Trojanettes win 2012 Division III Wyoming Valley basketball championship....
Great run Trojanettes 24-2 - Congratulations on a fantastic season!
When giving your best just isn’t enough Paul Sokoloski Opinion
Paul Sokoloski - Opinion - Times Leader

They say there’s no shame in losing to a better team.
That doesn’t always make a team any less bitter.
“I’m still disappointed we lost,” Nanticoke junior Kayley Schinski said. “But knowing they were a little better team? I guess you could say that.”
Say what you will about the way the Trojanettes dropped out of the PIAA Class 3A girls basketball playoffs on Wednesday with a 41-20 defeat at the hands of Villa Maria Academy.
Some will say Nanticoke succumbed to inexperience. Others may suggest the Trojanettes simply went cold on a bad night. And there are always accusations that bad calls may be at fault.
But the Trojanettes won’t make any such allegations.
They simply blamed the loss on a Villa Maria team that played better.
“I think they definitely were the better team tonight,” Trojanettes senior guard Sammy Gow said. “Even coming into the game, we knew it was going to be a difficult team.”
Not this difficult.
By halftime, Nanticoke was trailing 18-6. By the end of the third quarter, Villa Maria widened that gap, 30-10.
With points so difficult to come by for the Trojanettes, what was the point in hoping against hope?
Yet, there was Schinski playing diligent defense as the final seconds of Nanticoke’s defeat disappeared from the game clock.
“We can’t give up,” Schinski said. “We could have gotten blown out. But we hung in there.”
They did.
The Trojanettes tried to rally when Brittany Sugalski hit a jumper and Schinski followed with a steal and two free throws, cutting the deficit to 30-14 with 6:40 remaining. But two minutes later, Nanticoke was in a 22-point hole again.
“We were only down six baskets at halftime,” Gow said. “We came out and just tried out hardest.”
That’s all anyone can ask.
But sometimes, even a team’s best effort isn’t quite enough.
Villa Maria was too tough on the trap, too tall with its defensive pressure and too solid for the Trojanettes to overcome.
“They were a very good team,” Gow said, “defense and offense. Definitely the best defensive team we’ve played. They really got in the passing lanes, which made it hard for us to really attack the basket. Our shots were rushed, too.”
It seemed openings were so difficult for the Trojanettes to find that they hurried their attempts before their freedom disappeared.
Haste makes waste.
Nanticoke coach Alan Yendrzeiwski suggested inexperience had something to do with it, since Nanticoke Area missed the state playoffs during the previous two years.
“This is a first for them, these kids,” Yendrzeiwski said.
He said his team picked a bad time to go cold from the floor.
“When we’re going, we’re really going,” Yendrzeiwski said. “When we’re not … tonight we weren’t. It’s like it was contagious.”
But before coming up with some catchy reason for Nanticoke’s defeat, take a hard look at the skill of the other team.
That’s where the fault lies.
“Their defense was just a little better than ours,” Schinski said.
When that happens, sometimes giving your best doesn’t make you the best.

Nanticoke’s Sammy Gow (center) and Brittany Sugalski (right) hit the deck for a loose ball on Saturday.
Fred Adams/For the Times Leader

Trojanettes, Gow sink Shamokin
By Josh Horton - Citizens Voice

In basketball, free throws can go along way to determining a winner.
Nanticoke Area found out just how important it is to cash in on its free throws as it defeated Shamokin, 41-36, Saturday in the first round of the PIAA Class AAA Championships at Shikellamy Field House.
Sammy Gow played a huge role in the Trojanettes' victory, knocking down seven of her eight free-throws in the fourth quarter.
With Nanticoke Area ahead by one with 34.6 seconds left on the game clock, the Indians fouled Gow sending her to the stripe. She connected on both to make it a three-point game.
"As far as our free throws, Sammy is our point guard and our senior leader," Nanticoke Area Head Coach Al Yendrzeiwski said. "That's who we want to have the ball in their hands at the end and hope she knocks them down and she did to help us pull away."
Shamokin failed to tighten the lead on its next possession and was forced to foul Gow yet again. This time, Gow made it a two-possession game with just 7.6 remaining.
The first quarter was all Nanticoke as it used a combination of great guard play and a suffocating half-court trap to jump out to an early 15-8 lead.
However, the Indians woke up in the second quarter on both sides of the floor.
"After the first quarter, they went from a man defense to a 1-2-2 zone and we got tentative a little bit against it," Yendrzeiwski said. "We had some open looks and when we did get the open looks, we didn't knock them down. We just struggled inside around the basket, we were penetrating and getting to the rim, but we just couldn't finish."
Kelsey Yacko and Carly Nash sparked the second-quarter comeback scoring five points each to bring the Indians within 23-22 at the half.
Shamokin took its first lead of the game with 5:10 remaining in the third quarter when Yacko buried a jump shot from just inside the arc, making it 29-28.
"We like to apply pressure the whole game," Yendrzeiwski said. "Even when we weren't getting turnovers, the foul trouble really hurt us and didn't allow us to do what we wanted to do defensively."
Neither team was able to find the bottom of the bucket until Katie Wolfe ended the drought with a beautiful drop step on the low block to give the Trojanettes a one-point lead with 1:32 remaining in the quarter. She also added another layup just seconds later to give the Trojanettes a 31-29 advantage heading into the final quarter.
"We had some pretty rough patches offensively," Yendrzeiwski said. "But, at this point it is just survive and advance."
The two teams traded buckets for the majority of the first half of the final quarter, but it was Nanticoke that cashed in on its free throws. The Trojanettes finished the game 8-for-10 from the line, while the Indians were just 5-for-13.
Wolf led the Trojanettes with 14 points and Gow followed with 10 points.
Yacko led the Indians with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Nanticoke Area advances to the second round of the tournament where it will play Villa Maria Academy on Wednesday at a site and time to be determined. Villa Maria beat West York, 59-50, on Saturday.
"At this point everyone is good," Yendrzeiwski said. "They are the one seed out of district one and have a great program with fantastic tradition. We are going to have our hands full."

