Lions fade in second half at Schuylkill

Jahdon Jerome goes up for a lay up in the paint.
Jahdon Jerome goes up for a lay up in the paint.

Schuylkill Haven, Pa. - Hazleton fell to 3-18 on the season following Saturday's 80-62 loss at Penn State Schuylkill. The Lions gave the home team a run for their money, leading at halftime by a three point spread, but the Hazleton offense ran out of gas midway through the final period, seeing Schuylkill surge past the Lions for a double-figure win. 

Hazleton trailed early in the ballgame although Hazleton stuck right with Schuylkill throughout the half and never fell behind by more than seven points at any time in the period. Stellar efforts from sophomores Donovan Cumberbatch (Springfield Gardens, Ny.) and Jahdon Jerome (Cambria Heights, Ny.), helped the Lions keep pace with the home squad and eventually allowed Hazleton to surge past Schuylkill for a lead at the midway point. Cumberbatch knocked in a pair of early triples and at one point, the sophomore scored five straight points in the game while Jerome steadily piled on five field goals through the period. Hazleton tracked down Schuylkill with less than three minutes to play in the half when Kyle Artis (Allentown, Pa.) knocked in a pair of triples resulting in a two point Hazleton advantage. Sophomore Colin Johnson (Raleigh, Nc.)tacked on a pair of late free throws that ultimately extended Hazleton's lead to three points by the break. 

But as the second half began, Schuylkill's offense took off. The home team picked up their mid-range shooting game to tally 25 points in the first nine minutes of action. Hazleton got a combined nine points from Jahdon Jerome and junior Jerome Warrick (Alexandria, Va.) over that same stretch but despite their efforts, Schuylkill was able to go up by double-figures heading into the final stretch. As Hazleton attempted to make a comeback, Nittany Lion shooters came up empty, resulting in a four minute scoring drought that allowed Schuylkill's lead to balloon to as many as 25 points, allowing the home squad to run out the clock late in the action to secure the win. 

Jahdon Jerome totaled 17 points in the loss on Saturday, leading all Hazleton players in the scoring column. Kyle Artis added 12 points while going 2-for-5 from beyond the arc with Cumberbatch finishing the game with 11 points. Jerome Warrick added a solid effort across the board with nine points, five rebounds and a pair of steals respectively. 

Next up: The Nittany Lions will finish up the 2022-23 season on Tuesday, February 21 on their home court when Hazleton faces off with Penn State Mont Alto at 8:00 p.m.