St. Basil's defense turns back Nanticoke
By: Matthew Burdett , Correspondent

ALLENTOWN - St. Basil's Academy came into Saturday afternoon's Class AAA playoff game with Nanticoke with the reputation of being an aggressive defensive team.
The Panthers held state powerhouse Allentown Central Catholic to just 20 points in the quarterfinals and again, against Nanticoke, it was the defense that set the tone in St. Basil's 48-32 victory at Parkland High School.
The guard tandem of Allie Fedorowicz and Samantha Thompson combined for 31 points to lead the. Fedorowicz scored 12 of her 16 points in the first half, but it was the defensive effort that was the story of the game.
Nanticoke sophomore center Sara Acker dominated in the paint, leading the Trojanettes with a game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds. Aly Byorick added 10 points and six rebounds, but the rest of team could only score two points on a basket by Ashley Makarczyk.
"Nanticoke has a tremendous team but we thought that we could mix up our defensive schemes and throw them off their game," St. Basil's head coach Dennis Fiandra said. "They have terrific players in the interior and we thought if our guards could control the game, then we could dictate the tempo. We threw different looks at them switching up zone and man defense, and I am happy with the defensive efforts of our team the past two games."
St. Basil's took an early 6-2 lead on baskets by Fedorowicz and forward Christine McCollum, but Acker established herself underneath the basket by taking a quick pass from Makarczyk and converted a lay-up to make it a 6-4 game.
Acker then hit a running 8-footer to tie the game at 6, but the Panthers scored six straight points capped by a basket by Fedorowicz to increase the lead to 12-6 with 2:06 left in the first.
Nanticoke came back with baskets by Byorick and Makarczyk, but a bank shot by Thompson as the quarter ended made the score 15-10 at the end of one.
St. Basil's then started the second quarter with a 9-0 run highlighted by an offensive rebound and putback by McCallum and a 3-pointer from the top of the key by Fedorowicz. The guard tandem of Fedorowicz and Thompson hounded the guards of Nanticoke the entire game, forcing some turnovers and quick shots.
Byorick ended the run with a trey from the corner but Thompson matched Byorick with a 3-pointer to give the Panthers a 29-16 lead entering halftime.
"We came out a little flat today and their guards were certainly the difference in the game," Nanticoke head coach Jack Rentko said. "They put on a defensive clinic with the way they changed things up and we looked like a nervous team at times. We are a very young team and they are very experienced at this level and it showed. We could have moved better without the ball and we did get a lot of good looks but they just didn't fall."
In the third quarter, St. Basil's slowly began to distance themselves from the Trojanettes. McCollum, who also scored 15 points, grabbed an offensive rebound off a weird bounce and hit a 5-footer in the lane to give the Panthers a 33-19 lead. Nanticoke cut the lead to 12 on the next play when Jessica Kosloski found Acker inside for the basket, but that is as close as the Trojanettes would get. McCollum's inside basket and a coast-to-coast lay-up by Fedorowicz put the game out of reach.
Nanticoke finishes at 26-4 while St. Basil's Academy improves to 28-4.
"It was a great experience to play at this level, but I think that we just had an off day," Acker said. "We were forcing the ball a lot and never seemed to get into any comfort zone. They are a great basketball team to play against. We have all of our team back except our two seniors (Courtney Pientka and Jessica Kosloski) so hopefully over the next year we can prepare to get back into this position again."

Fedorowicz 7 0-0 16, McCollum 7 1-2 15, Thompson 5 3-4 15, Miller 0 0-0 0, Tadley 1 0-0 2, McGrath 0 0-0 0, Greenberg 0 0-0 0, Dougherty 0 0-0 0, Supka 0 0-0 0, Dempsey 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 4-6 48.
Byorick 3 2-2 10, Gesecki 0 0-0 0, Makarczyk 1 0-0 2, Kosloski 0 0-0 0, Acker 9 2-6 20, Malshefski 0 0-0 0, Pientka 0 0-0 0, Dembowski 0 0-0 0, Rentko 0 0-2 0, Borowski 0 0-0 0, Lohman 0 0-0 0, Coughlin 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 4-10 32.
ST. BASIL'S 15 14 10 9 - 48
NANTICOKE 10 6 9 7 - 32
3-point goals: Fedorowicz 2, Thompson 2, Byorick 2.

Nanticoke gets chance for revenge vs. St. Basil
The Panthers, today’s quarterfinal foe, routed the Trojanettes in 2004 playoffs.

The good news for the Greater Nanticoke Area girls basketball team is it won’t encounter four-time defending state champion Allentown Central Catholic today.
The bad news -- the Trojanettes play St. Basil, which ended their season in states last year and bounced Central Catholic from the PIAA Class 3A playoffs on Wednesday.
However, District 2 runner-up Nanticoke (25-3) goes into today’s 3 p.m. quarterfinal game at Parkland High School in Orefield (near Allentown) a year older and with more confidence.
“It’s nice,” Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko said of playing the District 1 runner-up, which defeated his team 71-44 last season. “We’re looking forward to the game.”
Central Catholic hadn’t lost a state playoff game since 2000, but St. Basil ended the streak with an offensive-impaired 21-20 victory.
Conventional thinking would say the Panthers (25-4) held the ball vs. Central Catholic. Not so, as both teams struggled from the field, combining to make just 16 of 65 shots. Central Catholic had a chance to win in the final seconds, but St. Basil’s defense forced a long three-point attempt that went awry.
Nanticoke will see some familiar faces on St. Basil, including 1,000-point scorer Samantha Thompson. Thompson, a 5-foot-10 junior, scored 16 points vs. the Trojanettes last season. Also back is 5-8 junior Allie Fedorowicz, who scored 12 points in last season’s matchup. She had a game-high eight points vs. Central Catholic. Christine McCollum, a 6-1 junior, adds height and some scoring punch.
St. Basil is coached by Dennis Fiandra, who was an assistant for five seasons. Fiandra took over for John Diletto, who passed away this past summer.
St. Basil jumped out quickly last season against Nanticoke and took a 39-19 lead into halftime.
Rentko said inexperience and nervousness were just as much of a problem as the Panthers. However, four of five starters are back from that Nanticoke team, and all four scored in double figures in Wednesday’s 65-45 victory over D11 champion Lancaster Catholic.
Neither Lancaster Catholic’s pressure defense – nor that of first-round opponent Susquehanna Township – had much effect on Nanticoke. The Trojanettes had both state opponents under control by midway through the third quarter and never trailed. Neither could threaten inside against 6-3 sophomore center Sarah Acker.
Acker followed up a 19-point performance in a 64-43 victory over Susquehanna Township with 16 points vs. Lancaster Catholic.
“Sarah Acker didn’t play great the first half (against Lancaster Catholic),” Rentko said, “but her presence inside stopped a lot. They didn’t go to the basket much on her and she had a lot of blocked shots. Scoring doesn’t mean everything. Her presence (alone) just helped us.”
Sophomore forward Aly Byorick (21.2 ppg) leads the offense, while guards Abby Gesecki, Jess Kosloski and Ashley Makarczyk have smoothed out the rough edges in the ballhandling department.