Nanticoke Area (41)
A. Brassington 2 0-0 4, B. Sugalski 2 0-0 4, K. Wolfe 6 2-4 14, K. Schinski 2 0-0 5, S. Gow 1 8-10 10, A. Holl 1 0-0 2, C. Yalch 1 0-2 2. Totals 15 10-16 41
Shamokin (36)
C. Pancher 4 2-3 11, C. Nash 2 1-1 5, K. Zalar 0 2-4 2, S. Schiccatano 0 0-0 0, K. Yacko 6 1-3 13, O. Bonsheck 1 0-5 2, J. Britton 0 2-2 2, S. Pancher 0 1-2 1. Totals 13 9-20 36.
3-point goals: Schinski (NA), Pancher (SH)

Nanticoke staves off late challenge
The Trojanettes and Sammy Gow clinched a first-round win from the foul line.
Scott Dudinskie - Times Leader

Sammy Gow clicked her heels time and again, and Nanticoke wound up in the second round of the state playoffs.
It wasn’t Wizard of Oz magic, but rather the senior’s free throw routine – tapping the back of each heel near the stripe before shooting — that clinched the Trojanettes’ hard-fought 41-36 win over District 4 champion Shamokin Area in the Class 3A state opener.
Nanticoke scored nothing but free throws over the final 7 1/2 minutes of Saturday’s game, but Gow was 7-of-8 at the line, including four straight after Shamokin had pulled within one with 49.9 seconds to play.
“On the foul line, I was just really focused,” said Gow, whose free-throw shooting accounted for seven of Nanticoke’s 10 fourth-quarter points. “I knew I had to knock down those shots and, if I did, it would pretty much seal the deal. I didn’t feel any pain at the foul line.”
Gow feared she aggravated her chronically sore ankles on a spill driving to the bucket late in the game and was hobbled in the ensuing minutes. But with three fellow starters on the bench after fouling out, including Katie Wolfe, she was the Trojanettes’ go-to player.
“When she fouled out … we wanted to get the ball in Sammy’s hands and get to the foul line, make the free throws and hopefully put the game away for us,” Nanticoke coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “She’s a competitor, a fighter. It’s great when you have athletes like that, who know how to win at the end of the game. We’re very fortunate as a coaching staff.”
“I just tried to walk it off and just deal with it,” said Gow, who totaled 10 points. “I wasn’t going to let this be my last game.”
The District 4 champion Indians turned a nine-point first-half deficit in a game that was quickly getting away into a one-point margin at halftime and a game there for the taking throughout the second half.
“We had our chances. The girls gave a great effort. If we could have just converted, but we didn’t,” Shamokin coach Bill Callahan said. “We just didn’t get that big shot at the end when we needed it.”
It was a 35-34 Nanticoke lead with two minutes to play, but Shamokin had a turnover, missed two free throws and gave away the ball once more.
Still, after Steph Pancher hit two free throws with 49.9 seconds left to pull the Indians within 37-36, Gow made four straight free throws while the Indians missed a shot, threw the ball away on an inbound pass and missed two foul shots.
The Trojanettes (24-3) will play District 1 champ Villa Maria Academy (22-4) in the second round Wednesday, with the site and time to be determined. Shamokin, which had won 14 consecutive games, sweeping the HAC-I and District 4 titles along the way, finished 19-6.
Nanticoke relentlessly attacked every ballhandler and treated every ball on the ground or in the air as fair game. They forced eight first-quarter turnovers and led 11-2 early.
Kelsey Yacko, who scored 11 of her 13 points in the first half, was able to keep Shamokin afloat. But the turnovers continued to mount and the score was 19-10 midway through the second.
“The way we play is to speed people up and try to make them uncomfortable,” Yendrzeiwski said. “Everything we try to do is to take them out of their comfort zone and not let them run their sets.”
The fast-paced game caught up with the Trojanettes late in the half, though. Five turnovers on seven possessions helped fuel a 7-2 Shamokin run that cut the lead to 23-22 at the half.
“They kind of switched from playing man-for-man to a zone, and we just got really tentative with the basketball,” Yendrzeiwski said.
“That’s going to happen. It happened at a pretty bad time because we could have kept the lead at eight, 10 at half, and instead it was close game.”
The Indians’ momentum continued into the second half, and they took the lead on a Yacko jumper with 5:15 left in the third. That was followed by a string of eight consecutive Indians’ turnovers as the game went scoreless for nearly four minutes.
“We’re a really aggressive team; we like to press and cause turnovers,” Gow said. “We wanted to speed up their game and play it at our pace, not theirs.”
Shamokin finished the third quarter down a pair but couldn’t get closer until the game’s final minute, shooting 1-for-7 from the field and 4-of-13 at the line in the fourth.
Wolfe was outstanding before fouling out, scoring a game-high 14 points, pulling 11 rebounds and grabbing two steals and a blocked shot.
“Wolfey was our league MVP, and she was tough,” Yendrzeiwski said. “When we walk in the gym, nobody’s intimidated but our kids fight. Wolfey personifies that.”

