Girls put on a special show in hoops drama
Paul Sokoloski Opinion - Times Leader
By the end, all the heart-pounding pressure building
toward a fantastic overtime finish broke Nanticoke Areas heart
just as Holy Redeemer was breaking into a sigh of relief.
This is what games in sports are supposed to
One team loses and one team wins, but neither
ever gives up or gives in.
And both teams get better through an experience
that provides an incredible test of willpower.
It might not feel that way to Nanticoke Area
today, after its upset bid and its season ended in devastating fashion
Saturday with an agonizing District 2 girls playoff defeat. And Holy
Redeemer might not mark its 60-54 victory as a turning point as it continues
on in the Class 3A district playoffs this week.
But you dont build character through blowout
victories or by getting buried under an avalanche at both ends of the
The truest makeup of moral fiber comes out in
a back-and-forth battle with the season on the line.
Losing it should feel bitter, and winning it
should mean a special memory.
At the end of it, you just have so much
adrenaline pumping, Holy Redeemer forward Nikki Maximowicz said.
And you still want to play.
A very different emotion was pumping down the
tear-streaked faces of Nanticoke Areas players.
It was a tough loss, said Trojanettes
coach Alan Yendrzeiwski, whose whole starting lineup returns next season.
It was a tough game, because Nanticoke Area made
it that way.
Two-time defending District 2 champ Redeemer
threatened to run away with the show, taking a 26-17 lead at halftime
and increasing that advantage to 11 points by scoring the first bucket
of the second half.
After the second quarter, I thought we
were in a good place, Royals scoring star Olivia Francisco said.
Court overflows with spunk, spirit
But the much smaller Trojans played like the
little engine that could, diving for loose balls, swarming for steals,
skinning their knees and trimming their deficit through desire and determination.
We were undersized in every game we played
this year, said Yendrzeiwski, whose tallest players stand 5-foot-9
and couldnt match up with Redeemers baseline forest featuring
6-foot Sydney Myers and 5-11 Maximowicz.
It doesnt take away from the effort
of our girls, Yendrzeiwski continued. Or the heart we played
Suddenly, hearts were pounding all over Wyoming
Teresa Kalinays three-point goal pulled
the Trojans within 41-38 with 5:21 to play. A basket by Kayley Schinski
cut Redeemers lead to a single point. And Brittany Sugalskis
put-back with 3:03 on the clock gave the Trojans their first lead, 44-43.
We took their knockout punch, weathered
it, and came all the way back, Yendrzeiwski said.
But the Royals never stopped punching.
You want to talk about spunk and spirit?
Holy Redeemer showed just as much as scrappy
The Royals didnt back down when the tide
of momentum turned, instead meeting the ominous wave head-on down the
stretch behind a jumper and three-pointer from Francisco and a basket
by Maximowicz when each of those baskets regained Redeemers
We just all got together, Francisco
said, and said, We have to come ready for this, show our
Both teams wore their hearts on their sleeves.
Because of that, one rejoiced while the others was broken.
Paul Sokoloski is a Times Leader sports columnist.
You may reach him at 970-7109 or email him at email@example.com.
Coaches Name 2011 All-Stars
The Division III first-team includes Nikki Sutliff
(Lake-Lehman), Teresa Kalinay (Nanticoke Area), Lauren Skudalski
(Wyoming Seminary), Danielle Tuzinski (Hanover Area) and Michelle Bugownowicz
Division III second-team: Sammy Gow (Nanticoke Area),
Kristen Baker (Lake-Lehman), Quiterritus Gross (GAR), Maureen Lisman
(Meyers), Ann Romanowski (Wyoming Seminary).
Division III third-team: Brittany Sugalski (Nanticoke Area),
Alivia Womelsdorf (Northwest Area), Troy Lynn Lewis (Meyers), Kayla
Hennigan (Northwest Area), Kayley Schinski (Nanticoke Area).
Division III Honorable mention: Quinniea Gross (GAR), Taylor
Mazonkey (Northwest Area), Katie Wolfe (Nanticoke Area), Christine
Knooren (Meyers), Jazma Robertson (Meyers), Alexa Decker (Lake-Lehman),
Brittany Purcell (MMI), Amanda Howley (Northwest Area).
Girls Basketball Capsule from Times Leader
Coach: Alan Yendrzeiwski
Last year: 18-10
Key players lost: Jenn Harnischfeger
Players to watch: Kayley Schinski, So.; Teresa Kalinay,
Jr.; Samantha Gow, Jr.; Katie Wolfe, Jr.; Clarissa Tarnowski, Sr.; Brittany
Outlook: Despite the loss of all-everything Harnischfeger,
the Trojanettes have a wealth of talent and experience, including four
returning starters. Schinski, a 5-9 guard, is one of the best athletes
in the WVC, and could be destined for stardom. She can be real disrupting
on defense, Yendrzewwski said. We need her to score.
Scoring is not a problem for Kalinay, a 5-6 shooting guard with tremendous
range. Gow is the floor leader, handling point guard. The 5-9 Wolfe is
a force in the middle, and is a fierce rebounder. Tarnowski is a dangerous
streak shooter. Nanticoke should challenge Lake-Lehman for the division