4/3/2016
2015-16 Citizens' Voice girls basketball all-star team
Matt Bufano - Citizens Voice

GIANNA ROBERTS

School: Nanticoke Area

Year: Senior

Position: Forward

A terrific rebounder with great touch around the basket. Led the Trojanettes in ppg (15.5) while scoring 20-plus points in 10 games. Scored her 1,000th career point in Nanticoke Area’s first-round loss in the state playoffs.


KAYLA AUFIERO

School: Nanticoke Area

Year: Junior

Position: Guard

One of the WVC’s most improved players. Averaged 14.8 ppg (up from 5.3 last season); made 60 3-pointers (up from nine); and scored in double-digits 23 times for the WVC Division 2 champs.

3/6/2016
Danville holds off Nanticoke Area
Matt Bufano - Citizens Voice

On paper, few opening-round games in the girls basketball state playoffs packed the intrigue of Nanticoke Area vs. Danville.
Between them, a pair of regular-season conference titles and only four combined losses.
Then came the actual contest, which lived up to the hype down to the final minutes, as Danville outlasted Nanticoke Area, 38-34, in the first round of the PIAA Class AAA Championships at Shamokin Area High School.
While an evenly matched contest, Danville (27-1) had one distinct advantage with its 6-foot forward Amber Renz, who is the school’s all-time leading scorer in girls or boys basketball.
Renz scored a game-high 23 points and netted eight of nine free throw attempts, including five in the fourth quarter to reclaim the lead. The senior is at 1,707 career points and counting.
“I thought she really carried them tonight,” said Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski.
Renz also had five of her team’s 12 steals, as Danville held Nanticoke Area (23-4) to its lowest point total of the season.
But after struggling early — the Trojanettes had made only one of nine free throw attempts and trailed 21-16 at halftime — things started coming together for the Trojanettes.
In the third quarter, senior forward Gianna Roberts was congratulated by members of each team on the court after scoring down low, giving her 1,000 career points.
“It meant a lot,” Roberts said of the milestone, “but being with my teammates and getting to play in a state game meant more to me.”
Nanticoke Area then opened up an 8-0 run to start the fourth quarter, going ahead 33-32 after Roberts converted both free throws on a one-and-one.
Roberts finished with 13 points, while fellow senior forward Chaquanna Zendarski added 12. Those points in the paint were paramount to Nanticoke Area as Danville had done an excellent job defensively of taking away perimeter looks.
But since Nanticoke Area had taken the lead with about five minutes remaining, Danville had plenty of time to mount its comeback. Renz then made five of six free throws and Nanticoke Area went scoreless for several minutes as time wound down.
“Our kids played their guts out. We got down early, and we fought back,” Yendrzeiwski said. “We took the lead there in the fourth quarter — and I thought we had some good momentum going — but obviously you can’t shoot seven of 22 from the foul line in the state playoffs; you just can’t. But I don’t want to take anything away from our kids. They played their hearts out. I’m very proud of them. It was a great season for them.”
Next season’s team returns several key pieces from this year’s WVC Division 2 championship team, including starters Katie Butczynski (six points) and Kayla Aufiero (three); as well as Alexis Pyzia and Lisa Radziak, plus the WVC Division 2 MVP of a year ago, Riley Klepadlo, who missed the season with a knee injury.
“For our underclassmen, I’m just going to say to them, ‘We’re going to back. We’ll be back,’” Yendrzeiwski said. “... I hope (this season is) something that we can build on.”

3/4/2016
Trojanettes trusting teamwork to take them on a state playoff run
From super subs to stalwart starters, Nanticoke Area taking teamwork into state playoffs

