The Penns Comets are off and running.
A lot of them.
Penns Manor overcame a sloppy start and used its depth to wear down Homer-Center, 60-49, in a Heritage Conference boys’ basketball home game, opening a week in which the winter sports season is scheduled to swing into high gear after a delayed start.
The Comets, who opened the season with a win over North Star on Saturday, took a while to get going at the start of conference play, holding an 8-5 lead after the first quarter. Penns Manor erupted for 22 points in the second quarter to stretch the lead to double digits, 30-15.
“It was a pretty sloppy game,” Penns Manor coach Andy Lansberry said. “Homer played hard, and our guys played hard. We didn’t play our best game but won, and that’s all you can ask for.”
Dimitri Lieb led Penns Manor with 15 points. Grant Grimaldi, who scored a game-high 20 points in the opener, chipped in 11 against the Wildcats. Reese Hays scored nine.
The Comets used 10 players.
“We could have a different leading scorers every night,” Lansberry said. “We have 10 pretty solid players we can rotate in, and tonight, I think we wore them down a little bit.”
Homer-Center cut the deficit to eight points in the fourth quarter before Penns Manor streched it back to double figures. Evan Ober and Ben Schmidt combined or 23 points for Homer-Center. Michael Krejocic added seven.
Homer-Center committed 30 turnovers and fell to 1-1 after beating Saltsburg on Saturday in its conference opener. The Wildcats are coached by longtime assistant Paul Pohley. Pohley succeeded Bob Rado, who racked up more than 500 wins at three schools in his career.
Penns Manor plays host to Purchase Line on Friday. Homer-Center plays host to United on Thursday.
PURCHASE LINE 55, BLAIRSVILLE 38: Mello Sanchez scored a career-high 27 points, and Purchase Line pulled away from Blairsville in the second half of the Heritage Conference opener for both teams.
Mello Sanchez scored 14 points in the first half, but only two other players scored a field goal apiece, leaving the Red Dragons clinging to an 18-16 halftime lead.
Sanchez, a 5-foot-8 junior, continued to pour it on in the second half and got some offensive help from his teammates. Jayce Brooks scored nine of his 11 points in the second half when Purchase Line outscored the Bobcats 37-22.
Cameron Reaugh led Blairsville with 18 points. Ashton Perfetti added nine.
Purchase Line plays host to Penns Manor on Friday. Blairsville plays at West Shamokin on Wednesday.
WEST SHAMOKIN 56, INDIANA 23: West Shamokin held Indiana to 10 points in the first half and enforced a running clock in the second half of a non-conference game and season opener for both teams.
The Wolves led 42-10 at the half to bring the mercy rule into effect for the entire second half. West Shamokin outscored Indiana 14-11 in the second half.
Trevor Smulik fired in a game-high 19 points for West Shamokin. He made three of the Wolves six 3-pointers and also finished with eight rebounds and three steals.
Ezeck Olinger scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds, and Jack McCullough hit a pair of 3s en route to 10 points to go with five rebounds. Bo Swartz scored nine points and had three assists, and Eric Spencer finished with six rebounds and five assists. Jack McCullough contributed four assists and three steals.
No Indiana player reached double figures.
West Shamokin plays host to Blairsville on Wednesday. Indiana plays host to Hampton on Friday.
INDIANA 55, KISKI AREA 21: Indiana had no problem and handed longtime assistant coach Otto Peterson his first victory as a head coach in a WPIAL Class 5A Section 2 game.
Indiana put the game out of reach in the first half, taking a 16-2 lead in the first quarter and extending it to 18-9 at halftime.
Hope Cook, a junior guard, led Indiana with 21 points. She made three 3-point field goals. Katie Kovalchick posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Peterson succeeded Dave Woodall, who compiled 375 wins in 23 seasons and led Indiana to the state championship game in 2010.
Indiana plays its home opener Thursday against Hampton.
BURRELL 53, SALTSBURG 46: Saltsburg stuck with Burrell through three quarters but couldn’t keep up the pace in the final period of a non-conference game.
Saltsburg forged ties at 18-18 at halftime and 31-31 going into the fourth quarter, but Burrell outscored the Trojans 22-15 in the final eight minutes.
Burrell made more 3-point field goals (9) than two-pointers (8), with three coming in the fourth quarter. Ally Fisher hit two of those and finished with 14 points to join two teammates in double figures.
Saltsburg’s Abbie Dickie scored a game-high 18 points. She went 12-for-18 at the free throw line. Eden Plowman and Karly Cindric added nine points apiece.
Saltsburg plays host to Purchase Line this evening.