Byorick and Acker make Pa. All State squad
Aly Byorick was leaving school on Monday when her
cell phone rang. It was her father, telling her that she was selected
first-team all-state for Class 3A.
I was very surprised to hear I actually
made the first team, the Greater Nanticoke Area junior said.
Byorick, a 6-foot forward, has 1,657 career
points, leaving her 15 points shy of breaking Ruth Maleys school
record set in 1983. Byorick finished the season with 67 three-pointers,
tying the school record for threes in a season.
She helped lead the Trojanettes (29-1) to the
second round of the PIAA Class 3A tournament, where they fell to Oxford,
Ive always wanted it, said
Byorick, who was named to the third team as a sophomore. First-team
all-state is such an accolade to have. Its been a dream of mine,
and I got it this year.
Teammate Sarah Acker, a 6-2 junior center,
was named to the third team.
Named to the first-team are Nanticoke Areas Aly Byorick, 5-11
junior guard/forward in Class AAA, Trojanette junior center Sarah
Acker, 6-3, made the AAA third team.
All honorees made The Sunday Voices Super
Seven team with Byorick cited as Player of the Year. Byorick and Acker
guided coach Jack Rentkos club to its first District 2 title
since 1999. Nanticoke was ranked 10th in the USA Today East Regional
poll, going 29-1 overall. Byorick, a third-team all-stater last season,
averaged 20.2 ppg. and made 36 of 49 free throws. She led the WVCs
Division II with 28 three-pointers. Aly hit 88 percent of her free
thows and averaged 8.7 boards, 3.7 steals and 2.5 assists.
Acker averaged 18.6 ppg., grabbed 15.6 rebounds
and had 5.4 blocks an outing. She and Byorick have been teammates
since their biddy days.
Aly deserves everything she gets,
said Rentko. Shes a hard worker and plays 12 months out
of the year. Thats why Division I schools are looking at her.
Shes dedicated. Sarah carried us and she deserved the honor
as well. She has over 1,200 points and 1,100 rebounds. Shes
6-foot-3 and still growing. Just like Aly, Division I schools are
interested in her. Sarah plays year-round.
Times Leader girls basketball Player of Year
New world nears for Byorick
GNAs junior star is looking ahead as 13 top-ranked colleges
By LISA SOKOLOWSKI
Jack Rentko was finally able to breathe a sigh of
relief Saturday. He no longer is Aly Byoricks public relations
agent, the liaison between the basketball star and college coaches.
As of Saturday, coaches could finally call
Shes only a junior at Greater Nanticoke
Area, and NCAA rules prohibit coaches from contacting juniors
by means other than e-mail or letters before April 1.
The coaches could come to the game, watch Byorick,
and then chat with Rentko, blowing up his ego while handing him business
cards and basketball schedules.
It was up to him to return missed calls and
become a large part of the recruiting process.
Mr. Rentko always says I have to pay
for all his phone bills, Byorick said jokingly.
Byorick is being recruited by Stanford, Penn
State, Boston College, Xavier, Saint Joseph, Delaware, Bucknell, Syracuse,
Towson University, Ohio University, George Washington, SUNY Binghamton
and the University of Massachusetts.
Its neat though, said Byorick,
the Times Leader girls basketball Player of the Year. I like
seeing whos interested.
Her first e-mail came from the University of
But there are a couple of state schools that
have always caught her eye.
When she was 12, her father took her to her
first college basketball game Villanova against Penn State.
Its neat to be getting info from
them, she said.
Shes been offered a full ride from Delaware,
Bucknell, Xavier and Binghamton.
Her father made her sign up for a weekly three-hour
SAT prep course every Sunday. He wants her to keep her options open,
he said. With Byoricks ability, its easy to assume shell
go to college on a full athletic scholarship. But, shes not
sure what the future holds.
Right now, the dream hasnt come
true yet because I havent signed. But, Im living my dream.
This is what I wanted to do. Its something I wanted to since
the first time I ever touched a basketball.
The early years, when she was playing with
the Newport Biddy All-Stars, were just an indication of the player
she would be.
She has 1,657 career points, leaving her 15
points shy of breaking Ruth Maleys record set in 1983. She finished
the season with 67 three-pointers, tying the school record for threes
in a single season. She has 115 career three-pointers, 75 away from
the record Ashley Makarczyk set this year. It seems like thats
a stretch, but she could wind up second. Right now, second is held
by Jennifer Blasi, who finished with 150 in 2000.
On paper, shes impressive. And she holds
that up while shes playing.
It earned her accolades, but also complaints
from parents of opposing players. They yell that Byorick is in the
game too long when, actually, shes hardly playing.
It does get stressful, but you just try
to do your best, Byorick said. You always have your critics.
Youve just got to learn.
When I sit back and think of it, I laugh
because its the furthest thing from the truth. We only play,
about, two quarters.
Its a small amount of playing time for
the starting five. They work in practice just like anyone on any other
basketball team. And they scrimmage each other just like other teams.
Its usually so they can beat the competition.
But, when Nanticoke runs roughshod in the first
quarter, the junior varsity kids come on to finish the game.
Its always frustrating. All five
of us used to hate to come out and let the (junior varsity squad)
play. They see more time than us.
Were playing against
each other more than other teams.
One of the rare games when the starters saw
limited bench time was in a PIAA Class 3A Eastern quarterfinal game
against Oxford. Nanticoke lost 39-35.
It was as devastating for Byorick as for any
of the seniors on the squad.
It still hurts, Byorick said two
weeks after the loss. We were all watching the state championship
game, and texting each other saying, That should be us.
Byorick has one year left. One more chance
to win the state title shes never earned. And shes already
thinking about it.
The returning players are already preparing
themselves to spend some quality time in the weight room, and theyll
play in summer leagues.
Its to prevent a repeat of this year.
I dont want my senior year to end
like my junior year did
Courting a bright future
BY JILL SNOWDON STAFF WRITER
The place to be following a Nanticoke Area basketball
game this season was in front of the locker room door.
The closer the better.
It was the best chance to get first dibs at talking to head coach
Media and college scouts gathered around to ask the veteran coach
questions, many of which centered around two
of the top players in the state Aly Byorick and Sarah Acker.
The junior tandem guided the team to an undefeated regular season,
its first District 2 title since 1999, a 10th place ranking on the
USA Today East Regional rankings, and a 29-1 overall record.
For their efforts, both have
been selected to The Sunday Voices Super 7 All-Star team, with
Byorick earning Player of the Year honors.
The 5-11 guard/forward wrapped up another outstanding year, averaging
20.2 points per game during the regular season and connecting on 36-of-49
free throws. She also led Division II in scoring with 28 3-pointers.
Those gaudy statistics, according to Rentko, are the result of Byoricks
approach to basketball.
Coaches call me all the time about her, Rentko said. I
tell them the best part of her game is how hard she works. The player
that she is...she works at that constantly.
Rentko is quick to follow with Byoricks other on-court attributes
that have helped her become the best player in the Wyoming Valley
Conference the last two seasons.
Shes a very good scorer. She puts the ball in the basket,
Rentko said. She shot 46 percent from 3-point range our last
four games. And shes not greedy. She takes about 15 or 16 shots
a game and she works really well with the team.
Byoricks numbers dipped when the Trojanettes
reached the state playoffs.
I struggled shooting the last two games,
thats no secret, Byorick said. But I was happy because
we were winning (against Selinsgrove) and when you have five or six
other players scoring I dont feel pressure to score.
Byorick also doesnt feel pressure when
she knows there are college scouts sitting in the bleachers, watching
her every move. Schools such as Boston College, Penn State, Delaware,
University of Massachusetts, Bucknell, Syracuse, Kansas and Kansas
State have shown interest.
I played in front of a lot of college
coaches last summer, so Im comfortable with it, Byorick
said. I always want to do well, but I also try to stay relaxed
and have fun.
Byoricks size and versatility make her
a perfect candidate for the college game. She has the strength to
play underneath and the ball-handling skills and shooting touch to
play in the backcourt.
Shell play as a guard this spring and
summer for the Philadelphia Bells AAU team and plans to focus on her
dribbling and pull-up jump shot. The Bells travel the East Coast during
This year, shell be in good company.
Acker is a newcomer to the team and Byorick feels the more time they
spend on the court together, the better.
I love playing with Sarah. Weve
been playing together since Newport biddy all-stars, the daughter
of Dan and Trish Byorick said. Were a good one-two punch.
We want to come out and have a great senior year and make the best
of it because its our last year playing together.
And who knows, in college we could end
up playing against each other.
Nanticokes dream season ends
BY JILL SNOWDON STAFF WRITER
On paper, Nanticoke Area had a clear height advantage
On the court, that made little difference.
What Oxfords players lacked in size,
they made up for by taking it right to the heart of Nanticokes
defense en route to a 39-35 win in the second round of the PIAA Class
The loss ends Nanticokes run as well
as its undefeated season at 29-1. Oxford (23-4) advances to meet Villa
Maria Academy on Saturday in the quarterfinals.
We thought we could push the ball and
beat them up and down the floor, Oxford coach Brian Ulrig said.
(Nanticoke) is a heck of a team, but we had better tempo.
The Hornets also had better shooting and made
better passing decisions.
Nanticokes outside shooting in the first
half was non-existent. The Trojanettes didnt hit a single jump
shot but, fortunately, had Sarah Acker there to pick up the scoring
Acker scored 14 of Nanticokes 16 first-half
points allowing for the Trojanettes to stay within three points at
halftime, 19-13. But the Trojanettes had other troubles going into
the locker room. Acker and forward Kaitlyn Malshefski each had three
personal fouls at intermission and forward Aly Byorick had two.