psokoloski@timesleader.com

Always in the middle of the action, Gianna Roberts typically scores a lot.
Usually on the outside looking in, Amber Grohowski hardly gets any points at all.
But whether they’re making baskets or preventing other teams from getting them, each member of Nanticoke Area’s girls basketball team seems to find a way to influence the outcome.
That’s a big reason why the Trojanettes are going back to the state playoffs for a 5 p.m. PIAA Class 3A opener Saturday against 26-1 Danville at Shamokin High School.
“It’s definitely awesome,” Grohowski said. “Everybody has a part in our team. It’s definitely amazing to know if some of our girls aren’t doing as well, we have other players we can look to. It’s everybody doing what they’re supposed to.”
The 23-3 Trojanettes believed they were supposed to be playing for a District 2 championship.
But after entering as the top-seeded team in the district tourney, Nanticoke Area had a 15-game winning streak snapped when a furious fourth-quarter rally in the semifinals fell just short during a 40-36 loss to Scranton Prep.
The dejection from missing out on a district title bid lingered until the Trojanettes survived an 80-73 double-overtime victory against Wyoming Area in the tourney’s third-place game to enter states as the No. 3 representative from District 2.
“As disappointing as (the Scranton Prep) game was for us, we talked to the kids about showing their dedication to being here,” Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “I’m so proud of our kids.”
All of them.
Because from stalwart starters to super subs, the state playoff-clinching victory shined a spotlight on teamwork of the Trojanettes.
Roberts, one of the Wyoming Valley Conference’s top scorers, finished with 29 points while controlling the paint while Kayla Aufiero played through cramps and a sore hamstring to bury four 3-point field goals and finish with 21 points.
But Lisa Radziak came off the bench to pop four 3-pointers and score 15 points, while light-scoring senior guard Grohowski sealed the game by hitting all four of her foul shots in the second overtime — the only points she scored all night.
“Our strength is that we don’t give up,” Grohowski said.
That mindset gave the Trojanettes their first state appearance since 2002, when current assistant coach Sammy Gow was a player on the team that beat Shamokin in a first-round state game before falling in the second round.
“We haven’t been there in a few years,” Grohowski said. “For it to be my senior year, just going to the state playoffs is an amazing feeling.”
The Trojanettes will meet a team rolling through an amazing season.
Danville won its first 17 games, defeated Mifflinburg 56-44 for the school’s first District 4 title since 2005 and is ranked as the No. 5 Class 3A team in the state.
The Ironmen are led by 5-foot-10 senior forward Amber Rentz, the top scorer in District 4 who has more than 1,700 career points, along with 5-11 senior center Riley Glass and ball-hawking freshman captain Paige Harris, a 5-4 guard.
But the Trojanettes are pumped up for the challenge of finally playing a game in the state field.
“Being a senior, I think it’s an awesome thing to do,” Roberts said. “We never got a chance to do it before.”

2/25/2016
Trojanettes outlast Warriors for dramatic double-OT victory
Matt Bufano Citizens Voice

Nanticoke Area head coach Alan Yendrzeiwski addressed his team Tuesday with a simple question.
“What kind of heart do we have?” Yendrzeiwski recalled himself asking, one day after his top-seeded Trojanettes were upset in the semifinals of the District 2 Class AAA playoffs. “What kind of character (do we have) to bounce back?”
The seventh-year head coach received a clear answer from his players with their response on the court Wednesday night in front of a standing-room-only crowd at Holy Redeemer.
Through all the craziness — double-overtime, a near-record performance by an opponent, and 23 lead-changes — Nanticoke Area defeated Wyoming Area, 80-73, in the District 2 Class AAA third-place game.
The win secures Nanticoke Area its seventh appearance in the state playoffs in the last 13 years, but the first for its senior class. Nanticoke Area will play the District 4 champion — Danville or Mifflinburg — in the first round of the PIAA playoffs.
“I thought it was a great game. It’s something that I’m going to remember forever,” Yendrzeiwski said. “But more importantly, I hope it’s something our kids remember.”
Rest assured, senior Amber Grohowski said she’ll long-remember the game, adding, “Being with my team, celebrating that win, that’s just pretty awesome.”
It was Gianna Roberts and her dominant inside presence, scoring 29 points with 12 rebounds, who put Nanticoke Area in position to win. Don’t forget Lisa Radziak and Kayla Aufiero, who each made four 3-pointers, along with a host of other Trojanettes who battled in the intense game.
But Grohowski, who scored only four points all game, came through with arguably the game’s four most important points.
As Nanticoke Area attempted to hold off a 41-point performance by Sarah Holweg (less than one week after she scored a school-record 44 points), Grohowski stepped to the line — twice.
Grohowski knocked down her first pair of free throws, giving the Trojanettes a 75-70 lead in the second overtime. Moments later, she netted two more free throws, giving Nanticoke Area its biggest lead of the game at 77-70, sealing the win.
“I’m so proud of Amber,” Yendrzeiwski said. “There are times when she doesn’t score a lot of points, but she’s so instrumental for our team and does all the little things.”
Holweg was sensational for the Warriors, though, setting the tone early with three assists and seven points in the first quarter, including a step-back 3-pointer to give them a 13-10 lead after one.
“We were definitely expecting (a close game) ... because they’re a great team just like us,” Roberts said of Wyoming Area.
Radziak then led Nanticoke Area back in front with three second-quarter 3s amid a 13-2 run, putting the Trojanettes ahead, 28-23, at halftime.
After a Nicole Wright (10 points, 10 rebounds) score had Wyoming Area ahead by two in the final minutes of the third quarter, Aufiero and Alexis Pyzia scored, putting Nanticoke Area ahead 44-41 headed to the fourth.
Wyoming Area had chances to win it, with Holweg missing a long 3-pointer at the end of regulation. Wyoming Area’s Jordan Kelly then stole the ball at the end of the first overtime, missing a contested jumper, sending it to overtime No. 2.
“We’ve matured, it seemed, every game this year,” said Chad Lojewski, coach of the third-seeded Warriors. “And it seemed like we all came together in this one. We came up just a little short. But it’s to a great-quality program and I couldn’t be prouder of the girls.”

