Western Wayne boys are hoping to snap a three-game losing skein

For a second straight season, Western Wayne got off to a fast start in boys varsity hoops action.

The Wildcats won four of their first six games last year and they’ve been even better this year, opening with seven wins in nine starts.

Unfortunately for local fans, the ‘Cats have hit a rough patch lately, suffering three tough losses in a row.

Coach Al Semenza’s squad is now 7-5 overall after defeats at the hands of Valley View, Delaware Valley and Wallenpaupack Area.

“We're definitely a little bit frustrated right now,” he said following Tuesday night's 48-42 setback at home against Paupack.

“We've been playing very well. We're in every game right to the end, but we're having trouble closing things out. We need to know the situation, keep our composure and execute better.”

Weather permitting, Western Wayne will try to get back on track Friday with a road game versus Abington Heights.

Opening tip is slated for 7 p.m. in Clarks Summit.

One-Two Punch

Western Wayne opened the 2018-19 campaign with a 7-2 record.

The highlight of this first part of the season was a five game winning streak that included double-digit victories over Coughlin, Forest City and Mountain View.

As was the case in 2017-18, the Wildcats offensive assault has been keyed by two talented veterans.

Zachary Rovinsky led Division II in scoring last year at 17.1 ppg. So far this season, he’s been even better. At the halfway point of the campaign, Rovinsky averaging just over 20.

Zach tallied nine in a 41-34 loss to Valley View. He erupted for a game-high 26 in a 51-49 setback versus DV, then added 12 in Tuesday’s 48-42 defeat against Paupack.

“Zach continues to score and have some really big games for us,” said Coach Semenza. “He's improved so much since his freshman year.

“Zach is one of the best scorers in the league and he keeps on delivering every night even though every team is keying on him.”

Dahlton Frisbie has been very nearly as impressive. He finished second in the division last year at 16.3 points per game.

This year, Frisbie is right back in the top five after scoring 10 against the Cougars, 19 versus the Warriors and 19 in the loss to Paupack.

“We rely on Dahlton an awful lot,” Coach Semenza said. “He's knocked down some really big threes for us this season. Dahlton just continues to get better with each passing day.”

Rovinsky and Frisbie are each closing in on a career milestone. Barring injuries, both will gain admittance to the exclusive 1,000-Point Club this winter.

“They're great kids,” said Coach Semenza. “They work extremely hard on their game and they're great teammates. It's a pleasure coaching them.”

Tough Losses

Western Wayne's recent mini-skid began with a 7-point loss to Valley View.

The Wildcats tied the score early in the fourth quarter, but the Cougars eventually pulled away thanks to a spate of late free throws.

Frisbie led the way with 10 points, while Rovinsky netted nine. Zane Janiszewski contributed eight points to the cause, while Rob Carey added four.

The local lads then battled Delaware Valley to a dead heat after regulation, but came up two points short in overtime.

Rovinsky rattled the rims for 26 in this one and Frisbie tallied 19. Thomas Chernansky and Carey each added a bucket in the loss.

In Tuesday night's game against Paupack, the 'Cats once again fought right down to the final buzzer but came up short.

Elijah Rosenthal turned in a brilliant performance for the Buckhorns, raining down jumpers from all over the floor and finishing with a game-high 27 points. Rosenthal hit an eye-popping seven treys along the way.

Frisbie paced the 'Cat offensive attack with 19, while Rovinsky tallied 12. Janiszewski chipped in with seven including two treys of his own. Kobe Sauter and Carey rounded out the scoring with two apiece.

“We really need to keep working hard and re-focus,” Coach Semenza said.

“Seven of our last 10 games are on the road and we can't take any of them for granted. This is a very tough league and there aren't any easy wins out there for us.”