And the winner is: First-timers take home title
In its first season in the Central Blair Recreation Commission’s Lakemont Park Division I Men’s Summer Basketball League this year, the State College-based Spectra Wood team expected a stiff challenge.
“It’s our first year in the league, there are a lot of tough teams, and we have a lot of young guys who needed to toughen up,” said Drew Friberg, a former all-state player at State College Area High School who is now playing NCAA Division I basketball at Princeton University. “We were expecting good competition, and that’s what we got.”
Led by Friberg, who earned the league’s Dick Hankinson Most Valuable Player Award for the championship game with a 12-point effort, second-seeded Spectra Wood pulled away in the second half and carved out a 60-55 title victory over fourth-seeded Dairy Queen Friday night.
The win gave Spectra Wood, which also got 13 points from Tommy Friberg, 12 from Cam Villarouel, and 11 from Brian Scholly — who is currently State College High School’s boys varsity basketball coach — a final season record of 13-1.
After falling behind, 25-23 late in the first half when Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School product Anthony Librizzi scored a layup for Dairy Queen, Spectra Wood used a pair of Scholly 3-pointers from the right side to take a 29-25 lead at intermission.
“I felt like we got some good shots throughout the whole half,” Scholly said. “There are a lot of really good teams in this league, and it was fun coming down here and playing in this league. That’s a testament to the people running the league. They do a really good job.”
Spectra Wood gained some separation in the second half, building a 40-31 lead on an inside bucket by Tommy Friberg.
After Dairy Queen (10-3) moved to within one point, 41-40, on a baby hook by former Altoona Area High School standout Manny Span with 7:06 left in the game, Spectra Wood went on an eight-point run to take control with a 49-40 lead.
Three field goals by Villarouel — on a layup, putback, and drive — as well as a field goal from the paint by Ryan McNulty, comprised the run.
“In the second half, we got some stops, we picked up a few turnovers, and we were able to get out and run and show some of our athleticism,” Scholly said.
A 3-pointer from the right side by Jacob Fleegle pulled Dairy Queen to within 49-43, but free throws by Friberg and Scholly bumped the Spectra Wood lead back up to eight points, 51-43.
After a 3-pointer by former Bishop Guilfoyle standout Damon Rickens pulled Dairy Queen to within 51-46, two Drew Friberg free throws gave Spectra Wood a 53-46 lead.
Another Fleegle 3-pointer from the right side moved Dairy Queen to within four points, 53-49, before four free throws by Tommy Friberg sandwiched around a Villarouel dunk gave Spectra Wood breathing room and a 59-49 lead.
Two 3-pointers down the stretch by Fleegle, who had a game-high 25 points, made the final score closer for Dairy Queen.
“I thought it was a good game that went back and forth,” said Fleegle, a former North Star High School player. “They’ve got a bunch of good guys who are very talented, and who are either playing now in college, or who are going to play in college.”
Span chipped in 12 points and Rickens 10 for Dairy Queen.
“We played as a team, and for the most part, I thought we defended pretty well,” Drew Friberg said.
Former Bellwood-Antis High School star Nathan Davis of the Superior Detailing & Associates team earned the Stu Nolan League MVP award for the season.
The all-league team was comprised of Davis, Drew Friberg, Fleegle, Drew Shubik of the Okonak, Dean & Lechner team, Jesse Betar of the Forney Fitness squad, and Isaac Vescovi of Superior Detailing & Associates.
DAIRY QUEEN (55): Fleegle 7 7-8 25, Librizzi 2 1-2 5, A. Lytle 0 0-1 0, Span 6 0-0 12, Rickens 3 2-4 10, Burket 0 0-0 0, Crabtree 1 1-1 3. Totals — 19 11-16 55.
SPECTRA WOOD (60): D. Friberg 3 4-8 12, Villarouel 5 2-3 12, Walter 2 0-0 4, T. Friberg 3 5-6 13, Scholly 4 1-2 11, J. Friberg 0 0-0 0, McNulty 3 2-3 8. Totals — 20 14-22 60.
SCORE BY HALVES
Dairy Queen 25 30 — 55
Spectra Wood 29 31 — 60
3-point goals: Dairy Queen 6 (Fleegle 4, Rickens 2); Spectra Wood 6 (D. Friberg 2, T. Friberg 2, Scholly 2).
Records: Dairy Queen (10-3); Spectra Wood (13-1).
Officials: Skip Dry, Clark Adelman, Rich Gergley.