NANTICOKE (41): Brassington 2 0-0 4, Sugalski 2 0-0 4, Wolfe 6 2-5 14, Schinski 2 0-0 5, Gow 1 8-10 10, Yalch 1 0-3 2, Holl 1 0-0 2, Higgins 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 10-18 41.
SHAMOKIN (36): S. Pancher 4 3-4 11, Bonshock 1 0-5 2, Yacko 6 1-3 13, Zalar 0 2-4 2, Britton 0 2-2 2, C. Pancher 2 1-3 6, Schiccatno 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 9-21 36.
Nanticoke 15 8 8 10 — 41
Shamokin 8 14 7 7 — 36
3-Point Field Goals— NAN 1 (Schinski); SHA 1 (C. Pancher)

Speedy Trojanettes ready PIAA opener
By Jill Snowdon - Citizens Voice

A run-and-gun team will clash with a steady-paced squad when Nanticoke Area and Shamokin play in the first round of the PIAA Class AAA girls basketball tournament.
The contrasting styles will be on display at 6 Saturday at the Shikellamy Field House in Sunbury.
Nanticoke has relied on a quick, aggressive style of basketball to help it earn a berth in the state playoffs. The 23-3 Trojanettes ran into trouble against Honedale's pressure defense in last weekend's District 2 AAA final, but Shamokin doesn't have the overall speed of Nanticoke.
"I thought Honesdale was able to match our speed in all five positions," Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. "Against Honesdale, that was the first time we were pressed like that for an entire game."
While Nanticoke can turn on the jets, Shamokin has a height-advantage over the Trojanettes. The Indians' rely heavily on 5-10 senior forward Steph Pancher in the paint. She is their go-to player on offense, but she's flanked by other strong front-court players in Olivia Bonshock and Kelsey Yacko.
"From their point guard on, they are bigger than us," Yendrzeiwski said. "I think the key to the game is going to be the tempo. They like to play a slower game and we play a more up-tempo game, so I think it's going to come down to who controls the flow of the game."
This is the second time this year Nanticoke and Shamokin will play. They met for a preseason scrimmage and Yendrzeiwski said his team fared well.
"I think we did OK, but you don't keep score in scrimmages, so there wasn't a winner," Yendrzeiwski said. "And that was in the beginning of the year, so I'm sure we've both improved a lot since then. But we still expect a tough game inside and we hold to hold down the fort in the lanes."

