Yendrzeiwski named Nanticoke girls basketball coach
Jill Snowdon - Citizens Voice

When it comes to basketball, Alan Yendrzeiwski appreciates good form on a jump shot and crisp passing.
So when the Nanticoke Area girls basketball head coaching job opened up in April, Yendrzeiwski saw it as an opportunity to get back to teaching fundamentals.
Yendrzeiwski, who has been a junior varsity and an assistant boys varsity coach since 2000, was named Nanticoke's girls coach Wednesday night. He takes over for Jack Rentko, who retired after 14 seasons with the Trojanettes.
"I'm a fundamentals guy," Yendrzeiwski said. "Basketball is basketball, but girls focus a little more on fundamentals, like making the right passes and working on their jump shots. That's something that encouraged me to apply for the position."
Yendrzeiwski is a 1996 graduate of Nanticoke where he played small forward for the Trojans. While in college, he began coaching the 7th grade boys team at Nanticoke before moving to the junior varsity and varsity bench.
The Trojanettes are consistently one of the top teams in the Wyoming Valley Conference. Last season they finished with a 21-6 record and have three District 2 AAA championships under Rentko's watch (1999, 2006, 2007). Rentko retired with a 277-111 record at Nanticoke, which Yendrzeiwski knows is a tough act to follow.
The Trojanettes will return eight players, but only one starter. But, that starter - Jenn Harnischfeger - is a good one to build around since she was an all-conference performer as a junior.
"I'm actually looking forward to the challenge," Yendrzeiwski said. "I've known (Rentko) for a long time and have a good relationship with him. He's done a wonderful job with the program and I just hope to keep that tradition alive."
Yendrzeiwski also plans on taking some of the things he's learned under the wing of boys coach Ken Bartuska.
"Kenny is a great coach and I've learned how to run a practice and how to be organized," said Yendrzeiwski, who teaches math at Nanticoke Area. "But it's not just the basketball end of it that I learned. I want to make sure the kids do well in school, too. Jack did a good job with that and I will do the same."

King’s nets a big winner in Thomas

Two-year Trojanettes’ starter played on 29-1 team & came up clutch in All-Star game

Nanticoke guard Morgan Thomas, who ended her high school career with a game-winning three-point basket at the buzzer in the Wyoming Valley Conference all-star game, is bound for King’s College.
Thomas, who helped lead the Trojanettes to the District 2, Class 3A finals this year, announced her decision on Tuesday. The 5-foot-5 sharpshooter is the second King’s recruit from the WVC, joining Berwick star Katlin Michaels.
Thomas was one of the premier three-point shooters in the conference the last two seasons. She set a school record with 93 three-pointers as a junior.
She was recruited by several colleges, including Wilkes, Lycoming, PSU/Wilkes-Barre and PSU/Hazleton. However, Thomas said King’s was always her first choice.
“I liked the school from the beginning. I always went there for basketball camps, and talking with coach (Brian) Donoghue really was a major factor in my decision.”
Thomas was a two-year starter at Nanticoke and also was a member of the Trojans’ 29-1 team in 2007 that advanced to the second-round of the PIAA state playoffs. She scored more than 800 points during her prep career.
“Being part of a state tournament team two years ago and going to the district finals this year were definitely the highlights of my career,” she said. “It was great playing on the same team as Aly (Byorick) and Sarah (Acker) two years ago. When they graduated we felt like we had to be able to win and show we’re good even without them.”
Thomas is a streak shooter, but was always at her best in clutch situations, said Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko.
“In so many games she would have bad starts, but she came through in the second half,” Rentko praised. “She hit three three-pointers in a row in the fourth quarter in our win over Meyers as a senior.
“We set up most of our plays for Morgan the last two years,” he added. “She’s a heady player with a nose for the ball. King’s is a good fit for her.”
She closed out her career in dramatic fashion, snatching victory from the East with hitting a clutch 3-pointer as time ran out in front of Renko – who was an assistant coach for her West team in the all-star game.
“Hitting the big shot in the all-star game was a fitting way to go out,” Rentko said.
Her future King’s teammate Michaels dribbled the ball up the court in the final seven seconds of that all-star game and passed to Thomas for the winning shot.
“I’m looking forward to playing with somebody (Michaels) that I played against for three years in high school,” said Thomas.