Our plan was to key on three people,
Ulrig said. We wanted a body on 51 (Acker) and 15 (Byorick)
every time they got the ball and we wanted pressure on their guard,
21 (Abby Gesecki). We just keyed on them possession after possession.
With Nanticokes front court forced to
play conservative defense, the Hornets took full advantage. Ashley
Palmer drove the lane for six points in the third quarter and Allison
Hostetter added a pull-up jumper to keep their team ahead by one going
into the fourth. And when they werent pushing it inside on Nanticoke,
the Hornets slowed theoffense down around the
perimeter to take time off the clock.
We went to our zone, Nanticoke
coach Jack Rentko said. That was smart coaching against us.
When they had the ball we had to go out and get them.
Meanwhile, Nanticokes cold outside shooting
continued. The Trojanettes managed a 33-31 lead with 2:56 left in
the fourth, but 17 missed field goals throughout the second half stung
just as much as the Hornets pesky offense.
The Trojanettes suffered another blow with
2:47 left in the game when Acker picked up her fourth personal, followed
by a technical foul, sending her to the bench for the rest of the
Hostetter finished the Trojanettes with five
free throws in the final minutes and Meghan Tait hit a base-line 3-pointer
for a 39-33 gap.
Aside from their foul troubles and poor shooting,
Nanticoke struggled with its passes and ball-handling as it posted
nine turnovers in the second half.
We had a lot of open looks in the first
half, but we didnt shoot the ball very well tonight, Rentko
said. Palmer really hurt us. We had to step in and stop her.
But, our shooting was just not there.
Palmer and Hostetter finished with 14 and 13
points respectively for Oxford. Acker scored just four points in the
second half but finished with a game-high 18, while Byorick had nine
Tait 1 0-0 3; Herb 1 0-0 3; Palmer 7 2-8 14;
Hostetter 4 5-6 13; Bogan 0 0-0 0; Ruggear 0 0-0 0; Rucci 0 1-2 1;
Pinno 1 1-2 3; Totals 15 9-18 39.
NANTICOKE AREA (29-1)
Gesecki 0 1-2 1; Byorick 3 2-2 9; Makarczyk
0 1-2 1; Malshefski 3 0-0 6; Acker 7 4-6 18; Rentko 0 0-0 0; Dembowski
0 0-0 0; Totals 13 8-12 35.
Oxford 10 9 8 12 39
Nanticoke Area 6 10 10 9 35
3-point goals: Tait, Herb, Byorick.
Nanticoke Area girls will have height advantage
BY JILL SNOWDON STAFF WRITER
Nanticokes PIAA Class AAA first-round game last
Saturday was far from thrilling.
The Trojanettes grabbed a 25-3 first quarter lead,
emptied their bench by the start of the fourth quarter and coasted to
a 69-25 victory over Selinsgrove.
While the Trojanettes height-advantage was obvious
and their overall talent clearly evident, there were plays in between
that some may have missed as they skipped out early to enjoy the days
In such a lopsided game, some players might take
advantage of the many breakaways and open looks from long range to pad
their scoring stats. The Trojanettes, however, were unselfish.
With a 41-point lead early in the third quarter,
Abby Gesecki and Ashley Makarczyk did a 2-on-2 give-and-go with Makarczyk
finishing it off with an easy lay-up. Minutes later Makarczyk raced down
and hit Sarah Acker with a pass down low. Kaitlyn Malshefski took just
five shots, but the senior forward also dished out four assists.
Its the little, unselfish plays that
not everyone might notice that wins games, Nanticoke coach Jack
Rentko said. Sarah had 24 points but she was in the low block four
times and she passed out for 3-pointers. And I give Aly (Byorick) a lot
of credit. She didnt have a great shooting day, but she had six
assists. She did all the little things that matter to a team.
Nanticoke is hoping to carry those little things
over into tonights match-up with Oxford.
Tonights winners play in Saturdays
Key Players: Nanticoke Area - Aly Byorick, 6-0 junior
forward, 20.2 ppg; Sarah Acker, 6-3 junior forward, 18.6 ppg; Ashley Makarczyk,
5-10 senior guard, 9.7 ppg; Kaitlyn Malshefski, 6-0 senior forward, 6.2
ppg; Abby Gesecki, 5-8 senior guard, 5.6 ppg. Oxford - Ashley Palmer,
5-8 junior guard/forward, 21.4 ppg; Allison Hostetter, 5-6 junior guard,
10.2 ppg; Meghan Tait, 5-6 sophomore guard.
Breaking it down: Oxfords tallest player is just
5-foot-9, Nanticoke has three players standing at 6-0 or better, making
this a mismatch under the boards. Oxford, No. 1 strength is its guard
play and Nanticokes defense can expect Ashley Palmer to make every
attempt to take it to them. The junior is physical and has no fear of
taking it to the hoop. She scored 32 points in the Hornets 73-34
rout over Benjamin Franklin in Saturdays first-round game. This
is Oxfords first-ever trip to the state playoffs.
Nanticoke was led by Sarah Ackers 24 points and
14 rebounds on Saturday. Byorick was held to an uncharacteristic low score
of nine points, but the junior contributed elsewhere, pulling down nine
Nanticoke runs wild in
rout of Selinsgrove
The Trojanettes open with a bang and are never challenged as they advance
It was never a question of, would Greater Nanticoke Area
win? The question was, by how much?
Nanticoke the District 2 Class 3A champion
devoured District 4 runner-up Selinsgrove 69-25 in the opening
round of the Class 3A PIAA tournament at Wyoming Valley West on Saturday.
The Trojanettes (29-0) will play
D-1 third-place finisher Oxford (23-4) on Wednesday at a site and time
to be announced.
Dont let yourself be fooled by the final
margin of victory. It wasnt even that close. The Trojanettes built
a 25-3 advantage after one quarter and coasted from there.
I enjoy a game like this, said Nanticoke
coach Jack Rentko. The kids were nervous before the game. I was
nervous before the game. You have to have little butterflies in your stomach.
If not, youre not an athlete.
Those nerves were quickly squashed as Nanticoke
opened the game with a 7-0 run. Selingroves 5-foot-9 freshman guard
Danica Deckard scored the Seals only basket with just under seven
minutes to play. From then, Nanticoke went on an 18-1 run to close the
quarter. A standing ovation from the Nanticoke side resulted, mostly for
Sarah Acker, who scored 14 of her game-high 24 points during the first
There was no hope for Selinsgrove after that. No
pep talk before the second quarter was going to change anything.
Acker tacked another eight points on to her total
during the second quarter, and Ashley Makarczyk scored six of her 10 points
Selinsgroves offense was uninspiring, except
for Deckard. She scored all nine of the Seals second-quarter points.
Deckard finished with a team-high 13.
Games like this the score was 47-12 at halftime,
and 60-20 after three quarters provide extra playing time to the
bench. It could be frustrating for the starters since their playing time
is limited. But players like Acker understand the importance of sharing
Its good for them, said Acker,
who also grabbed 14 rebounds despite not playing in the fourth quarter.
Especially if, down the road, one of us fouls out and they need
However, in a blowout, its sometimes hard
to stay focused. When youre leading by 40 points, paying attention
is difficult. Its easier to showboat than practice strategy.
We kind of fool around and joke around on
the court, Acker said. It keeps us in the game and not at
each others throats.
Selinsgrove, which started three sophomores and
two freshmen, finished its season at 15-14.
Theyre a young squad, Acker said.
Theyre good for being young.
On the road to Hershey
BY MATT ENGEL STAFF WRITER
Nanticoke Area will try to keep its perfect season intact
when it opens play Saturday in the PIAA Class AAA girls basketball tournament.
The Trojanettes, 28-0, District
2 champs, meet District 4 runner-up Selinsgrove, 15-13, at 1 p.m. at Wyoming
Valley West High School. Aly Byorick and Ashley
Makarczyk combined for 34 points in Nanticokes 56-45 victory over
Nanticoke Area trailed by two points at halftime.
We didnt play well in that first half, Trojanette coach
Jack Rentko said. We came out too loose.
The Seals will face a height disadvantage. Nanticoke junior center Sarah
Acker stands 6-foot-3. Shes averaging 19 ppg. Byorick, 6-foot junior
guard, hits for 21 a game. Makarczyk, 5-10 senior guard, and Katlyn Malshefski,
6-foot senior forward, are excellent role players.
Katlyns our defensive stopper, Rentko said. Shes
a very good shooter. Ashley averages eight assists and is a solid 3-point
shooter. Abby Gesecki (5-8 senior guard) runs the show and gets the team
moving. She plays great defense.
Selinsgrove lost to Shikellamy in the District 4 championship game Friday
night, 40-34. Freshman Denica Deckard led the Seals with 18 points. Heather
Brown added eight.
I watched a tape of them (Sunday), Rentko said. They
play man-to-man defense and have a good freshman (Deckard). They run and
push the ball up the court.
District 2 girls basketball finals
Trojanettes finally strike gold
GNA bounces Prep in 3A final
Theres always been talk about how good the Greater
Nanticoke Area girls basketball team is. The Trojanettes have been the
team for the past three years.
Yet, for all the acclaim, the Trojanettes dont
have much to show for it. They were the league champs last year, but the
District 2 runner-up for the past two years.