Nanticoke (25-3) vs. St. Basil (25-4)
3 p.m. today
Parkland HS., Orefield
PIAA Class 3A quarterfinals

Trojanettes click on all cylinders in big win

Fifteen years ago, Lancaster Catholic coach Lamar Kauffman talked about a Greater Nanticoke Area girls basketball team which came at his Crusaders in waves.
Wednesday night’s PIAA Class 3A rematch was somewhat different, but the result was the same.
Nanticoke came out with a one-player attack and branched out from there, disposing of Lancaster Catholic rather easily 65-45 in a state second-round game at Parkland High School.
Sophomore Aly Byorick started the assault by scoring the game’s initial nine points. By the time Ashley Makarczyk ended the first quarter with the first of her team-high four three pointers, the Trojanettes (25-3) led 15-2.
“That’s what good players do. Aly came out and set the tone for the whole game for us,” Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko said of Byorick, who finished with a game-high 16 points. “She took a lot of nervousness out of our kids and they followed her.”
Center Sarah Acker scored 15 points, and Makarczyk and guard Jess Kosloski added 14 apiece. Guard Abby Gesecki, the other starter, ended the District 3 champion pay for a hopeless rally attempt late in the game by hitting four free throws.
Nanticoke, the District 2 runner-up, will play District 1 runner-up St. Basil (25-4) in the quarterfinals on Saturday at a site and time to be announced. St. Basil upset District 11 and four-time defending state champion Allentown Central Catholic 21-20.
Nanticoke saw last season end with a 71-44 loss to St. Basil in the second round at Bethlehem Liberty High School.
“They knocked us out last year, so we want to come back and knock them out this year,” Byorick said. “We just have to play hard and play like we did today and keep our turnovers down.”
Nanticoke made few turnovers against Lancaster Catholic, the state’s eighth-ranked team entering the tournament. In fact, the Crusaders’ renowned full-court press barely made a whimper Tuesday night.
“The last couple games, we’ve had a lot of turnovers,” Kosloski said. “This game we knew we couldn’t have as much. We had guys come in and practice with us, and that made it a little easier.”
Lancaster Catholic also helped out by shooting 1 of 17 in the first quarter. The Crusaders managed to cut the deficit to 17-15 at 3:16 left until halftime, but three-pointers by Makarczyk and Kosloski quelled the rally.
Acker then scored eight of her points in the third quarter, giving Nanticoke a 41-25 lead entering the fourth.
“They got on us quick and we did make a comeback in the second quarter,” said Kauffman, whose team lost the 1990 matchup by 45 points to Nanticoke, which went on to win the state championship. “We were way off our game. I’m not sure if it was what they did or what we didn’t do.
“We let (Acker) get a lot of cheap ones inside. … We just don’t have an inside game, and they were able to control us.”
Lancaster Catholic’s worst fears came to fruition as Nanticoke’s perimeter shooters made collapsing on Acker impossible. The Trojanettes took their biggest advantage, 54-30, at 5:39 of the fourth quarter when Makarczyk and Kosloski hit consecutive three-pointers.
“We peaked at the right time,” Rentko said.


GNA Webdesign note: Thank you to the Times Leader for the use of the pictures from their website.

Nanticoke Area looks to stop the press
By: Jill Snowdon , Staff Writer
Nanticoke Area basketball coach Jack Rentko fully expects his team to make mistakes against Lancaster Catholic's highly effective press.
It's how the Trojanettes respond to that pressure that Rentko says will dictate his team's future this season.Nanticoke Area (23-4) is the lone Wyoming Valley Conference girls team alive in the state playoffs. The Trojanettes meet Lancaster Catholic (28-3) on Wednesday at 7:30 at Parkland High School in Allentown."Lancaster Catholic likes helter skelter and will force us to commit turnovers," Rentko said. "If we can overcome the turnovers and our guards play their game, we'll be alright."
Lancaster Catholic has harassed opponents with a full-court man-to-man press all season. It is the Crusaders' biggest weapon.
"They are aggressive and like to run," Rentko said. "We want to get ready for their quickness so we've been practicing against some of the kids from the boys team the last few days and I think that's going to help us."
The Crusaders, the No. 1 seed from District 3, advanced with a 64-58 overtime win against Lancaster Catholic.
Nanticoke rolled with a 64-43 first round win over Susquehanna Township.
While turnovers proved costly to the Trojanettes in a 44-42 loss to North Pocono in the District 2 AAA final, they managed to shake some early fumbles and hold on for victory in their state playoff opener.
"It was one of our better games," Rentko said. "We overcame some first quarter turnovers and we played with confidence. This is a loose bunch of kids and when they play with confidence, it really helps."
Forward Aly Byorick has been a steady performer all season. She's the type of player that doesn't get easily rattled.
There have been games this year where she hasn't scored at all in the first half and instead of showing frustration, she simply let the points come to her. She's not one to force something if it's not there.
On Saturday, Byorick, a sophomore scored a game-high 24 points and hauled in 12 rebounds. She also registered the 1,000th point of her young career.
Another sophomore for the Trojanettes is 6-foot-2 center Sarah Acker. Acker has improved tremendously since last season. Acker scored 19 points, pulled in 15 rebounds and blocked nine shots in Saturday's victory.
The Trojanettes guards will need to be ready for all that Lancaster Catholic is expected to throw their way. The Trojanettes are bigger in the paint, but the play of Nanticoke's backcourt could sway the outcome.
Ashley Makarczyk, Jess Kosloski, Abby Gesecki and Courtenay Pientka are the guards that will be called upon to keep up with the fast-paced tempo.
Makarczyk, a junior, goes strong to the basket and has a nice touch from the outside as well as three-point range. Kosloski, a senior, is the three-point specialist. Gesecki, a junior, and Pientka, a senior, are steady performers, who don't often put up big scoring numbers, but are solid defenders and can often catch a team off guard on offense.
Lancaster Catholic's top players are guards Steph Kield and Beth Holt. Other key players are Katie Allport, Mac O'Grady and Amy Pickard.
The winner of tonight's game advances to the AAA quarterfinals Saturday against the winner of the Allentown Central Catholic/Saint Basil match-up.

Nanticoke braces for Lancaster Catholic in 3A playoffs
Trojanettes coach wants his team to focus not on comparative scores with opponent, but on the task at hand.

