Among the Top


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Last Wednesday, Riverside guard Jaron Vishnesky proved he is willing to do whatever it takes to win a game.

He is among the Lackawanna League's top scorers. The senior is a threat from the three-point line and fearless when he drives to the basket.

Any time Riverside faces Old Forge it is a tough, hard-fought game by both sides.

The Vikings had an eight-point lead with less than four minutes to play, but the Devils made a run and cut the lead to two points.

The Devils had the ball and momentum on their side as the Old Forge crowd was on its feet. Old Forge had a chance to tie or win the game with a last second shot.

Old Forge was moving the ball up the court with time to get a good shot off, but Vishnesky dove to the hardwood, knocking the ball away and forcing Old Forge into taking a desperation shot from about mid-court. That desperation shot failed and Riverside held on to a dramatic 46-44 win over their arch-rival on the road.

"That shows a lot. That is how he plays," said Riverside boys' basketball coach Andrew Bennie. "He plays all out all the time and that shows how much he wants to win, diving on the floor after the ball and (Nico) Munley goes in after him and that forced them to have a tough shot."

Vishnesky didn't have his normal scoring night, as he scored nine points in the game, with most of those points coming in the form of key free throws late in the game. He wasn't worried about scoring points. He and his teammates just wanted to get a win for their coach.

"The win is for coach, it means a lot to us, but it means a lot to him and getting this for coach was a big thing for us," Vishnesky said.

Bennie is a former Old Forge basketball player and the game was his first at Old Forge as head coach of Riverside.

"They (Riverside players) said the same thing at home but, unfortunately, we came up short," Bennie said of the first meeting with Old Forge. "That means a lot knowing that is how they feel and they want to win that much for me."

Old Forge won the first match-up by a score of 41-38 at Riverside High School.

The Vikings are having a solid season under first-year coach Bennie and are looking to see if they can win the remaining regular season games so when they matchup with Holy Cross in the regular season final they have a chance to be the Lackawanna League Division III champions. Riverside is now 2-0 to start the second half as of Sunday and 13-5 overall.

"We are moving in the right direction, hopefully we will have a better second half than we did the first time," Bennie said. "We will see where we end up in a couple of weeks."

This has been a season of adjustments for the Riverside boys' basketball team. They not only have a new coach, but they are also trying to replace Riverside's all-time leading scorer Jerry Kincel.

Vishnesky has been picking up some of the scoring for Riverside this season. The one thing that hasn't changed this season has been solid guard play. Vishnesky and Munley were one of the top guard combinations in the league last season and this year they are showing way.

"We all had to step up big time losing him, but everyone is stepping up," Vishnesky said. "So far it is going well. Hopefully we can finish it off like every other year and get far in the playoffs."

Vishnesky said he hopes to play college basketball either somewhere in Florida or at the University of Scranton.

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