The State College boys’ basketball team led in the opening minutes but trailed for most of the rest of the game.
It wasn’t until Tommy Friberg hit a runner with 53 seconds to go that the Little Lions claimed the lead again. Friberg was fouled on the play and missed the free throw.
“He should have made that,” older brother Drew Friberg said with a laugh. “That was big. I was happy for him.”
It was part of a solid five minutes of play for State College that propelled them to a 63-60 win over Delaware Valley Charter in the Kiwanis Holiday Classic championship game.
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With 4:50 to go in the game, Drew Friberg hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to get State College within 52-49.
“It felt great out there,” Friberg said. “Knowing that my teammates have confidence in me and looking for the trailer and playing unselfish was good too.”
Friberg hit 4 of 7 from behind the arc on the night en route to his 20 points.
“I thought he shot really well tonight,” Little Lions coach Joe Walker said. “He is a great shooter and really smart with the ball. He stepped into one on a great reversal pass. Just the way it was leaving his hand tonight, I knew that one was in.”
Two minutes later, State College was within two thanks to back-to-back buckets from Tommy Sekunda and Eli Bokunewicz. A minute later, Delaware Valley’s lead was 58-57 after Sekunda drained a three from the corner.
Sekunda finished with 25 points to lead State College offensively despite picking up his fourth foul with over 10 minutes left in the game.
“We did offense, defense (substitutions) for him,” Walker said of keeping Sekunda playing. “We made a big mistake and missed his third foul. To play for the entire fourth quarter with four fouls, he played very, very smart.”
Following Tommy Friberg’s bucket, Antwaun Butler’s score was the final of the night for Delaware Valley as it led 60-59.
Sekunda hit another layup to push State College back in front 61-60. After getting a stop, Drew Friberg drew a foul and knocked down the free throws to seal the win.
“A credit to our guys. We were down seven at points but they kept fighting,” Walker said. “I’m always proud of them for that. I ask for energy first and effort and they gave that to me for 32 minutes.”
Notes: Sekunda and Drew Friberg were each named to the All-Tournament team. Joining them were Shaler’s Anthony Venezia, Burrell’s Logan Bitner and Delaware Valley Charter’s Mahki Morris and Dieon Harris. … Morris and Harris each had double-digit scoring for the Warriors. Morris had a team-high 23 points and Harris added 17. … Shaler topped Burrell 46-36 in the consolation game earlier in the day.