Lancaster Catholic coach Lamar Kauffman knows about the Greater Nanticoke Area girls basketball program.
Heck, any coach who saw his team run roughshod by the 1990 Trojanette squad, which eventually won the PIAA Class 3A championship, would have a hard time forgetting.
Kauffman and the District 3 champion Crusaders (28-3) get another dose of Nanticoke basketball when the two teams meet at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at Parkland High School in Allentown in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs.
Back in 1990, Catholic entered the game with Nanticoke as the defending state champion. The Crusaders left Shamokin High School with a 98-53 loss. It was the third consecutive season the two met in the state playoffs. Catholic won in 1988 and 1989 and advanced to the state championship game both times.
“Years back, we had some good contests with them,” said Kauffman, who has 524 career victories in 23 seasons coaching. “They were good teams, but different with the big people inside now. We’re guard-oriented, and that could be a problem for us.”
Although Nanticoke has the height advantage, Kauffman won’t have to worry about a similar assault as this season’s Trojanettes aren’t on the same level as the 1990 group. (Not many teams have been for that matter.) However, the Trojanettes appeared to shake off some sloppy play in the District 2 tournament with a 64-43 victory over D3 sixth seed Susquehanna Township.
Susquehanna Township took Catholic to two overtimes in the D3 tourney before falling 65-62.
“When we played them, we shot 21 percent against them,” said Kauffman, whose team needed overtime to defeat D1 fourth seed Nazareth Academy 64-58 in its first-round state game. “We just couldn’t hit a shot.”
Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko believes his team won’t compare the two scores and draw a conclusion.
“We have to focus on every game like it’s our last game, and that’s what we’ve been doing,” Rentko said. “You have to take care of business. We’re not looking at the other opponents, we’re looking at what we have to do to get better and win the game.”
Nanticoke showed signs of rectifying its main problem during the district tournament – ballhandling – by managing Susquehanna Township’s pressure after an eight-turnover first quarter. The Trojanettes will need to do even a better job because Catholic loves to throw a variety of presses at its opponents.
Junior guard Steph Kielb leads Catholic with her 14.7 points per game average and all-around play. Backcourt mate Beth Holt (12.8 ppg) and 5-foot-11 forward Katie Allport (8.4 ppg) are also scorers on a deep team that rotates up to 10 players at times to keep its press running strong.
On a positive note, Nanticoke point guard Abby Gesecki will return after a one-game suspension for breaking a team rule, and Rentko was pleased with guard Jessica Kosloski’s play vs. Susquehanna Township.
The backcourt’s job will not only be helping break Catholic’s press, but getting the ball to 5-11 sophomore forward Aly Byorick (21.2 ppg), 6-3 sophomore center Sarah Acker (16.4 ppg) and 5-11 junior swingplayer Ashley Makarczyk. Byorick scored her 1,000th career point in her 24-point performance vs. Susquehanna Township, while Acker just missed a triple-double with 19 points, 16 rebounds and nine blocked shots. Makarczyk (9.8 ppg) has been a timely three-point shooter.
“We need to try to keep pressure on their guards so they can’t get a good look where they can just loft the ball in,” Kauffman said. “You’re dealing with 6-3, and my biggest one is just about 6 and the other is about 5-10. And they aren’t big and physical like Acker.”
Parkland’s gymnasium and school are among the nicest in the state but can be overwhelming at first sight. However, Nanticoke is familiar with the facility, having scrimmaged at Parkland prior to the district tournament.
“We played well there; we did a nice job there and the kids like the baskets,” Rentko said. “It’s a nice advantage that we scrimmaged down there.”
Tomorrow’s winner plays either D11 and defending state champion Allentown Central Catholic (26-3) or D1 runner-up Saint Basil (24-4) on Saturday at a site and time to be announced.
In the opener at Parkland tomorrow, D2 champion North Pocono (27-0) plays D1 third seed Villa Joseph Marie (23-9) at 6 p.m.

Byorick, Acker lead Trojanettes into second round of PIAAs
By: Matthew Burdett , Citizens' Voice Correspondent
It would be understandable if Nanticoke Area experienced a bit of a letdown in its PIAA Class AAA opener with Susquehanna Township.
After an emotional loss to North Pocono in the District 2 finals, the Trojanettes were determined to not show any side effects of the defeat.
Led by the phenomenal performances of Aly Byorick and Sarah Acker, the Trojanettes dominated the interior and cruised to an easy 64-43 victory over the Indians at Pittston Area.
Byorick led the way with 24 points and 12 rebounds and in the process scored the 1,000th point of her career on two free throws late in the first quarter. Acker narrowly missed a triple-double with 19 points, 15 rebounds and 9 blocks.
"It was heartbreaking to lose last week and we wanted to come out and show just how confident a basketball team we are," Acker said. "We knew coming into this game that we had a definitive inside presence over their team and we wanted to exploit that every trip down the floor. Everyone did a great job getting into position to score and we want to just keep playing."
Nanticoke wasted no time in jumping out to an early lead. Ashley
Makarczyk hit a quick 3-point basket from the left corner to give the Trojanettes an early 5-3 advantage.
The Indians came back and cut the lead to 7-6 on a steal and lay-up by Christine Olarte. However, that is about as close as Susquehanna Township got all afternoon.
Nanticoke went on an 8-0 run highlighted by Byorick's two free throws that gave her 1,000 points for her career.
"I honestly didn't know how close I was to 1,000 and it didn't cross my mind until they hit the buzzer and stopped the game," Byorick said. "We were so focused on the game that any individual achievements were secondary but I feel great to have joined the list of Nanticoke players to reach that milestone. We were really confident today that we could play well and I am happy that we did."
The Trojanettes continued to increase the lead in the second quarter.
An offensive rebound and putback by Acker made the score 21-12 and a 16-foot corner jumper by Byorick widened the lead to 11. Acker's defensive presence inside was too much for Susquehanna Township to handle. On several occasions, it challenged Acker only to be blocked by Acker. One block led to a length of the court pass to Byorick, whose lay-up gave the Trojanettes a 30-18 halftime lead.
"After some early turnovers and some poorly run plays, we settled in and got some great shots at the basket," Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko said. "We committed nine turnovers in the first quarter, but once the inside game opened up for us everything seemed to click. As the game went on, our guards took care of the ball better and we got some good passes that led to some easy shots. It was a great way to play after last week's tough finish."
Nanticoke never allowed the Indians to get within 11 points of the lead.
Byorick exploded for 16 points in the second half and the Trojanettes made it 40-24 on a 3-pointer by Makarczyk, who finished with 11 points as well.
Point guard Courtney Pientka then found Byorick for the cross court pass and layup to ice the game for Nanticoke.
"Our goal is to get to the Eastern Finals but we know the road is not going to be an easy one," Byorick said. "There are a whole host of excellent teams in the Eastern half of the state so we know that any team we see from here is going to be at the top of their game. We are feeling very good about our team right now and hope to continue to play as long as we can."

Green 1 5-6 7, Ross 4 0-0 8, Cureton 0 2-2 2, Brooks 8 2-2 19, Olarte 2 3-7 7, Price 0 0-0 0, Hirsch 0 0-0 0, Ruth 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 12-17 43.
Acker 7 5-6 19, Byorick 9 5-6 24, Malshefski 3 1-2 7, Kosloski 0 0-1 0, Makarczyk 4 0-0 11, Pientka 1 1-2 3, Dembowski 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 12-17 64.
SUSQUEHANNA TWP 10 8 6 19-43
NANTICOKE AREA 15 15 13 21-64
3-point goals: Brooks, Byorick, Makarczyk 3.

