Archbishop Ryan and Penn Wood are similar teams in one key way. They both love to cause havoc on the defensive side of the ball. This was very evident right out of the gate in both teams opening game in the PIAA State tournament.
The big difference between the two, however, was that only Archbishop Ryan was scoring consistently on the offensive end. Gediminas Mokseckas led the offensive effort with poise whenever the Penn Wood defense would try and turn up the energy and pace to the game.
Many times Mokseckas would get the ball after breaking the full-court press and he would find his way into the lane for either a drive and kick or a trip to the lane. His midrange game was clicking and he finished the game with 20 points and seven rebounds.
That wasn’t the only storyline highlight of Archbishop Ryan’s victory. Jalen Snead turned in a stellar defensive performance for the Raiders. Since Christian Isopi was patrolling the paint, it gave Snead the freedom to wreak havoc on the perimeter and help side. Specifically to the tune of seven blocks and 11 rebounds.
Any time Penn Wood drove the lane, they were met by both Isopi and Snead. They forced Penn Wood into tons of bad shots and missed opportunities and it sparked more than a couple of runs for the Raiders.
To cap it all off, Dom Vazquez chipped in 14 points and was instrumental in their big fourth-quarter run that blew the doors off of the game.
On the other side, senior Shamir Baynes paced Penn Wood with 20 points. Jerry Flynn, the team’s leading scorer through districts, only came up with four points in the loss.