Nanticoke inside players stand as one

Nanticoke senior Katie Wolfe and junior Alex Holl have been playing basketball together their entire lives.
They aren’t ready to have that end, even if Holl’s reward would be a coveted varsity starting spot.
“We’ve been on the same team all our lives,” Holl said.
“The first time meeting Alex was when we got picked for all-stars,” Wolfe recalled. “We were both posts. I was kind of jealous of her then because I thought she was taking my spot.”
It turns out Wolfe got her spot. The senior is the starting center for the Trojanettes, who open Class 3A state tournament play 6 p.m. Saturday at Shikellamy High School against District 4 champion Shamokin.
“Katie has worked so hard,” Nanticoke coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “She’s a good athlete and uses all of her skills. The coaches saw that. That’s why she’s the (WVC Division III) MVP.”
But when Wolfe needs a break, or maybe has a foul or two, Holl is usually summoned to enter the game.
“Alex is a very good, very talented player,” Yendrzeiwski said. “She just has the unfortunate luck of playing the same position as the league MVP.”
As news of Wolfe’s exploits spread, words such as beast, dominating and dangerous were used. Holl was the super sub who allowed folks to make comparisons.
But enter a gym without a roster in hand and you’d never find the duo. There are no 6-foot-3 behemoths or lanky 6-5 girls with 9-foot wingspans in Nanticoke jerseys.
Wolfe is a modest 5-9, and Holl a virtually diminutive 5-7.
“We were the tallest players on the court back then,” Wolfe said of their biddy basketball days. “It’s kind of gone kind of backwards now – we’re the shortest players in the lane.
“Our game is to basically drive and use our quickness to our advantage,” Wolfe added. “We know we’re going to be quicker than whoever is defending us.”
“At first, you learn to just get to your spot,” Holl said of rebounding. “If they are taller than you, then you box out and be aggressive.”
The longtime teammates are hoping for an extended playoff run, and are looking forward to matchups against the 6-foot-plus centers they’ll see along the way. Unless Yendrzeiwski stands in the paint at practice, the only time they see such opposition is in the heat of battle.
“It’s always fun working against each other in practice,” Wolfe said. “She’s taught me to go after the ball. Alex is definitely an aggressive rebounder. I know when she gets into the game, she can get the job done.”
Holl has learned plenty, too, which is why she is able to have an impact in the limited minutes she usually sees as a reserve.
“I’ve learned pretty much everything from her,” Holl said of Wolfe. “I just learn from her being in the game and watching her play.”
Nanticoke’s offense works from the outside in, as the Trojanettes lead the WVC in scoring and three-point goals. The 13-player roster features nine guards.
Yet Wolfe was the team’s leading scorer (12.9 ppg) and Holl can score in bunches, as she did against Honesdale in the district final with eight points in the fourth quarter. Yet the vocal student section has yet to clamor for Yendrzeiwski to put his twin towers on the floor at the same time.
“No … but it would be nice,” Wolfe said. “It would be great if he put us in together.”
The lifelong teammates know that, from here on out, every game could be their last together.
“I’m definitely going to miss her, having her as a teammate,” Holl said.
Both hope that time doesn’t come for a few more weeks.

Coaches Name All-Stars - Division 3
Times Leader

Coach of the Year - Alan Yendrzeiwski - Nanticoke
Co-JV Coach of the Year-Barry Horvath - Lake Lehman/HeatherKowalski - Nanticoke Area
MVP - Katie Wolfe - 12- Nanticoke
Player of the Year -Nikki Sutliff - 12 - Lake Lehman
First Team: Samantha Gow, Nanticoke; Cayle Spencer -9- Lake Lehman; AliviaWomelsdork, Nanticoke; Danielle Tuzinski, Hanover Area; Amy Kowalczyk, Meyers; Kayley Schinski, Nanticoke.
Second Team: Sarah Shaffer, Norhtwest; Jessica Neare, Wyoming Seminary; Emily Sutton; Lake Lehman; Alex Brassington; Nanticoke; Salimah Biggs; Meyers; Jazma Robertson; Meyers; Brittany Sugalski, Nanticoke.
Honorable Mention: MacKenzie Winder, Meyers; Ann Romanowski; Wyoming Seminary; Haley Karg, Wyoming Seminary; Brianna DiMaggio, Meyers; CathyQuinones, Meyers; DeannaGill, Northwest; Maria Carrota, MMI; Rachel Stanziola, MMI; Marena Spence, GAR; Quieterriua Gross, GAR; Quinnea Gross, GAR; Brea Seabrook, GAR; Unique Twyman, GAR

Schinski’s late shot saves season
The junior sank a three-point shot at the end of OT to extend Nanticoke’s
Don Carey/the times leader
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Nanticoke’s Kayley Schinski had made 33 three-pointers this season as overtime began Saturday against Valley View.
As the buzzer sounded to end overtime, her 34th trey was rippling the net, giving the Trojanettes a 43-42 overtime victory in a District 2 Class 3A girls basketball quarterfinal at Pittston Area.
Then Schinski got a victory lap on the shoulders of her teammates.
“That was such a rush,” said Schinski, who finished with a game-high 13 points, of being carried by her teammates. “I’ve never done that before. That was the first time.”
Trailing 42-39, Sammy Gow made a free throw with eight seconds left in overtime for Nanticoke. The guard missed her second shot, and Brittany Sugalski and Valley View’s Caroline Mancuso both tried to corral the rebound.
Officials called a jump ball with 4.2 seconds on the clock.
“We actually wanted to run a play to get two (points),” Nanticoke coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “But we ran the play for the three, and that was just a great shot. Think about it … she misses that and our season is over.”
Gow inbounded the ball from the baseline to Schinski, who had backed away from a stack of teammates along the lane. After uncharacteristic turnovers in the waning moments of regulation and the final minute of OT, Schinski showed poise beyond her years.
The junior released a shot that she knew was true the second it left her hands.
“Sam just threw me the perfect pass,” Schinski said. “It had been a very tough game. But we just set up the right play and executed it.”
Nanticoke struggled with foul troubles throughout the game, with post players Katie Wolfe and Alex Holl both getting three fouls in the first half. Both had fouled out by the midpoint of overtime.
“When you’re not shooting well and your bigs are in foul trouble all game, it’s tough,” Yendrzeiwski said. “You have to give Valley View a ton of credit. They played a great game. But we had a couple of kids step up when we needed.”
There were nine lead changes and four ties. Nanticoke was just 4-of-19 from the floor in the first half, but used its defense to stay in the game. Alex Brassington had two steals, and Sugalski and Gow each one in the final two minutes of regulation. Sugalski had another steal with less than 30 seconds remaining in overtime to thwart Valley View, which held a 41-39 at the time.
“We did get a little frustrated,” Schinski said of the team’s offensive woes. “But we did play great defense (forcing 28 turnovers). Defense is our thing. We just try to get into passing lanes. We ended up pulling it all together at the end.”
Nanticoke advances to play Scranton Prep, a 40-36 winner over Pittston Area on Saturday, in the district semifinals Wednesday. The winner advances to the state tournament.
Nanticoke 43, Valley View 42