Trojanettes looking to pull inside job
Greater Nanticoke Area’s plan against Susquehanna Township is simple.
Implementing it could be difficult.
The District 2 runner-up Trojanettes (23-3) want to get the ball inside to 6-foot-3 center Sarah Acker and 5-11 forward Aly Byorick. Do that, and they feel confident they’ll leave Pittston Area High School tomorrow afternoon with a Class 3A state girls basketball victory.
However, the Trojanettes were shaky at times passing the ball in their last game, committing 24 turnovers in a 44-42 loss to North Pocono in the D2 championship game. Plus, guard Jessica Kosloski injured her knee in that game and Abby Gesecki is expected to miss tomorrow’s 1 p.m. game because of violating a team rule, according to coach Jack Rentko.
And while Susquehanna Township is only the sixth seed from District 3, the Indians are quick enough to cause problems.
“They are not really tall,” Rentko said. “but they are athletic and like to play man-to-man.”
Byorick may need to assume more of the ballhandling duties, meaning Nanticoke’s inside game could suffer. Kosloski played about a third of a scrimmage Wednesday vs. Scranton Prep and was about 85 percent, according to Rentko.
Kosloski is expected to be fine for tomorrow, but nagging injuries, inexperienced reserves and the suspension could limit the backcourt’s effectiveness. However, Rentko was satisfied with the performance in the scrimmage.
“We did well,” Rentko said. “We looked good and passed the ball well.”
The ballhandling troubles not only cost Nanticoke a shot at the district title, it tossed the Trojanettes in the tougher half of the Eastern bracket. Among the other teams there are defending state champion Allentown Central Catholic (25-3), D3 champion Lancaster Catholic (27-3) and D1 runner-up St. Basil (23-4). St. Basil ended Nanticoke’s season in the second round last year, 71-44.
“The worst thing that happened to us was losing the district championship and getting in this bracket,” Rentko said. “This is a really confident bunch of kids. They can beat anyone if they keep their heads on.”

Nanticoke (23-3) vs. Susquehanna Twp. (20-8)
Class 3A
1 p.m Saturday - Pittston Area High School

On paper, this looks like a bit of a mismatch as Susquehanna Township comes in as the sixth seed out of District 3, while Nanticoke fell three points short for a second consecutive season in the District 2 title game.
Dig deeper, and Nanticoke could have a much tougher time than expected.
The Indians nearly pulled off the biggest upset of the D3 tournament, going double overtime with the state's topranked 3A team, Lancaster Catholic, before falling 65-62. They also showed the ability to overcome poor starts, rallying from a 15-3 deficit to defeat West Perry 44 - 41. They slipped to the sixth seed after losing 51-41 to Susquehannock.
Susquehanna Township is known for its quickness and balance. Courtney Brooks and Christina Olarte lead the Indians, while Karlise Cureton recorded a double-double vs. Lancaster Catholic.
Nanticoke's Aly Byorick was outstanding in leading her team back against North Pocono in the district championship game, even though the Trojanettes lost 44-42. The team will need to do a better job inside as
6-foot-3 center Sarah Acker had just three points - 14 under her average - and none after the first quarter.
Both teams played Bishop McDevitt this season and lost. Olarte didn't play in the 60-41 setback on Jan. 29, while McDevitt was missing a top player when it defeated Nanticoke 52-41 on Dec. 29.
The winner plays either D3 champion Lancaster Catholic (27-3) or D1 fourth seed Nazareth Academy (11-14) on Wednesday.

Nanticoke Area comes up short
By: Jill Snowdon , Staff Writer

Nanticoke Area was able to overcome an 11-point first-half deficit, a series of North Pocono runs and the loss of a shooting guard due to an ankle injury.
Plagued by 24 turnovers, including eight in the fourth quarter, Nanticoke came up short for the second straight year in the District 2 AAA title game with a 46-44 loss to North Pocono Saturday night at Pittston Area High School.
Defending champion North Pocono (27-0) will play Athens Area (District 4 No. 2 seed) in the first round of the state playoffs Saturday. Nanticoke (23-3) also advances and will meet Susquehanna Township (District 2 No. 3 seed) on Saturday.
"Nothing against North Pocono, but we gave them the game," Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko said. "We gave them all the stupid turnovers we had. We beat ourselves with too many turnovers."
The Trojanettes' most crucial turnovers came with just 43 seconds left in the game. North Pocono's Keri Cahill picked off a pass and turned it into a three-point play for a 45-41 Trojan lead.
Nanticoke's Ashley Makarczyk scored on a three-pointer to bring the game within one, while North Pocono's Megan Scott hit the first of a two-shot foul to give her team a two-point lead.
The rebound on Scott's second miss went out of bounds in Nanticoke's favor and the Trojanettes had nine seconds to tie or take the lead. They managed to get the ball across half court but were whistled for stepping out of bounds with 2.3 remaining.
"We were looking to set a backscreen for Aly (Byorick)," said Rentko of what the Trojanettes had planned for their final push down the court. "But it never transpired."
Nanticoke shot 3-for-12 from the field in the first quarter, while North Pocono closed out the opening minutes with nine unanswered points. The Trojans offensive spurt continued in the second and they took a 24-13 lead and looked as if they were ready to put Nanticoke away for good.
Nanticoke's shooting finally started to come around with point guard Abby Gesecki leading the comeback. The junior hit a three at the top of the arc and followed with a driving layup.
Makarczyk added a jumper and an uncontested layup to bring the Trojanettes within two, 24-22, at the half.
"It was a game of runs," said Rentko "And we withstood a great North Pocono run."
The Trojanettes momentum carried over to the third with Makarczyk connecting on a three and Byorick adding two more threes for a 31-27 Nanticoke advantage.
North Pocono center Laura Franceski picked up her third foul with 5:47 left in the quarter, which gave Nanticoke a chance to take things in the paint. But instead of looking for opportunities underneath, the Trojanettes continued to kick things out.
"I was a little surprised with that," North Pocono coach Jeff West said. "We were really trying to manage the clock and Laura's foul as best we could. But we needed her on the floor."
Nanticoke suffered a major blow when shooting guard Jess Kosloski twisted her ankle in the third and was sidelined the rest of the game. The Trojanettes, however, were able to hold their lead until North Pocono's Sara Heim connected on both ends of a one-and-one and Cahill scored on a layup to give their team the lead for good.
"(North Pocono) was playing a match-up zone and we were lobbing the ball over their heads," Rentko said. "When we were up by five we stopped them four times and threw the ball away four times in a row after that."
Franceski led North Pocono with 14 and Emily Lynch and Cahill added 13 and 12 respectively in the win. Byorick paced Nanticoke with 18 and Makarczyk chipped in with 12.
"Turnovers were a major key," Byorick said. "It's a bad feeling, but it's apart of the game and it's apart of life. We'll overcome it and hopefully make a strong run in states."
Cahill 4 3-5 12; Gombita 0 0-0 0; Scott 1 3-4 5; Lynch 4 4-6 13; Franceski 5 4-5 14; Gavin 0 0-0 0; Heim 0 2-2 2; Totals 14 16-22 46.
Kosloski 1 0-0 3; Byorick 6 4-5 18; Acker 1 2-3 4; Makarczyk 5 0-0 12; Gesecki 2 0-0 5; Malshefski 1 0-0 2; Pientka 0 0-0 0; Totals 16 6-8 44.
NORTH POCONO 15 9 9 13 - 46
NANTICOKE AREA 9 13 13 9 - 44
3-point goals: Cahill, Lynch, Byorick 2, Makarczyk 2, Kosloski.