2/25/2016
Lisa Radziak helps Nanticoke Area survive double-overtime thriller against Wyoming Area
Reserve sharp-shooter sparks Nanticoke Area’s double OT victory

psokoloski@timesleader.com

After being denied a shot at a district title, the Nanticoke Area Trojanettes came up with a new route to the PIAA girls basketball playoffs.
It turned out to be more like an obstacle course.
But Lisa Radziak came off the bench to score 15 pivotal points Wednesday and Nanticoke Area survived a double-overtime thriller to outlast Wyoming Area, 80-73 in a District 2 Class 3A third-place game at Holy Redeemer High School.
“It was fun to be in that atmosphere, I think,” Trojanettes center Gianna Roberts said.
It was full of momentum swings and lead changes that kept the crowd in suspense until the very end. Wyoming Area’s scoring star Sarah Holweg erupted for 41 points, while Roberts and Kayla Aufiero combined for 52 points for Nanticoke Area in a back-and-forth battle that never allowed either team to feel safe.
“That,” Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said, “was a wild one.”
In the end, though, a couple of low-profile players put the Trojanettes in the state playoffs.
Radziak buried a big 3-point field goal with 2:08 to play in the second overtime, giving Nanticoke Area a five-point lead and a sense of some control. Then light-scoring guard Amber Grohowski hit four free throws in the final minute, keeping Wyoming Area from pulling off a frantic comeback.
“I’ll remember this game for the rest of my life,” Grohowski said. “We stayed with it. We didn’t give up. That’s one of our good attributes, we never give up.”
Good thing for Nanticoke Area, too.
The Trojanettes fell behind 19-10 early in the second quarter when Holweg hit three 3-pointers in the end of the first quarter and added a bucket that triggered a six-point Wyoming Area run to open the second.
“The second quarter, we got into one of those funks where we weren’t scoring,” Yendrzeiwski said.
Radziak to the rescue.
The sharp-shooting sophomore buried three 3-pointers in the second period, as Nanticoke Area turned a nine-point deficit into a 28-25 lead by halftime.
“Lisa, she’s a great player, a great shooter,” Roberts, a senior, said. “I couldn’t be more proud of her. And the team couldn’t be more proud of her.”
Roberts got loose for nine of her team-high 29 points in the third quarter as the Trojanettes kept their three-point advantage heading in the final quarter. But Wyoming Area was determined that wouldn’t be its last stand.
Holweg scored 13 points over the last eight minutes of regulation, including two free throws with nine seconds on the clock that sent the game into a first overtime tied at 60-60.
Once there, Holweg had the Warriors out to a four-point lead. But Aufiero – playing through leg cramps and a hamstring strain to score 23 points – used a 3-pointer and a strong inside bucket to tie it at 68-68 with 10 seconds remaining.
That forced a second overtime, where Roberts got the Trojanettes the lead for good with a turn-around bank shot for a bucket.
“My teammates do a good job of penetrating for me,” Roberts said. “Everybody goes to (defend) them. I just get the easy baskets.”
A little later, Radziak made things a lot easier for the Trojanettes.
She drilled her fourth 3-pointer of the night with 2:08 to play in the second overtime, helping Nanticoke Area break away with a 73-68 lead.
“I knew the team needed it,” Radziak said. “We were in overtime. I just try to help the team, do my best.”
Holweg, who scored 11 of Wyoming Area’s final 13 points, had all five of the team’s points in the second overtime.
But Grohowski converted four straight free throws, Aufiero made two more, and Radziak added the game’s final point with 11 seconds to go to seal Nanticoke Area’s third victory over Wyoming Area this season.
That sent the 23-3 Trojanettes to next weekend’s PIAA Class 3A playoffs to play the top team from District 4 next Saturday.
“It’s amazing,” Grohowski, a senior and a three-year starer, said. “We haven’t been there in a few years. For it to be my senior year, it’s great. Being in the state playoffs is an awesome feeling.”
Nanticoke Area 80, Wyoming Area 73 (2OT)

