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
"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
"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."
ST. BASIL'S ACADEMY (48)
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.
NANTICOKE AREA (32)
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.
The Panthers, todays quarterfinal foe, routed the Trojanettes
in 2004 playoffs.
The good news for the Greater Nanticoke Area girls basketball team
is it wont 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 todays
3 p.m. quarterfinal game at Parkland High School in Orefield (near
Allentown) a year older and with more confidence.
Its nice, Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko said of
playing the District 1 runner-up, which defeated his team 71-44
last season. Were looking forward to the game.
Central Catholic hadnt lost a state playoff game since 2000,
but St. Basil ended the streak with an offensive-impaired 21-20
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. Basils 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 seasons 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 Wednesdays 65-45 victory over D11 champion Lancaster Catholic.
Neither Lancaster Catholics 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 didnt play great the first half (against
Lancaster Catholic), Rentko said, but her presence inside
stopped a lot. They didnt go to the basket much on her and
she had a lot of blocked shots. Scoring doesnt 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
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 nights 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 games
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.
Thats 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
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 states
eighth-ranked team entering the tournament. In fact, the Crusaders
renowned full-court press barely made a whimper Tuesday night.
The last couple games, weve had a lot of turnovers,
Kosloski said. This game we knew we couldnt 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. Im not sure if it was what
they did or what we didnt do.
We let (Acker) get a lot of cheap ones inside.
dont have an inside game, and they were able to control us.
Lancaster Catholics worst fears came to fruition as Nanticokes
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
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
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
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. Were guard-oriented,
and that could be a problem for us.
Although Nanticoke has the height advantage, Kauffman wont have
to worry about a similar assault as this seasons Trojanettes arent
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
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 couldnt
hit a shot.
Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko believes his team wont compare the two
scores and draw a conclusion.
We have to focus on every game like its our last game, and
thats what weve been doing, Rentko said. You have
to take care of business. Were not looking at the other opponents,
were 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 Townships
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 Kosloskis play vs. Susquehanna Township.
The backcourts job will not only be helping break Catholics
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 cant
get a good look where they can just loft the ball in, Kauffman said.
Youre dealing with 6-3, and my biggest one is just about 6
and the other is about 5-10. And they arent big and physical like
Parklands 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
We played well there; we did a nice job there and the kids like
the baskets, Rentko said. Its a nice advantage that
we scrimmaged down there.
Tomorrows 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
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
"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
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."
SUSQUEHANNA TWP 43
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
NANTICOKE AREA 64
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
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 Areas 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 theyll 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 tomorrows 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 Nanticokes
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 backcourts 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 Nanticokes 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
Nanticoke (23-3) vs. Susquehanna Twp. (20-8)
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
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
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
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."
NORTH POCONO (46)
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.
NANTICOKE AREA (44)
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."
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,
Nanticoke slips past Classics
Prep rallies to nearly catch Trojanettes, who led by 16 at one point of
By JOHN ERZARjerzar@leader.net
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'
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
Pennsylvania high school girls basketball
rankings from the Patriot-News of Harrisburg for the week of Sunday,
February 20, with schools district in parentheses, followed by the
schools record and last weeks 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
"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
"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
By John Erzaremail@example.com
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
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.
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
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.
NANTICOKE AREA (71)
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
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."
NANTICOKE AREA (70)
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
BISHOP O'REILLY (55)
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
By JOHN ERZARfirstname.lastname@example.org
NANTICOKE - A bigger challenge awaits the Greater Nanticoke Area girls
basketball team on Monday, but Friday night's matchup had significance
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
"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
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
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
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,
"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."
GIRLS ON WINNING THE 1ST HALF TITLE
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
By VAN ROSEemail@example.com
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
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.
By JOHN ERZARfirstname.lastname@example.org
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
"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
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.