Knoch boys basketball team stays calm, defeats Mt. Pleasant

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 | 9:24 PM

When Knoch struggled to make a 3-pointer in the first quarter against Mt. Pleasant on Tuesday, there was no panic from the Knights.

That’s because when you live by the 3-pointer, you’re confident you shot eventually will fall.

Knoch’s boys basketball team had a little problem with the Vikings’ length in the zone, but when the Knights found their range in the second quarter, it was game over.

Knoch (14-1, 6-0) drained 12 3-pointers, six by Ryan Lang and three by Jared Schrecengost, and rolled by Mt. Pleasant, 69-42, to open the second half of WPIAL Section 1-4A action. The Knights have won 14 consecutive games.

Schrecengost not only led the Knights with 20 points, he held Mt. Pleasant senior Jake Johnson to eight. Johnson needs 14 points to reach 1,000 in his career.

Lang finished with 18 points, and Scott Fraser had 15.

Schrecengost scored eight points in the first quarter to help Knoch to a 10-7 lead.

In the second quarter, Lang buried three of Knoch’s six 3-pointers as the Knights extended their lead to 34-24 by halftime.

“We’re a pretty good shooting team,” Knoch coach Ron McNabb said. “They have to green light, and we’re comfortable shooting against a zone. We just had to get used to Mt. Pleasant’s length.”

While Johnson scored only one point in the first half, sophomore forward Luke Brandner picked up the slack for the Vikings (9-7, 3-3). He scored 12 of his team-high 18 points in the first half.

“We’re a zone team,” Mt. Pleasant coach Al Bilinsky said. “When we play it correctly, we’re tough to beat. Knoch just shot it very well.

“We’re getting better. They are starting to understand the concept of what we’re trying to do. Luke stepped up for us, but we need more than one player to score other than (Jake Johnson). We made them go zone because they couldn’t handle us man-to-man.”

Knoch’s hot shooting continued in the third quarter when Lang, Schrecengost and Tyler Scheidt connected on 3-pointers as the Knights stretched their lead to 55-31 after three quarters.

“It’s always good to win on the road,” McNabb said. “They had (Jonas) King back, and we were a little nervous.

“But Jared did a phenomenal job on Johnson. That was the key.”

Bilinsky said he spent much of the day at the hospital visiting the Mt. Pleasant students who were involved in a serious accident Monday night.

Two of the injured were basketball players: junior Jake Bungard and sophomore Logan Allen.

Bilinsky said he was told Bungard should be able to play basketball his senior season.

Bilinsky actually had a video streaming of the game to Bungard’s hospital room so he could watch.

“We missed him,” Bilinsky said. “He’s one of our better shooters off the bench.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at or via Twitter .

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