That all changed Saturday.
Top-seeded Nanticoke defeated second-seeded
Scranton Prep 56-45 in the District 2 Class 3A championship game at Wyoming
The only way that I can explain it is that
we werent overconfident and we werent nervous, said
Nanticoke senior Abby Gesecki. But we were going to do whatever
to not take another silver (medal) home.
Nanticoke will play the District 4 runner-up
either Loyalsock or Southern Columbia on Saturday. Scranton Prep
will play the sixth-place finisher from D3 either York Suburban
or Boiling Springs also on Saturday.Z
The Trojanettes (28-0) had lost to North Pocono
in the district final the past two years. That didnt happen this
time, but for a while it did look as if Scranton Prep might upset Nanticoke.
In the first half, GNA leading-scorer Aly Byorick
didnt hit a single basket. Sarah Acker, who is second in scoring,
only had five points in the first half, when the Trojanettes were trailing
Fortunately for Nanticoke, Ashley Makarczyks
on the roster. She had 10 of her 15 points in the first half to go along
with the strong defensive play of Gesecki. Without those two, the score
could have easily been 10-12 points in Scranton Preps favor, according
to Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko.
His remedy was to give the team a stern halftime
He was just trying to fire us up, Gesecki
Nanticoke held Scranton Prep to seven points in
the third quarter while scoring 16. Byorick finished with a game-high
19 points, 18 in the second half. She went 14-for-16 from the foul line,
13-for-13 in the second half.
Acker had eight points in the second half and finished
In the first half, Aly and Sarah really didnt
play their game, Rentko said. They could have done better
and they should have done better.
And they did.
Scranton Preps Colleen McLane (11 points)
made a basket with 5:41 left in the third quarter to bring the Classics
(24-5) within one at 26-25.
But then Byorick and Acker combined for an 8-0
run that took three minutes off the clock and inflated the Trojanettes
lead to 34-25. Scranton Prep never recovered.
It makes it more great because of the two
other years, Gesecki said of the district crown. Its
Nanticoke Area keeps perfect season intact
By Steve Bennett - Citizens' Voice When
the Scranton Prep girls were rolling through their semifinal matchup Wednesday
night, coach Joe Ferguson made it known his team was sending a message to
top-seeded Nanticoke Area. Talk about bulletin board material!
The Trojanettes answered with special
delivery, parlaying that motivation into a 56-45 victory over Prep on Saturday
at Wyoming Area High School. The victory marked the first District 2 title
since 1999 for the Trojanettes and helped ease the the disappointment of
losses the last two years in the championship game.
If the Classics did have a message for Nanticoke
Area, they never had the chance to deliver it.
Aly Byorick scored a game-high 19 points and Ashley Makarczyk added 15 as
Nanticoke Area improved to 28-0 and will move into next weekends state
tournament as the top seed out of District 2. Scranton Prep also advances
and drops to 23-5.
Nanticoke Area found itself trailing by two points at the half but the damage
could have been worse had it not been for Makarczyk. With Byorick accounting
for just one first-half point and Sarah Acker contributing five, it was
Makarczyks 10 first-half points which kept the Trojanettes in the
I thought in the first half Aly and Sarah really didnt play
their game, Nanticoke Area coach Jack Rentko said. They didnt
do what they could have and they didnt do what they should have. I
had a little talk with them at halftime and I think they responded in the
The Trojanettes turned the ball over the first three times they came down
the floor. Plus, Scranton Preps offense revolved around 6-foot-5 Boston
University-bound center Kristen Folk.
Folk scored six first-quarter points and added four more in the second but
ran into foul trouble and went to the bench with three personal fouls at
the 2:43 mark of the second quarter.
The Classics did manage to regroup and closed the first half on a 7-3 run
to lead 23-21 at the half
Our best player is on the bench with foul trouble
and they are at the line (30) times and we are there (12), that is the difference
in the game, Ferguson said. Byorick had two field goals the
entire game, I thought she was forcing shots. We had them standing on offense
and put them on the line. I think we are just as good, Im disappointed
in the loss. We got up and down the floor on them, it appeared to me they
were sluggish up and down the floor. They are very tough to defend.
Following Rentkos halftime pep talk, Nanticoke
Area opened the third quarter with five consecutive points to take a 26-23
lead it would never relinquish. Preps Colleen McLane converted a layup
to cut the deficit to one point, but the Trojanettes ran off the games
next eight points to grab a 34-25 lead. Folk picked up her fourth foul during
the spurt and went to the bench only to return two minutes later as Ferguson
sensed the game was getting away from him but the Trojanettes held her scoreless
in the second half.
Nanticoke Area led 37-30 at the start of the fourth
quarter and by 11 with 5:43 remaining in the game. The Classics got as close
as six points at 44-37 with 4:24 left but Abby Gesecki hit a pair of foul
shots to send the Trojanettes on a 10-3 surge that saw them open up a 14-point
lead with just 2:09 to go in the game.
Ashley Makarczyk really kept us in the game
in the first half. She knocked down shots and did what she had to do,
Rentko said. If teams want to double team Sarah and Aly, it makes
no difference. Makarczyk and Katlyn Malshefski are very good shooters and
good team players. They helped us tremendously throughout the year. Abby
Gesecki really hounded people on defense.
Acker finished the afternoon with 13 points and 10
rebounds while Gesecki added seven points, three of which came in the first
I thought we forced the ball way too much,
Rentko noted. I told them to take what we get and we didnt do
that in the first half. I thought we were too loose at the beginning of
the year. They felt confident but they had to play the game. To Mr. Ferguson,
Scranton Prep (45)
Folk 5 0-0 10, E. Lavelle 6 2-4 14, McLane 3 3-4 11, Zeleniak 2 0-0 4,
Preate 0 0-0 0, McIntyre 2 2-4 6, A. Lavelle 0 0-0 0, Walsh 0 0-0 0, Osborne
0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 7-12 45.
Nanticoke Area (56)
Dembowski 0 0-0 0, Byorick 2 14-16 19, Gesecki 1 4-4 7, Makarczyk 6 0-2
15, Malshefski 1 0-0 2, Acker 4 5-8 13. Totals: 14 23-30 56.
Scranton Prep 10 13 7 15 45
Nanticoke Area 9 12 16 56 56
3-point goals: McLane (2), Byorick, Makarczyk
Nanticoke Area hoping third trip to final results
BY JILL SNOWDON STAFF WRITER
Following Scranton Preps 63-20 victory over Crestwood in Wednesdays
District 2 Class AAA semifinal, Classics coach Joe Ferguson said his team
was sending Nanticoke Area a message: they were ready for a title showdown.
Normally that type of banter would put a fire under
an opponent, but Nanticoke Area is hardly taking the bait.
Were just happy to get to the district
final three years in a row, Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko said. The
girls are taking everything in stride. They are 27-0 and they dont
think about. They are a loose group and theyre a close group and
when you have that, its easy to play.
Nanticoke and Prep will square off for the district
title at 3 p.m. Saturday at Wyoming Area High School. Both teams advance
to the state playoffs.
For the Trojanettes, a victory would give them
their first district title since 1999. They lost to North Pocono the past
We have a goal set and the kids have great
focus, Rentko said. I told the girls we have to concentrate
on the little things. I dont care what the other team does.
He especially isnt overly concerned if Scranton
Prep decides to pack in on center Sarah Acker or throw a box-and-one at
guard Aly Byorick.
Let them double-team Sarah. Let them do whatever
they have to, Rentko said. We have Ashley (Makarczyk) and
Katilyn (Malshefski) who can shoot the ball really well. Weve had
other teams double Sarah or Aly and it never slowed us down before.
Acker, a 6-foot-3 center, may have the toughest
job on the court, Saturday. She will battle down low with Scranton Prep
senior center Kristen Folk. Folk is 6-foot-6, averages 16.5 points per
game and will play next season with Boston College.
Ive seen (Prep) three or four times,
Rentko said. Its going to be a good match-up between Sarah
and Folk. Folk is taller and she blocks a lot of shots, but I think Sarah
is stronger and more physical.
Girls District 2 Class 3A basketball playoffs
Ailing Trojans still roll
Acker, Byorick excel despite illness
Sarah Acker ran to the locker room just before halftime.
Shes been battling the flu for the past few days, but Greater Nanticoke
Area coach Jack Rentko wouldnt let her miss any time.
Not during the playoffs. Not when the team needs
the 6-foot-2 center the most. Not on Wednesday.
Her and Aly (Byorick) are sick; theyre
fighting the flu, Rentko said. I told them theres no
timeouts. Suck it up and play. If you have to, puke on the sidelines.
Tough love worked.
Top-seeded Nanticoke defeated fourth-seeded Berwick
66-31 in a District 2 Class 3A semifinal at Wyoming Valley West. Nanticoke
advances to Saturdays final against second-seeded Scranton Prep
at a time and site to be determined. The Trojanettes also clinched a berth
in the PIAA playoffs.
Berwick will play Crestwood in the third-place
game Saturday. The winner advances to the state playoffs.
Since the beginning of the season, the team
talked about being district champions, Rentko said. I said,
Lets win the league first. Then get to the district finals.
For the past two years, Nanticoke lost to North
Pocono in the district final. Thats not a road block this year.
North Pocono lost in the opening round to Lake-Lehman.
This might be the Trojanettes year
but not without Acker. Even with the flu, shes a standout. She finished
with a game-high 25 points on Wednesday.