Jenn Harnischfeger makes the Citizens' Voice All-Star Team - Congratulations!
Class: Junior
Position: Guard
: As Nanticoke’s floor general, Harnischfeger controlled the pace of a game and her in-your-face defense helped put the Trojanettes transition game in motion. She nailed 25 3-pointers during the season and averaged a team-best 12.8 ppg.

Turnovers doom Nanticoke Area
Nanticoke Area caught the turnover bug at the wrong time.

Jeff Dewees - Citizens' Voice

The Trojanettes had 21 turnovers and Eastern York took control in the second half to earn a 45-35 win in the opening round of the PIAA Class AAA Girls Basketball Championships on Saturday afternoon at Garden Spot High School.
“They played good defense against us and took us out of our offense,” Nanticoke Area coach Jack Rentko said. “They did a nice job.
“For us, I thought it was unforced turnovers. We got some big rebounds and just threw away the ball. We only turn the ball over about 13 times a game, and today I think we had 13 turnovers at halftime. That really hurt us. The less possessions we have, because we’re small as it is, that really hurts us.”
The Golden Knights advance to the second round where they will play Archbishop Carroll on Wednesday. Nanticoke Area ends its season at 21-6.
Kelsey Yohey led Nanticoke Area with 12 points and Jen Harnischfeger added 10 points.
Eastern led 21-16 at halftime, but it could have easily been a double-digit advantage. The Knights missed seven uncontested layups during the opening 16 minutes.
“In the first half, we had the looks we wanted, they just didn’t go down,” Eastern coach Bob Heiser said. “A couple ran around the rim and came back out. But I felt good at halftime because we still had the lead, and we didn’t shoot very well at all.
“We shot better in the second half. It’s the first time we’ve played against a zone in a while, and it takes a little while to get used to that. But we got a lot of real nice looks against their zone.”
Paced by guards Tierney Hiltz, Kelci Scannapieco and Kate Dellinger at both ends, the Knights were finally able to put a double-digit wedge between themselves and Nanticoke Area for a good stretch of the second half. The lead eventually reached 13 points, 38-25, with 5:32 to play.
“Tierney did a nice job for us,” Heiser said. “She did a good job on defense. She took the off-guard and had chances to double people and go for steals. For defensive effort, you’ve gotta give it to Kelci. The last five or six games, she’s been playing the best guard on the other team. Today, she held (sharpshooting guard Morgan Thomas) to under 10 points.”
The inability to put Nanticoke away earlier never frustrated the Knights, who kept plugging away with on-court poise. When the shots finally started to drop, the lead ballooned.
Eastern trailed just once, at 2-0, though Nanticoke had several chances to grab the lead back during the first half. Each time, the Trojanettes either missed the shot or turned the ball over.
The Knights outscored Nanticoke 12-9 during the third, then pushed the lead to 13 by scoring the first five points of the fourth quarter.
Nanticoke Area (36)
J. Harnischfeger 4 1-4 10, M. Thomas 2 0-0 6, G. Malishchak 0 0-0 0, K. Yohey 6 0-0 12, S. Gow 2 0-0 4, R. Richards 2 0-0 4, Totals 16 1-4 36.
Eastern York (45)
K. Scannapieco 1 0-0 3, C. Rhein 3 5-7 11, T. Hiltz 4 2-3 12, J. Folkomer 0 0-0 0, K. Althouse 3 2-2 8, K. Dellinger 4 0-0 9, A. Brate 0 0-0 0, M. DeRemer 0 2-2 2, Totals 15 11-14 45.
Nanticoke Area 10 6 9 11—36
Eastern York 11 10 12 12—45
3-point goals: J. Harnischfeger (NA) 1, M. Thomas (NA) 2, K. Scannapieco (EY) 1, T. Hiltz (EY) 2, K. Dellinger (EY) 1.