2/23/2016
Scranton Prep upends Nanticoke Area in District 2 girls basketball semifinal
psokoloski@timesleader.com

In the end, patience beat poise.
And it carried Scranton Prep into the district title game.
Julia Sirotnek scored six of her team-high seven points in the final quarter Monday as Prep barely held off a frantic Nanticoke Area and upended the top-seeded Trojanettes, 40-36 in a District 2 Class 3A girls basketball semifinal at Pittston Area High School.
“I thought if we tied the game, I just had a feeling, I thought we would pull it out,” Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “We were never able to tie it.”
The 22-3 Trojanettes are still able to get to the state playoffs, though.
They’ll face Wyoming Area, a team they defeated twice during the regular season on their way to a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 title, Wednesday at a time and site to be determined in the District 2 Class 3A third-place game. Winner advances to the PIAA tournament as the district’s No. 3 representative.
Meanwhile, 15-10 Scranton Prep will play 20-5 Abington Heights for the District 2 championship at 4 p.m. Saturday.
“We’re a little disappointed with that,” Yendrzeiwski said. “We said our goal was to play in that district title game. We’ve still got another game to go. We’ve got to get over it quickly.”
Scranton Prep was a far cry from doing things fast.
With their coach Bob Beviglia continually yelling “Patience! Patience!” as his team methodically worked the ball around the offensive floor, Prep surged to leads of 10-8 after the first quarter, 20-10 at halftime and 27-17 entering the fourth quarter.
Calista Kline, Holly Daveski and Jillian Paulus all had six points and Sirotnek scored seven over the first three quarters as the Classics worked their offense to near-perfection by remaining patient in their shot selection.
“We try to be,” Beviglia said. “It’s a plan we’ve tried to preach the whole year long. When we are patient, we run our offense well enough to get opportunities.”
Meanwhile, Nanticoke Area saw one slipping away.
The Trojanettes fell behind by 15 points in the third quarter and trailed by 16 early in the fourth.
Then Kayla Aufiero kicked in with some of her late-game magic.
Her 3-point field goal chipped the Trojanettes’ deficit to 10 points with eight seconds to play in the third quarter. Her three-point play closed the gap to seven points midway through the fourth. And Aufiero’s floating basket followed by another 3-pointer pulled Nanticoke Area within 35-31 with 3:24 remaining.
“We needed that,” Yendrzeiwski said. “We needed to score points in a hurry. I’ve said it before, Kayla’s hit big shots all year for us.”
Nanticoke Area, though, couldn’t quite boost themselves into the title game.
The Trojanettes missed a tough layup and three foul shots down the stretch while failing to forge a tie.
Meanwhile, Kline, Paulus and Daveski combined to convert five of the team’s six foul shots in the final quarter to seal a shot at the district title.
“I’m very proud of them for fighting back like that,” Yendrzeiwski said of the Trojanettes. “We could have packed up the tents and let ourselves get blown out when the game (deficit) got to 16. We didn’t do that.”
Scranton Prep 40, Nanticoke Area 36

