coaches announce all-star basketball teams
MVP: Riley Klepadlo, Nanticoke Area
of the Year: Cayle Spencer, Lake-Lehman
of the Year: Alan Yendrzeiwski, Nanticoke Area
Coach of the Year: Alison Wolfgang, Wyoming Area
team: Gianna Roberts, Nanticoke Area; Deanna Thomas, Nanticoke Area;
Brea Seabrook, GAR; Asdone Hooper, Hanover Area; Sarah Holweg, Wyoming Area
team: Haylee Bobos, Hanover Area; Amber Grohowski, Hanover Area; Julia Eneboe,
Lake-Lehman; Katie Wolfgang, Wyoming Area; Marie Skrepenak, GAR
Area girls have a winning attitude
Matt Bufano - Citizens Voice
did the Nanticoke Area Trojanettes come this far?
Its a fair question
given their average-sized, underclassmen-heavy roster that includes six sophomores
and just one senior.
But here they are, riding a 14-game win streak. Having
already won the WVCs Division 2 title, the Trojanettes are one win away
from advancing to the state playoffs and this success should not come as
The team that is up there right now, they dont take
a backseat, said Nanticoke Area junior high coach Gerard Rentko. No
team likes to be down. But if theyre down, theyre a team that knows
how to come back.
Rentkos word is one that should be taken with
confidence. A 30-year junior high coach, about 18 of which have been at Nanticoke
Area, Rentko over time has learned to tell the great apart from the not-so-great.
years Trojanettes have been closer to great their whole careers.
the current junior class was in eighth grade, the junior high team went 21-2,
Rentko said. In the following year, the current batch of sophomores went 20-1.
both seasons, they won their division competing against the same schools they
face in varsity.
Years ago, varsity head coach Alan Yendrzeiwski took notice
of the success the Trojanettes were having at the junior high and freshman levels.
He said a thought in the back of his mind was, OK, we definitely have something
to work with.
But even before that, the current crop of talent enjoyed
success at an early age, including the sophomores, who have played together since
Being able to keep that close of a bond with the girls
throughout high school, middle school and growing up its something
special, sophomore point guard Riley Klepadlo said.
The trophy collection
of Klepadlo and her fellow sophomores is an extensive one that dates back to elementary
school, and even includes a championship win in the 2012 Winter Challenge tournament
in Syracuse, New York.
As the head coach, Yendrzeiwskis responsibilities
include helping players reach their full potential and establishing roles for
everyone on the team, which could be a bit challenging.
However, given the
history this team shares, players generally know what they need to do.
understand each other without really having to say much, junior Gianna Roberts
For a historical perspective, the 1990 Trojanettes, who won the PIAA
Class AAA championship with a perfect 30-0 record, were led by five seniors that
played together since junior high.
The advantage to be gained from having a
team that knows one another so well is apparent for the Trojanettes, as on-court
communication is one of Nanticoke Areas strengths.
so used to playing with each other that, communication-wise, its so much
easier than when we started, Klepadlo said.
However, raw talent is perhaps
the main reason why the Trojanettes are winning.
An all-around player who often
racks up the rebounds, steals and assists, Klepadlo averages 13.3 points per game
and was recently crowned MVP of Division 2 by the WVC Girls Basketball Coaches
Roberts and senior Deanna Thomas average 13.5 and 11.7 ppg, respectively.
sophomore/junior/senior trio agreed in unison that they saw something special
with this team from the first practice for the 2014-15 season.
harder than weve ever worked in the past, Thomas said. Over
the summer, we were going hard and just coming up from day one, we knew that it
was going to pay off.
Several years removed from coaching these Trojanettes,
Rentko still follows the team closely.
These kids, if they had me for
one year, they have me for the rest of their life, he said with a laugh.
the other Trojanettes who have translated junior high-to-varsity success are junior
Amber Grohowski, and sophomores Cassie Novakowski, Keira Brown and Kayla Aufiero.
said where this team succeeded in carrying over success to the varsity level,
whereas others failed, is the players got stronger, and simply, They have
the heart and desire to get better.
Nanticoke Areas win streak
will be put to the test Wednesday, when it faces North Pocono at 6 p.m. at Wilkes
in the District 2 Class AAA semifinals.
climb from worst to 1st
Matt Bufano - Citizens Voice
Nanticoke Areas luck was the absolute worst.
all the possible draws, the Trojanettes were paired with returning PIAA semifinalist
Holy Redeemer for their first league game of the season. The Trojanettes were
predictably blown out and instantly found themselves at the bottom of Division
It was one game, said Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski.
We had the whole season in front of us.
Taking it one game at a
time, the Trojanettes are now what they set out to be: Division champs.
the Trojanettes got here is in the numbers: 10 straight wins, an average margin
of victory of 15 points in that streak, and three shooters that on any given night
can lead the team in points.
In the 10-game win streak, Gianna Roberts (13.6
points per game), Riley Klepadlo (13.3) and Deanna Thomas (10.9) have each averaged
double figures. Thomas is the teams lone senior and only holdover from the
last Nanticoke Area team that won a division championship in 2012.
gained sole possession of first place in Division 2 on Jan. 19 with a win over
Hanover Area. In the win, Nanticoke Area point guard Klepadlo, the most talented
in a group of several sophomores seeing valuable playing time, scored 17 points
and hauled in 12 rebounds.
