In a rematch of last year’s Schuylkill League boys’ basketball opening game, both teams were looking to shine. North Schuylkill, the reigning division one champions, looked to replicate the start of last season with a win over the Minersville Battlin Miners. A tough and physical defensive contest resulted in the Spartans pick up the victory.
The game started slowly, rife with turnovers and missed shots. Both teams featured some new faces in the starting lineup looking to make their mark. Zane Zulkowski scored four for the Spartans, while teammates Jack Keiter and Jude Maziekas added threes to make the score 10-4.
Both teams began to find their offensive footing in the second quarter. Keiter took over in the second quarter scoring ten points shrugging off contact inside of the paint. Fernando Rivera contributed a three-ball and Zane Zulkowski added two in the quarter. The Miners saw contributions from multiple players in the second quarter. Shazier Bethea scored two, Bradley Kostishak added four, and Dante Carr tallied three for the quarter. When the dust settled, the Spartans led 25-13 at the half.
The Miners came storming out of the half led by Logan Hutsko, Lorenzo Yourey, and Dante Carr. They cut the lead down to just five, the lowest it had been all game for the Spartans. Zane Zulkowski took matters into his own hands scoring seven including an and-one polarizing dunk over a defender. Directly after, Zulkowski scored a layup reminiscent of NBA star Kyrie Irving to energize the crowd. The Spartans ended the quarter with a seven-point lead with the score 34-27.
The Miners continued to press the Spartans in the fourth. Yourey scored four, Carr added three, and Kostishak contributed two to the scoresheet. But the effort would be no match for Keiter and Zulkowski who combined for 11 in the final quarter. Fernando Rivera added two more for good measure and made the final score 47-36 in favor of the Spartans. The Spartans will remain home for their next matchup against the Tamaqua Blue Raiders. The Battlin Miners will look to rebound against the Mount Carmel Red Tornadoes.
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