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.
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
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."
Kings 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 Kings College.
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 Kings
recruit from the WVC, joining Berwick star Katlin Michaels.
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.
was recruited by several colleges, including Wilkes, Lycoming, PSU/Wilkes-Barre
and PSU/Hazleton. However, Thomas said Kings 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.
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 were
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.
set up most of our plays for Morgan the last two years, he added. Shes
a heady player with a nose for the ball. Kings 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 Kings
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.
looking forward to playing with somebody (Michaels) that I played against for
three years in high school, said Thomas.
Harnischfeger makes the Citizens' Voice All-Star Team - Congratulations!
As Nanticokes 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
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
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
were small as it is, that really hurts us.
Golden Knights advance to the second round where they will play Archbishop Carroll
on Wednesday. Nanticoke Area ends its season at 21-6.
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 didnt 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 didnt shoot very well
We shot better in the second half. Its
the first time weve 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.
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, youve gotta give it to Kelci. The last five or six games,
shes been playing the best guard on the other team. Today, she held (sharpshooting
guard Morgan Thomas) to under 10 points.
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
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)
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.
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.
Area 10 6 9 1136
Eastern York 11 10 12 1245
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
- 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.
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
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.
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 couldnt stop her.
we switched we double-teamed her down low and did a nice job.
Abingtons 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.
didnt 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
Harnischfeger, who finished with 23
points, led the way making three of four free throws in the final 1:31.
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.
ABINGTON HEIGHTS (42)
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
Nanticoke Area 11 13 11 1550
Heights 12 15 4 1142
3-point goals: NA, Harnischfeger
4, Thomas, Yohey, Gow; AH, Hewlett, Bucciarelli, Deibert 4, Fraley.
DISTRICT 2 GIRLS BASKETBALL
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.
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
The play of the guards Tuesday night
definitely backed up their coachs words.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
of a sudden, it was Nanticoke Area 43, Valley View 33.
And Duffy wasnt happy.
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. Its a Lackawanna League guy, too. It was a terrible call. It
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.
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 couldnt get good looks inside to (Keegan).
I thought our girls did a great job of doing it.
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.
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.
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.
(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
Nanticoke 11 6 13 18 48
Field Goals VV 1 (Pambianco); NAN 6 (Harnishfeger 3, Thomas 2, Gow)
WVC picks all-star players, coaches
Coach of the year: Jim Spencer,
MVP: Jennifer Harnischfeger, Nanticoke
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.
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.
- Citizens' Voice
Athlete of the Week: Morgan Thomas
Parents, Maria and Robert Thomas; Brother, Michael.
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.
TO KNOW MORGAN THOMAS
Favorite subject: Government
Favorite book: 'Twilight'
Favorite TV show: 'SpongeBob SquarePants'
Favorite group/artist: Lil' Wayne
food: Chicken alfredo
Favorite junk food: Kettle cooked
Favorite sport to follow: College basketball
Favorite team: North Carolina
athlete: Tyler Hansbrough
Morgan's dream prom date:
Morgan's perfect day would be . . .
hanging out with her friends and just enjoying the day.
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.
favorite thing about basketball is . . . her team.
thinks the hardest thing about basketball is . . . practice.
biggest nemesis in the league is . . . Holy Redeemer's Monica Wignot.
biggest role models have been . . . her parents and nana.
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.
Nanticoke girls basketball team came into Thursday nights showdown with
Meyers seeking two things respect and a championship.
Trojanettes earned both.
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.
the division championship is special because no one expected us to do it,
said Jen Harnischfeger, who started as a freshman for Nanticokes 29-1 team
in 2006-07. Everyone underestimated us. Most people thought we wouldnt
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
isnt a team to be taken lightly.
dont 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.
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.
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.
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 didnt shoot
too well in the first half, but I was able to get open a few times in the fourth
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.
the ball over 10 times in the first quarter, said Meyers coach Chris Grey.
You cant 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.
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.
Richards chipped in with eight points for Nanticoke, while Harnischfeger finished
Lavery paced the Mohawks
with 11 points, while Christa Tutella had eight.
(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.
(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
3-Point Field GoalsNAN
5 (Harnischfeger, Thomas 3, Yohey); MEY 1 (Rattigan)
Thomas sparks Nanticoke Area
Snowdon - Citizens' Voice
Nanticoke Areas Morgan Thomas has been in a self-proclaimed slump.
On Thursday, the senior found the perfect time to snap out of it.
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
Areas Division III showdown against Meyers, lifting the Trojanettes to a
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
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 havent 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 Nanticokes
next possession and the Trojanettes rolled from there.
had to knock down some shots that I didnt 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.
Ward, Ashley Smith, Kristyn Rattigan, Christa Tutella and Lavery all had baskets
to bring their team within seven heading into the fourth quarter.
was a hard-fought comeback for the Mohawks, who fell behind 20-6 at the end of
They played hard and never quit, but
you cant 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
While Meyers got hot on offense in the
third, Nanticokes took a break. Rachel Richards lay-up and Jen Harnischfegers
3-pointer was all that the Trojanettes managed in the quarter.
flow of offense didnt go very well and we were standing flat-footed,
Nanticoke coach Jack Rentko said. But Morgan took over. Shes one of
the top players in the league, with her leadership and how she carries herself,
and thats very important to us. And you cant say enough about Jen.
She controls the whole game. Shes the catalyst of our team.
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.
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.