Kiski Area boys deal Woodland Hills 1st section loss of season

Tuesday, January 11, 2022 | 10:06 PM

The Kiski Area boys basketball team again used a balanced scoring attack Tuesday and handed Woodland Hills its first section loss of the season, 55-48.

The Cavaliers were solid behind the 3-point arc, hitting seven from long range, and the Wolverines misfired on all four 3-point attempts. That was a key because Kiski Area scored only two more field goals (20) than Woodland Hills’ 18.

The Cavaliers are 10-2 overall and 2-1 in Section 3-5A play, while the Wolverines dropped to 6-5, 3-1.

Lebryn Smith scored 12 to lead Kiski Area, Logan Johnson had 11 — including a trio of 3-pointers — and Joe Lukas finished with 10.

“We came in prepared and ready to go,” Kiski Area coach Corey Smith said. “We are now 2-1 in the section, and I told the guys it was huge win tonight. I didn’t want to tell them, but it was a must-win at home tonight.”

Johnson, Lukas and Isaiah Gonzalez all made 3-pointers as the Cavaliers took a 15-9 lead after one quarter. The 3-point barrage continued in the second quarter as Jason Flemm’s 3 gave Kiski Area a 26-13 advantage with 33 seconds left in the first half.

Brayden Dunmire’s foul shot with 5:26 to go gave the Cavaliers a 46-26 lead. But Woodland Hills came storming back, cutting the lead to 52-46 in the final minute as Chaz Cobb nailed a pair of free throws.

Smith then followed by making 3 of 4 from the foul line to give the Cavaliers some breathing room.

Delrius Robinson had a strong outing for the Wolverines, scoring 20 points, including seven in the fourth quarter. Deontae Williams finished with 13 points.

“This is a tough one to chew,” Woodland Hills coach Eugene Wilson said. “Kudos to coach Corey. He’s a good friend of mine, and the good job he’s doing here in his first year. They worked their tails off. We talked about that in our scouting meetings is that they’re a hard-working team, and they’re going to grind it out.”

Said coach Smith: “We share the ball. … Everybody knows that any guy could go off on any given night. It was a team effort tonight, but there’s a lot we have to correct.”

In one sequence in the third quarter, Flemm passed up a shot in the key and passed back to Gonzalez for a basket that put the Cavaliers up 17. Smith gives his Cavaliers the green light on 3-pointers, with the team spending up to 45 minutes each practice shooting.

Defense also was a major factor in the game. Woodland Hills had only four turnovers in the third quarter, but Kiski Area turned three of them into baskets.

“Defense definitely turns into offense for us, that’s for sure,” said James Pearson, who grabbed seven rebounds and, with Gonzalez collecting nine.

“They just out-toughed us tonight,” Wilson said. “We have to get up for these section games. We can’t just walk in here because we’re 3-0 in the section. Our section is tough. We’ve already seen a couple of surprises.”

The Cavaliers travel to Penn Hills on Friday.

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