Valley Sports Report
SAYRE - NEB closed out the first half with a 20-2 run, and pulled away in the second half for a 55-34 win over Sayre here Monday night in NTL Small School Division boys basketball action.
Six-foot, 4-inch sophomore Zach Belles scored the first four points of the game for Sayre, then seniors Gage Carnrike and James Esposito scored consecutive fast-break buckets to give the Redskins an 8-2 lead with 2:15 let in the first quarter.
After consecutive buckets by NEB, Carnrike scored with 15 seconds remaining in the first quarter to give the Redskins a 10-6 lead after the first eight minutes.
The Panthers pulled within two points, at 10-8, early in the second quarter, but sophomore Connor Young and Belles scored consecutive buckets to give the Redskins a 14-8 lead with 6 1/2 minutes remaining in the first half.
NEB reeled off nine straight points to take the lead for good, at 17-14, with 3 1/2 minutes remaining. lead,
Carnrike broke the momentum with a driving lay-up to make it 17-16 with 3:10 left in the first half, but the Panthers scored 11 straight points to take a 28-16 lead into the halftime locker room.
Freshman Brayden Horton scored on an offensive putback in the opening moments of the second half to make it 28-18. After a free throw by Esposito, Carnrike canned a 3-pointer to pull the Redskins within six points, at 28-22, with 6:15 remaining in the third quarter, but NEB scored the next eight points to take a 36-22 lead with 1:20 left.
A pair of free throws by Esposito closed the gap to 36-24 in the final moments of the third quarter, but that is as close as the Redskins would get as NEB used a 13-3 run to push its lead to 22 points, at 49-37, midway through the fourth quarter.
Carnrike led the Redskins with 13 points, five rebounds, and one blocked shot, while Young had six points, five rebounds, and three blocked shots, and Belles added six points.
Esposito had five points, four rebounds, and three assists for the Redskins, and Horton had four points, five boards, two assists, and two steals.
Sayre, now 5-15, returns to action Tuesday at Cowanesque Valley.
IN PHOTO 1: Sayre's Gage Carnrike. IN PHOTO 2: Sayre's James Esposito. ... PHOTOS COURTESY OF PETER KENT.
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