Nanticoke (27-0) had a 20-3 lead after one. Acker
and Byorick had 10 points each that quarter. Byorick finished with 22
Bridget Carlin scored Berwicks only basket
that quarter. She finished with a team-high 16 points, nine in the second
Berwick (17-9) sacrificed its shooting, substituting
it with passing. It was trying to play keep-away in an attempt to keep
the score down.
Rentko knew that was Berwicks game plan.
He told them to be patient and not force steals. But, they didnt
listen, and missed steals for Nanticoke meant points for Berwick.
Theyre the number three team in the
state, said Berwick coach Bill Phillips. We played them earlier
in the season, and it was quite obvious (that Nanticoke would win. But),
it would have been nice to be the team that made them 26-1.
Trojanettes play Berwick tonight!
1-Nanticoke Area vs 4-Berwick
Where: Wyoming Valley West High School, Plymouth
When: 7:30 p.m.
Records: Nanticoke Area (26-0), Berwick (17-8)
Key Players: Aly Byorick, Nanticoke Area (20.2),
Sarah Acker, Nanticoke Area (18.6); Ashley Makarczyk, Nanticoke Area (9.7);
Bridget Carlin, Berwick (13.7).
Noteworthy: The last time Berwick and Nanticoke
Area squared off was Dec. 22. The result: Nanticoke 84-47.
GNA 64, Lake-Lehman 23
Sarah Acker couldnt do anything
wrong in Saturdays quarterfinal game. She finished with 18 points
17 of which came in the first 10 minutes of the game. She also
grabbed 11 rebounds.
Top-seeded Nanticoke (14-0) held eighth-seeded
Lake-Lehman (5-9) to seven points in the first quarter. At halftime, the
Trojanettes had a 46-11 lead.
Kaitlin Malashefski added eight points and 12 rebounds,
Ashley Makarczyk had eight points and seven assists. Aly Byorick added
10 points, and Abby Gesecki rounded out the starting five with seven points.
Jill Chocallo, who finished with a team-high five
points, was able to get Lake-Lehman on the board when she made her second
of two free throws with 5:46 left in the first quarter.
Teammate Marissa Harrison also had five.
I just think, defensively, we brought our
game, said Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko.
Trojanettes to face Lake-Lehman
Eighth-seeded Lake-Lehman will face top-seeded Greater Nanticoke Area
in the quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 25th at Wyoming Valley
Nanticoke 57, Wyo. Area 19
Sarah Acker led all scorers with 17
points and was followed by Aly Byorick with 15 points and Kaitlyn Malshefski
with 12 to lead Nanticoke, which led 44-13 at halftime.
CLASS 3A Outlook - Citizens Voice
Greater Nanticoke Area (12-0) is the top seed. Look for
it to run roughshod over the competition, just as it did during the regular
Nanticoke will get its revenge on North Pocono, the team that defeated
the Trojanettes in last years final, in the quarterfinals, assuming
ninth-seeded North Pocono (5-11) can defeat eighth-seeded Lake-Lehman
(4-8) in the opening round.
Dark horse: With the Trojanettes in the bracket, there isnt one.
Prediction: Nanticoke will defeat
Scranton Prep in the final.
The pairings for the District 2 boys and girls
basketball tournament were officially released Monday at a meeting at
Convention Hall in Pittston.
The girls tournament opens up on Thursday evening. Ticket
prices will be $5 for adults and $3 for students. First round games will
be played at the home of the higher seeded team
Moving on: Three teams advance.
Defending champion: Carbondale
Seeds: 1. Nanticoke Area (23-0),
2. Scranton Prep (21-4), 3. Crestwood (16-7), 4. Berwick (15-8), 5. Pittston
Area (15-10), 6. Coughlin (6-14), 7. Dallas (11-12), 8. Lake-Lehman (14-10),
9. North Pocono (8-16), 10. Tunkhannock (6-16), 11. Honesdale (9-15),
12. West Scranton (8-15), 13. Western Wayne (4-20), 14. Valley View (6-16),
15. Bishop Hoban (7-15), 16. Wyoming Area (1-20).
Tie breaker procedures: Dallas is the sixth seed after
finishing 1-5 in league competition against opponents that finished above
the Mounts while Lake-Lehman was 0-6 and received the seventh seed. Honesdale
is the 11th seed after beating Scranton twice in league play. West Scranton
is the 12th seed after finishing 1-9 against opponents finishing higher
in league competition while Western Wayne was 0-11 and got the 13th seed.
Moving on: Three teams advance to the state tournament
Nanticoke rallies by Williamsport girls
(GNA Webdesign note: From Williamsport Sun Gazette Newspaper)
Almost everyone in the packed Williamsport gymnasium
was cheering against her team as Nanticoke tried recording an improbable
win Thursday night.
Nanticoke forward Aly Byorick heard only silence.
Byorick blocked out the noise then broke Williamsports
collective heart, scoring on a buzzer-beating putback to force overtime,
before draining a go-ahead 3-pointer as Nanticoke rallied for a 65-59
win in front of a boisterous Williamsport crowd. Byorick scored 24 points
and grabbed nine rebounds as the undefeated Trojans overcame an 18-point
third-quarter deficit, snapped the Millionaires 15-game winning
streak and handed Wil-liamsport its first home loss.
Its a hostile environment but thats
the best part, Byorick said. I love playing in front of fans
whether theyre against us or cheering for us. Williamsport had a
lot of kids here and we had to find a way to block out the crowd and I
think we did a good job of that.
Nanticoke, the states fourth-ranked Class
AAA team, had not found themselves in a situation like last night despite
playing Class AAAA teams like District 2 champion Hazleton and Cheltenham,
ranked No. 2 in the state. Williamsport (22-2), though, seemed poised
to snap Nanticokes streak, building a 47-29 lead midway through
the third quarter.
But even with 6-foot center Sarah Acker in foul
trouble, the Millionaires became tentative, started losing turnovers at
key times and Nanticoke started mounting its comeback.
We took them out of the flow of the game
offensively, Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko said. This win will
carry us a long way. Our kids showed a lot of heart and a lot of desire
and they never quit.
Nanticoke received a big boost when Williamsport
forward Madina Ali fouled out with 6:07 remaining. Ali had 20 points,
10 rebounds, four steals and had changed the games complexion during
the second quarter, sparking a 31-10 run that extended into the third
With Ali gone, Williamsports offense disappeared
and the Millionaires did not score over the final 3:48. Nanticoke slowly
chipped away at the lead, but did not tie the game until Byorick grabbed
the second of two Trojan misses in the final seconds and hit the game-tying
basket as time expired.
Byorick, who is being recruited by schools like
Stanford, Penn State, Syracuse and Xavier, then put Nanticoke ahead to
stay, swishing a 3-pointer from the corner while falling into the bleachers
with two players hands in her face.
I knew we had the momentum of the game at
that time and if we got into overtime we had a good chance of pulling
it out, Byorick said. One of our mottos on our team is to
never give up and I think thats exactly what we did tonight, we
didnt give up.
The Millionaires had two chances to tie after Byoricks
3-pointer, but Lakeema Jones and Michelle Rories 3-point attempts
went in and out. Acker, also a Division I recruit then sealed the win
in the final 10 seconds, hitting two foul shots.
The girls goal is to win a district banner,
Williamsport coach Brian Stugart said. Hopefully they learn from
it, reflect back on it and if they want to reach their goal of the banner
its going to have to be good intense practices.
Williamsports full-court press frustrated
Nanticoke during the first half, forcing 14 turnovers. That also jump-started
an up-tempo offense that helped the Millionaires turn a four-point deficit
into a 13-point halftime lead in less than four minutes. While Ali and
Rorie (21 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists) shredded Nanticokes defense
the Trojans lost their cool with Acker (17 points, 11 rebounds) receiving
a technical foul.
The Millionaires picked up where they left off
in the third quarter, using a 7-0 run and taking the 18-point lead on
a Rorie to Ali basket. But then the fouls started piling up. Defensive
stopper Vanessa Wright received her fourth foul 29 seconds later and Ali
followed suit with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Its all the little things that helped
us lose the 18-point lead, Stugart said. We didnt take
care of the ball, we stopped being aggressive and we didnt box out
at the end when we were up two.
Williamsport will not play again until March 1.
The Millionaires receive a bye into the semifinals and will meet either
Scranton or Wal- lenpaupack.
It was a great game in a great environment
and it got us both ready for the postseason, Stugart said. We
just have to learn from it.
Aly Byorick 7 9-13 24, Sarah Acker 3 11-12 17,
Katlyn Malsheski 4 5-5 13, Ashley Mackarczyk 3 0-0 7, Lauren Dembawski
1 0-0 2, Leigh Ann Rentko 0 0-0 0, Abby Gesecki. Totals 18 25-31 65.
Madina Ali 6 8-8 20, Michelle Rorie 7 5-6 20, Lakeema
Jones 2 4-5 8, Vanessa Wright 1 0-0 2, Emma Thompson 2 2-3 6, Caitlyn
Slattery 0 0-1 0, Alisha Coffey 1 1-2 3. 19 20-25 59.
Nanticoke 14 9 16 18 865
Williamsport 9 27 11 10 259
3-point field goals: Nanticoke 4 (Byorick 3, Makarczyk);
Williamsport 1 (Rorie).
Records: Nanticoke 24-0, Williamsport 22-2.
J.V. Score: Nanticoke 47-40.
