Norristown falls short of Hazleton in state playoff opener

(2-1) Hazleton Area 62, (1-7) Norristown 45 – Mikeel Allen scored a team-high15 points for the slow-starting Eagles in their season-ending loss to the District 2 champions in the opening round of the PIAA Class 6A playoffs Saturday at Berwick.

Norristown, which finishes its season at 18-10, fell behind 17-6 in the first quarter and never recovered as the Cougars (24-1) knocked down all five of their three-point shots in the opening frame.

The Eagles drew within 42-32 early in the fourth quarter behind field goals from Darius Hopewell and Tyler Lyons (8 points) and two free throws from Allen, but would get no closer as Hazleton responded with a 5-0 run to take full control.

Hazleton, which captured its first state playoff win since 2014, will face Pocono Mountain West in the round of 16 Wednesday night.

Norristown (45) — Tubbs 3 1-2 7, Lyons 3 0-0 8, Williams 1 1-2 4, Dorman 1 1-2 3, Hopewell 3 0-0 6, Allen 6 3-4 15, Anderson 0 0-0 0, Tate 0 0-0 0, Kinney 1 0-0 2. Totals 18 6-11 45.
Hazleton Area (62) — Samec 3 0-0 7, Vayda 0 1-2 1, Wolk 0 0-0 0, Planutis 6 2-4 15, D’Angelo 0 0-0 0, Franek 0 0-0 0, Grula 7 2-2 19, Moronta 0 0-0 0, Otero 1 0-0 2, Shamany 1 0-0 2, Norman 0 0-0 0, Melendez 0 0-0 0, Faison 3 9-11 16, Seigendall 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 14-19 62.
Norristown   6  16   8 15 – 45
Hazleton      17 13 12 20 - 62
3-point FGs: Lyons 2, Williams, Grula 3, Samec, Planutis, Faison