2/20/2016
Strong second half sends Trojanettes past Comets
Nicholas Gill - Citizens Voice

For top-seeded Nanticoke Area, the District 2 girls basketball Class AAA playoffs come down to a survive and advance mentality. The Trojanettes did exactly that Friday evening with a 56-42 victory against No. 9 seed Crestwood.
The Comets made things difficult for the favorite, but Kayla Aufiero came through for Nanticoke Area every time they needed a key basket.
“I love to do whatever I can do to help my teammates,” Aufiero said.
Crestwood stormed out to an early 9-8 first quarter lead courtesy of unselfish play. The Comets executed a beautiful high-low pass from Emily Shiplett to Maddie Ritsick for a layup and foul.
Nanticoke Area countered by pounding the ball down low. Gianna Roberts scored the team’s first eight points with a combination of toughness inside and the ability to step out and knock down foul line jump shots.
The teams traded scores until halftime, with Crestwood getting a big boost off the bench from Abbie Macko and Nanticoke Area feeding Roberts. The latter converted 8-16 first half free throws to go into halftime tied at 22.
In the second half, Aufiero took over for the Trojanettes. Clinging to a 29-28 lead, Aufiero broke the game open with a corner 3-pointer. She followed with a pull-up triple from the top of the key and a drive and layup in transition.
Aufiero scored 11 straight points for Nanticoke Area to build the lead by the fourth quarter.
“Kayla has been doing that all year,” Nanticoke Area head coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “She has great form and when she catches fire, she makes big shots for us.”
Nanticoke Area dug in on the defensive end and prevented Crestwood from getting any closer than three points in the fourth quarter. The back line of Roberts, Chaq Zendarski and Katie Butczynski protected the paint, which forced the Comets into difficult shots.
The Trojanettes advance to Monday’s semifinal game against Scranton Prep at a site to be determined.

2/15/2016
WVC girls basketball coaches select all-star squads
Times Leader

League-leading scorer Rebecca Prociak, unstoppable Gianna Roberts and sharp-shooting Mackenzie Yori all won most valuable players in a ballot of Wyoming Valley Conference girls basketball coaches during the league’s annual season-ending meeting Sunday.
Prociak, who led Holy Redeemer to a second straight WVC Division 3 title, averaged 24.5 points in 13 league games and wound up as the league’s second-best overall free throw shooter by hitting 82 percent.
Roberts, who fueled Nanticoke to the Division 2 title and the only unbeaten regular season in the conference at 13-0, was a top-10 scorer with an average of 15.5 point per game while dominating the paint.
Yori sparked Hazleton Area to its second straight Division 1 title while averaging 18.1 points and leading the league by converting 85 percent of her foul shots (41-for-48). She was also among the WVC’s top 3-point threats, finishing with 19 in 14 games to rank 11th in the league.
All three of those teams earned the top seeds for the upcoming District 2 playoffs, with Hazleton Area in Class 4A, Nanticoke in Class 3A and Holy Redeemer in Class 2A.
Hazleton Area’s Joe Gavio in Division 1, Nanticoke Area’s Alan Yendrzeiwski in Division 2 and Holy Redeemer’s Chris Parker in Division 3 were named as head coaches of the year.
Two-time All-Pennsylvania forward Maddie Ritsick of Crestwood was named the Division 1 Player of the Year after averaging 19.4 points and also finishing among the WVC’s top 10 with 21 3-point field goals and hitting 73 percent of her foul shots.
Player of the Year honors in Division 2 were shared by Wyoming Area’s Sarah Holweg, who led the WVC with 34 3-point goals and averaged 20.6 points, and Hanover Area’s Asdone Hooper, who averaged 21.9 points and was a top 10 free throw shooter in the WVC.
Holy Redeemer point guard Lydia Lawson, who averaged 10.9 points and six assists per game while fronting a fearsome press defense, was selected as the Player of the Year in Division 2.
She was one of seven Royals players selected for the 12 spots on the Division 3 first and second teams.
Roberts was joined on the Division 2 first team by fellow Trojanettes teammates Kayla Aufiero and Chaquanna Zendarski. Along with Yori, Hazleton Area’s Kendra Pfeil made the first team and Maddie Mrochko made the second team in Division 1, which was the only division to select three teams.