Athletes Of The Week
- Sarah Acker
There isnt much Sarah Acker a Greater Nanticoke
Area junior hasnt done this season. She scored her 1,000th
point in a victory over Wyoming Seminary on Jan. 26. On Feb. 9, she grabbed
her 1,000th rebound in a victory over Meyers.
Acker is second, to classmate Aly Byorick, in scoring
for the Lady Trojanettes and is averaging 18.6 points per game in league
Trojanettes take 2nd half and overall Division
At Nanticoke Area, Aly Byorick scored
a game-high 21 points to lead the Trojanettes to a 68-40 win over Lake
Lehman. By virtue of the victory, Nanticoke, 23-0; wins the second-half
and overall Division II crown. The rojanettes went 6-0 in each half. Leigh
Ann Rentko and Sara Acker each added 12. Nanticoke visits Williamsport
thursday night in an exhibition game.
GNA coach sees his 200th win
Times Leader staff
Sarah Acker grabbed the 1,000th rebound of her career
and Jack Rentko posted his 200th coaching victory as Greater Nanticoke
Area routed Meyers 75-42 Thursday in Wyoming Valley Conference Division
II girls basketball.
Acker finished with 19 rebounds, 22 points and
seven blocked shots. Aly Byorick also scored 22 points while Lauren Dembowski
had five assists.
Alyssa Sabalesky scored 16 for Meyers.
H.S. Girls Basketball State Rankings and Boxscores
H.S. Girls Basketball
Pennsylvania high school girls basketball rankings from
the Patriot-News of Harrisburg for the week of Sunday, February 5, with
schools district in parentheses, followed by the schools record
and last weeks ranking.
CLASS 3A Rec Pvs
1. Hopewell (7) 18-3 1
2. Lancaster Catholic (3) 22-0 2
3. St. Basil (1) 16-4 3
(2) 21-0 4
5. Villa Maria (10) 19-2 6
6. Palmyra (3) 22-0 8
7. Pottsgrove (1) 19-4 9
8. Lansdale Catholic (1) 18-4 10
9. Allentown C.C (11) 18-4 5
10. Lewistown (6) 19-1 7
Teams to watch: Boiling Springs (3) 18-2; General McLane
(10) 16-3; Indiana (7) 17-4; Mars (7) 17-4; Oxford (1) 18-2; Punxstawney
(9) 17-2; Scranton Prep (2) 18-2; Slippery Rock (10) 16-4; Southmoreland
(7) 19-2; Tamaqua (11) 18-4; Thomas Jefferson (7) 16-5; Villa Maria (1)
14-6; West Mifflin (7) 18-3.
JERRY KELLAR OPINION
Killing selves with kindness?
Sportsmanship could haunt GNA
It got eerily quiet inside the Greater Nanticoke Area
gym when junior Aly Byorick crashed to the floor with an ankle injury
in the final minute of Thursdays victory over Bishop OReilly.
The fans anxiety was well founded. Deep down, everyone knows the
Trojanettes have little chance to make a run at a Class 3A state title
without their best player. Thats not a knock on the rest of the
squad, which is actually quite talented. Its simply being realistic.
The good news is that Byorick, who just might be the finest pure shooter
on any girls team in the state (probably a few boys teams, as well), should
be just fine for the playoff run.
The bad news is it might not matter.
So superior are the Trojanettes (20-0 overall) to their Wyoming Valley
Conference competition, they have yet to be tested in league play. Sure,
a very good OReilly team pushed the issue the other night, but Nanticoke
still won by 15 and, truth be told, it couldve been worse.
Save for a handful of tough preseason exhibitions, highlighted by a 10-point
win over highly regarded Class 4A Cheltenham, Nanticokes margin
of victory ranges between 35-50 points this season.
Blowout wins make for inflated stats and eye-catching newspaper headlines,
but they dont help at all when the city league champion is pressing
you up and down the court in interdistrict play.
Yet, other than run the opposition in the ground like the great state
champion GNA team of 1990 did on a nightly basis (80-point win margins
were common for that squad), theres little these Trojanettes can
do right now.
Yeah, its a problem, said coach Jack Rentko, whose starters
rarely make it past the third quarter. But one thing were
never going to do is embarrass the other team.
That type of uncommon sportsmanship these days likely will get Nanticoke
a sportsmanship award and gain Rentko the admiration and respect of his
coaching peers. But it also might translate to silver during the medal
ceremony in Hershey, should the Trojanettes get that far.
Thats one of our big concerns, beating teams by 30 points
every game, said Byorick, the MVP of the conference as a freshman
and a third-team all-state selection in 2005. Were playing
two and one-half quarters a game.
Rentko concedes his athletes must play longer to get into game shape.
To counter the lack of court time, he runs intense, up-tempo practices
during which the Trojanettes work on their press. Its a facet of
their game that rarely is utilized.
I want to press because we dont press enough. But what do
I do? Rentko said.
And while the Trojanettes, who run plenty during their workouts, havent
had problems beating opponents yet, Byorick agreed the absence of game
action is cause for concern.
Running sprints in practice is not the same as running during games,
That didnt stop the 90 squad. Coached by Rose Volpicelli,
those Trojanettes pressed from the moment the game started to the final
buzzer, pounding teams into submission and creating more than a few bad
So put off was one opposing coach with GNAs run-it-up act that season,
he ordered one of his players to shoot at the wrong basket, effectively
scoring the 99th and 100th points for the Trojanettes.
Volpicellis kids were so dominant, opposing teams often celebrated
even the smallest of achievements. In one game at GNA, the visitors
bench and fans roared with approval when one particularly skittish player
turned and let one fly from the top of the key, drawing nothing but net.
That basket cut Nanticokes lead to 39-2.
The Trojanettes, their coach especially, made few friends that year. But
they ran -- quite literally -- through the postseason and won the state
crown going away.
Rentkos made it clear he wont take that approach. Whats
more, he cant, not in todays politically correct-obsessed
Battle-tested or not, the 2006 Trojanettes certainly have a shot to win
it all. The coach believes an upcoming exhibition against perennially
tough Williamsport will be a big test.
We have a good bunch of kids that really listen. They work hard,
play as a team and they get along, Rentko said.
Nanticokes mantra this season is The Best Is Yet To Come.
Were about to find out.
To read more columns by Jerry Kellar, click on www.timesleader
GNA wins, but star hurt
Aly Byorick leaves the gym on crutches after
the victory over Bishop OReilly.
Sometimes high school basketball players turn into glorified
heroes, and the Greater Nanticoke Area team is no exception.
Watching the game is almost like watching a movie. The Nanticoke fans
booed the bad guy (in Thursdays case it was Bishop OReilly)
and cheered for the good guys.
There wasnt a moment in Nanticokes 52-37 victory when you
didnt know exactly how the fans felt.
From the second the Queenswomen (19-2) took the court for warm-ups, they
were greeted with booing from the home fans. When Nanticoke took the floor,
it quickly turned into applause.
And, when Nanticoke junior Aly Byorick crashed to the floor during the
final minute of the game, it was those same fans who yelled to alert the
Byorick was trying to defend a Bishop OReilly player. She turned
and stepped on the opponents foot, twisting her left ankle.
Its an injury thats been ailing Byorick all season. She went
to a specialist in Hershey during the summer and was told she had a partially
torn ligament and a chipped bone, but there was nothing she could do besides
let it heal on its own.
Byorick usually gets her ankles taped, but on occasions she forgets, shes
been known to sprain them.
She left the gym on crutches after Thursdays game, but assured everyone
she was fine.
I just have weak ankles, said Byorick, who finished with a
game-high 23 points.
Sarah Acker, who flirted with foul trouble, added seven points, 12 rebounds,
10 blocks and five steals.
She picked up her fourth foul with 4:16 remaining in the third quarter
and was forced to sit well into the final quarter.
When Sarah picked up her fourth foul, we had to adjust a little
bit, said Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko. We held our own.
Sarah carries us with her blocked shots and her presence on the court.
With Acker sidelined, Bishop OReilly was able to cut the lead to
14 at 43-29. That was the closest the game had been since Nanticokes
24-10 halftime lead.
Nanticoke (20-0) had an uninspiring second quarter offensively (it only
scored nine points), but it was the defensive highlights that carried
the Trojanettes through the game.
I thought we played great defense last time,
Bishop OReilly coach Paul Appel said, referring to Nanticokes
49-28 win on Jan. 9. We got a few more looks offensively this time,
and that generated more points.
Im proud of the effort. Traditionally,
this team never quits. That was my proudest moment. They never gave up,
not even one ounce. You cant teach that. They kept their heads up
and kept trying. There are some tired players in there.
See more photos of the Greater Nanticoke Area-Bishop
OReilly girls basketball game. Go to www.timesleader.com
Nanticoke girls post 20th straight victory
BY JILL SNOWDON STAFF WRITER
Holding Bishop OReilly to just two points in the second quarter
went a long way for Nanticoke Area on Thursday night in a key Division
In the absence of Trojanette center Sarah Acker, who was sitting out with
four fouls, OReilly made a second-half run. The first half, however,
came back to haunt the Queenswomen as Nanticoke managed to keep its distance
for a 52-37 victory.
Nanticoke is now 20-0 overall and 9-0 in Division II. Bishop OReilly
drops to 19-2 overall and 7-2 in league play. Both of OReillys
losses have come at the hands of Nanticoke.
I thought we played great defense in the first half, then Sarah
got her fourth foul and its definitely different without her,
Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko said. OReilly is a class act and
we knew they werent going to quit. To hold a team like that to 37
points is a nice accomplishment.
Acker was whistled with her fourth personal with 4:30 to go in the third.
She sat the remainder of the quarter and the first three minutes of the
Without Acker, who stands 6-foot-3, OReilly was able to get more
looks underneath. OReilly center Erin Chesnavich turned in four
points, while Megan Kazmerski and Laura DeCesaris combined for five more
to bring the Queenswomen within 14.
When Sarah goes out we know we have to step up on our rebounds,
senior Ashley Makarczyk said. It was pretty tough inside with Chesnavich,
but I think we did a good job on the help defense.
Whenever you get a top player like Sarah Acker out of the game you
hope to make a run, OReilly coach Paul Appel said. But
the clock ran out on us.
Offensively Acker, a 1,000 point scorer for the Trojanettes, was held
to just seven points but Makarczyk and Aly Byorick picked up the scoring
Byorick scored 15 of her game-high 23 points in the first half. She also
sparked Nanticokes 9-0 second quarter run with seven points.
Makarczyk finished with 11 points, including back-to-back baskets in the
third to give Nanticoke a 37-16 advantage. She also added five steals.
While points werent her speciality Thursday night, Acker was her
usual self in the paint as she finished with 10 rebounds and 10 blocks.
Chesnavich led OReilly with 19 points, 16 of which came in the second
half and Colleen Goodwin, who scored OReilly lone basket in the
second quarter, followed with six.
We were hoping to generate more points in the second half, but Nanticoke
is a tough team to come back on, Appel said. But Im
proud of the effort from our girls. They kept playing hard when they could
have easily put their heads down. You cant teach that. Thats
BISHOP OREILLY 37
NANTICOKE AREA 52
BISHOP OREILLY 8 2 10 17 37
NANTICOKE AREA 15 9 17 12 52
Ashley Makarczyk scored her 1,000th
career point during the first quarter of Greater Nanticoke Areas
88-49 rout of Dallas on Monday in a WVC Division I girls basketball game.
~ CONGRATULATIONS ~
Shown below is Sarah Acker
who scored 22 of her game-high 26 points in the first half and reached
the 1,000-point mark in Greater Nanticoke Areas 60-24 non-divisional
victory against Wyoming Seminary. Acker hit the milestone with her final
basket of the second quarter. The junior center has 1,004 points.
~ CONGRATULATIONS ~
To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com>
Subject: Girls Basketball
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 09:16:01 -0500
Just wanted to drop a line about last nights game vs. Hanover Area.
Whata Class Act !! You guys didn't press or otherwise embarrass an
obviously out-matched opponent. Your girls were respectful and played
only great skill but with dignity. I would like to extend a sincere wish
for the best of luck in your quest for the Gold in the playoffs this year.
GoodLuck and the best of health to your girls and coaches.
A Hanover Area Girls Basketball Parent
GNA rolls in showdown
In matchup of unbeaten WVC girls teams, Nanticoke is too much for
KINGSTON - Aly Byorick was limping after the game, favoring
her right side. It was only then that the Greater Nanticoke Area junior
let on that she might be hurt.
Byorick twisted her left ankle with just over two minutes left in the
third quarter, but she played through it and led the Trojanettes to a
49-28 win over host Bishop OReilly in a WVC Division II showdown
As Bishop OReilly coach Paul Appel told his team after the game,
theres a lot of hype, but its just a league game when
it comes down to it.
But it sure didnt seem like that.
The Bishop OReilly gym was packed. The lower bleachers were standing
room only, and the balcony, though it was chained off and supposedly closed,
held a group of spectators who came late.
So there was an audience and a reason for it.
Both teams were the only undefeated teams remaining in the Wyoming Valley
Conference. And according to the Harrisburg Patriot-News state rankings,
Nanticoke was ranked third in Class 3A, and Bishop OReilly was ranked
third in Class A.
We didnt expect to be undefeated this late in the season,
Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko said. We had Cheltenham, Hazleton and
North Schuylkill in the first three games of the season. We could have
lost to any one of them.
But Nanticoke (12-0, 3-0) won all three of those and every game
Its a good feeling, but now we have an X on our backs,
Byorick said. Everyones coming after you.
Theres a lot of credit given to Byorick, who finished with a game-high
18 points and 11 rebounds; and Sarah Acker who, despite picking up her
third foul early in the second quarter, had nine points, 10 rebounds and
five blocks. Abby Gesecki added eight points and six assists.
When Acker was in foul trouble, Brianna Borowski, a sophomore, was there
to substitute in.
Leigh Ann Rentko and Lauren Dembowski are usually the first two off the
bench for the Trojanettes, but Rentko broke a finger on her right hand
during the Daniel Boone Tournament Dec. 28-29 in Reading and had three
pins put in. Shes out until the first week in February.
Dembowski had been suffering from a stress fracture in her foot and aggravated
it during the same tournament. She also wont be back until February.
With Rentko and Dembowski on the court, the team is a lot quicker. Without
them, the Trojanettes have some compensating to do.
We didnt press as much at the mid-court, Jack Rentko
said. We had to make some changes. I think my team did a hell of
a job today defensively.
Nanticoke held the Queenswomen (13-1, 3-1) to 11 second-half points. Erin
Chesnavich, Bishop OReillys leading scorer, finished with
10 points. Her sister Marissa added nine.
Nanticoke jumped out to a 15-7 lead after the first quarter. Acker picked
up her third foul with 6:41 left to play in the first half, and she was
sidelined during most of the second quarter. Bishop OReilly was
able to chip away at the lead, and Nanticoke was only up 22-17 going into
the second half.
Sarah makes the team go, Rentko said. When she sat out,
they had a big quarter and were able to cut into our lead. When she came
back, she had (five) blocks. She is intimidation.
Its easy to block shots when youre 6-foot-2.
If I block them, Acker said, they wont want to
come near me anymore.
The rematch will happen on Feb. 2 at Nanticoke.
Its never fun to lose, but we played tremendous as a team
today, Appel said. Im very proud of the effort.
In the third and fourth quarters, we couldnt hit our shots.
We werent getting good looks, and it didnt fall together.
Thats basketball, and we were the team that went cold. It had nothing
to do with effort.
KINGSTON - Billed as a showdown between two undefeated teams,
Monday night's Nanticoke Area-Bishop O'Reilly girls' game turned into a
rout in the second half.
Trojanettes serve notice
By: Matt Engel, Staff Writer CV
Aly Byorick scored 18 points and the Trojanettes drained eight 3-pointers
to defeat the host Queenswomen, 49-28.
Nanticoke improves to 13-0 overall and takes over sole possession of first
place in Division II of the Wyoming Valley Conference at 3-0. O'Reilly drops
to 13-1 and 3-1.
In the most recent state girls' basketball poll conducted by the Harrisburg
Patriot-News, Nanticoke Area is ranked third in Class AAA. O'Reilly is third
in Class A.
A monster third quarter by Byorick, Katlyn Malshefski and foul-plagued Sara
Acker put the game out of reach for O'Reilly. Byorick hit one of her four
3-pointers, Malshefski made two buckets and Acker added four points in the
period to open a 37-21 lead.
Acker picked up her third personal foul with 6:41 left in the second quarter
with her team leading 15-9.
Marissa and Erin Chesnavich took advantage of the 6-3 junior center's absence,
helping O'Reilly pull within five at halftime, 22-17.
Acker started the third period but Byorick keyed a 13-2 run with a putback,
two free throws and 3-pointer from the right wing. Acker's layup just before
the end of the quarter made it a 16-point game.
Byorick, Ashley Makarczyk and Abby Gesecki all hit treys in the fourth quarter.
Acker didn't start the period but returned with 6:03 to go.
"We did a helluva job defensively," said Nanticoke coach Jack
Rentko. "We wanted to control the boards. Sara makes our team go. Her
intimidation is big for us."
Byorick had 11 boards. Acker grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked five shots.
Gesecki dished out six assists.
The Trojanettes' pressure defense forced O'Reilly to shoot poorly, making
just nine of 46 shots. Nanticoke hit 18 of 53.
"Aly's the stud of the league," Rentko added. "She sprained
her left ankle in the third quarter but came back in the game. We're a veteran
team and this win will help us down the road. We didn't expect to be undefeated
at this point."
Acker's time on the bench did not hinder her mates. "We play against
Sara in practice," explained Byorick. "We kept our lead without
her. We wanted to run on O'Reilly and use double penetration. Everyone contributed.
It's a good feeling to be unbeaten. But we have an 'X' on our back. Being
undefeated doesn't mean much."
Acker finished with nine points and hit three of nine shots. "I was
confident the other girls could pick it up when I went to the bench,"
she said. "We had to play stronger against a taller team like O'Reilly."
The Chesnavich's combined for 19 points. O'Reilly couldn't generate much
"We played a tremendous team," stated Queenswomen coach Paul Appel.
"Our shots didn't fall in the third quarter. We went cold. It had nothing
to do with effort. We played hard. Nanticoke is explosive. They have a solid
team, one of the best in the state. They have great outside shooting, speed
and height. They are well coached."
Byorick, Acker lift Nanticoke to crown
Times Leader staff
POTTSTOWNAly Byorick and Sarah Acker combined for
45 points to lead the Greater Nanticoke Area girls basketball team to
a 54-33 victory over Daniel Boone on Friday night in the championship
game of the Daniel Boone Tournament.
Byorick scored a game-high 23 points, and Acker had 22 points in a game
that was dominated by the Trojanettes from the outset. Nanticoke led 16-0
at the end of the first quarter and was in full control the rest of the
Byorick, who scored 36 points in Thursdays win over Pottstown, was
named MVP of the tournament. Acker also was named to the all-tournament
Byorick hits for 36 as GNA reaches final
Times Leader staff
POTTSTOWN Aly Byorick scored a career-high 36
points, including six three-pointers, to lead Greater Nanticoke Area to
a 76-48 win over Pottstown on Wednesday night in the Daniel Boone Tournament.
With the win, the Trojans advanced to the championship game and will face
Daniel Boone at 7:30 p.m. today. Daniel Boone defeated Annville-Cleona
44-30 in the other game.
Byorick, a senior guard, netted nine points in the first and second quarters,
eight in the third and 10 in the fourth. She also had six assists.
Center Sarah Acker also had a big night with 21 points, 25 rebounds and
six assists for the Trojanettes, who held a commanding 20-4 lead after
Aiesha Harper led Pottstown with 19 points, while teammate Alisha Harmon
Trojanettes pound Bishop Hoban
By: Angelo Sulla Correspondent
When the first quarter ended Monday night, it appeared Nanticoke Area
might have to go the limit with visiting Bishop Hoban.
The Lady Argents trailed by three, 16-13, and looked like a team that
could take down the unbeaten Trojanettes.
Unfortuantely, the final three periods turned into a nightmare for Hoban
as the Trojanettes rolled to a 77-30 win.
"They're defensive pressure just took us out of what we wanted to
do," said Hoban coach Boo Schuler.
Nanticoke Area used a distinct height advantage to take control of the
boards and the game. The Trojanettes used an 18-2 run to close out the
opening half with a 43-20 lead.
Like Schuler, Nanticoke Area coach Jack Rentko felt his team's defense
keyed the turnaround.
"I thought our pressure took Hoban out of their game," he said.
"We were able to turn them over 24 times and that set up some easy
Aly Byorick led the Trojanettes with a gaune high 27, points, including
a single game school record with six threepoint goals. Sarah Acker tossed
in 22 points and pulled down 23 rebounds while Kaitlyn Malshefsi added
10. Nanticoke Area improves to 6-0.
Alexandra Downing led Hoban, 3-2, with seven points.
"Nanticoke Area is the class of the league," Schuler noted.
Nanticoke cruises to win
Makarczyk, who is mourning the loss of her grandmother, led Nanticoke
with 21 points.
It was 10 on Monday morning when Ashley Makarczyk got
She didnt have time to think. She didnt have time for anything
besides leaving school, getting in the car and driving to Geisinger South
She made it to the hospital and went to the room where her paternal grandmother,
Edith Kelly, was.
Her eyes were open, said Makarczyk, a Nanticoke senior. She
saw me. She knew I was there.
Five minutes after Makarczyk arrived, Kelly passed away at age 79 from
a heart condition.
She was sick, Makarczyk said, But we didnt know
shed go as fast as she did.
Makarczyk was at Nanticokes home game that night, and she was there
again on Wednesday. On Wednesday, the day of the second wake, Makarczyk
finished with a game-high 21 points in a 78-28 win over visiting Crestwood.
She didnt intend to skip any games. Thats something her grandmother
would have hated.
Two years ago, when Makarczyks father Dennis passed away from cancer,
Makarczyk almost missed the Trojanettes game that night.
My grandmother said to me, If Im ever on my death bed,
and you miss a game, Im going to haunt you, Makarczyk
Kelly, who lived in Glen Lyon, was always at Makarczyks basketball
games, and, it was like she was with her at the last two games, she said.
Ever since my dad died, I felt like that too, Makarczyk said.
I keep saying, Shes with my dad.
For the two games before the Crestwood romp, her shot had been off. But,
on Wednesday, she went 8 for 11 from the field with a game-high four three-pointers.
Teammate Sarah Acker finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds and Aly Byorick
added 15 points and 10 assists.
Nicole Boone scored a team-high seven points for the Comets (5-3). All
her points came in the first half, after which Nanticoke was leading 51-18.
The Trojanettes (6-0) took a 74-23 lead into the fourth quarter.
Defense, Makarczyk said. Coach stressed that a lot.
Sometimes, he sets goals for us, and that helps us a lot. It makes
us try harder and keeps us focused.
The team carries its undefeated record into todays game at Berwick
and, even though Kellys funeral is this morning, Makarczyk
will be at the game.
I knew she was a tough kid, said Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko.
She wants to play. (Even) when her father died two years ago, she
didnt miss a game
Small only in size
Gesecki big in ability physically and mentally
If youre looking at a Greater Nanticoke Area girls
basketball box score, youre most likely to notice Aly Byorick or
Sarah Acker, two of the best players in the Wyoming Valley Conference.
Your eyes might overlook Abby Geseckis name.
Even when shes on the court, shes a head shorter than most
of the other starters (Acker is 6-3; Kaitlyn Malshefski and Byorick are
6 feet; Ashley Makarczyk is 5-10; Gesecki is only 5-6).
But Gesecki, a guard, loves her smaller role.
I like it better, the senior said. I get to beat girls
on the outside.
She earned the point guard position because there was a time when she
was the best ball handler. Whoever was the best dribbler got to
play guard, she said.
Ever since she began playing when she was 9 or 10 years old, she was always
the one to start the plays, never the one to finish them. Last year, she
had 114 points and 105 assists for the Trojanettes.
When I was little, and I made a basket, my face would light up.
I was smiling from ear to ear.
I appreciate the little baskets.
Along with basketball, Gesecki runs cross country and track. In the spring,
she runs the 400, the 800 and long jumps.
I was always pretty quick in gym class or on a track. I tried the
field events too. I wanted to get my hands into everything.
Shes looking at traditional schools, such as Dartmouth College in
New Hampshire and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. However, her
top choice is the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
What really convinced me was the atmosphere and the camaraderie.
That closeness. And the alumni base stretches so far.The process
for getting into the Naval Academy is long and arduous. First, you must
be eligible. Some requirements are that you must be at least 17 but not
older than 23, unmarried and a United States citizen. Then theres
a preliminary application. If that goes through, you must get a nomination
from, among others, one of your states two U.S. senators or one
of your states U.S. representatives.
Gesecki has already gone on three interviews and has received one nomination.
Shes hoping to get two because, of course, more looks better than
She received a letter of assurance from the Naval Academy that states
she has met all the qualifications academically and athletically. Shes
also been proven medically and physically sound.
She plans on majoring in engineering, and the other schools shes
looking at Lehigh, Lafayette, Johns Hopkins and the University
of Pennsylvania are among the top engineering schools in the country.
Its always been a passion of mine math and science.
But, she knows that might not work out.
I cant tell what Ill end up doing. There are other options
there with the Navy.
For now, all she has to worry about is participating in the Pennsylvania
Junior Academy of Science and completing her senior project. Then, theres
her course load. Shes taking Advanced-Placement Calculus, AP Biology,
Chemistry 3, Physics 2 and English.
Im always pretty busy. I dont think about lightening
The basketball team is 6-0 and hopes to win a District 2 Class 2A title.
The last two seasons, Nanticoke finished second, and its something
they hope to rectify.
We want to change that and go further in states.
Returning talent makes Nanticoke Area a favorite
By: Jill Snowdon, Staff Writer
Nanticoke Area has everything it needs to defend its
Division II title. It has all the components to win its first District
2 title since 1999 and the Trojanettes certainly have the weapons to vie
for a state title this season.
Sounds like lofty expectations for a team that has just three seniors,
but consider this: Aly Byorick and Sarah Acker are dominating juniors
who broke school records for points and rebounds in a season, respectively.
Byorick is arguably the best all-around player in the conference, while
Acker, a 6-foot-3 center, controls the paint in every game.
Senior guard Ashley Makarczyk would be the top star on any other WVC team,
but at Nanticoke, she graciously shares the spotlight. A tremendous outside
shooter, she holds the school record for career 3-pointers with 150. Fellow
seniors Abby Gesecki and Katilyn Malshefski have also pulled their weight
in Nanticoke's 4-0 preseason record.
Nanticoke pummels Valley West
Makarczyk sets career mark for three-pointers, hitting one for a total
Times Leader staff
Aly Byorick scored a season-high 31 points as Nanticoke
Area (4-0) routed Wyoming Valley West 77-41 in girls basketball action.
Byorick scored 10 in the first quarter to give the Trojanettes a 16-9
lead. She added 11 in the third as the lead grew to 60-29 going into the
Nanticokes Ashley Makarczyk made one three-pointer and set a record
for three-pointers in a career (151). The record of 150 was held by Jennifer
Sarah Acker added 12 points for Nanticoke and Makarczyk and Katlyn Malshefski
had 10 points apiece.
Kristen Pechulis led Valley West with nine points.
GNA defeats host in Hazleton tourney
By Times Leader Staff
Aly Byorick scored 20 points and Sarah Acker added 18 as Greater Nanticoke
Area pulled away in the fourth quarter to defeat Hazleton Area, 56-44,
Saturday in the Lady Cougar Tip-Off Tournament championship game.
Nanticoke led 39-37 entering the fourth, but outscored the Cougars 17-7
in the final eight minutes.
Rachel Wisemiller led Hazleton Area with 22 points, including five three-pointers.
Lady Cougar Tip-Off Tournament
GNA battles way to final
The Trojanettes down Cheltenham and will meet Hazleton Area tonight.
By LISA SOKOLOWSKI
It took a minute, but Abby Gesecki finally put Greater
Nanticoke Area on the board. Sure, it was only a two-point lead at that
point, but the Trojanettes never trailed during the entire opening round
game of the Lady Cougar Tip-Off Tournament at Hazleton Area on Friday.
Cheltenham - coached by West Hazleton Class of 1964 graduate Bob Schaefer
- pressured Nanticoke in the fourth quarter, tying the game twice, but
that's when Sarah Acker stepped up.
The 6-3 junior scored 12 of her 16 points in the fourth as Nanticoke defeated
Cheltenham 58-48. Nanticoke will play Hazleton Area, which defeated Abington
Heights 53-35 in the nightcap.
Acker had four baskets and was 2 for 4 from the line in the final six
minutes of the game. Cheltenham was pressing during the final quarter,
and it left Acker open to do as she pleased.
"I just think we were getting inside and running the court more,"
Acker grabbed 18 rebounds, six in the first quarter. That's when Aly Byorick
took charge. She hit two threes in the first eight minutes, amassing eight
points total that quarter, giving Nanticoke a 14-11 lead.
Cheltenham came out quickly, and it's not something that Nanticoke is
used to. At practice, the girls don't play a game that quickly, and it
showed. Nanticoke's shots were off because of it.
In the first quarter, the Trojanettes' field goal percentage was a mere
37.5 percent. The team shot less but more accurately in the second, making
half of its shots and finished with a 62.8 field goal percentage.
"It's tough to come in a game like this and play against quickness,"
coach Jack Rentko said. "The kids were a little confident after the
Nanticoke was up 37-31 heading into the third, but it wasn't a large enough
cushion. Cheltenham opened the fourth quarter with an 8-2 run, and that's
when Acker started scoring. She wasn't the whole team. Gesecki finished
with seven points and 10 assists.
"We knew this was a statement game," Byorick said, noting that
Cheltenham made it to the Class 4A finals last year. "We knew if
we won, we would show people that we are tough."
Nanticoke will have to show that again today when it plays Hazleton Area
at 7:30 p.m. in the championship game. The consolation game will begin
at 6 p.m.
Last year, Hazleton Area beat Nanticoke by one point, and Nanticoke is
looking to avenge that loss. Hazleton Area, like any host school, wants
to win its own tournament.
The younger players proved that without words.
When starters Mandy Caso (two points) and Rachel Wisemiller (10 points,
all in the second half) each picked up two fouls in the opening minute
of the game, coach Joe Gavio was stunned. Neither of the girls had sat
at all last season, but here he was, sitting them early in the first half.
The other players stepped up. Freshman Maddy Ludwig had seven points off
the bench. Fellow freshman Alyssa Flanagan, the starting point guard,
scored 11, and three-year starter Amy Mantush had 12.
"At a tip-off tournament, the team is all excited and nervous,"
Gavio said. "We weren't smooth, and that was due to inexperience.
We were out of whack, but the win is a tribute to them. This is a good
H.S. girls basketball preview
Nanticoke girls hoping this could be the year
Eight returnees, including 2 of league's best players, have coach Rentko
By LISA SOKOLOWSKI
Nanticoke's a basketball town, and the Trojanettes are
always expected to win.
That's the trouble Jack Rentko is used to facing.
"There's a lot more pressure on the kids and the coaches," said
Rentko, who is in his 10th year of coaching. "Nanticoke's a tough
town to coach in; it's always been."
The spectators have expected winners - and Rentko has produced them.
The team was the league champions from 1999 until 2001 and then again
last year. It was the district champion in 1999 and runner-up three times
Rentko has amassed a 178-90 career coaching record, but he's still lacking
one thing - a PIAA title.
Two years ago, the team lost in an Eastern quarterfinal game. It did one
better last year, falling in an Eastern semifinal matchup. Rentko hasn't
coached in a title game.
But maybe this season.
The Trojanettes do return junior standouts Sarah Acker and Aly Byorick.
Acker, at 6-foot-3, stands a few inches above the other players. She has
a career total of 663 rebounds. She had 432 last season, breaking a record
set by Chris Greco in the 1985-86 season.
Acker was named the MVP of Division II of the Wyoming Valley Conference
and was a first-team all-scholastic selection. She enters her third year
on the varsity with 657 points and 204 blocks.
Byorick, a 6-0 guard and forward, scored her 1,000th career point and
grabbed her 500th career rebound last year. She now has 1,044 and 513,
respectively. She has an 82.5 foul shot percentage, 140 assists, 128 steals
and 108 blocks. It's because of those stats that she was named a Street
and Smith's all-American honorable mention for the second straight year.
She was third-team all-state as a sophomore, a first-team all-scholastic
and the Outstanding Player of the Year in Division II.
"It's not only Sarah and Aly, although they're the main focus of
the team," Rentko said. "The other kids can do everything for
He was referring to seniors Ashley Makarczyk, Kaitlyn Malshefski and Abby
Gesecki, junior Lauren Dembowski and sophomores Brianna Borowski and Leigh
Ann Rentko, all of whom return from last year's 26-4 squad.
As of opening day, Amanda Coughlin, a 5-8 junior, is the only new face
on the team. After a few games, Rentko, like he does every year, will
reward some junior varsity players for their dedication and play and pull
them up onto the varsity squad.
For now, the roster is staying at nine.
And that's a lot of pressure on each girl's shoulders.
"We have to win the first couple of games first," Rentko said.
"(Then) let's go to the states and go where the cards fall.
"People are tough in Nanticoke. They want a winner."
Top Five Players
1. Aly Byorick, Jr., Nanticoke; 2. Sarah Acker, Jr.,
Nanticoke; 3. Erin Chesnavich, Sr., Bishop O'Reilly. 4. Kristen Baumes,
Jr., Pittston Area; 5. Krystina Durako, Sr., Seton Catholic.
Byorick is a Street and Smith's honorable mention all-American from the
East for the second straight year. Even magazines on the national level
know to watch out for her.
Acker has a career total of 663 rebounds, 657 points and 254 blocks. Chesnavich
was an all-state second team selection last year.
Baumes averaged 17 points, eight rebounds, four steals and four assists
as a sophomore. Durako is outstanding under the boards at both ends of
Meyers guard Alyssa Sabalesky is already being talked about as the WVC's
Top Five Teams
1. Nanticoke; 2. Hazleton Area; 3. Bishop O'Reilly; 4.
Crestwood; 5. Seton Catholic.
Eight of Nanticoke's nine players lettered last year
and only one starter was lost to graduation. Hazleton Area, the Division
I champion, returns Rachel Wisemiller, who averaged 11.7 points per game
last year. Bishop O'Reilly returns two starters from last year's District
2 Class A championship team. Crestwood returns a solid nucleus from last
year's 18-8 squad. Seton Catholic opens with an aggressive scrimmage schedule
to get the team ready for its Division III schedule.
It's So Good To Be Home
Berwick travels from its very first scrimmage against Southern Columbia
on Nov. 21 until Dec. 12, when the Bulldogs go to Bishop Hannan. In between,
there are trips to Central Columbia, Pocono Mountain East, Marian Catholic,
North Schuylkill and East Stroudsburg South.
Finally, on Dec. 14 - three weeks after the first scrimmage - Berwick
hosts Dallas. That's followed by two games on the road and then another
In total, including the Lewistown Tournament the Monday after Christmas,
the Bulldogs are away 16 times and home 10 times.
Sit Back, Relax
Hazleton Area is playing Abington Heights at 8 p.m. today, but the Cougars
will probably get to the gym early to watch the first game of the Cougar
At 6 p.m., Nanticoke plays Cheltenham.
Cheltenham ended Hazleton Area's season in the first round of the PIAA
4A playoffs last season.
The teams played twice last season, and Hazleton Area, though it got close
the second time, wasn't able to beat Cheltenham last year.
If both teams win - or if both teams lose today - they'll play each other
Win Together, Stay Together
Anyone who went to a Nanticoke volleyball match this fall will notice
a lot of familiar faces on the basketball team. Four of the girls who
played on the first Nanticoke team to ever make it to the state tournament
(the team lost in a PIAA Class 2A first-round match) start on the basketball
Sarah Acker, Aly Byorick, Ashley Makarczyk and Kaitlyn Malshefski are
all starters on both the volleyball team and the basketball team.
Both sports are good for players with height, and genetics have blessed
those four girls with it. Makarczyk is the shortest of the four at 5-10
and Acker is the tallest at 6-3. Byorick and Malshefski are both 6-0.
DIVISION II - Girls' Basketball Preview (Times
Coach: Jack Rentko
Last year: 26-4
Key players: Sara Acker, Jr., C; Brianna Borowski, So.,
G; Aly Byorick, Jr., G/F; Amanda Coughlin, Jr., F; Lauren Dembowski, Jr.,
G; Abby Gesecki, Sr., G; Ashley Makarczyk, Sr., G; Katlyn Malshefski,
Sr., F/C; Leigh Ann Rentko, So., G.
Coach's comments: Last year, the team claimed the Division II title, but
lost in the District 2 championship game. With 26 wins - and a trip to
the PIAA quarterfinals - it was the most wins since the 1989-90 season.
Byorick is one to watch this year, if last year was any indication. She
scored her 1,000th point and grabbed her 500th rebound. She broke the
school record for most points scored as a sophomore (581). That record
had held for 23 years. Acker is a record holder too. She broke the school
record for most rebounds in a season (432), a record which was set in