Scranton rolls past Redeemer in season opener

Malik Draper started the season with an air ball. So too did Terry Turner. And Scranton’s muchanticipated start to the season stumbled out of the gate.

From there, though, the top-ranked Knights didn’t miss too many more opportunities.

Finishing with 24 points, including 12 on 3-pointers, Draper fueled an 80-47 win over Holy Redeemer on Friday night in a nonleague season opener in boys basketball.

“When I started out, I thought it might be a rough game,” Draper said about his air ball. “We came out and played a complete game, though. I started to get in a r hythm and knocked some shots down.”

Scranton, ranked 10th in the state among Class AAAA teams, attacked the Royals with a 3- point assault, making 10 from beyond the arc.

In addition to Draper’s four 3-pointers, Turner drilled three and began the year with an 18-point effort. The senior also had eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals.

“We wanted to go out and get our defense going first,” Turner said. “We just wanted to execute and rebounding is a key this year. I’m definitely trying to get everyone involved. “This is a team effort.” After shaking off the early first-game struggles Scranton proved to have too many weapons.

Andrew Moran, starting his first game after transferring from Holy Cross, had 11 points, five rebounds and four assists. Joe Mccarthy had eight points, making all four of his shots in the paint as the Knights finished shooting 60 percent from the floor with 21 assists.

“I wasn’t really looking to score, but I just wanted to play a good solid game at center,” Mccarthy said. “We went out and stayed within ourselves and that’s why we were able to get the win.”

Scranton built a 20-11 lead in the first quarter as Draper and Turner combined for 10 points, and Mccarthy had four.

That margin increased to 43-25 by halftime as Draper made a pair of 3-pointers.

“I think we played real well as a team,” said Draper, who also had three assists and three steals. “We still have a lot of things to work on though.”

In the third, the Knights put the game away with a 22-6 advantage. Draper had seven points, Moran added five and Turner had five points and four offensive rebounds.

With a 7-0 surge to start the fourth quarter that included an acrobatic layup by Karlon Quiller, Scranton had a 72-31 lead, putting the running clock in motion.

That allowed coach Tony Battaglia to rest players to get ready for this afternoon’s game against Pocono Mountain West, which beat the Knights last season.

“Everybody will go home and get a good night’s sleep,” Turner said. “We are going to be ready.”

Mike Boutanos led Holy Redeemer with 13 points, six in the fourth quarter, and Mike Prociak added 11. Contact the writer: