WVC coaches also pick all-star teams and top coaches
for all three divisions
By John Erzarjerzar@timesleader.com
Edited for GNA by GNA webdesign
Division II first team : Sean Bieski,
Nanticoke; Bernard Edmonds, Wyoming Area; Myer Messinger and Pat Murray,
Dallas; and Tyseane Whitt, GAR. Nanticokes
Ken Bartuska was named Coach of the Year.
Joining Alvarado on
the Division III first team were: Tyler Breznitsky, MMI Prep; Evan Byers
and Gary Robinson, Seminary; Mike Eckman, Lake-Lehman; and Kyle Hillard,
Northwest. Seminarys C.J. Kersey was selected Coach of the Year.
Second-team selections were:
Division I Jared Berry,
Coughlin; Jack Crossin and Justin Pacovsky, Wyoming Valley West; Carl
Stravinski, Pittston Area; and Keith Whitenight, Tunkhannock.
Division II Rich
Colorusso, Hanover Area; Joel Fetterman and Josh Niewinski, Nanticoke;
Breon Phillips, GAR; and Frank Trinisewski, Meyers.
Division III Kyle Angeli
and Billy Winter, Northwest; Jayme Bronson, Lake-Lehman; Matt Swaback,
Wyoming Seminary; and Eric Tomcho, West Side Tech.
Division II honorable mention
selections were: Peter Alexis, Mike Bedrin, Greg Sam and Bob Konarski,
Holy Redeemer; Mike Serra and Rob Kokinda, Hanover Area; A.J. Magda and
Adam Wayman, GAR; Henry Messinger, Dallas; Dave Mizzer, Wyoming Area;
Mike Burns, Meyers; and Kevin Corley and Jesse Stine, Nanticoke.
Lake-Lehmans Bruce Mosier,
MMIs Justin Yakubowski and Seminarys Max Saidman were Division
III honorable mention selections. There were no honorable mention selections
made in Division I.
Nanticoke playoff run ends
Valley View had a fourth-quarter spurt
which gave the 5th seede Cougars the win.
The Trojans lost 48-41 and were forced to play without their top scorer
Sean Bieski who was out with an injury.
Nanticoke ends their run at 17-10.
Josh Niewinski and Joel Fetterman let Nanticoke with 17 and 15 respectively.
Nanticoke 54, Western Wayne 44 - Playoffs
Joel Fetterman scored 13 points to lead
fourth-seeded Nanticoke in a Class 3A first round game. Josh Niewinski
scored 12 points and Josh Olzinski added 11.
Nanticoke will play No. 5 Valley View on Monday, February 18th at a site
and time to be determined.
Nanticoke now 2-0 in second half
Trojans top the Mountaineers to avenge earlier defeat, stay on top of
By John Erzarjerzar@timesleader.com
Sean Bieski grabbed a free-throw rebound
on the defensive end of the court. The Nanticoke senior emerged from the
clawing for the ball and dribbled downcourt, nearly losing his balance
At the other end, Dallas
6-foot-6 Myer Messinger forced Bieski to adjust his three-point attempt.
Nothing but net with two seconds
left. Exciting finish for some, but a typical game for the upstart Nanticoke
Bieskis basket gave Nanticoke
a 49-47 victory over Dallas on Tuesday night, avenging a loss earlier
in the season and keeping the Trojans in first place in Division II of
Wyoming Valley Conference boys basketball.
Nanticoke, the unexpected winner
of the first-half title, improved to 2-0 in the second-half season and
13-6 overall. The Trojans stayed tied with Hanover Area (2-0, 6-13), which
hasnt played the front-runners yet.
Sometimes these games are
all right, said Bieski, who scored eight of his team-high 17 points
in the fourth quarter. But every so often, a 20-point win would
The victory was Nanticokes
fifth by three points or less. Moreover, it avenged a 64-51 loss to Dallas
(1-1, 12-6) on Jan. 4.
I told the guys during the
timeout that we were going to win this game, Nanticoke coach Ken
Bartuska said. I honestly believed that, and they believed it too
because weve been in a lot of tight games like this.
Dallas called a timeout immediately
after Bieskis basket and hoped to get at worst a shot off from its
offensive end of the court. That never happened as Henry Messinger had
to whip a desperation shot from the defensive side, an attempt that wouldnt
have counted if it had gone in because time expired before the release.
(Bartuska) told us to stay
in front of them, basically, and keep it out of Myers hands if they
throw it deep, said Nanticokes Jesse Stine, who is listed
at a suspicious 6-2 and spent a good portion on the game guarding Myer
Messinger. Just stay in front of anybody in the front court.
Bieskis basket was the 11th
lead change of the game. Early on, though, the contest resembled the last
matchup in which Dallas led for most of the game.
Dallas opened a 15-6 lead late
in the first quarter on consecutive three-pointers by Myer Messinger and
Pat Murray, who finished with a game-high 20 points.
However, Myer and his brother,
Henry, a 6-4 junior, werent able to dominate like the first meeting.
They had some very impressive moments Tuesday like Henrys
rabble-rousing, two-handed dunk off an inbound pass and combined
for 23 points, but it was 10 fewer than in the earlier victory over the
They are tall, plus they
are talented, Bartuska said of the Messingers. They arent
stiffs that will go sit on the block. They can do so many different things,
and we really dont have a good matchup with them.
Dallas didnt have an answer
for Nanticoke three-point ace Joel Fetterman, either.
Fetterman tied a school record
with eight treys in a 56-53 victory over GAR on Friday, and his three
consecutive three-pointers in the second quarter snapped the Mountaineers
momentum. Neither team was able to gain much of an edge the rest of the
I thought we had some chances
to get a bigger lead, Dallas coach Ted Jackson Jr. said. We
took some bad shots. Give credit to Nanticoke. They played tough defense
the whole game.
Fetterman ties Nanticoke record with eight 3-point
By Steve Bennett - Citizens' Voice
Either the Nanticoke Area basketball
team needs to do a better job of listening or Ken Bartuska must find a
different way to get his point across.
With the Division II first-half
championship tucked away, the Trojans opened the second half at home Friday
night against GAR.
Prior to the game, Bartuska explained
that the target on the teams jersey is rather large. With that in
mind, he wanted the team to play as if it trailed. What he forgot to stress
was not to get behind.
But with Joel Fetterman knocking
down 3-pointers and a little second half defensive adjustment, the Trojans
were able to outlast the Grenadiers, 56-53.
I told them before the game
that we are going to get everybodys best shot, Bartuska said.
We told them to play like they were behind, I dont think they
understood. I think they may have thought we wanted them to get behind
and then play like that. They got it done at the end.
The victory improved Nanticoke
Area to 12-6 overall and 1-0 in the second half. It also allowed the Trojans
to sweep the season series from the Grenadiers.
We always play bad but we
spark ourselves somehow, said Nanticoke Areas Joel Fetterman,
who tied a single-game school record with eight 3-pointers. He tied the
mark held by Sean Carey who set the record during the 1996-97 season.
I think we play down to a lot of teams and once we realize they
are beating us we have to play harder and we do.
Both teams seemed content to win
the game from beyond the arc. GAR made seven 3-pointers while the Trojans
countered with a total of 10.
With our guys we try to tell
them to attack the basket but they seemed to get drawn to that magnetic
arc, Bartuska said. Eventually we knew they would make them.
GAR had success in the first half
penetrating the lane and when the defense switched to help, the guards
would dish the ball to Breon Phillips who scored six of his 12 points
in the opening half. To start the second half, the Grenadiers scored the
first nine points of the third quarter to take a 35-29 lead.
Bartuska changed the defensive
strategy in the second half telling big man Jesse Stine to stay with Phillips
down at the low block and the move worked, particularly late in the fourth
quarter with the game on the line.
Nanticoke Area held a 53-50 lead
with 1:15 left in the game but GAR tied the score after Adam Wayman converted
a three-point play with 40 seconds left. Josh Niewinski made the front
end of a one-and-one to put the Trojans up by a point and GARs Tyseane
Whitt had a chance to put his team back on top when he drove the middle
of the lane.
Stine stayed with his man and took
away the pass forcing Whitt to put the ball up. The attempt was off the
mark and Sean Bieski made two foul shots with six seconds left to seal
the win. A.J. Magdas 3-point attempt from the right corner as time
expired bounced off the rim.
I consider that to be the
game-winner, Brown said of Whitts drive to the basket. We
had the ball and were down one. We put the ball in our best players
hands, I let him call the play. He had three options and he decided to
take the ball to the basket we he has been successful with. I thought
it was a good choice.
NANTICOKE AREA (56)
GAR 11 15 18 9 53
Nanticoke Area 11 18 8 19
By Steve Bennett - Citizens Voice
Ask Josh Niewinski who the greatest basketball
player in the history of Nanticoke Area is and he will quickly tell you
Paul Guffrovich. Sean Bieski will give you the same answer.
In a way, every player on the Nanticoke Area basketball team has a feel
for the program's history. To get that, all they have to do is look at
the banners in the gymnasium.
However, no player on the team has had a chance to experience the good
fortune the teams of the past have.
There have been no magical runs through the playoffs for the Trojans.
They haven't played in front of many packed gymnasiums, and loses outnumbered
But this group is out to change all that, and winning the Division II
first-half championship is a step in the right direction.
With a championship comes a target, and now,every team in the division
will be looking to knock them off.
The Trojans welcome the challenge.
Prior to the start of the season, the Trojans were lumped with those "other"
teams to watch. Holy Redeemer and GAR were seen as the the favorites.
"You always try to be good and I knew we had a lot of kids coming
back with a lot of experience," coach Ken Bartuska said. "It
was not totally out of the question for us to be where we are at."
The Trojans opened some eyes when they began the regular season with a
win at GAR. They put the division on notice by beating Holy Redeemer in
But for Bartuska and Bieski, it was an overtime exhibition win against
Pittston Area that showed they were ready to turn the corner.
"The Pittston Area game was a big win for us," Bieski said.
"After that we felt we could play with anyone."
Bartuska goes to great lengths to educate the team on just how good the
program once was and its great tradition.
Nanticoke Area, which owns 14 district and 12 WVC titles, has not won
a championship in basketball since winning the league and district title
in 2003. This group has never played a game in Pottsville's Martz Hall
in March and Niewinski, a senior, said he doesn't need more than two hands
to count the number of victories the program has had in his previous three
years with the varsity.
"The teams here in the past weren't always big but they had heart,"
Niewinski said. "We are not very big, we are undersized, but we are
still finding a way to win."
Nanticoke Area has relied on its three-guard offense led by Bieski, Niewinski
and Joel Fetterman.
Jesse Stine, listed at a generous 6-foot-2, is the team's tallest player.
Stine and Kevin Corley are considered the post players.
"Our guard play has been very strong," Bartuska said. "That
is tough for teams to match up with. All three can do different things
and our rebounding has been very strong."
Depth can also be an issue with the Trojans typically going just seven
Bieski, Niewinski and Fetterman are the top three scorers on the team,
all averaging in double figures.
"I think a lot of teams look past us because we don't have a lot
of size and they don't think we can play with them," Bieski said.
"They have been blowing us out the last four years, it feels good
to come back and knock them off."
Teams will no longer be looking past the Trojans.
"It is just a different attitude,"
Bieski said. "The way I think about it is that it is not where you
start but where you finish. We have to play even harder because everyone
wants to knock us off."
Trojans pull off win
Nanticoke Area players take coachs advice literally, come from behind
to nip GAR.
By John Erzarjerzar@timesleader.com
Maybe the message was misconstrued, joked
Nanticoke boys basketball coach Ken Bartuska.
With the Wyoming Valley Conference
Division II first-half title in hand, Bartuska wanted his Trojans to approach
the second-half season as if they were playing from behind
Nanticoke did both Friday against
GAR, playing hard with the lead, but more importantly, playing just as
hard when its advantage evaporated. The result was a 56-53 victory over
the Grenadiers in the second-half season opener for both teams.
We told them in the beginning
of the game that every game were going to get everybodys best
shot, Bartuska said, so play like were behind. I think
maybe they thought I wanted them to get behind and then they would play
Senior guard Joel Fetterman led
Nanticokes comeback from a 35-29 deficit midway through the third
quarter. Fetterman finished with 26 points, dropping in five of his eight
three-pointers down the stretch. The eight treys tied a record set by
Sean Casey during the 1996-97 season.
We always play bad and then
spark ourselves somehow, Fetterman said. We always find a
way to win; thats how it happens.
Nanticoke (1-0 Div. II, 12-6 overall)
found its shooting touch from behind the three-point arc, hitting four
in a row in the latter minutes of the second quarter. The Trojans had
10 three-pointers among its 19 field goals.
We tell them to attack the
basket, Bartuska said. They seem they are drawn to the magnetic
arc out there. Eventually, we knew they would make them.