Nanticoke pulls right switch
Joby Fawcett - Citizens' Voice

After a dominating first half by Abington Heights center Jamie Halloran, Nanticoke Area needed to do something different if it hoped to reach the District 2 Class AAA final.
A timely defensive switch and foul trouble combined to sideline Halloran. Then, Nanticoke knocked down some big 3-pointers to defeat Abington Heights, 50-42, Thursday at Wyoming Area High School.
Nanticoke Area, the second seed, will play No. 1 Holy Redeemer on Saturday at Wilkes University at 2 for the championship.
“We went to a 2-3 zone defense so we could double-team her when they threw the ball over,” said Nanticoke center Kelsey Yohey, who had been matched up with Halloran in the post. “That helped us a lot. When we were in man-to-man, it was hard because I was so much smaller.”
In the first 16 minutes, Nanticoke had no answers for the 6-foot-1 Halloran. She made all eight of her shots from the floor and all were from close range, for 16 points.
Thanks to that effort and three 3-pointers from Mariah Deibert, who finished with 14 points, Abington Heights had a 27-24 lead at the half.
“They were in man-to-man,” Abington Heights coach Vince Bucciarelli said. “Then he switched to the zone. But we had our opportunities.”
Nanticoke did adjust its defense with 3:50 left in the second quarter.
And by the third quarter, the Trojans harassed Halloran when she got the ball.
“I thought we had to go to that 2-3 to try to contain her,” Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko said. “She was a dominant force. We fronted her and sided her, and we couldn’t stop her.
“After we switched we double-teamed her down low and did a nice job.”
Compounding Abington’s difficulties, Halloran had two quick fouls called on her while boxing out shooters. They were her third and fourth of the game and put her on the bench with 3:07 remaining.
Nanticoke got five points from Morgan Thomas in the third and pulled ahead, 33-28, when Abington Heights point guard Dakin Hewlett committed her fourth foul with 32 seconds remaining and joined her senior teammate.
In the fourth, after five points from Jennifer Harnischfeger, including a 3-pointer, the lead grew to 40-34 by the time Halloran and Hewlett returned.
“We didn’t shoot the ball very well at times, but we made the shots when we had to,” Rentko said. “Jen Harnischfeger had cramps in her legs at halftime.
“She gutted it out and she is one of the best players in the league.”
However, Hewlett made a 3-pointer to pull the Comets to within 40-37, but a minute later Halloran was whistled for her fifth foul on a rebound.
From there, Nanticoke freshman Sami Gow drilled a 3-pointer and the Trojans finished by outscoring the Comets, 10-5.
Harnischfeger, who finished with 23 points, led the way making three of four free throws in the final 1:31.
“We worked on shooting all day at practice,” Harnischfeger said. “This is a really good win. We wanted to face Holy Redeemer and now we got them.”
Abington Heights will play Coughlin on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Scranton High School in a third-place game.

J. Harnischfeger 7 5-6 23, M. Thomas 2 2-3 7, G. Malishchak 1 0-0 2, K. Yohey 4 0-2 9, S. Gow 1 4-4 7, R. Richards 0 2-2 2, Totals 15 13-17 50.

J. Halloran 8 1-2 17, D. Hewlett 2 0-2 5, K. Bucciarelli 1 0-0 3, S. Gallagher 0 0-0 0, J. Heron 0 0-0 0, M. Deibert 5 0-0 14, J. Montella 0 0-0 0, M. Fraley 1 0-0 3, S. Paolucci 0 0-1 0, M. Fruehan 0 0-3 0, Totals 17 1-8 42.

Nanticoke Area 11 13 11 15—50
Abington Heights 12 15 4 11—42

3-point goals: NA, Harnischfeger 4, Thomas, Yohey, Gow; AH, Hewlett, Bucciarelli, Deibert 4, Fraley.

February 25
Trojan guards lift Nanticoke to win

Jack Rentko might be a little biased. But when it comes to guard play, nobody does it better than his trio of Jen Harnischfeger, Morgan Thomas and Sami Gow, says the Nanticoke head coach.
“I think we have the three best guards, tandem-wise,” said Rentko. “They play very well together, defensively and offensively. They do a lot of things very well.”
The play of the guards Tuesday night definitely backed up their coach’s words.
Harnischfeger and Thomas combined for 37 points – including making a combined 14 of 16 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter – and Gow joined the suffocating defensive pressure of the Trojan backcourt in a 48-39 win against No. 7 seed Valley View in a District 2 Class 3A quarterfinal game Tuesday night at Valley West High School.
Second-seeded Nanticoke Area (19-4) will play No. 3 seed Abington Heights in a semifinal game Thursday night at a site and time to be determined.
The Trojans led by as many as eight points in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter before Valley View cut the deficit to 37-33 with just under three minutes remaining.
Then the game took a dramatic turn.
Thomas was dribbling the ball when she appeared to fall down. Instead of a Nanticoke Area turnover and an opportunity for the Cougars to pull within a point or two, Emily Pambianco was whistled for a foul with 2:33 remaining.
An irate Valley View head coach John Duffy was pleading his case – and removing his tie – when he was called for a technical foul by Lackawanna League official Jack Gaffney, who was standing on the other side of the gym.
Thomas calmly stepped to the free throw line and nailed both attempts and Harnischfeger followed by making both of her attempts for the technical foul. Eleven seconds later, Thomas made another pair of free throws.
All of a sudden, it was Nanticoke Area 43, Valley View 33.
Game over.
And Duffy wasn’t happy.
“(Gaffney) missed the travel. Then he calls a foul. And then he gives me a technical from 45 feet away,” said Duffy, who also praised the play and coaching of Nanticoke Area. “It’s a Lackawanna League guy, too. It was a terrible call. It cost us.”
Harnischfeger scored a game-high 20 points and Thomas added 17 for the Trojans in a game where neither team led by more than four points until the fourth quarter. Nanticoke Area led 17-16 at halftime and the third quarter featured five lead changes and two ties.
In addition to scoring the 37 points, Harnischfeger and Thomas led a defense with a goal of stopping Valley View center Rebecca Keegan from getting the ball. The 6-foot-3 Keegan finished with 15 points, but was held to five field goals.
“Our defense was really phenomenal today,” said Rentko. “Our guards took their guard out of the game. The key to the game was pressuring the guards so they couldn’t get good looks inside to (Keegan). I thought our girls did a great job of doing it.”
Harnischfeger gave Nanticoke Area the lead for good by making three free throws with 1:49 left in the third quarter. With a slim lead in the fourth, the Trojans began taking time off the clock, forcing the Cougars to come out of its zone defense.
“Their zone was tough to break,” said Rentko. “But we were able to pull the ball out and force them to go man-to-man and commit fouls. And our girls were clutch from the free throw line tonight.”

VALLEY VIEW (39): Stambone 1 0-0 2, Rodway 1 2-4 4, Pambianco 4 0-0 9, Keegan 5 5-8 15, Kucharski 0 0-0 0, Kobeski 4 1-2 9, Aniska 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 8-14 39.

NANTICOKE (46): Harnishfeger 4 9-11 20, Thomas 3 9-10 17, Malishak 0 0-0 0, Yohey 2 0-2 4, Gow 2 2-3 7, Richards 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 20-25 48.
Valley View 10 6 12 11 — 39
Nanticoke 11 6 13 18 — 48

3-Point Field Goals— VV 1 (Pambianco); NAN 6 (Harnishfeger 3, Thomas 2, Gow)

WVC picks all-star players, coaches

Coach of the year: Jim Spencer, Lake-Lehman
MVP: Jennifer Harnischfeger, Nanticoke
Player of the year: Morgan Thomas, Nanticoke
First Team : Emily Hoolick, Hanover Area; Katee Pelleschi, Gaby Olshemski and Selena Adamshick (honorary), Lake-Lehman; Ashley Smith, Meyers; and Kelsey Yohey, Nanticoke.
Second Team: Kenyotta Richardson, GAR; Shari Bugonowicz and Raisha Piper, Hanover Area; Christa Tutella and Ashlee Ward, Meyers.
Honorable Mention: Natashja Udzella, Lake-Lehman; and Rachel Richards, Nanticoke.

2/9/2009 - Citizens' Voice
Athlete of the Week: Morgan Thomas

Nanticoke Area
Senior, Basketball
Hometown: Nanticoke
Age: 18
Family: Parents, Maria and Robert Thomas; Brother, Michael.

Accomplishment: The sharp-shooting guard scored 10 of her 17 points in the final three minutes to help Nanticoke Area to a 46-30 win over Meyers on Thursday night. The win, the Trojanettes 11th straight, clinched the Division III title.

Favorite subject: Government sociology
Favorite book: 'Twilight'
Favorite movie: 'Superbad'
Favorite TV show: 'SpongeBob SquarePants'
Favorite group/artist: Lil' Wayne
Favorite food: Chicken alfredo
Favorite junk food: Kettle cooked chips
Favorite sport to follow: College basketball
Favorite team: North Carolina
Favorite athlete: Tyler Hansbrough
Morgan's dream prom date: Michael Jordan
Morgan's perfect day would be . . . hanging out with her friends and just enjoying the day.
If Morgan could have any superpower, she'd like the ability to . . . read minds.
If Morgan could switch places with any pro athlete for one day, she'd swap spots with . . . LeBron James.
Morgan's favorite thing about basketball is . . . her team.
Morgan thinks the hardest thing about basketball is . . . practice.
Morgan's biggest nemesis in the league is . . . Holy Redeemer's Monica Wignot.
Morgan's biggest role models have been . . . her parents and nana.
Morgan's pre-game ritual . . . listen to her iPod.
Up next for Morgan . . . hopefully play in college.

Title time for Trojanettes
Nanticoke knocks off Meyers to clinch the Division III championship.
The Nanticoke girls basketball team came into Thursday night’s showdown with Meyers seeking two things – respect and a championship.
The Trojanettes earned both.
Sharpshooting senior guard Morgan Thomas tossed in 17 points to lead Nanticoke to an impressive 46-30 victory over the Mohawks to clinch the Wyoming Valley Conference Division III championship. It was the 11th straight win for the Trojanettes, who are now 10-0 in league play and 6-0 in the second half.
“Winning the division championship is special because no one expected us to do it,” said Jen Harnischfeger, who started as a freshman for Nanticoke’s 29-1 team in 2006-07. “Everyone underestimated us. Most people thought we wouldn’t be this good.”
While the Trojanettes (16-4) may not be a state power like they were a few years ago, they still play racehorse basketball and suffocating man-to-man defense. Right now, Nanticoke isn’t a team to be taken lightly.
“We don’t have a lot of size, but we make up for it with speed and shooting,” said Harnischfeger, a 5-foot-2 junior guard. “We play tight defense and are capable of exploding on offense.”
Thomas, the leading three-point shooter in school history, caught fire in the fourth quarter. She tossed in three straight treys that put the game out of reach.
The first one came at the 4:50 mark when she nailed a 22-foot jumper that gave the Trojanettes a 35-27 lead. Thomas also drilled consecutive threes that increased the margin to 43-27 with just 2:14 remaining in the game.
“Morgan came up big,” said Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko. “The first three-pointer in the fourth quarter was the turning point of the game. It helped us regain momentum.”
Thomas was wide open on the left baseline and hit a rainbow.
“I had to step up because they were coming back,” Thomas said. “I didn’t shoot too well in the first half, but I was able to get open a few times in the fourth quarter.”
Nanticoke came out hitting on all cylinders at the outset and threatened to turn the game into a blowout. With Harnischfeger and Kelsey Yohey leading the way, the Trojanettes raced out to a 13-0 lead, forcing Meyers to commit five turnovers before the Mohawks got off their first shot.
“We turned the ball over 10 times in the first quarter,” said Meyers coach Chris Grey. “You can’t do that against a team like Nanticoke and expect to win. But I credit our kids – they managed to get back into the game.”
The Mohawks (6-3 WVC, 9-10 overall) trailed 27-12 at halftime but managed to draw within 32-27 on two free throws by Maddie Lavery in the fourth quarter before Thomas starting lighting it up from the outside.
“We slacked off on our defense a little bit, especially in the third quarter,” Harnischfeger said. “We picked things up in the fourth quarter.”
The Trojanettes also got a big effort from Yohey, a senior forward, who finished with 10 points. She took the ball to the basket with authority in the first half.
“I feel like I did a good job in the paint,” Yohey said. “I was very aggressive. Jen makes it easy because she runs our offense.”
Rachael Richards chipped in with eight points for Nanticoke, while Harnischfeger finished with seven.
Lavery paced the Mohawks with 11 points, while Christa Tutella had eight.