WVC Coaches Girls Basketball All-Star Teams
Division 2

First Team

Kayla Aufiero`Nanticoke Area`Jr.
Haylee Bobos`Hanover Area`Sr.
Sarah Holweg`Wyoming Area`So.|
Asdone Hooper`Hanover Area`Sr.
Gianna Roberts`Nanticoke Area`Sr.
Marie Skrepenak`GAR`Sr.|
Katie Wolfgang`Wyoming Area`Jr.
Chaquanna Zendarski`Nanticoke Area`Sr.

Alan Yendrzeiwski`Nanticoke Area - Coach of the Year

2/10/2016
Nanticoke Area wraps up unbeaten girls basketball regular season
Trojanettes clinch unbeaten regular season

psokoloski@timesleader.com

Spending the whole first quarter on the floor with her fellow classmates seemed like an ideal way for Jordan Bavitz to celebrate senior night.
She didn’t stop there, though.
Making her first career appearance in the starting lineup Wednesday, Bavitz used a well-timed 3-point field goal to help Nanticoke Area kick-start a 66-27 victory over Northwest, which polished off a 13-0 regular season for the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 champion Trojanettes at Nanticoke Area High School.
“Starting with my best friends was a really great experience,” said Bavitz, a senior who has played sparingly this season as a reserve. “It meant a lot to me to be there with my teammates.”
Her presence on the floor may have meant more to the Trojanettes.
With a sluggish Nanticoke Area team struggling for points, Bavitz stepped up and rifled home a 3-point field goal from the corner as the Trojanettes opened a 6-2 lead with under three minutes remaining in the first quarter.
“That was her first start,” Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “She’s a good 3-point shooter. When I saw it leave her hand, I knew it was going in. I just had a feeling. I’m real happy for her.”
Maybe not as happy as the rest of the Trojanettes.
The big 3 by Bavitz triggered a string of nine consecutive Nanticoke Area points to end the first quarter, and by halftime, the Trojanettes had a comfortable 20-point lead.
“I just shot it,” Bavitz shrugged. “I felt it right off my wrist. I felt really good about it.”
Before her night was finished, Bavitz later drove the lane for a layup and added an assist to help the Trojanettes end the regular season as the only unbeaten team in the entire WVC. They’ll likely earn the top seed in the District 3 Class 3A playoffs next week and come right back to Nanticoke Area’s Syl Bozinski Gymnasium for their postseason opener.
But with the intensity certain to be turned up for the postseason, Wednesday was likely the last time Nanticoke Area seniors Bavitz, Gianna Roberts, Chaquanna Zendarski and Amber Grohowski would be on the floor together for the opening tip of a game.
“Jordan’s a great player,” said Roberts, Nanticoke Area’s scoring leader on the season who helped the Trojanettes improve to 20-2 overall — also the best of any team in the conference. “It was a good feeling to be on the court with my best friends I started with in high school.”
Those four seniors were honored in a pregame ceremony, and the festivities may have been a bit of a distraction for a Trojanettes team that has grown accustomed to opening strong through the second half of the season. Nanticoke Area hit just three of its first nine field goal attempts and missed five of its eight foul shots in the first quarter.
“I thought we were a little sloppy at times,” Yendrzeiwski said, “almost like we were struggling on offense and not sharp on defense. Some of that was a little bit of nerves on senior night.”
The jitters didn’t last long, though.
Roberts, Zendarski and junior point guard Kayla Aufiero all finished with 13 points while Grohowski added all four of her points in the opening quarter as the Trojanettes polished off a 13-0 run through the WVC and trumpeted their first unbeaten regular season in recent memory.
“We just talked to them about it,” Yendrzeiwski said. “We’ve had some good teams and good seasons with our program. This is the first time we’ve gone undefeated in the conference in a while. Nice way to cap off the regular season and get some motivation going into the playoffs.”

