Holy Redeemer edges Scranton in OT

Scranton had its chances. Holy Redeemer's Len Rad-ziak made the most of his.

The Knights had two shots clang off the back of the rim, one to win at the end of the regulation and another to tie at the end of overtime, but Radziak hit a deep 3-pointer and three of four free throws in the extra session to lift the Royals to a season-opening 48-45 win Friday at Lackawanna College Student Union.

"Huge 3 and big free throws he made as well," said first-year coach Paul Guido, who received a big hug and kiss from his young son Carter to cap his first victory with the Royals.

"He's a junior who comes off the bench for me and I talked to him about being my guy coming off the bench, I couldn't have asked for anything more from him. He deserves it, really much."

His 22-foot set shot vaulted Redeemer back into a 40-39 lead 15 seconds into overtime, after Reynaldo Germosen scored off the tip to give Scranton the lead.

The Knights reclaimed the lead, 43-42, with 1:53 to play on a pair of free throws by Cody Miller, but Mike Prociak powered his way inside for a 6-footer off the low block, and Radziak, who finished with 13 points, kept Scranton at bay with two free throws with 9.3 seconds remaining.

Scranton's last shot, a 20-footer by Miller from the top of the key, was just long and Redeemer corralled the rebound for the win.

"It's just a great start for these kids," Guido said. "For us to come out and get a win on opening night against a very good, very well-coached Scranton team, I can't speak more highly of my guys.

"Especially in overtime. I thought they really clamped down."

Guido wasn't the only coach pleased with his team's effort.

Playing without Jake McCarthy, still nicked up from football season, Scranton held the Royals 12 for 54 shooting in regulation.

"I'm exceptionally proud of how hard they played," Scranton coach Tony Battaglia said. "For their first minutes on the varsity court, they really came out and played as hard as I asked them to play.

"We knew from the beginning of the year we had a tough team, kids who really get after it defensively, and do the little things that are going to make us good. Defensively, we have to keep teams in the 40s if we want to win, because we are not going to be a high-powered offense."

The Knights didn't have a player on the court who had varsity minutes last season, according to their head coach, but kept the game tight as Sadeed Johnson scored 12 and Sean Padden and Germosen each added 10.

"Sadeed has been behind some good players his whole career and he's been waiting his turn," Battaglia said. "He's a very talented player and when he gets some more varsity experience, he's going to be one of the better ones out there."

Scranton's inexperience was evident in the final minutes of regulation when it went 1 for 4 at the foul line, including two front ends of one-and-ones, had a made free throw wiped out by a lane violation and missed a layup.

Johnson's 19-footer to win at the buzzer also was barely off target.

"It's going to take some growing pains before we learn how to win and how to do the little things that are going to keep you in the game, extend leads when you have leads," Battaglia said.

Besides Radziak, Darios Washington had a hot hand for the Royals. He hit five of his first six shots and scored 13 of his game-high 15 in the first half.