It's feast or famine for Nanticoke Area
By: Jill Snowdon , Staff writer

The way Nanticoke Area has played in the first two rounds of the District 2 playoffs, the Trojanettes are either due for a big finale or doomed for another second-place finish.
Nanticoke survived battles with Dallas and Scranton Prep to return to the AAA district final where it will meet undefeated North Pocono for the second straight year.
"We're just not putting 32 minutes together," said coiach Jack Rentko. "We played great defense (against Scranton Prep), but offensively we're not firing on all cylinders."
Nanticoke grabbed a 16-point cushion going into the fourth quarter in its semifinal with Prep, but that lead slowly evaporate due to inconsistent foul shooting and a lack of points from the field.
"We put together a really good third quarter," said Rentko. "Then we started to fall apart in the fourth."
With those too-close-for-comfort victories behind them, the Trojanettes are gearing up for their showdown with North Pocono. North Pocono won last year's meeting, 46-41.
"We match up well," said Rentko. "They have a 6-3 center (Laura Franceski) and so do we (Sara Acker). They have two or three scorers and we have five or six. I think we're a better outside shooting team. This game is going to come down to defense."
Championship Game
No. 1 Nanticoke Area (23-2) vs No. 2 North Pocono (26-0)
When: Saturday, 7 p.m.
Where: Pittston Area High School
About Nanticoke Area: Rallied for a 52-40 win over Dallas and then got past Scranton Prep 46-41. If the Trojanettes' offensive sets come together against North Pocono, they will be on their way to their first district title since 1999.
About North Pocono: Isn't having a perfect season by luck. Has good size, quickness and plays good defense.
Key Nanticoke Area players: Aly Byorick, Sara Acker, Jessica Kosloski, Ashley Makarczyk, Katelyn Malshefski, Abby Gesecki, Courtenay Pientka.
Key North Pocono players: Keri Cahill, Laura Franceski, Emily Lynch.
Moving on: Both teams advance to the AAA state playoffs.

Trojanettes earn date with unbeaten North Pocono
By: Jill Snowdon , Staff Writer

Nanticoke Area's attempt to run time off the clock in the final quarter of the District 2 Class AAA semifinal nearly backfired.Fortunately for the Trojanettes, they had built enough of a lead that Scranton Prep just could not recover.Nanticoke struggled offensively in the fourth quarter, scoring all eight of its points from the foul line but managed to hold off Prep's rally for a 46-41 win.The Trojanettes (23-2) will play defending district champ North Pocono (26-0) on Saturday at a site and time to be determined. It's a rematch of last year's final which North Pocono won 48-46.Prep (21-6) will play Berwick (19-7) for the third place game and a berth in the PIAA tourney."We're not taking care of the basketball and we're not playing like we should be," said Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko. "We weren't running our sets like we should have and down the stretch our foul shooting hurt us."The Trojanettes missed seven of their 15 free throw attempts in the final eight minutes, allowing Prep to close the gap. "We gave them a run, but it was a little too late," said Prep coach Joe Ferguson. "Being down 16 points is a deep hole against a good team like (Nanticoke)."Prep, however, certainly gave a valiant effort with Molly Cowley taking over and scoring 10 of her game-high 17 points in the fourth.Led by sophomore center Sara Acker, Nanticoke took a 16-11 lead with 2:36 remaining in the second quarter. Acker dominated the boards and scoreboard for the Trojanettes in the first half, while Jess Kosloski scored a three with four seconds left to give her team a 22-13 lead at the half.Nanticoke's momentum continued in the third as Aly Byorick scored 10 straight points and Kosloski hit another trey to end the quarter for a 16-point advantage.Byorick was scoreless in the first half, while sitting most of the second quarter with three fouls. She came out strong in the second half, however, scoring 13 points."That's the worst feeling for me," said Byorick of watching from the bench. "But I didn't get down on myself. Scranton Prep was playing a tight defense and I don't think we're used to that pressure." Acker finished with 12 points, pulled down 18 rebounds and blocked eight shots. Ashley Makarczyk and Jess Kosloski combined for 15 points, while Makarczyk also had seven assists."We're very excited to play North Pocono," said Byorick. "It was a great game against them last year. We're confident, but not over-confident. We're going in with a good head on our shoulders."SCRANTON PREP (41)Cowley 7 3-4 17; Harrington 0 0-0 0; E. Lavelle 2 0-1 4; McLane 4 3-3 12; Folk 3 0-0 6; Osborne 0 0-0 0; A. Lavelle 1 0-0 2; Zelenik 0 0-0 0; McIntyre 0 0-0 0; Totals 18 6-8 41.NANTICOKE AREA (46)Byorick 4 2-2 13; Acker 5 2-4 12; Makarczyk 2 3-4 9; Kosloski 3 0-0 8; Gesecki 0 2-8 2; Malshefski 1 0-0 2; Totals 15 9-18 46.SCRANTON PREP 7 6 9 19 - 41NANTICOKE AREA 10 12 16 8 - 463-point goals: NA - Byorick 3, Makarczyk 2, Kosloski 2; SP - McLane.Officials: T. Modrovsky, Elliott, Gavlick.

Nanticoke slips past Classics
Prep rallies to nearly catch Trojanettes, who led by 16 at one point of fourth quarter.

The Greater Nanticoke Area Trojanettes proved two things Wednesday night against Scranton Prep in a District 2 Class 3A semifinal game. They are a very good basketball team without standout Aly Byorick, but obviously much better with her. Nanticoke built a nine-point lead at halftime with Byorick on the bench, then increased it to 16 in the third with her on the court before holding off Prep 46-41 at Wyoming Area High School. Top-seeded Nanticoke (23-2) will play second-seeded and defending champion North Pocono (25-0) on Saturday at a site and time to be determined for the championship. North Pocono defeated Nanticoke 48-46 for the title last season. Byorick finished with a team-high 13 points while center Sara Acker added 12 points, 18 rebounds and eight blocked shots. "I'm actually very excited to play North Pocono," said Byorick, the two-time Wyoming Valley Conference Division II scoring leader. "It was a great game last time and everybody wanted to play them." Fourth-seeded Prep (21-6) did all it could in the fourth quarter to derail a title game rematch. The Classics finally found their shooting touch and, coupled with a suddenly cold Nanticoke offense, managed to get within 45-41 with 28 seconds to play. The rally fell short, and Prep will play fourth-seeded Berwick (21-6) on Saturday, with only the winner advancing to the state playoffs. Nanticoke eased away in the second quarter with Byorick spending all but 1:40 on the bench in foul trouble. Jessica Kosloski led the offense with five points, including a three-pointer with four seconds left until halftime for a 22-13 lead. "We're not a one- or two-person team," Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko said. "Everybody contributes all the time." Byorick, though, contributed the most in the third quarter. She hit three three-pointers and scored 11 points as the Trojanettes took a seemingly comfortable 38-22 advantage into the fourth. "That was the worst feeling for me. I hate not playing," said Byorick, who picked up her third foul at 6:20 of the second quarter and didn't return until after halftime. "But instead of getting down, I felt I should be on the bench cheering on my teammates, giving them confidence." That confidence, as well as the lead, dipped in the fourth as Nanticoke tried to work the clock. Instead, the Trojanettes ended up without a field goal in the last eight minutes, struggled at the foul line and allowed Prep to make a run. "I thought we did a nice job pressuring them a little bit on top," said Prep coach Joe Ferguson, who coached North Pocono last season. "That was originally what our game plan was. I don't think we did a good job with that in the first half."

