Trojanette Basketball

Girls basketball: Nanticoke Area finds head coach
Steve Bennett - Citizens Voice

While he was growing up in Nanticoke, Ed Grant always made sure to get to as many Nanticoke Area basketball games as he could. In fact, Alan Yendrzeiwski was his favorite player. And when Grant finally was able to take the court as a seventh grader for the Trojans, Yendrzeiwski was his first coach in the program.

The two continued to bond over the game of basketball, and for seven out of the last nine seasons, Grant served as Yendrzeiwski’s assistant coach with the girls program at the school.
And when Yendrzeiwski decided to step away from the job at the end of April, Grant thought it would be the perfect opportunity for him to slide one seat over on the bench.
On Thursday, the Nanticoke Area school board voted unanimously to name Grant the new girls basketball coach at the school.“I’m just excited about it, there is a lot of tradition,” Grant said. “I’m proud to be the coach. This is where I went to school. I came up through the program. It means a lot to be among the coaches that have come through here. There have been a lot of great ones.”
During Yendrzeiwski’s nine years with the program, the Trojanettes won four Wyoming Valley Conference league titles and appeared in three district championship games, winning one of them. The Trojanettes also won four state playoff games.
Grant will inherit a program that will lose three starters from last season’s squad that finished 22-6 and advanced to the second round of the state tournament, where it was eliminated by Gwynedd-Mercy.
“Coach Yendrzeiwski was my favorite player growing up, I was able to play for him,” Grant said. “To be able to take over for him is very special. I am going to keep everything flowing; the philosophy will be the same. We are going to continue to do the things that we believe in with the tradition of the program.”
Grant believes the transition will be a smooth one since he is familiar with the girls and they are with him. By not changing the philosophy, that means the Trojanettes will continue to use there pressuring defense to help create turnovers and easy baskets on the offensive end. Although, Grant won’t be afraid to tweak a few things in terms of the scheme on the offensive end of the floor.
“We lost three starters from last year, but there were many other girls who contributed off the bench that we expect to flow into the scheme of things,” Grant said. “It will be a little bit of a reboot for us.”
Now that his hiring is official, Grant’s first order of business will be to meet with the returning players and any newcomers as soon as possible. The next step will be the get everything lined up for the summer league and off season program.
“I always wanted to be a head coach at Nanticoke Area,” said Grant, who coached the Lake-Lehman boys basketball team for one season. “You can’t beat the community following at all the games. The fans are there before any of the games are ready to start. I can’t thank the school board enough for giving me this opportunity, and (Yendrzeiwski) for all he has done for me over the years.”

Yendrzeiwski stepping down at Nanticoke Area

Steve Bennett - Citizens Voice

Ever since he was 12 years old, all Alan Yendrzeiwski knew was Nanticoke Area basketball. Whether it was a practice or a game for him at that young of an age, he knew where he was going to spend his holiday weekends.
Now, he will be spending that time at home.
Yendrzeiwski announced that he is stepping down as the head girls basketball coach at the school after a nine year run. He plans on spending more time with his family, particularly with his children age 10, 8 and 6.
“I talked to the girls on Friday, it is on my terms,” Yendrzeiwski said. “It’s just time to take a little break and recharge the batteries. There is no reason. I do tell people that every Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, I have been doing this since I was 12 years old. It is all I’ve known. I’m looking forward to spending time with my kids. I’m going to get to see what it is like not having to go to practice the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
Yendrzeiwski recently wrapped up his ninth year with the Trojanettes, finishing 22-6 overall and losing to Gwynedd-Mercy in the second round of the state tournament, for the second consecutive year. Yendrzeiwski began his coaching career as an assistant with the boys program under current Nanticoke Area athletic director Ken Bartuska, before moving on to become the head coach of the girls program.
While the head coach of the Trojanettes, Yendrzeiwski led the team to three district championship games, winning one of them. He also won four league titles and four state playoff games.
“It was a tough decision, it was a proud nine years working with the kids,” Yendrzeiwski said. “I am happy to have the opportunity to do that. I always respected the tradition of the program, and in the meantime add to it. I think we have done that during my time. I am just really proud of what we accomplished.”

