Although the annual Taylor Lions Holiday Basketball Tournament was postponed twice due to the two recent snow storms in northeast Pennsylvania, the 26th annual tournament was competitive right to its conclusion.
On Sunday, Riverside High School hosted the final four games of the tournament, when the girls' consolation and title game, along with the boys' consolation and title game, were played. The day of hoops started with Nanticoke dominating Lackawanna Trail in the girls' consolation game.
The girls' championship featured familiar foes with host team Riverside playing West Scranton in what was the most compelling game of the tournament. The Lady Vikes knocked off Lackawanna Trail in the first round by a score of 57-37 and West Scranton narrowly defeated Nanticoke by a score of 57-53 setting up the title match-up.
In the title game, the Lady Vikes took a 16-0 lead to start the game, but West Scranton battled back cutting the lead in half by the end of the first quarter.
West Scranton ended with a win against host team Riverside. The score was 48-46. The Lady Vikes placed three players in double figures. Brianna Burnside scored 14 points, Ashley Buffton added 12 points and Madison Huduck contributed 10 points for Riverside. West Scranton was led by tournament MVP Jane Joyce, who scored 14 points.
Once the girls' side of the tournament was over the boys' tipped off. MMI Prep held off Lackawanna Trail's comeback effort in the boys' consolation game by a score of 41-40.
The boys' title game featured another West Scranton/Riverside game. The two have played some classic title games in the long history of the annual tournament. Riverside defeated MMI 62-34 in the first round and West Scranton beat Lackawanna Trail 62-39 in order to get to the final.
The title game was a defensive battle, which was no surprise, considering this was the ninth straight time the two matched up in the final. West Scranton held Riverside to three points in the first quarter, but only scored seven points of its own.
The Invaders maintained a small lead most of the game keeping the Vikings at an arm's length the entire game. West Scranton claimed the title with a 45-36 win in the defensive struggle. Nico Munley paced the Vikings with 12 points.
The holiday tournament season did have one Triboro team pick up a championship. The Old Forge girls' basketball team won the Lou Camoni Memorial Tournament held at Valley View High School. The Lady Devils remained undefeated by beating Valley View by a score of 43-38.
The Old Forge boys' basketball team advanced to the championship game of the Schifano Tournament held at Wyoming Area High School. Wyoming Valley West defeated the Blue Devils in the title tilt by a score of 43-38.
With the New Year starting, Lackawanna League play begins. On Friday, the unbeaten Lady Devils with host the Lady Vikes as the girls' team renew their rivalry. The boys' will play on Saturday night as Old Forge will visit Riverside High School for the first meeting of the season between the two rivals.