2/6/2016
Nanticoke wraps up second straight WVC Division 2 girls basketball title
Times Leader

Gianna Roberts poured in a team-high 20 points to lead Nanticoke Area to a 63-43 victory over GAR as the Trojans clinched their second consecutive Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 girls basketball championship Friday at Nanticoke Area High School.
The Trojanettes, who moved to 11-0 in league play, maintained a three-game lead over second-place Wyoming Area with two games remaining in the regular season.
Nanticoke Area was boosted by 18 points from Kayla Aufiero, who sank three 3-point field goals in the title-clinching victory.
GAR, which received a 25-point performance from Marie Skrepenak, shot out to a 13-10 lead after the first quarter, but the Trojanettes rallied back to take a 30-21 lead at halftime.
Amber Grohowski added eight points in Nanticoke Area’s victory, and Lisa Radziak drilled a pair of 3-point field goals in the win.


1/29/2016
Trojanettes post statement win over Warriors
Matt Bufano - Citizens Voice

Not sold on Nanticoke Area after its 37-point win over rival Hanover Area?
How about the season-opening win at Holy Redeemer, or the exhibition losses it dealt Valley West and Pittston Area of Class AAAA?
In a season full of “statement wins,” the Trojanettes added another Thursday night, besting Wyoming Area 66-44 behind the play of forwards Gianna Roberts and Chaquanna Zendarski, who anchored the Trojanettes’ jack-rabbit start.
The win creates separation in WVC Division 2, as Nanticoke Area improves to 8-0 with five games to play. Second-place Wyoming Area falls to 6-2, with each loss coming to the defending champion Trojanettes.
Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said everything is coming together, as the Trojanettes work toward the simple goal of improving “by one percent (or more)” each game.
“It’s like a cliche,” he said, “but it matters to us. And we’re seeing it on the floor with our players.”
In addition to it being a showcase for Roberts (21 points, 11 rebounds) and Zendarski (18 points, nine rebounds) on the court, the senior duo also organized the night’s “Pink Out.” As part of their senior project, they raised donations for the American Cancer Society through the Coaches vs. Cancer program.
“It was awesome,” Zendarski said of picking up the win on a special night. “I’m really thankful that we actually got to do this, because my grandparents passed away from (cancer). So it touched my heart to be able to do it, and especially to be able to do it with one of my good friends.”
Roberts and Zendarski combined for 19 first-quarter points, helping build a 24-3 lead the Trojanettes would not relinquish.
Roberts and Zendarski owned the low post much of the night, against a strong group of Wyoming Area forwards who entered the night playing well in their own right.
Yendrzeiwski said the key to winning the battle down low was sticking to the game plan, and not getting away from what has earned Nanticoke Area 22 straight wins against the WVC (26 including exhibitions).
Katie Butczynski and Kayla Aufiero scored 10 points each.
Wyoming Area’s Sarah Holweg scored 19 points in the loss, while the Warriors’ second-leading scorer Katie Wolfgang exited the game in the first half with an arm/wrist injury, of which the severity is unknown.

Wyoming Area (44)
S. Holweg 7 2-2 19, A. Orzel 3 2-4 8, J. Kelly 2 2-4 7, L. Edwards 1 1-2 3, R. Solano 1 0-0 3, N. Wright 1 0-1 2, K. Wolfgang 0 1-2 1, K. Skok 0 1-2 1, J. Rhodes 0 0-0 0, A. Kranson 0 0-0 0, Totals 15 9-17 44.

Nanticoke Area (66)
G. Roberts 8 4-7 20, C. Zendarski 7 4-6 18, K. Aufiero 4 1-3 10, K. Butczynski 4 2-2 10, L. Radziak 3 0-0 8, A. Pyzia 0 0-0 0, A. Grohowski 0 0-0 0, M. Dunn 0 0-0 0, Totals 26 9-16 56.

Wyoming Area 3 12 23 6—44
Nanticoke Area 24 12 24 6—66

3-point goals: S. Holweg (WA) 3, R. Solano (WA) 1, J. Kelly (WA) 1, L. Radziak (NA) 2, K. Aufiero (NA) 1.

