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West Shamokin 66, Purchase Line 43

By Josh Shreckengost

West Shamokin junior guard Bo Swartz converts a fast-break layup in transition in the fourth quarter of the Wolves' 66-43 victory over Heritage Conference foe Purchase Line on Wednesday night. Swartz had an excellent all-around game with 11 points, three rebounds, three assists and two blocks as West Shamokin (8-0) remained undefeated on the season.

Rural Valley, Pa. — As the wins keep piling up for the West Shamokin boys varsity basketball team, the target on the team's back grows collectively bigger and as the season wears on, the Wolves are keenly aware that each opponent will push harder than the last in an effort to be the squad which knocks them from the ranks of the unbeaten.

Though Purchase Line entered Wednesday evening's contest with a 1-6 overall record and just a 1-5 mark in conference play, the Red Dragons gave the Wolves all they could handle through the first eight minutes of play. At the end of one quarter, West Shamokin held the slimmest of leads, 17-16 and the Wolves knew they were in for a battle.

Yet as the team has done repeatedly in 2021, the Wolves responded with a fury, particularly midway through the third quarter, and ran away for a 23-point victory, 66-43.

"First, I want to tip my cap to [Purchase Line head coach Steve] Woodrow and that team, they really played their butts off and Mello [Sanchez] is one heck of a player," West Shamokin head coach Judd McCullough said. "It was a really impressive performance on his part and we really had to step our game up. Coming out of the timeout [in the third quarter], our guys didn't panic. Obviously, we've talked about it — our guys have it in them and we were able to create a little more uptempo game and force some turnovers and that always helps lead to runs. We were lucky and fortunate enough to get that going."