VALLEY VIEW (42): Stafarsky 0 0-0 0, Aniska 1 2-4 4, M. Mecca 1 2-3 4, McElroy 0 0-2 0, Bartkowski 3 0-0 8, B. Mecca 1 2-4 4, Mancuso 4 5-5 13, Cholish 0 1-2 1, Palko 4 0-1 8. Totals 14 12-21 42.
NANTICOKE (43): Higgins 0 2-2 2, Brassington 2 0-2 5, Sugalski 0 2-2 2, Wolfe 2 3-5 7, Schinski 4 2-4 13, Yalch 0 0-0 0, Gow 3 1-2 10, Holl 1 2-2 4. Totals 12 12-19 43.
Valley View 9 9 6 18 — 42
Nanticoke 6 10 13 14 — 43
3-Point Field Goals— VV 2 (Bartkowski 2); NAN 7 (Schinski 3, Gow 3, Brassington).

With a late run, Nanticoke cruises

What could have been a nightmare quickly became a dream finish, as Nanticoke broke open a one-point game midway through the third quarter to defeat Lake-Lehman 60-42 in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division III championship on Monday at Holy Redeemer.
The Trojanettes (21-2) didn’t get the big games they may have wanted from top scorers Katie Wolfe and Samantha Gow (combined 24 points per game), but they got contributions up and down their lineup.
"Wolfey had a tough start, getting those three fouls in the first 3-4 minutes,” Nanticoke coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “Alex Holl, though … what a fantastic first half. She stepped in for Wolfey and did an excellent job getting some baskets for us.”
Holl, whose season high was 11 points in a win over Northwest on Jan. 30, had 10 points in the first half while Wolfe sat.
There were four lead changes and three ties in a tightly-contested first half. The game stayed close well into the third quarter, and the Black Knights (17-6) worked a five-point play to cut the Nanticoke lead to 25-24.
Emily Sutton put home an offensive rebound and earned a free throw, which she sank. On the ensuing inbound play, a miscommunication between the Trojanettes put the entry pass directly into Nikki Sutliff’s hands for an uncontested layup.
The miscue seemed to spark Nanticoke, which scored 14 of the next 17 points. Kayley Schinski, who made the errant pass, drilled consecutive threes, followed by a trey by Alex Brassington. In 57 seconds, a three-point Nanticoke lead was extended 37-25.
"We’re a three-point shooting team, and we can stretch a lead quickly,” Yendrzeiwski said. “Schinski is a great athlete and is able to make a mistake and atone for it. She hit a couple of big threes from the left side, and then Brassington connects from the other wing and the lead is 12.”
Brassington had a game-high 17 points, leading four Trojanettes in double figures. Schinski had 15 points, and Katie Wolfe had 11 points and seven rebounds. Alex Holl had 10 points, all in the first half. Brittany Sugalski had seven rebounds and three steals, and Gow finished with five assists.
Sutton paced Lake-Lehman with 14 points and had seven rebounds. Cayle Spencer added 12 points and eight rebounds, and Sutliff posted 11 points. Carol Mosier had six rebounds for the Black Knights.

LAKE-LEHMAN (42): N. Sutliff 4 2-4 11, Brooks 0 0-0 0, Konopinski 0 0-0 0, Sutton 6 2-5 14, Mosier 1 1-2 3, Moosic 0 0-0 0, B. Williams 0 0-0 0, Leskowsky 0 0-0 0, Mahoney 0 0-0 0, Spencer 3 6-10 12, D. Sutliff 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 11-21 42.
NANTICOKE (60): Higgins 0 0-0 0, Brassington 4 7-8 17, Sugalski 1 0-0 2, Wolfe 5 1-2 11, Schinski 4 4-4 15, Yalch 0 0-0 0, Gow 2 0-1 5, Holl 5 0-1 10. Totals 21 12-16 60.
Lake-Lehman 12 5 10 15 — 42
Nanticoke 9 14 16 21 — 60

3-Point Field Goals— LEH 1 (N. Sutliff); NAN

Holl comes off bench to rally Trojanettes past Lake-Lehman
Jill Snowdon - Citizens Voice

The potential was there for Nanticoke Area to crumble early after leading scorer Katie Wolfe took a seat with three personal fouls in the opening minutes of the Trojanettes' Division 3 championship game with Lake-Lehman on Monday night.
Instead, Trojanettes' coach Allen Yendrziewski asked his bench to shoulder the responsibilities.
Depth and clutch shooting in the second half helped Nanticoke earn its first Division III title in three years with a 60-42 win at Holy Redeemer's gym.
Lehman won the division title the last two seasons and finishes the regular season at 13-2 in conference play. Nanticoke finishes the regular season at 14-1. Both teams continue on in the District 2 tournament, which begins later this week.
"We're lucky to be eight-deep," Yendrziewski said. "We tell the kids all the time to pay attention while you're on the bench because if you get in the game, it's important for you to be able to contribute and step up. And boy, Alex Holl did that for us tonight."
Holl replaced Wolfe with 4:12 remaining in the first quarter. The junior reserve scored eight of her 10 points in the second quarter, including six points in a three-minute span that gave Nanticoke a lead it would never relinquish.
Nanticoke shot just 4-for-21 in the first quarter and, coupled with the loss of Wolfe, Lehman built a 12-9 lead heading into the second quarter. Nikki Sutliff nailed a 3-pointer to give Lehman a 15-13 lead in the second before Holl took over under the basket.
"We weren't shooting the ball well and then Katie got into foul trouble, so we were out of sorts there early on," Yendrziewski said. "Thankfully, Alex came off the bench and did a fantastic job."
Lehman came within one point in the third quarter after Emily Sutton scored on a rebound and a free throw and Sutliff picked off an inbounds pass and laid it in, trimming the score to 25-24.
Nanticoke's outside shooting caught fire moments later as Kayley Schinski hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Alex Brassington added another to put the Trojanettes ahead, 37-25. Brassington finished the third quarter with eight points.
The Black Knights kept within 10 points on baskets from Cayle Spencer and Sutton to start the fourth, but 3-pointers from Sammy Gow and Schinski allowed Nanticoke to maintain its lead. Wolfe, who returned to the line-up in the third quarter, scored all 11 of her points in the final stanza, including nine straight as Nanticoke built a 56-35 lead.
"It was a little frustrating," Wolfe said of sitting out most of the first half. "My teammates backed me up and did a great job. And after sitting out the first half, I felt like I had some unfinished business to take care of."
Brassington led Nanticoke with 17 and Schinski followed with 15 for Nanticoke. Sutton and Spencer led Lehman with 14 and 12 points, respectively, while Sutliff tallied 11.
"You have to take every opportunity against a team like Nanticoke," Lehman coach Charlie Lavan said. "Give them credit because they took us right out of our offense. We started off running things OK and then we couldn't get into anything. Everything has to go right when you play a team as good as they are. It was a learning experience for us and I told them to take that into districts."

A trip back to the top of the WVC standings
Paul Sokoloski Opinion - Times Leader

Three years without a girls basketball championship isn’t just a long time for Nanticoke Area.
It’s almost a lifetime.
And a lot of life appeared to leave the Trojans when their scoring star walked out the door very early this season.
They didn’t know it then, but that only helped drive Nanticoke Area back to the top.
The scoreboard said Nanticoke Area got there Monday by pulling away from its nemesis Lake-Lehman, 60-42, in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division III championship game at Holy Redeemer High School.
The truth is, the Trojans turned themselves into champions long before that.
“It means a lot to us,” Nanticoke Area sharp-shooting guard Kayley Schinski said. “We work hard every day.
“We picked ourselves up.”
She didn’t just mean in a title game Nanticoke Area trailed after a quarter and was still a dogfight well into the second half.
“You train your Chihuahuas,” Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said, “to think they’re German Shepherds.”
The Trojanettes always believed they could play bigger than they were, because they weren’t going over the top any other way.
Part of that comes from their storied history, filled with league and district titles and even a state championship that is still the standard at Nanticoke Area.
“We’re lucky. We have a strong tradition,” Yendrzeiwski said. “Every day at practice, we have the banners on the wall.”
They didn’t have any lately.
And the Trojanettes don’t have any 6-foot players this season, they don’t have the talent or tenacity that took their 1990 team to a state title and they didn’t have their top scorer anymore from the start of the new year.
What the Trojans do have is faith in each other.
“We all pulled through, made some adjustments,” Nanticoke Area guard Alex Brassington said.
Now they’ve altered the standings.
“Even though we lost a player,” Schinski said, “we’re still on top and doing just as good.”
They are doing it with a team concept, in a galaxy where anyone can become a shooting star at any time.
Take Monday’s division-clincher, for example.
Katie Wolfe, Nanticoke Area’s top scorer of this season, didn’t even get on the board until her team had a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.
But Brassington carried the Trojans through the first quarter with the first five of her team-high 17 points. And Schinski’s two 3-pointers in the final two minutes of the third quarter turned a tight battle into a blowout against a Lehman team trying to win its fourth straight division title.
“Once one person makes a shot,” Brassington said, “usually we all go off out there. We psyched ourselves up during halftime.”
Actually, the mind over matter part came long before that. “We really know how to work as a team,” Schinski said.
“Our kids are a tight-knit group,” Yendrzeiwski said. “They really play well together.”
It is why the Trojans played their way right out of the doldrums, and all the way back to the top.

