Wednesday’s Heritage Conference boys’ basketball schedule had the top four teams playing the bottom four, and nothing changed when the top three held serve.
There was as shakeup in the middle that left the race for the fourth and final conference tournament berth wide open.
Homer-Center edged Marion Center in overtime, 50-48, damaging the Stingers’ bid for the final spot and putting the Wildcats in the thick of the race. Marion Center fell to 7-6 in the conference, one game ahead of Homer-Center (6-7). Saltsburg (6-6), which was idle Wednesday night, also is part of the race.
West Shamokin (13-0), United (12-1) and Penns Manor (9-4) scored victories to maintain the top three spots in the standings.
HOMER-CENTER 50, MARION CENTER 48, OT: Both teams were up and down offensively, but Homer-Center outscored the Stingers 9-7 in overtime and sent Marion Center to its fifth loss in its past seven games.
Michael Krejocic scored six points and Ryan Sardone and Evan Ober combined for three free throws in the four-minute overtime period, and Homer-Center snapped a three-game losing streak.
Marion Center led 13-12 after first quarter, and the teams combined for only 10 points in the second, making it 18-17 in the Wildcats’ favor at halftime.
The teams went on a bit of a binge in the third quarter, with Homer-Center using a 17-14 advantage to take a 35-31 lead into the fourth quarter. Marion Center held Homer-Center to one field goal during a 10-6 fourth quarter.
Ober continued a recent scoring surge with a game-high 16 points. Sardone scored 15. Travis Mock hit three 3-point field goals for nine points, Krejocic finished with eight points and Ben Schmidt had the other seven.
Conner Fairman scored 16 points, Preston Fox had 11 and Justin Peterson added 10 for Marion Center. T.J. Lynn had nine.
Marion Center plays at West Shamokin this evening in the second game of a girls-boys doubleheader. Homer-Center plays host to Northern Cambria on Friday.
PENNS MANOR 74, BLAIRSVILLE 44: Penns Manor bolted to a double-digit lead in the first quarter against winless Blairsville and bounced back from Friday’s loss to unbeaten West Shamokin.
After holding a 17-4 lead in the first quarter, the Comets (10-4, 9-4) broke loose for 24 points in the next eight minutes and took a 41-13 lead into halftime.
Nine Comets scored, led by Grant Grimaldi with 18 points. Austin Hill reached double figures with 11 points, and Ryan Gresko scored nine on three 3-point field goals. Brandon Dunmire, Ashton Courvina and Max Hill scored eight apiece.
Logan Platt paced Blairsville with 17 points. Cameron Reaugh scored 10.
Both teams play Friday. Penns Manor plays host to United, and Blairsville visits Marion Center.
United won the first matchup with Penns Manor, 76-69.
UNITED 67, PURCHASE LINE 32: United chalked up its 15th win against two losses by shooting past Purchase Line.
United led 18-5 after the first quarter and 37-21 at halftime. The Lions outscored Purchase Line 22-7 in the third quarter and held the Red Dragons to four points in the fourth in easing to its fifth straight win.
Nine Lions reached the scoring column, led by Jonny Muchesko, who made three 3-point field goals and finished with 15 points. Ben Tomb and Austin Kovalcik combined for 25, and Brad Felix and Tyler Robertson combined for 17.
Mello Sanchez scored 15 points for Purchase Line.
Both teams play Friday. United travels to Penns Manor, and Purchase Line (3-12, 3-11) plays host to unbeaten West Shamokin.
WEST SHAMOKIN 63, NORTHERN CAMBRIA 45: The 15-0 Wolves gained control in the second quarter and eased past Northern Cambria.
West Shamokin led 14-13 after the first quarter and 32-21 at halftime.
The Colts (2-10) stuck with West Shamokin in the third quarter but couldn’t cut into the margin.
West Shamokin racked up 22 assists on 24 field goals, made nine 3-point field goals and led the rebounding 32-19.
Trevor Smulik buried six 3-pointers and poured in 25 points to go with 10 rebounds and seven assists. Justin Smulik scored 13 points and had six rebounds, and Eric Spencer chipped in 10 points. Jack McCullough handed out five assists and Ezeck Olinger pulled down eight rebounds. Bo Swartz dished out seven assists.
West Shamokin plays host to Marion Center this evening in a girls-boys doubleheader. Northern Cambria plays host to Homer-Center on Friday.