If you are a Delaware Valley High School sports fan, then down through the years you have had a lot to rejoice over in all sports.
If you are a DV basketball fan then Jan. 19 t was a whole lot of fun.
Both the Junior Varsity and the Varsity played great games. DV’s varsity was finally at full strength, and the big man, Michael Leonardo, was there and in full force.
Hanover Area is located between Wilkes Barre and Nanticoke and has a fairly large area to draw athletes from. They are no small potatoes.
In the first period, both JV teams played well. Both shot and scored well. The period ended with DV up 16-10.
Hanover had a slight height and bulk advantage and it showed under the basket. They also became very aggressive, but it didn’t show on the scoreboard. DV Was playing equally aggressively, which translated to a DV 29-12 lead.
In the 3rd period the DV defense became monster tight. They were stealing the ball and blocking shots and wow has their shooting and scoring improved. 3rd period ends with DV having a commanding lead of 49-20.
The 4th period was time to get everyone in the game. DV never let up and danced away with a 56-24 solid victory.
Michael Leonardo is back, and is the tallest player on the court. He looks to be about 6’4” or 6’5” but played like he was 6’7’.
Hanover looked tall and bulky. Half of their team seemed to stand around 6’2” to 6’3”. Hmm, I was giving them a slight size advantage, but their bigger guys saw less playing time than I expected. This pretty much made the size comparison very even.
The first period was tight and close. DV held a slight edge of 12-11.
The second period was much of the same and closed out at 21-21. I was thinking that Hanover might just be slightly better. DV was not able to score inside while Hanover was able to. DV was forced to shoot mostly from outside and although they were shooting well up to that point I feared a cold streak might show up. Boy, was that a wrong assumption.
The 3rd period was a different game. DV defense tightened up like a drum. It was a seesaw battle for about three and a half minutes before the dynamics changed. Lukas Schuts was reinserted into the game and he started scoring inside and under the basket. Why didn’t Hanover stop him? He just bulldozed his way in with pretty moves. He was an unstoppable force.
Aiden Oliver was doing the same thing so that Hanover could not key on one player. DV was also hitting like marksmen from the outside. The result was DV in command with a 39-26 lead.
In the 4th period the wheels fell off for Hanover. DV seemed to be the vastly better-conditioned team. I can’t emphasize enough how important fitness is in any sport. If you are conditioned better then your opponent, you can wear the other team down. This sure seemed to be what happened. DV never tired while Hanover looked fatigued.
DV was blocking shots, stealing the ball at will, rebounding, and in total control of the game. The benches were eventually cleared, and DV won this by a solid score of 56-42. Believe me, it was not that close.
Hanover has yet to have win a game, according to Max Preps, but they are not a bad team. They showed up to play and were determined to win. They wanted this game badly. They played hard but were just steamrolled by DV this night.
I was waiting to see how DV would play once they were at full strength and, wow, was it ever fun to watch.
Michael Leonardo totally owned the backboards. He was a rebounding machine. Lukas Schuts killed it inside, and Aiden Oliver banged them inside also. They also were pulling down their share of rebounds.
This whole team was energized, and everyone’s game was vastly improved. I would like to name every player, but rest assured that they all played great. The shooting was tremendous, the defense was outstanding. This was a whole different team with Michael Leonardo in the lineup.
If he had been in during the previous two games and if DV played like they that night, then I give them a great chance of winning both games.
The rest of the season should be fun to watch.