2018 Citizens' Voice Girls Basketball All-Stars
Steve Bennett - Citizens Voice

Lisa Radziak
Year: Senior
Position: Guard

Radziak helped lead the Trojanettes to a second-place finish in Division 2 of the WVC and led the team in scoring with 13.2 points per game. She scored a season-high 22 points in a loss to Wyoming Area and once again in a win over Valley View. She connected on a team-best 82 3-pointers.

Alyssa Lewis
Year: Junior
Position: Guard

Lewis proved to be an all-around player for the Trojanettes. She always found a way to be in the mix on the defensive end, while being a scoring option on offense. She finished second on the team in scoring with 12.4 points per game and scored a season-high 26 points in a playoff win over Wyoming Area.

Nanticoke Area girls can’t shake Gwynedd Mercy in Class 4A second round
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HAMBURG — In the final minute of the first quarter, Nanticoke Area scored its first basket.

Gwynedd Mercy immediately answered with a buzzer-beating bucket.
In the last minute of the second quarter, Nanticoke Area closed within six points. Gwynedd Mercy made sure its lead was eight at halftime.
That’s how it went for the Trojanettes on Wednesday during a 37-26 loss to Gwynedd Mercy for the second straight year in a PIAA Class 4A girls basketball second-round playoff game.
The instant Nanticoke Area gained a shot of hope at Hamburg High School, the Monarchs snatched it away.
“Those are the types of games they’re used to playing in, where baskets are at a real premium,” Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “We had a couple putbacks that didn’t go in. With Lisa Radziak, we had a couple threes that she had that kind of rimmed out. We finish offensive hoops, it’s a different ballgame, I think.”
Carly Heineman and Georgia Cattie both finished with a game-high nine points for Gwynedd Mercy and their teammates Kaylie Griffin and Maura Conroy combined for 15 more.
But it wasn’t the scoring of the Monarchs that disrupted Nanticoke Area.
Rather, it was a glue-like defense and precision ballhandling against the press that never allowed the Trojanettes to get into their run-and-gun game.
“For me, I found it very tough getting open,” said Radziak, Nanticoke Area’s dangerous outside shooter who scored five points — all in the first half. “And when I did, I just didn’t knock down the shots tonight.”
Radziak hit two field goals in 10 attempts, including a 1 for 5 effort from 3-point range. But that was by Gwynedd Mercy’s design.
“We face-guarded her,” said Gwynedd Mercy coach Tom Lonergan, whose 22-5 team also eliminated Nanticoke Area in the second round of PIAA play last season and will move on to Saturday’s state quarterfinals.
She wasn’t the only Nanticoke Area shooter having tremendous trouble.
The Trojanettes converted just one of their 10 shots from the floor in the first quarter, hit on four of their 21 attempts in the first half and ended up shooting just over 17 percent for the game (8 for 46).
“Missed opportunities on the offensive end,” Yendrzeiwski said, “and we gave up way too many offensive rebounds. When the score is low like that, you can’t give a team extra opportunity after extra opportunity.”
Still, Radziak tried to give the Trojanettes a chance.
Her 3-point goal with 12 seconds to play in the first quarter pulled Nanticoke Area within 11-5 and provided the team’s first basket of the game. But Cattie canned a jumper at the buzzer to send the Monarchs into the second quarter with an eight-point lead.
Radziak rifled home a jumper with 10 seconds remaining in the first half as Nanticoke Area closed within 19-13. But Maura Conroy canned a jumper with a second to go before intermission, restoring an eight-point lead for the Monarchs.
Nanticoke Area tried to turn up the pressure with a defensive frenzy, but point guard Conroy made sure it didn’t work.
She expertly navigated through dangerous traps, and the Monarchs finished with no turnovers in the first quarter, four in the first half and six through three quarters while building a 10-point lead.
“It’s tough, because their point guard is so good,” Yendrzeiwski said. “She is a very good point guard. She does a nice job and distrubutes well.”
Conroy finished with seven points, all in the first half and all contributing to Gwynedd Mercy’s early surge.
“Experience,” Longergan said was the biggest difference in the game. “My point guard’s a four-year varsity starter. Carly Heineman is a four-year varsity player. We haven’t seen a lot of our pressure, because of our guards. We watched a dozen tapes on them (the Trojanettes) and never saw them get out of their press. They backed off a few times tonight. I guess that was respect for us.”
Nanticoke Area didn’t back down, though.
Katie Butczynski converted a three-point play near the end of the third quarter and Alyssa Lewis followed with a twisting layup as the Trojanettes closed within 28-20 with 1:45 remaining in the third quarter.
They never got closer the rest of the way, though. Mainly because Nanticoke Area was limited to just one basket in the final quarter — a 3-pointer by 6-foot-1 center Jil Baron with 15 seconds on the clock that gave her a share of the game’s high-scoring honors with nine points.
“I’m proud of them,” said Yendrziewski, whose Trojanettes finished 22-6 and with their second consecutive trip to the Class 4A second round of state play. “They play hard every game. They have to. They didn’t win a district or league title, but you have seniors who, I think, their record was 93-17 over four years. They’re winners and they’re great kids.”
And with three straight state appearances, a District 2 Class 4A championship and three Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 titles on their resume, the departing Trojanettes agree they’ll leave with a great feeling.
“Honestly, it was amazing,” Radziak said. “I couldn’t ask for a better team, better coaches. I had a great time my four years.”