The division-clinching win came Saturday, a 59-32
blowout over Lake-Lehman, in which the trio of Roberts, Klepadlo and Thomas combined
for 43 points.
(Lake-Lehman) was a very good team and our kids just took
it up an extra notch today and probably played their best game of the season,
Yendrzeiwski said on Saturday.
The scary part for opponents, according to Yendrzeiwski,
is the best is yet to come.
Our girls are still getting better. They
havent peaked yet, Yendrzeiwski said. Still getting better,
still fairly young. ... Were still improving and as a coach, thats
a fantastic feeling.
Area wraps up WVC Division II title with victory over Lake-Lehman
Roberts scores 17 as Nanticoke Area locks up crown
excitement began to build in a boisterous Nanticoke Area locker room, long before
the Trojanettes charged onto their home floor.
After waiting three long years,
they were so close to a title, they could practically touch it.
As it turned
out, nobody in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division II could touch the Trojanettes
Gianna Roberts pounded the inside with 17 points Saturday, sharp-shooters
Riley Klepadlo and Deanna Thomas combined for 26 more and Nanticoke Area nailed
down its first girls basketball league championship since 2012 by disposing of
We needed this, we got it, we worked hard for it,
said Thomas, a senior guard. We havent won a division title since
2012, when I was a freshman. To come back and be able to cut down the net again
is just great.
We really saw what we can do as a team today.
showed them the way.
Playing primarily in the paint, Roberts helped Nanticoke
Area paint a much different picture of itself than the gun-slinging team that
riddled most of its opponents from the perimeter throughout the 2014-15 season.
Roberts gave the guards a bit of a break, bolting out of the gates with four inside
baskets for eight points in the opening quarter. Pretty soon, the Trojanettes
were on their way to a Division II title celebration with a record of 10-1 in
league play and 15-2 overall.
Its a great memory Im always
going to have with my teammates, Roberts said. We got pumped up in
the locker room, together as a team. We really wanted this.
With Roberts taking care of things underneath, Nanticoke Areas
guards got going from the outside.
Klepadlo popped a 3-pointer among her eight
points in the opening quarter as the Trojanettes stormed to an 18-7 lead over
Lehman - the last team left that had a shot at forcing a playoff with Nanticoke
Area for the Division II title before dropping to 6-5 in Division II and to 10-9
overall with two league games remaining.
That margin grew to 18 points by halftime,
as Klepadlo put up five more points in the second quarter and Thomas added five
points in the first half.
You have to have a little bit of everything,
In the second half, Roberts gave the Trojanettes more to feast
She pounded home seven more points in the third quarter, using quick,
power moves under the bucket while drawing raves from her teammates - especially
on one super-smooth play that she started and finished.
Gianna was phenomenal
today, Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. The third quarter,
she starts the fast-break, gets it on the fast-break and then banks it in.
always nice to start inside first.
It helped turn the whole game inside-out.
my goodness, our inside game improved tremendously, Thomas said. Gianna
just drove everything. Once she gets on a roll, shes on fire. Once we feed
it into the paint, not only does it open it up for her, it opens everything up
Once again, defense opened the door for Nanticoke Areas
10th straight victory.
Lake-Lehman managed just 19 points through the first
three quarters, and fell behind 53-19 with eight minutes remaining. It didnt
help the Black Knights that starter Julia Eneboe was taken from the floor on a
stretcher with an apparent upper body injury midway through the second quarter.
be able to accomplish something together is an amazing feeling, Thomas said.
The way we put in work during the summer, I mean, we practiced every day,
practiced hard. All that extra time we put in made us a championship-caliber team.
We always worked hard.
But I think there was something special here this
That was evidenced by by a title the Trojanettes went after with
all their might, which was secured with a net-cutting celebration that energized
their Saturday night.
It feels great, Yendrzeiwski said. The
kids have worked hard for a real long time. Its nice to celebrate, because
our year was great.
Im just happy for our kids.
Area 59, Lake-Lehman 32
LAKE-LEHMAN (32) Katie
Bartuska 3 0-2 6, Cayle Spencer 3 5-9 11, Julia Eneboe 1 0-2 3, Molly Storz 1
0-0 2, Miranda Parry 0 0-2 0, Janelle Cawley 2 2-2 6, Mackenzie Love 1 0-3 2,
Lauren Cunius 0 0-0 0, Cassandra Konopki 1 0-1 2. Totals 12 7-21 32.
AREA (59) Gianna Roberts 8 1-3 17, Riley Klepadlo 6 2-2 16, Kayla Aufiero
1 2-2 4, Amber Grohowski 1 1-2 3, Deanna Thomas 3 3-4 10, Cassie Novakowski 2
0-0 4, Kiera Brown 0 2-2 2, Chaquanna Zendarski 0 0-0 0, Jordan Bavitz 0 0-0 0,
Katie Butczynski 0 0-0 0, Miranda Dunn 1 0-0 3, Alexis Pyzia 0 0-0 0. Totals 22
LL 1 (Eneboe); NAN 4 (Klepadlo 2, Thomas, Dunn).