By Pete Chiodo
March 13, 2013 7:00 a.m. SHARON —
The Beaver Area boys basketball team wanted to play up-tempo. So General McLane’s Jaymon Mason happily obliged, streaking up and down the court and putting up 33 points as the Lancers downed the Bobcats 69-45 in second round action of the PIAA Class AAA playoffs Tuesday at Sharon High School.
“This game, we wanted to get into the transition a little more than we have in the past,” said the senior Mason. “We knew that (Beaver) didn’t get back as well. We just wanted to create easy buckets. And, for the most part, we did that effectively.”
Yet, it wasn’t only Mason making an impact for the Lancers.
“It was a good game by everybody,” said Lancers head coach Andy Schulz. “Brett (Kulka) did a great job for us, a great job inside helping out, rebounding. Quinn (Thompson) did a great job. My two little guards, Lukas (Hallett) and Clay (Smith) did a fabulous job defensively. Marcus Erdman came off the bench and hit a couple big shots for us.
“And, of course, Jaymon was Jaymon.”
The win was a special one for Schulz as well. Already the winningest boys basketball coach in District 10 history, the 29-year veteran picked up victory No. 600 last night.
“Old, man,” said coach Schulz. “Old, man. I’ve seen a lot of games. But I’ll tell you what, I’d go to war with these guys any time. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m the luckiest coach in America to coach at General McLane and this” – he nodded toward Mason who was standing nearby – “is a good example of it.”
Mason had a full head of steam right from the start last night, ringing up 10 points in the first quarter and 11 in the second, recording 21 of the Lancers’ 34 first-half points.
In fact, Mason outscored the entire Beaver team, which had 18 at the break.
Mason was 4-for-5 from the 3-point line in the first half, 6-for-12 from the floor and 5-for-6 from the charity stripe.
Setting him up was a strong effort on the boards by the Lancers. They out-rebounded the Bobcats 20-15 in the first half. Kulka led the way with seven, including six in the first quarter.
“I was just trying to move around and get some rebounds and do my part,” Kulka said.
Mason added six more points in the third quarter. And Thompson started doling out some damage down low, grabbing four rebounds and scoring eight points in the period.
By the time the fourth rolled around, McLane had the game pretty well in hand, leading 50-31.
After Mason’s 33, Thompson followed with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Lukas Hallett scored eight points and had eight boards. And Kulka scored seven markers and had 11 rebounds.
Now 22-5 on the year, McLane moves on to the state quarterfinal round where it will face Montour, which was a 48-38 winner over Girard last night.
Coincidentally, 48-38 was the exact final score of Montour’s victory over General McLane in last year’s state quarterfinal round, a verdict that ended the Lancers’ playoff run and their then-undefeated season.
“We’re excited,” said Mason. “We came up a little bit short last year when we played them. We wanted to get this rematch. And hopefully we can get the ‘W’.”
Beaver, which ends the season with a record of 20-5, was led last night by senior forward Corey Nesmith who tallied 17 points. Center Aaron Barlow followed with 13.