Nanticoke Area Trojanettes moves on

Alyssa Lewis took a quick moment to catch her breath.
You can’t blame the Nanticoke Area junior for taking a brief moment to pause. She rarely rested during the game, and constantly pressured any Danville athlete who touched the ball — on any spot of the Marts Center court.
Her perfect fourth-quarter shooting was pretty impressive as well.
Lewis netted a game-high 18 points, and was one of the leading catalysts of the Trojanettes’ in-your-face defense that forced more than 20 turnovers as Nanticoke Area pulled away from the District 4 third seed, 42-31, in the opening round of the PIAA Class 4A girls basketball tournament on Saturday.
Nanticoke Area (22-5) advances to Wednesday’s second round to face off with District 1 champ Gwynedd Mercy, which dispatched of Carver Saturday afternoon. The two teams met in the same round last season with Gwynedd winning by 23.
“Our pressure was working really good, and we had the right rotations,” Lewis said. “Playing in a state-playoff game is a big deal, and everyone was a little nervous. That first quarter really shook off the nerves. I just saw the openings, and my teammates had some great passes to me.”
Yes, Lewis’ offensive output was crucial. Yet, it might have been her pressure-packing, frenetic defense that was the difference-maker.
At least, that’s what Steve Moser would say.
His Danville squad was trapped in every nook and cranny. As soon as the ball was inbounded, Nanticoke Area applied an aggressive, up-tempo pressure that pushed every square inch of floor.
The Ironmen first-quarter statistics told the entire story, and foreshadowed the future.
Six shots. Six points. Ten turnovers, and a 14-2 deficit at one point as Lisa Radziak canned her first three buckets and netted eight of the first 10 Trojanettes points. Danville scored the final two hoops of the quarter, but Nanticoke Area carried a 14-6 lead after one on 6-of-12 shooting.
“I can’t fault the girls for their effort at all. We just dug ourselves too big of a hole,” Moser said. “We have not seen pressure like that all year. And it showed to begin with. We just didn’t react well. It took us a long time to get it under control. If we could just get over the line, I told the girls we would get good shots. But that’s easier said than done sometimes.”
And even though Danville (17-9) cut the deficit to 24-22 on Corrina Petrus’ baseline jumper with 3:50 left in the third quarter, the fatigue was setting in.
As a matter of fact, that Petrus bucket was the last one to cut through the nets for an eight-minute span. Credit the Trojanettes’ defense, which forced a total of 26 turnovers and held Danville to just 3-of-18 in the second half.
“The first four minutes, that’s kind of the group that we saw early in the season,” Nanticoke Area head coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “You know, especially tempo and getting teams out of rhythm. We didn’t score the ball enough in the half-court to pull away from them, and it was close most of the game. It seemed like we didn’t make the best decisions when we got to the foul-line area or on the block. The second half, we finally calmed down.”
Lewis’ caught fire in the fourth. She popped a short jumper in the paint 46 seconds in, which prompted a quick Moser timeout as Nanticoke Area grabbed a 33-25 lead. Later, she drove through the lane on three straight possessions, and scooped three balls off glass for a short, 6-0 run — extending the lead out to 41-25 with 4:20 left.
Radziak finished with 10 points for Nanticoke Area, while forward Jilann Baron finished two points shy of a double-double with eight points and 16 rebounds.

