Girls High School Basketball
At GNA, it’s in the book

Team history recorded for milestones, inspiration
By lsokolowski@leader.net

Do you know who’s the 111th career varsity point scorer on the girls basketball team at your high school? Nanticoke knows.

What about the girl who attempted the most free throws in a quarter? Nanticoke does.

Foul shots made? Consecutive free throws? Most rebounds in a career? Team offensive stats from the 1973-74 season? What about defensive stats from that same year?

The Greater Nanticoke Area team knows all those stats, and then some, thanks to head coach Jack Rentko.

When he was the assistant coach 12 years ago, he went through all the scorebooks to gather every statistic possible.

He also found a man who keeps things that don’t appear on score sheets – rebounds, assists, steals, blocked shots – and tallied those as well.

“It’s nice to have,” said Rentko, whose 29-0 team plays Oxford tomorrow in a second-round Class 3A state playoff game.

“Every school has records, and it’s nice to see who has the school record for most rebounds in a game or the most assists in a game. They’re milestones for kids and the school.”

Kathy Hower holds the record for the most rebounds in a game, with 28 in the 1973-74 season. The most assists in a game is Jessica Kosloski’s record. She had 16 in a game last season.

Compiling the stats wasn’t easy, and keeping them isn’t much easier.

At each varsity game, there are usually junior varsity players on the bench with clipboards in their laps. One records assists, another does rebounds, a third for steals, and so on. One girl, one paper, one clipboard for every statistic.

But humans make mistakes, and these girls aren’t any different. Sometimes they miss an assist or give a rebound to the wrong player. That’s where Rentko and his assistant coaches step in.

After each game, they watch it on film, recounting each statistic, just in case. Rentko says it takes about an hour and a half of work after each Trojanettes game.

“It’s time consuming,” he said. “After every game, I go through the stats, watch the film, put it in the computer and update the career stats.”

He keeps track of everything – including minutes, three-point percentage and turnovers.

“The kids enjoy it,” he said. “They like to see their names and what they’re doing and, as a team, what they have to improve on.

“It’s not all good things. There are good and bad things.”

Each girl on the team gets a printout of her season and career stats at practice the day after every game. Each girl knows her points per game average, how many games she’s played in, and how many turnovers she’s committed, among other things.

Spectators can pick up the stat sheets – which can be 14 pages long when everything is printed – at Nanticoke home games.

Rentko told the team if it is ever more concerned with individual statistics than winning as a team, he’d stop the printouts immediately.

“Only if it becomes a distraction will he stop mentioning records,” said junior Aly Byorick. “He says he’ll always keep it out for us.”

Byorick’s name appears more often than anyone else’s.

Heading into the second round of the PIAA tournament, she was second in career points with 1,648. Ruth Maley (1979-83) holds the record with 1,672.

Byorick is tied for most points in a game (36). She holds the most points per grade as a freshman (463), sophomore (581) and junior (595) records. She holds similar records for points in a game as a freshman (30), sophomore (28) and junior (36).

She’s tied for the most three-pointers in a game (six). She has made 338 free throws in her career and holds the record for 35 in a row. She holds each record by grade as well. As a freshman, she made 112 and had an 82.7 percentage. As a sophomore, she made 110 and made 78.6 percent. This season, she’s already made 116.

“I work at Gerrity’s,” Byorick said. “People come up to me in line, and they’ll say, ‘I saw your name on the stat sheets.’ I hear that a lot.”

One day, there will be a Nanticoke player looking up to Byorick, trying to break all her records. That’s essentially what she’s doing now.

When she was younger, she watched Heather Roback. Roback wore No. 15, the number Byorick wears.

“I always strived to do as well as her,” Byorick said.

She’s surpassed her role model. Roback, who played from 1996-2000, is 12th on the list with 1,125 career varsity points.

Byorick has her eyes set on the girls scoring record. She’s averaging a team-high 21.8 points per game this season, so, if all goes well, she might be able to break that record before this season is over.

That means she can spend her senior year pulling away and trying to break the boys career scoring record. Paul Guffrovich (1983-87) set that record of 2,259 points, before there was a three-point shot.

Guffrovich’s jersey is retired on the wall in Nanticoke’s gym. Byorick hopes hers might go next to him. Coincidentally, like Byorick and her former role model Roback, Guffrovich also wore the No. 15.

“They have the banner, and his jersey’s retired,” Byorick said. “So, I see it up there, and I think, ‘Wow. Maybe one day I’ll be up there.’ Looking at that always gives me motivation.”

That gives her motivation; Rentko’s stat sheets give her reality.

And, in case you’re still curious:

Ann Cardone is the 111th leading scorer. She scored 13 points during the 1980-1981 season. Casey Comoroski attempted 14 foul shots in a quarter against Beaver Falls on March 31, 1990. She went 23 for 25 that game.

Byorick has made the most foul shots. She has 338 career free throws, including a record 35 in a row this season. Teammate Sarah Acker, a junior center, has the most career rebounds (1,102).

In the 1973-74 season, the team averaged 36.3 points per game and allowed 34.08 points per game.

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