1/22/2016
Nanticoke Area remains unbeaten, handles rival Hanover Area in WVC girls basketball showdown
Quick starts to each half propel Nanticoke Area’s 37-point victory

psokoloski@timesleader.com

It didn’t take much to get Nanticoke Area’s girls basketball team ramped up for its arch rival.
But it took more effort than the final score indicated for the Trojanettes to get away from what was turning into a dogfight.
In the end, Gianna Roberts and Kayla Aufiero combined for 39 points as Division 2-leading Nanticoke Area turned a rivalry into a rout by hammering Hanover Area, 73-36 to remain the Wyoming Valley Conference’s only unbeaten team.
“Hanover’s a rival team,” said Roberts, who finished with a game-high 21 points. “We all wanted to come out and give it our best.”
The victory left the Trojanettes with the best record in the WVC at 6-0 atop Division 2 and 13-2 overall. Every other team throughout the WVC has at least one loss in conference play.
“We definitely felt if anybody wants to win the WVC (Division 2), they’re going to have to play well against us,” Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said.
Hanover Area did for a while.
The Hawkeyes — who go to school just down the road from Nanticoke Area — got a spark from Asdone Hooper. They pulled within two points late in the first quarter and closed within three points late in the first half.
But a fast start to both halves gave Nanticoke Area enough cushion to keep a lead from start to finish, until a big outburst in the third quarter salted victory away for the Trojanettes.
Roberts started it, scoring the game’s first five points that sparked an 11-2 lead for Nanticoke Area little more than three minutes in.
“Playing Hanover, which is a rival for us, I thought our kids came out with a lot of energy,” Yendrzeiwski said. “I thought it showed on the floor.”
But Hanover Area began packing the passing lanes inside, then rattled off seven straight points to pull within 11-9 with 1:49 remaining in the opening quarter.
And when the Trojanettes tried pulling away with an 11-point lead in the second quarter, Hooper hit seven of her team-high 15 points in the period to chop the Hawkeyes’ deficit to three points.
But Hanover Area couldn’t sustain the rallies, and Aufiero delivered the knockout punch.
With the Trojanettes already up by 12 at halftime, she tore out of the second half to drop eight straight points — including a pair of pretty 3-pointers — as Nanticoke Area’s lead blossomed to 42-22.
“In the first half, they kind of got it pretty close,” said Aufiero, who scored the last 10 of her 18 points in the third quarter while leading Nanticoke Area’s charge to a 25-point advantage entering the final eight minutes. “We took our defense and our offense and ran with it.”
Chaquanna Zendarski rang up nine points in the paint to complement the work of Roberts underneath, and Lisa Radziak raced off the bench to sink three 3-point field goals to also finish with nine points.
The victory kept the Trojanettes a game ahead of 5-1 Wyoming Area in Division 2, while Hanover Area fell to 3-3 in league play and three games behind Nanticoke Area.
“I think every team is a team to beat around here,” Roberts said. “You just have to be ready to step up and play your hardest every game.”

1/4/2016
WVC Conference Preview
Times Leader

DIVISION 2

1. NANTICOKE

Coach: Alan Yendrzeiwski

2014-15 WVC Record: 12-1 Division 2 (First place), 18-5 overall.

2014-15 Postseason: Defeated Coughlin 57-39 in D2 first round; defeated Crestwood 46-32 in D2 quarterfinals; lost to North Pocono 52-38 in D2 semfinals; lost to Scranton Prep 64-36 in D2 3rd-place game.

State Classification: 3A

Key Players Lost: Riley Klepadlo, Deanna Thomas, Kiera Brown.

Key Players Returning: Amber Grohowski, 5-5 Sr. G, Gianna Roberts, 5-11 Sr. F, Chaquanna Zendarski, 5-10 Sr. F, Kayla Aufiero, 5-7 Jr. G.

Outlook: The loss of junior scorer Klepadlo for the season to an ACL injury suffered during the soccer season will hurt the Trojans, but not enough to stop them from winning the division. Their balance and ball-sharing took them to a WVC title and to the brink of the state playoffs last season, and it’ll come in handy again this time around.

Coach’s Comment: “A lot of injuries came our way, mainly we lost Riley Kelpadlo. She was really ready to break out for us. It’s not like we get to red-shirt kids. If we can get everybody to give a little bit more, we’ll be OK. We still want to win our division, we still want to compete for a district title. I’m excited to get things started.”