Cold-shooting night freezes out Nanticoke in 4A title game
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With a sprint and a surge, Alyssa Lewis charged down the lane and straight to the basket, depositing a scoop-shot layup to cap a six-point run that started the second half and gave Nanticoke Area the lead.
It didn’t last long, and neither did the Trojanettes’ hopes of repeating as district champions.
Elisa Penetar scored 19 points and pulled down 20 rebounds Thursday, a double-double that was as deadly to the Trojanettes as a frigid shooting night. Scranton Prep dethroned Nanticoke Area as District 2 Class 4A girls basketball champion with a 45-29 victory in the district title game at Mohegan Sun Arena.
“I’m not really sure why shots weren’t falling,” said Lewis, who led the Trojanettes with 12 points. “We were trying to get shots for Lisa (Radziak). It just ended up shots were not falling.”
They were for a couple stretches.
The Trojanettes answered Prep’s game-opening six point run by scoring eight consecutive points to take the lead, as Lewis converted a three-point play, Maddy Grilz tied it with a 3-point shot and Lauren Casey’s layup put Nanticoke Area ahead.
The Trojanettes took a 12-10 lead into the second quarter, but Penetar kept showing up in the paint.
And before long, she had eight points by halftime, Rachel Rose had six and the Classics had a 17-14 edge at the break.
“I’ve been saying all year, the better she (Penetar) got, the more special we would become,” said Scranton Prep coach Bob Beviglia, whose Prep team defeated Nanticoke Area in a District 2 playoff game for the third time in four years. “She’s very athletic. She won some fistfight rebounds tonight.”
Nanticoke Area wasn’t surrendering, though.
Jil Baron hit a bucket and Lewis made two more — the second being her dashing drive to the basket for a layup that gave the Trojanettes a six-point spree and a 20-17 lead 3:07 into the second half.
“Started getting the momentum going in the second half,” Lewis said. “We felt really good about it. Our press was working. It just ended up getting away from us.”
More like Penetar snatched it away.
The 5-foot-11 junior forward pulled down 13 rebounds in the second half. And while Nanticoke Area gambled on controlling Prep’s guard play, Penetar escaped inside to polish off district gold for the Classics by scoring her final 11 points over the last two quarters. That performance included four layups in the fourth that put the game of Nanticoke Area’s reach.
“Hats off to them, they took advantage,” Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said.
Meanwhile, the Trojanettes never did find their edge for very long.
Their leading scorer, Radziak — battling Prep’s box-and-one defense — was held scoreless while Nanticoke Area’s strong perimeter offense continually watched 3-point attempts miss the target. The Trojanettes made just two treys, and managed only 17 points through the final three quarters after scoring 12 in the first. Scranton Prep scored 16 points in the third quarter alone.
“We just couldn’t knock them down today. I have no idea (why),” Yendrzeiwski shrugged. “Just one of those days. We got some looks. We made a couple rallies, then we kind of got cold. In the second half, we were ice cold.”
But it didn’t put Nanticoke Area’s season in a deep freeze.
While 24-1 Prep will face the District 3 No. 4 team in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs next Saturday, the 21-5 Trojanettes will be the District 2 runner-up and face the third seed out of District 4 — the winner of Sunday’s game between Danville and Shamokin — in another state opener next Saturday.
“We’re really excited for states,” Lewis said. “We really want to make a run in states. We want to forget about this game, focus on the next one and hopefully, get a win.”

