- August 10, 2022
The beautiful things about sports are the opportunities they provide for those of us willing to take a chance. Everything is there for a competitor. It’s often times about seeing the chance, being prepared, and meeting the challenge. For Loyalsock’s Collin Graver, those chances are, at times, far and few between. They might not be
The beautiful things about sports are the opportunities they provide for those of us willing to take a chance.
Everything is there for a competitor. It’s often times about seeing the chance, being prepared, and meeting the challenge.
For Loyalsock’s Collin Graver, those chances are, at times, far and few between. They might not be plentiful throughout the course of a season, but Graver has taken full advantage of his chances.
In last Thursday’s opening round contest of the District 4 Class AAA basketball playoffs, Graver had one of those moments, and in a fashion that has been true to him all season, he seized it. Loyalsock went on to win the game over No. 7 seeded Warrior Run 72-40.
It was a game highlighted by runs, but the final eight minutes belonged to Graver, who arguably put together his best quarter of the season.
“I was just left open and took the shot,” Gaver said. “It felt good. I just kept finding open gaps and making shots.”
The game was well in hand at the start of the fourth quarter. It helped open the offense up for more players. Loyalsock sent most of the starters to the bench at the start of the quarter. Graver, who entered the fourth quarter with four points on two of three shooting, excelled over the final eight minutes. Graver settled in with a three and continued to find open spots for clean looks at the basket.
“It feels good,” Graver said of the fourth quarter. “I’ve been struggling a little with shooting all season. I didn’t have the best shooting night tonight, but I found the gaps and got easy shots.”
Graver might have been a little better than he thought. Over the course of the fourth quarter, Graver nailed all but one of his attempts from the floor. He also did a good job of adjusting to the defense. Midway through his run, the defense collapsed on him. He quickly found Aiden Gair for a layup as he cut to the basket.
“On a given night he can scorch the nets,” Loyalsock coach Ron “CI” Insinger said. “He can get hot. If we can ride on his coattails a little bit and get some valuable minutes out of him, it’s going to be a real asset to the team.”
Graver finished with 13 points to help the Lancers kick off the district tournament with a win. He was outstanding moving around the floor to find soft spots in Warrior Run’s defense.
It was a big moment for Graver, who went three consecutive games without a point prior to the contest against Warrior Run. He quickly made his presence felt in the first quarter, pulling down two rebounds and scoring two points. He added another two points and a rebound in the second as Loyalsock took a 37-19 lead into halftime. Graver added a rebound in the third before exploding for nine points in the fourth.
No. 2 Loyalsock 72, No. 7 Warrior Run 40
Warrior Run (40)
Austin Soltesz 1 0-0 3; Cassidy Hoffman 0 0-0 0; Gage Anzulavich 4 4-4 12; Justin Brady 0 0-0 0; Braden Bomberger 0 0-0 0; Denver Beachel 0 0-0 0; Anthony Perrone 0 0-0 0; Luke Burrows 7 2-2 19; Ahmahd Keyes 1 4-8 6. Totals 13 10-14 40.
Brandon Bauman 0 0-0 0; Gerald Ross 7 2-4 19; Collin Graver 6 0-0 13; Anthony Pastore 3 3-4 10; Connor Watkins 3 0-0 6; Mitchell Klingerman 3 0-0 7; Bam Brima 3 3-4 9; Aiden Gair 1 4-4 6; Ryan Sullivan 0 0-0 0; Rees Watkins 1 0-0 2. Totals 27b 12-16 72.
3–Point Goals: Warrior Run 4 (Soltesz, Burrows 3). Loyalsock 6 (Ross 3, Pastore, Klingerman).
Records: Warrior Run 12-11. Loyalsock 19-6.
Next: No. 2 Loyalsock vs. No. 3 Mount Carmel/No. 6 Hughesville, TBA