Eventually, Nanticoke overtook
GAR (0-1, 11-8) when Fetterman hit a three-pointer for a 50-48 lead with
2:59 left in the fourth quarter. The Grenadiers tied the score 53-53 on
Adam Waymans three-point play with 40.9 seconds left, but then missed
a couple of chances to take the lead.
The first came after Nanticokes
Josh Niewinski sank a free throw for a 54-53 Trojan lead with 27 seconds
left. GAR worked the clock down and had guard Tyseane Whitt drive the
lane. His shot rolled off the rim and Nanticoke was awarded the ball after
it went out of bounds during a scramble.
Nanticokes Sean Bieski then
hit two free throws with six seconds left, allowing GAR enough time to
launch a three-ponter. A.J. Magdas shot from the right corner hit
off the rim and time expired.
We shot the ball very well
there for a bit, GAR coach Paul Brown said. I personally thought
it was a great effort from our kids. We came out in the third quarter
and did what we had to do defensively and offensively and got the lead.
Magda scored four points in a 9-0
run to start the third quarter as GAR took a 35-29 lead. The Grenadiers
connected on five of their first six shots to start the period. Nanticoke
pulled within two points, but Whitt knocked down a three-pointer and Breon
Phillips scored on a rebound as GAR took a 44-37 lead into the fourth.
Trojans claim first-half title
By Steve Bennett - Citizens' Voice
As the first half of the regular season came to a close Friday night,
several scenarios existed in Division II.
One had the possibility of a four-way tie for first place. Another had
a two-way tie and the third the one favorable for Nanticoke Area
had the Trojans winning the first-half championship.
In order for that to happen, Nanticoke Area first had to defeat Hanover
Area and have Holy Redeemer beat Dallas. The Trojans held up their end
and got exactly what they needed from the Royals.
Joel Fetterman scored a team-high 18 points and Sean Bieski chipped in
with 13 as the Trojans downed the Hawks, 55-43, at Hanover Area. Add in
Holy Redeemers win at Dallas, the Trojans walked away with the first
half title. The Trojans improve to 11-5 on the season and 5-1 in the league.
It is something that is always a goal of ours, to win a league championship
and the first half is a step in the right direction, Nanticoke Area
coach Ken Bartuska said. Until you win the whole thing, this is
something to fall back on. Im happy with the way we have matured
as a team. We are playing pretty well right now.
The win gives the Trojans their first championship of any sort since
the 2002-03 season when Nanticoke Area won the league and District 2 championship.
Against the Hawks, the Trojans used effective shooting from the perimeter
and an outstanding effort on the boards, particularly on the offensive
Hanover Area held an 11-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Nanticoke
Area came out and hit its first six shots of the second period to open
a 24-14 lead. Hanover Area abandoned its man-to-man defense and switched
to a zone and was able to close the quarter on a 7-0 run to get within
three at the half. By hitting its first six shots, Nanticoke Area was
able to set up its full-court press. The press did not manufacture many
turnovers but it did force Hanover Area to work for everything it got.
For as hot as the Trojans were
at the beginning of the quarter, they were equally cold to close it. The
Trojans missed their final six shots of the period, going 4:46 without
We closed the second quarter
on a 7-0 run and we came out in the third and score but didnt stop
anybody, Hanover Area coach Bill Callahan said. We scored
14 points in the third quarter and that is good for us. They got 17 and
hit some shots when they needed to.
Nanticoke Area outrebounded Hanover
Area 12-2 in the third quarter but nine came on the offensive end.
We were spread out to play
the shooters and when they did miss they had a guy unattended underneath,
Callahan said. And he seemed to get the rebound all the time.
Nanticoke Area opened a 10-point
lead with 5:52 left in the game and the closest Hanover Area could get
was nine. Bieski and Kevin Corley each had five points in the fourth for
the Trojans who spread the floor and worked the clock over the final five
minutes of the game.
The last couple of games
we have been shooting the ball well from the outside, Bartuska said.
We wanted to create tempo because we knew coach Callahan would want
to play more under control. Hanover Area did a nice job trying to play
their game. Once we got a little bit of a lead on they had to come out
and take chances. We were fortunate to find the open man and hit some
NANTICOKE AREA (55)
HANOVER AREA (43)
Nanticoke Area 10 14 17 14 55
Hanover Area 11 10 14 8
3-point goals: Bieski, Niewinski, Fetterman
(4), Serra, Colorusso.
Trojan Sports ||