Nanticoke girls claim D-3 title
Citizens Voice

Nanticoke Area captured the Division III first half championship with a 74-31 win over visiting Hanover Area on Friday night.
Alex Brassington scored a game-high 23 points. Sammy Gow nailed five 3-pointers and chipped in with 15 points.
Hanover Area (31)
D. Tuzinski 3 5-8 11, K. Zuranski 3 1-2 8, B. Miller 2 1-2 5, J. Smith 1 1-2 3, T. McCary 1 0-0 2, S. Masher 1 0-0 2, A. Grohowski 0 0-0 0, . Sirak 0 0-0 0, J. Mizenko 0 0-0 0, M. Kaminski 0 0-0 0, Totals 11 8-14 31.
Nanticoke (74)
A. Brassington 9 2-4 23, S. Gow 5 1-2 15, K. Wolfe 5 4-5 14, K. Schinski 4 2-3 11, A. Holl 2 0-0 4, C. Yalch 1 1-2 3, B. Sugalski 1 0-0 2, S. Higgins 1 0-0 2, H. Hughes 0 0-0 0, C. Swanberry 0 0-0 0, H. Kile 0 0-0 0, Totals 28 10-16 74.
Hanover Area 8 10 10 3-31
Nanticoke 23 17 21 13-74
3-point goals: Zuranski (H) 1, S. Gow (N) 4, Brassington (N) 3, Schinski (N) 1.

A fitting showing
Trojans make grad proud in win over Lehman

Now this was a girls basketball performance that’d make even a school’s all-time leading scorer smile.
The Nanticoke Area Trojans produced flurries of points – and plenty of them – while bringing back recollections of their glory days.
Good timing, too.
On a night when the Trojans retired the No. 15 jersey of Aly Byorick, her old team used a 17-point outburst by Sammy Gow and received 15 from Katie Wolfe to lash Lake-Lehman, 58-34 at the Nanticoke Area gym.
That’s where Byorick made her legend before graduating in 2007, putting up 2,271 career points – a school record for boys or girls – while leading Nanticoke Area to a combined 58-2 overall record during her final two high school seasons.
She became the first Nanticoke Area girls player to hang her number high on the gym wall, joining former boys basketball stars Paul Guffrovich – who ironically also wore No. 15 – and Ken Casey as the only basketball players to have jerseys retired by the school.
“This is a special, great honor for me,” said Byorick, now in her senior season playing for a Lehigh University team picked to finish second in the Patriot League.
Byorick thanked her past teammates for helping her reach such heights, saying, “Although it’s my name and number going up on the wall, I would never have been able to do anything without you guys.”
And many of her current Lehigh teammates drove up from Bethlehem to watch Byorick receive the honor.
Then the today’s Trojans honored her by opening up a nine-point halftime lead that grew to 45-27 by the end of the third quarter.
“When Aly was a senior, we were just in junior high,” Wolfe, a forward, said. “I remember coming to the varsity games and looking up to her.”
Most of the night, Lehman was trying to play catch-up.
Wolfe scored six points inside and Gow drilled a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter as Nanticoke Area forged an early five-point lead.
Despite getting a team-high 11 points from Cayle Spencer, the Black Knights could keep their deficit from expanding after halftime.
Gow and Wolfe were again the main reasons, as both scored six points in the third quarter to give Nanticoke Area a 45-27 advantage with a quarter to play.
“We’ve been waiting for this one for a long time,” Wolfe said.
On the defensive end, the Trojans held Lehman under 10 points during every quarter.
“This team just seems to keep getting better every game, every day, every practice,” Nanticoke Area coach Allen Yendrzeiwski said.

LAKE-LEHMAN (34): Mosier 0 0-0 0, Spencer 5 0-0 11, Sutton 4 1-2 9, Sutliff 2 4-8 8, Mahoney 2 0-2 4, Moosic 0 0-0 0, Williams 0 0-0 0, Brooks 0 0-0 0, Konopinski 1 0-0 2, Leskowsky 0 0-2 0. Totals 14 5-14 34.
NANTICOKE AREA (58): Brassington 3 1-4 7, Schinski 1 0-3 2, Sugalski 3 0-0 7, Wolfe 7 1-2 15, Gow 7 0-0 17, Higgins 0 0-0 0, Yalch 1 2-2 5, Holl 1 0-0 2, Kile 0 1-2 1, Swanberry 0 0-0 0, Butczynski 1 0-0 2, Hughes 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 5-13 58.
Lake-Lehman 9 9 9 7 — 34
Nanticoke Area 14 13 18 13 — 58
3-Point Field Goals— LL 1 (Spencer); GNA 4 (Gow 3, Yalch).


