senior night, but the Golden Lions’ losing streak reached eight.

“He wasn’t going to get 40,” Batts said. “I think we wore him down in the first half.”

Senior Jayden Stevens added 10 for the Golden Lions, who cut a 52-30 deficit down to 52-48 heading to the fourth.

The 18-0 run saw senior Donavin Waller and junior Christian Hostetler make 3s, while junior Cody Rubrecht scored off a steal.

But Jeannette opened the fourth with a 9-0 surge, with Horn connecting for a 3 and Mickens scoring inside to push the lead back to 13 at 61-48.

Stevens cut it to 63-54, but Jeannette stretched it back to 15 on a Crosby-to-Bass connection with just less than three minutes remaining.

Bass also grabbed 11 rebounds.

“Bass played his best game of the season,” Batts said. “Crosby was good, too. He battled down the stretch. We made some shots. We didn’t do that against Springdale. We defended well at times.”

The win was the 199th of Batts’ career.

Greensburg Salem looks like a different team with Thomas back.

“He takes pressure off of our other guys,” Zahorchak said. “He calms us down. Our kids are resilient, and I am proud of them. They don’t crumble when things get bad.”

Jeannette led 19-16 after one quarter and took a 41-26 lead into the break.

Mickens scored on a no-look pass from Crosby to give Jeannette its first double-digit lead, 34-23, with 2:30 left in the second quarter.

Mickens and Horn each hit a 3 to close out the half.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at or via Twitter .

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