Nanticoke-Scranton Prep game highlights D-2 girls' semifinals
By: Jill Snowdon , Staff Writer
The Class AAA bracket in the District 2 tournament is arguably the toughest.
It's anyone's guess which team will come through the as champion

North Pocono (25-0), the No. 2 seed, overwhelmed Valley View 56-29 in the quarterfinals and plays Berwick tonight at 8 at Carbondale High School.
The Trojanettes' height may get the best of the Bulldogs, who depend heavily on the backcourt play of Lara Dellegrotti and Bridget Carlin.
The Bulldogs (20-5) are recovering from back-to-back losses to Hazleton Area, which cost them the Wyoming Valley Conference Division I title.
Nanticoke Area (22-2), which earned the top seed by virtue of a coin flip, survived a scare from Dallas on Saturday. Nanticoke Area trailed by seven points in the third quarter but came out with a 52-40 win.
Nanticoke Area is talented but young and will be tested once again from a solid Scranton Prep squad tonight at 8 at Wyoming Area.
Prep also advanced on a nail-bitter with a 41-38 win against Bishop Hoban. The Classics (20-5) play a tough schedule (three of their losses were to North Pocono) and will match up evenly against Nanticoke

Pa. rankings
Pennsylvania high school girls basketball rankings from the Patriot-News of Harrisburg for the week of Sunday, February 20, with school’s district in parentheses, followed by the school’s record and last week’s ranking. NR means not ranked. Honorable mention teams listed alphabetically.

1. Mercyhurst Prep (10) 22-3 1
2. Allentown Central Catholic (11) 21-3 2
3. North Pocono (2) 26-0 3
4. Franklin (10) 23-1 4
5. St. Basil (1) 21-3 5
6. Villa Maria Academy (1) 20-4 6
7. Lewistown (6) 23-2 7
8. Bishop McDevitt (3) 18-6 8
9. Hopewell (7) 21-4 NR
10. Franklin Learning Center (12) 21-2 10

Teams to watch: Bellefonte (6) 17-6; Blackhawk (7) 14-11; Boiling Springs (3) 24-3; Hickory (10) 18-5; Lancaster Catholic (3) 25-3; Montour (7) 17-6; Moon (7) 19-6; Nanticoke (2) 23-2; Palmyra (3) 22-3; Punxsutaney (9) 19-4; Scranton Prep (2) 20-5; Southern Lehigh (11) 22-5; Villa Maria (10) 20-5.

District 2 H.S. Basketball Tournament
Trojanettes are ugly winners
Top-seeded team struggles before eliminating a Dallas squad it blew out twice during regular season

Sara Acker cracked a smile ... barely. She wasn't exactly thrilled with her play or her teammates during Greater Nanticoke Area's 52-40 victory over Dallas on Saturday in the District 2 Class 3A playoffs at Wyoming Area High School. That top-seeded Nanticoke escaped with a victory over Dallas - a team it beat by 39 and 26 points during the regular season - was just enough reason for the senior to be just a smidge happy. "I think because we beat them by so much twice in the season, we figured we'd come out and blow them out again," said Acker, who struggled from the field and finished with just 11 points despite being seven inches taller than any Dallas player. "
(We were) very lucky."
But Acker's presence, and a second-half dedication to getting the ball inside to her and Aly Byorick, sparked the top-seeded Trojanettes. Acker finished with 26 rebounds and six blocked shots.
Byorick scored 11 of her game-high 17 points in the second half.
"We just weren't playing good inside in the beginning and they were everywhere," Acker said. "They played a lot harder than the other times. We just had an off day."
Nanticoke (22-2) will play fourth-seeded Scranton Prep (20-5) in the semifinals on Wednesday at a site and time to be determined. Prep defeated Bishop Hoban 41-38 on Saturday.
Dallas finished the season 13-13, but not before putting a scare into Nanticoke. The Mountaineers trailed 23-15 in the second quarter, but ended the half on a 9-0 run - capped by two Cory Patton free throws - to take a 24-23 halftime lead.
The lead grew to 29-23 with a Patton three-pointer with 5:24 left in the third quarter.
"We gave them a scare," said Dallas coach Joe Noon, whose team lost to Nanticoke 72-33 and 74-48 in the regular season. "We thought we had them.
"In the end, their big girls got us."
But after Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko called a timeout with his team down by six, the Trojanettes dedicated themselves to getting the ball inside. Byorick scored 10 points in the final 4:12 of the quarter (eight coming on four layups) to help Nanticoke to a 35-32 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
"I told the girls not to lose their composure," Rentko said of the timeout. "We just wanted to slow the game down and get it to our big kids. We're a seasoned team and we got through it.
"It's never easy in districts."
Dallas went cold to start the fourth and let the game slip away. The team missed the first nine shots it took and committed five turnovers before scoring. That was a three-pointer by Melissa Gorski that cut the lead to 42-35 with 3:14 left in the game.
For the game, Dallas converted 23 percent (15 of 66) from the field and made just 5 of 25 from three-point range.
"We didn't shoot the ball well from the outside, obviously," Noon said. "But we have nothing to be ashamed of. The girls played their hearts out."
Nanticoke made 38 percent (17 of 44) from the field. With Dallas fouling to attempt to get back in the game, Nanticoke made 13 of 23 free throws in the final quarter to help seal the win.

District 2 Girls Basketball Playoffs
GNA not getting rusty during break
Trojanettes go to Allentown to scrimmage Parkland, one of best teams in the state.

By John
Being the top seed has a hidden disadvantage.
For the Greater Nanticoke Area girls basketball team, it means Saturday's District 2 Class 3A quarterfinal game will be its first contest in nine days.
But if anyone thinks the Trojanettes (22-2) will be rusty when they face the winner of tomorrow's Pittston Area at Dallas game, think again. They spent Tuesday in Allentown scrimmaging one of the state's best teams.
"That's why we came down to Parkland," said Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko. "They are ranked sixth in the state and are a good team who lost to Allentown Central Catholic by five in a playoff game."
Actually, Parkland fell to ninth in the Class 4A state rankings, but, at 20-3, it was more than capable of giving the Trojanettes a strong workout.
Nanticoke certainly could use one since the 3A bracket is tough. Three other teams, including No. 2 seed and defending champion North Pocono (23-0), could come away with the championship. A few others are talented enough to upset the aforementioned.
"Scranton Prep is playing well. Bishop Hoban just beat O'Reilly and is playing well," Rentko said. "I told the kids were 0-0 now and playing each game like our last.
"The kids are focused and not overconfident, and they've been practicing well which is important."
Here's a look at each tournament.

Class 3A

Outlook: This is the most brutal bracket. No. 2 North Pocono (23-0) is the slight favorite, having won 51 of 52 games over the last two seasons. No. 1 Nanticoke (21-2) nearly topped North Pocono in last season's title game, losing 48-46.
No. 3 Berwick (19-6) and No. 4 Scranton Prep (19-5) are also capable of winning the championship, meaning a very good team won't get out of districts.
Darkhorse: Sixth-seeded Crestwood (17-7) pushed WVC Division I powers Hazleton Area and Berwick to the limit four times this season. If the young Comets could limit their mistakes, they could nip Berwick in the quarterfinals and make it to the third-place game.
Prediction: Nanticoke to win its first district title since 1999 by handing North Pocono its first loss of the season. Berwick will down Prep in the third-place game, earning the final state spot.

