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Warriors win running away

Moniteau freshman Andrew Zepeda (4) drives to the basket during the Warriors’ 63-33 boys basketball victory Saturday. Shane Potter/Butler Eagle 2/4/23
Second-half explosion keys Moniteau boys basketball triumph

CHERRY TWP — Share and share alike.

That element — along with rebounding the ball — is working well for the Moniteau boys basketball team right now.

“When I see us sharing the basketball and moving it effectively, my heart just wants to sing,” Warriors coach Mike Jewart said.

It enjoyed a rather lengthy melody Saturday.

Six Moniteau players scored between eight and 12 points as the Warriors (12-7) ran away from West Shamokin, 63-33. Moniteau won for the seventh time in eight games and outscored the Wolves, 33-12, in the second half.

The Warriors have won three straight games since losing point guard Chason Delarosa-Rugg to a torn meniscus 10 days ago at Keystone. He is out for the season.

“Losing Chason, everybody has to be involved in the offense,” freshman guard Andrew Zepeda said. “We have to play together and distribute the ball around. That’s when we’re most effective.”

Moniteau had a 30-21 lead at halftime and saw that margin shrink to seven when Braydyn Rodgers stole the ball and drove for a layup for West Shamokin (8-12). But the bottom fell out on the Wolves at that point.

The Warriors went on a 15-0 run to open up a 45-23 lead late in the third quarter. Six players combined to score those 15 points. A David Martino trey began the surge and a David Dessicino layup ended it. Zepeda, Connor Ealy, Aydan Jackson and Colton Thomas all dented the scoreboard during that stretch as well.

West Shamokin managed only three field goals in the second half.

“Their 1-2-2 zone made us uncomfortable offensively,” Wolves coach Judd McCullough said. “We couldn’t solve it. They got some steals, rebounded well and got running the other way.”

Moniteau enjoyed a 36-20 advantage on the boards.

“When we lost at Keystone, we got clobbered on the boards. They out-rebounded us by 20 or something like that,” Jewart said. “That’s what cost us that game. We immediately got to work on our rebounding in practice and it’s been excellent in our three games since then.”

Zepeda had 12 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals for the Warriors on Saturday. Dylan Bush scored all 12 of his points in the second half, 10 of those coming in the fourth quarter.

“Andrew does a great job of facilitating our offense when we get out and run,” Jewart said. “That’s when we’re most effective, getting down the floor before the defense can set up and getting easy buckets that way.”

Dessicino scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds. Martino had nine points and three assists, Jackson eight points and seven boards, Colton Thomas — the lone senior in the starting lineup — eight points.

Rodgers scored 19 points for West Shamokin, but no teammate tallied more than three.

“This was a rough one, but we have a resilient bunch. We’ll be back,” McCullough said.

Moniteau hosts Clarion-Limestone on Tuesday before closing the regular season with Redbank Valley and Karns City.

“Three tough ones coming up ... But I like the way we’re playing right now,” Jewart said.


Ezra Oesterling 1-3 1-2 3, Deven Hatch-Cousins 1-1 1-3 3, Braydyn Rodgers 7-14 3-5 19, Alex Talmadge 1-8 0-0 2, Sean McCullough 0-5 0-0 0, Niko Buffone 0-5 0-0 0, Travis Johns 1-4 0-0 3, Easton Barrett 1-1 1-2 3. Totals: 12-41 6-12 33.


Connor Ealy 2-4 0-0 4, David Martino 3-8 2-3 9, Andrew Zepeda 5-7 0-0 12, Ayden Jackson 4-7 0-1 8, Connor Alfreno 0-0 0-0 0, Landon Kelly 0-2 0-0 0, David Dessicino 4-9 1-2 10, Dylan Bush 5-7 0-0 12, Brendin Sankey 0-0 0-0 0, Colton Thomas 3-6 2-2 8. Totals: 26-50 5-8 63.

West Shamokin 8 13 6 6 — 33

Moniteau 10 20 19 14 — 63

3-point goals: West Shamokin 3 (Rodgers 2, Johns), Moniteau 6 (Zepeda 2, Martino, Dessicino, Bush 2)

JV: Moniteau, 53-47 (WS: Travis Johns 19, Easton Barrett 10; M: Landon Kelly 17, Connor Ealy 16, Dawson Cook 11)

Tuesday: Clarion-Limestone at Moniteau

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