Times Leader

Nanticoke turned back persistent comeback efforts from West Scranton and Riverside to claim the girls’ championship of the 25th annual Taylor Lions Tournament.
Tournament Most Valuable Player Katie Wolfe carried the Trojanettes past West Scranton, 54-50, in Monday’s first round.
Alex Brassington made the plays down the stretch for a 53-51 victory over host Riverside in Wednesday’s final.
The Trojanettes (6-1) have the best overall record among Wyoming Valley Conference Division 3 teams heading into the start of conference play. Riverside fell to 5-3 and West Scranton to 4-4.
Brassington had five of her 13 points in overtime and partially blocked Riverside’s last shot attempt in the championship game.
Nanticoke had an eight-point lead until Riverside scored the last seven points of the first quarter, a nine-point lead until the Lady Vikes scored the last six of the half, and a six-point lead with five minutes remaining.
The teams then battled through six ties and four lead changes in the final three minutes of regulation and the four-minute overtime period.
Brassington was involved in most of the key plays down the stretch. One of her drives with 12 seconds left in regulation forced overtime and another with 26 seconds left in the extra period put the Trojanettes ahead to stay.
Cassie Yalch and Brassington ended a streak of 12 straight missed 3-pointers by Nanticoke by hitting consecutive bombs less than a minute apart midway through overtime.
“We had some foul trouble, but the girls who came in stepped up and made big plays like Yalch’s three in overtime,” Nanticoke coach Alan Yendrziewski said.
Wolfe, one of three starters to foul out, finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and three steals in the final.
All-tournament choice Samantha Gow had 15 points, including hitting one of two free throws with 4.9 seconds left in overtime for the game’s final points.
All-tournament choice Rebecca Mekilo led Riverside with her second straight 17-point game. She hit three 3-pointers.
Sam Donahue had 10 points and 10 rebounds while Taylor Berto added nine rebounds and three steals for the Lady Vikes.
Wolfe scored 27 points in the win over West Scranton and spent the game trading control with Lady Invaders center Katie Hart.
Wolfe had eight points in the first quarter to help Nanticoke to a 16-7 lead.
Hart had eight in the second to close the gap to 22-20 at halftime.
Hart had 10 points and Wolfe had nine in the third quarter when the teams matched 17 points each.
Wolfe then scored eight more in the fourth.
Hart, who finished with 22, and Jane Joyce, who had 12, went on to make the all-tournament team for West Scranton.

Several teams built for deep playoff runs
Crestwood, Nanticoke and Valley West are the cream of a deep conference crop.


The battle for supremacy in the Wyoming Valley Conference appears to be a three-team race between Nanticoke, Wyoming Valley West and Crestwood.
At least on paper, that is.
But you can’t discount perennial power Holy Redeemer and Pittston Area, which could prove to be a dragon slayer.
Nanticoke ended last season with a heartbreaking loss to Holy Redeemer in the opening round of the District 2, Class 2A playoffs. This year, the Trojanettes have their sights set much higher—winning the district championship and possibly making a deep run in the state tournament.
“We have a lot of potential, no doubt” coach Alan Yendrziewski said. “Our kids are hungry for it. If there was every any doubt we couldn’t take games from the best teams in the area, it has been removed.”
Nanticoke is quick, talented and deep.
Led by junior forward Kayley Schinski and senior Teresa Kalinay, the Trojanettes have the potential to put up points in droves. Their full-court press makes them terrors on defense.
Most importantly, Nanticoke is 10-deep, giving Yendrziewski the luxury of making regular substitutions without losing skilled players. Its game offensively is racehorse basketball.
“We’re a perimeter oriented team,” Yendrziewski said. “We like to shoot and put defensive pressure on our opponents. We have a lot of experienced players that play at a high level.”
Nanticoke isn’t big. Its starting center is 5-9 senior Katie Wolfe, but the Trojanettes blistering speed is capable of creating chaos.
Yendrziewski said Wolfe is the team’s most improved player.
“She worked on her jump shot and extended her range,” he said. “She’s a tough kid who is not afraid to bang inside with the biggest players in the league.”

Times Leader
Coach: Alan Yendrzeiwski

Last year: 17-7
Key players lost: Paige Pientka, Clarissa Tarnowski, Katie Blockus, Holly Kile

Players to watch: Kayley Schinski, Jr.; Teresa Kalinay. Sr.; Sammy Gow, Sr.; Katie Wolfe, Sr.; Brittany Sugalski, Jr.; Alex Brassington, Jr.; Cassie Yalch, Sr.

Outlook: The Trojanettes are loaded with talent, led by the 5-10 Schinski, who is one of the quickest players in the WVC. “She’s a tremendous athlete, and improved her shot in the off season,” Yendrziewski said. The sharp-shooting Kalinay led Nanticoke in scoring last year, and has tremendous accuracy. Gow is a returning all-star, and Wolfe is superb post player. The sky’s the limit for Nanticoke, which appears to be a team without a weakness.