Nanticoke Area locks up division titles
By: Citizen's Voice
Sarah Acker scored 24 points to lead Nanticoke Area over host Lake-Lehman, 71-48, Thursday night.
With the win, the Trojanettes capture the Division II championship, and finish league play 12-0.
Aly Byorick added 23 points and Jessica Kosloski 15 for Nanticoke.
Tina Watkins was high for Lehman with 22. Marissa Harrison added 10.

Pientka 0 0-0 0, Dembowski 1 0-0 2, Byorick 10 1-1 23, Gesecki 0 0-1 0, Rentko 0 0-0 0, Makarczyk 3 0-0 6, Malashefski 0 0-0 0, Kosloski 4 1-2 15, Coughlin 0 0-0 0, Borowski 0 0-0 0, Acker 11 2-4 24, Bowalick 0 0-0 0. Totals: 30 5-7 71.
Manzoni 0 0-0 0, Coombs 0 0-0 0, Spencer 0 0-0 0, Mahon 0 1-4 1, Deubler 0 0-0 0, Chocallo 0 0-0 0, Horvath 3 1-4 7, Watkins 7 6-8 22, Turak 4 0-0 8, Harrison 4 2-2 10. Totals: 18 10-18 48
NANTICOKE AREA 19 18 21 13-71
LAKE-LEHMAN 8 19 11 10-48
3-point goals: NA, Kosloski 4, Byorick 2. LL, Watkins 2.
Officials: Skammer, Pieczynski, Kresge.

Trojanettes 'role' past O'Reilly
By: Jill Snowdon , Citizens' Voice Sports Writer

Aly Byorick and Sarah Acker combined for 45 points and 27 rebounds making them the obvious heroines of Nanticoke Area's second half showdown with Bishop O'Reilly Monday night in Kingston.
However, it was the role players who made sure the Queenswomen didn't spoil Byorick and Acker's efforts.
Abby Gesecki provided hustle to go along with her game-high nine assists. Jess Kosloski scored six points and dished out six assists and Ashley Makarczyk added 17 points, eight of which came in a decisive fourth quarter, to help Nanticoke stay unbeaten in league play with a 70-55 win over O'Reilly.
Nanticoke improves to 19-2 overall and 9-0 in conference play. O'Reilly slips to 17-4 overall and 7-2 in the league.
"The role players do their job," said Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko. "Sarah and Aly carry us, but you still need five players to win games. And those three other kids did something to benefit us in winning this game. They came up with clutch shots and we made plays down the stretch when we had to."
Unlike its last meeting with O'Reilly, Nanticoke didn't break things open until the final quarter. Makarczyk had a layup and a free throw and Kosloski added a steal and a layup to keep the Trojanettes ahead by 10 with 56 seconds left.
Makarczyk added Nanticoke's final field goal on another layup and the Trojanettes did the rest on the foul line to ice the win.
"The final score doesn't indicate what the game was all about," said Rentko. "Bishop O'Reilly has a great team and we played great defense, but they handled it."
Nanticoke took a 9-3 lead to open the first quarter but O'Reilly's Laura DeCesaris came up big early on to help the Queenswomen tie the score at 13 going into the second.
O'Reilly was especially tough considering they played much of the first half without junior center Erin Chesnavich, who was whistled early with her second foul. But DeCesaris and Lindsay Williams picked up the slack with 11 and five points respectively in the first half.
"We were hoping that if we could keep it close with Erin on the bench next to me, we would be OK," said O'Reilly coach Paul Appel. "And Laura stepped up big time for us."
Chesnavich saw more minutes in the third quarter and she hit back-to-back baskets to bring O'Reilly within five at 41-36 with 1:43 to go in the third. She lit up the board for 14 of O'Reilly's 15 fourth quarter points, but Nanticoke kept control the rest of the way.
"It was an advantage for us for (Chesnavich) to have two quick fouls in the first half," said Byorick. "But when she came back in, that really killed us. She's a great player and she put the ball up strong."
Chesnavich finished with 21 points, including 9-of-10 free throws. DeCesaris followed with 15 and Williams provided nine.
Byorick poured in a game-high 26 points and 15 rebounds, while Acker added 19 points and 12 rebounds.
"We kept things close, but they have role players who would come up with a big jumper or a three," said Appel. "They are certainly not a two-player team."

Byorick 8 8-10 26; Gesecki 0 0-1 0; Kosloski 2 2-4 6; Makarczyk 7 1-3 17; Acker 7 5-9 19; Malshefski 1 0-0 2; Pientka 0-0 0; Totals 25 16-27 70.
L. Williams 4 0-0 10; N. Williams 0 3-4 3; Goodwin 1 1-2 3; DeCesaris 5 5-8 15; E. Chesnavich 6 9-10 21; M. Chesnavich 2 0-0 4; Krogulski 0 0-0 0; Dudish 0 0-0 0; Totals 18 18-24 55.
NANTICOKE AREA 13 18 16 23 - 70
BISHOP O'REILLY 13 15 12 15 - 55
3-point goals: Makarczyk 2, L. Williams.

In tuneup for O'Reilly, Nanticoke wallops Dallas
NANTICOKE - A bigger challenge awaits the Greater Nanticoke Area girls basketball team on Monday, but Friday night's matchup had significance as well.
It wasn't that a young Dallas squad was expected to pull off a major upset. Rather, the key was how Nanticoke was going to achieve victory.
And with a strong all-around effort, the Trojanettes disposed of Dallas quite easily, 74-48 in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division II game.
Nanticoke, the first-half champion, will travel to Bishop O'Reilly (3-0 Div. II, 17-3) on Monday in a rematch of a game that eventually determined the first-half title. Nanticoke (2-0, 18-2) won 60-41 on Jan. 7.
If Friday was any indication, Nanticoke is ready. Sophomore center Sara Acker led the way with 16 points and 15 rebounds, including the 500th of her career. She also added eight blocked shots.
Aly Byorick paced the offense with 18 points, while Ashley Makarczyk netted 12 and Jessica Kosloski had 11 and nine assists.
"Usually, we'll go inside first and they'll try to double down on us," Acker said. "Then we pass it out where Jess and all of them are out there."
That pretty much summed up the first three quarters as Nanticoke took a 63-26 lead entering the fourth. The starters sat most of the fourth, allowing Dallas to outscore Nanticoke 22-11 in the final frame.
Dallas fell to 2-1 in the division and 11-10 overall. The Mountaineers lost five four-year starters to graduation and had two freshmen among the starting five on Friday.
The inexperience showed early as Nanticoke jumped in front of passes, leading to easy layups and a 14-0 lead. Dallas didn't get a shot off for almost the first three minutes of the game and trailed 22-4 after one quarter.
"When we have our defensive intensity, we play a really nice game," Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko said. "I told our kids we have to focus defensively and our offense will come, which it did. We passed the ball really well, we fastbreaked really well."
There were some bright spots for Dallas. The Mountaineers recovered from the first-quarter outburst to play Nanticoke much better in the second quarter. Freshman Melissa Gorski led the offense with 15 points, marking the sixth consecutive league game she scored in double digits. Senior Cory Patton, one of two holdovers who logged significant varsity time last season, added 14.
"They have to buy into the system. They are unsure of it and don't understand it," said Dallas coach Joe Noon, who had a similar rebuilding job four seasons ago that eventually resulted in state playoff appearances. "The other kids who were there understood it. We were small then, and we came and had championship teams."