NANTICOKE (46): Harnischfeger 3 0-0 7, Malishchak 2 0-0 4, Yohey 4 1-1 10, Richards 8, Thomas 5 4-5 17. Totals 18 5-6 46.
MEYERS (30): Rattigan 2 0-2 5, Smith 1 1-2 3, Tutalla 5 2-3 8, Ward 1 1-2 3, Lavery 4 3-4 11. Totals 11 7-13 30.
Nanticoke 20 7 4 15 — 46
Meyers 6 6 11 7 — 30
3-Point Field Goals—NAN 5 (Harnischfeger, Thomas 3, Yohey); MEY 1 (Rattigan)

Thomas sparks Nanticoke Area
Jill Snowdon - Citizens' Voice

Nanticoke Area’s Morgan Thomas has been in a self-proclaimed slump. On Thursday, the senior found the perfect time to snap out of it.
Thomas, who leads the Wyoming Valley Conference in 3-point goals with 26, nailed three attempts from long range and scored 10 points in the final five minutes of Nanticoke Area’s Division III showdown against Meyers, lifting the Trojanettes to a 46-30 victory.
Both teams entered the game with undefeated second-half records. But with one game remaining, the Trojanettes clinch the Division III championship and improve to 11-0 in conference action. Meyers drops to 8-3 overall.
“After I made that first shot, I knew I had my rhythm,” said Thomas, who finished with a regular-season high 17 points and dished out six assists. “I haven’t been shooting well the last couple of games, but finally in the fourth quarter, it came back to me.”
Thomas’ heroics snapped a Meyers rally that brought the Mohawks within five points. Meyers’ Madison Lavery made three free throws, trimming the Nanticoke deficit to 32-27. But Thomas struck on Nanticoke’s next possession and the Trojanettes rolled from there.
“I had to knock down some shots that I didn’t the whole game,” Thomas said. “That was my chance to step up. As a senior and role player on our team, I had to step up.”
Prior to Thomas’ shooting clinic, Nanticoke slowly let a 16-point lead slip away. The Trojanettes gave the ball up five times in the third, allowing Meyers to make a run.
Ashlee Ward, Ashley Smith, Kristyn Rattigan, Christa Tutella and Lavery all had baskets to bring their team within seven heading into the fourth quarter.
It was a hard-fought comeback for the Mohawks, who fell behind 20-6 at the end of the first.
“They played hard and never quit, but you can’t spot a team like Nanticoke 13 or so points in the first couple minutes of the game,” Meyers coach Chris Gray said. “That just makes for an uphill battle. The first couple minutes of the game proved the difference here.”
While Meyers got hot on offense in the third, Nanticoke’s took a break. Rachel Richards’ lay-up and Jen Harnischfeger’s 3-pointer was all that the Trojanettes managed in the quarter.
“Our flow of offense didn’t go very well and we were standing flat-footed,” Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko said. “But Morgan took over. She’s one of the top players in the league, with her leadership and how she carries herself, and that’s very important to us. And you can’t say enough about Jen. She controls the whole game. She’s the catalyst of our team.”
Harnischfeger finished with seven points. Richards followed with eight and Kelsey Yohey had a big night with a double-double on 12 points and 11 rebounds.
“This feels good because I know how good our team is this year and I think we can make a run in the (District 2) playoffs,” Thomas said. “Being undefeated is a big accomplishment for our team.”