Nanticoke goes to its strength
By: Dom Loiacono , Citizens' Voice Sports Correspondent

Nanticoke Area's plan against Dallas was to get the ball inside where it held a distinct height advantage.
The Trojanettes accomplished what they set out to do and the results were devastating.
Sophomore center Sarah Acker had 16 points, pulled down 15 rebounds and blocked eight shots in a 74-48 rout of Dallas in a Division II contest Friday night.
Aly Byorick led all scorers with 18 points for Nanticoke Area while Ashley Makarczyk and Jessica Kosloski added 12 and 11 points respectively. Kosloski also dished out nine assists.
"We knew we were bigger inside and that's where we wanted to go," said Acker, who also registered her 500th rebound. "We always try to establish our inside game and when teams double-team us down low, we kick the ball out to Jessica, Ashley and Katlyn (Malashefski)."
Nanticoke Area wasted little time attack the low post, taking a 14-0 first quarter lead while going exclusively to Acker and Byorick.
| Later in the period, Malashefski bured a three-pointer and the Trojanettes build a 22-3 edge and were never threatened.
"Sarah is such a with her rebounding and does a nice job," said Nanticoke Area coach Jack Rentko. She dominated the game and affected their shots.''
Dallas got 15 points from freshman Melissa Gorski and 14 from Cory Patton.
The Lady Mounts made its best run of the game when they reeled off nine of the next 11 points to close within 40-21 early in the third quarter.
Byorick's three-point play highlighted a 14-0 run which put the game away, 54-21.
"We're a small team. It was like David versus Goliath outthere," said Dallas coach Joe Noon. "Nanticoke is a seasoned team and we're not. It takes time but th0ey are buying into the system and we're going to be good."


Nanticoke captures first-half title
Rout of Lake-Lehman girls is worth Div. II crown
Times Leader staff

The Greater Nanticoke Area girls basketball team jumped out to a 37-point halftime lead and cruised to a 75-35 victory over Lake-Lehman on Monday to wrap up the WVC Division II first-half title.
Aly Byorick scored 26 points to lead Nanticoke (6-0 Div. II, 14-2 overall). Sara Acker added 13 points, and Katelyn Malshefski and Jessica Kosloski scored 12 apiece.
Savannah Coombs led Lake-Lehman with 10 points.

Big guns, tight defense bring GNA girls victory

Aly Byorick and Sarah Acker combined for 28 points during limited playing time, but it was their defensive play that stood out the most in Greater Nanticoke Area's 74-33 romp over outmanned Meyers on Thursday night.
The 5-foot-11 Byorick and 6-3 Acker repeatedly blocked shots just about every time the Mohawks tried to take the ball to the basket, enabling the Trojanettes to dominate the game on both sides of the court.
Offensively, Byorick and Acker used their size and athleticism to score at will in the paint as Nanticoke cruised to a 39-6 halftime lead.
Acker had 13 points, a game-high 14 rebounds and 11 blocked shots. Nanticoke also got a big effort from Jessica Kosloski, who had nine points - all on three-point baskets. She also dished out 16 assists.
The Trojanettes were coming off a big victory against Bishop O'Reilly on Tuesday, but showed no signs of a letdown.
"We're a very good team," said Byorick, a sophomore who scored a game-high 15 points. "We've come a long way from the beginning of the season. We've improved our defense, picked up our rebounding and we're doing a good job of boxing out."
Nanticoke (5-0 Div. II, 13-2 overall) continues to get better with every game, according to Byorick. She said the pieces are in place for a deep run in the state tournament. "We just have to learn to be patient and help each other, both on offense and defense. We're playing with confidence."
Meyers coach Curt Lloyd was impressed by Acker's performance.
"For her size, she's one of the most agile and athletic players I've seen in my six years of coaching," Lloyd said. "What makes her special is that she doesn't know how good she is.
Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko played his reserves throughout most of the second half. He got excellent performances from Lauren Dembowski and Leigh Ann Rentko, two players who normally see little action.
Rentko tallied 11 points, including three three-point field goals. Dembowski added 10 points.
Meyers (1-4, 7-6) was led by senior forward Lauren Jimison, who scored 10 points. Amber Giampietro added eight points and Nicole Neff had seven points.
Prior to the varsity, Nanticoke freshman Amanda Coughlin was injured in the junior varsity game and was flown to Community Medical Center in Scranton.
Rentko said X-rays were negative and Coughlin was scheduled to be released.

Trojanettes pain O'Reilly even more
Div. II matchup of powers turns into a Nanticoke rout, with Queenswomen missing injured inside star Zabresky.


Sometimes a "can't miss" game misses something.
The omission Friday night was obvious - Bishop O'Reilly's Janelle Zabresky.
The all-state selection last season entered the Nanticoke gym on crutches to support her injured knee. She and her healthy teammates exited on the low end of the score as Nanticoke defeated the Queenswomen 60-41 in a key Wyoming Valley Conference Division II girls basketball game.
Nanticoke (3-0 Div. II, 11-2 overall) took over sole possession of first place, while O'Reilly (3-1, 10-3) dropped to second.
"It's definitely not the same without Janelle," said O'Reilly center Erin Chesnavich, who along with Zabresky form one of the top inside combinations in the WVC. "She is a great player and no one can replace her. But we have to deal with it and play even harder."
That notion seemed to sink in during the second half after Nanticoke raced to a 30-11 halftime lead. Aly Byorick scored 15 of her 21 points and Ashley Makarczyk netted nine of her 17 through the first two quarters for the advantage.
O'Reilly guard Lindsey Williams sparked an 11-1 run to end the third quarter, moving the Queenswomen within 37-26 entering the fourth. Chesnavich cut the deficit to 39-30 early in the fourth by tossing in her miss.
"Actually, I was surprised," Makarczyk said. "They played really good defense and their big girl inside was hard to stop."
Makarczyk, though, proved equally tough on the perimeter. She drained a three-pointer after Chesnavich's basket and another after O'Reilly moved within nine again.
That second trey boosted Nanticoke's lead to 45-33 with 5:13 left in the fourth, and the Trojanettes maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way. They finished with the same 19-point margin they had at halftime thanks to some easy baskets in the final minute.
"I told the girls we still have to play the game no matter who is out on the floor," Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko said. "Our kids did come to play in the first half. I give them a lot of credit."
Chesnavich led O'Reilly with 17 points, but she and the Queenswomen struggled offensively in the first half. A nine-point first quarter was followed up with a two-point output in the second.
"I think it was more that we were impatient," O'Reilly coach Paul Appel said. "It might have been because of the whole scene of the big game. This is a game everybody has been talking about for a while.
"When we talked to them at halftime and calmed them down, they were much more patient in the second half."
The teams will play again Jan. 31 at O'Reilly.

Trojan Sports