D2 basketball: Nanticoke Area girls advance to Class 4A title game
Tom Robinson - Times Leader

Nanticoke Area played more than 52 minutes of basketball against Wyoming Area in two games over the past two weeks before having the lead for the first time.
Alyssa Lewis made sure the Trojanettes treated the lead preciously as they headed down the stretch Friday night.
Lewis went 7 for 8 from the line following Lisa Radziak’s go-ahead basket, completing a late nine-point streak that carried Nanticoke to a 50-43 victory in the District 2 Class 4A girls basketball semifinal.
Nanticoke Area will play Scranton Prep for the District 2 title at 6 p.m. Thursday at Mohegan Sun Arena. Wyoming Area will face Berwick Tuesday for the district’s third and final 4A berth in the PIAA state tournament.
Lewis finished with 26 points, including 18 in the second half when Nanticoke Area erased a 21-16 deficit. She also had five steals to lead a Trojanettes press that forced Wyoming Area into 28 turnovers.
All five Nanticoke starters had at least three steals.
“We’re trying to play hard and play fast,” Lewis said. “We work as a team and we all know where each other is going.
“Once we see something going on down the court, we all try to rotate and work hard.”
For most of three quarters, Wyoming Area countered those turnovers with easy baskets when they beat the press. The Warriors, however, had trouble converted contested layups down the stretch and shot just 2 for 10 while committing nine turnovers in the fourth quarter.
“We just didn’t do a very good job early adjusting to the screening action they were doing, sending people long,” Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “I thought we settled it down a little bit adjusting in a timeout, then we talked about it at halftime about how we wanted to guard it.
“It seemed like there was a stretch there where we kept getting steal after steal after steal and they really struggled with something that had been successful for them early on.”
Radziak scored all 10 of her points in the second half. Jil Baron had eight points, 12 rebounds and four steals.
Sophomores Cassidy Orzel and Nicole Silinskie led Wyoming Area with 13 points each, but Orzel battled foul trouble that cost her key minutes and Silinskie fouled out when the Warriors had to foul late.
Sarah Holweg had 12 points, Addison Orzel grabbed 20 rebounds and Aleah Kranson had six assists.
Wyoming Area built the lead as high as 17-8 in the second quarter and 23-16 early in the third.
Nanticoke, which lost its chance to win the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 when it was beaten by Wyoming Area in the regular-season finale, came back with nine straight points.
Radziak scored her first points on a 23-footer for three points and a 23-23 tie with 4:18 left in the third. Maddy Grilz, who missed the earlier meeting with an injury, hit a 19-footer for the first lead.
Those plays started a stretch of six ties and seven lead changes in nine minutes.
Holweg beat a double-team to hit a runner in the lane for a 41-41 tie with 3:11 left.
Radziak needed just 11 seconds to hit a similar shot on the other end for the lead.
While Lewis made repeated trips to the line, Wyoming Area did not score again until Holweg hit two free throws too late with 6.7 seconds left.

2017-2018 Trojanette basketball preview
They're back and better than ever!
Harley LaRue, Madelyn Bugdonovitch, and Liam Carcieri

The new season has started, and the girl’s basketball team is ready to get back onto the court. Led by Lisa Radziak, Katie Butczyncski, Alyssa Lewis, and Madelyn Grilz, the team is ready to dominate once again.
Expectations going into the season are high due to their outstanding work last year. The team has previously won two rounds of state playoffs, taken home a win at the Wyoming Valley Conference, and won the district championship.
The loss of last year’s girls, Riley Klepadlo, Kayla Aufiero, and Alexis Pyzia, doesn’t go unnoticed. It’s up to the new and returning members to fill the void left by players lost to graduation.
When asked how he would describe this year’s team, Head Coach Alan Yendrzeiwski replied, “Our team is deeper and has more height than last year’s team. We have very good team speed and like to play an up-tempo style on defense. Our challenge will be how we replace our lost energy from last season. If everyone chips in and improves just a little bit on the offensive end, we could be really good. That being said, most importantly, we have a great group of girls that are a lot of fun to coach.”
This season, the girls have trained and practiced relentlessly to become the best they can be. They are determined to make it further than ever before by “playing hard, playing smart, playing together, and having fun throughout the season.”
Ready for action, the 2017-2018 Trojanettes are eager to prove themselves on the court.

Trojanette Basketball Preview
Citizens Voice

Nanticoke Area

Classification: 4A

Head coach: Alan Yendrzeiwski

Looking back: Finished 26-2. Lost to Gwynedd-Mercy, 56-33, in second round of PIAA playoffs.

Players to watch: Lisa Radziak (9.4), Katie Butczynski (4.7), Maddy Grilz (1.5), Alyssa Lewis (8.0), Amiah Lukowski (2.9).

What to expect: Don’t expect much to change regarding the style of play. The Trojanettes will push the floor to create turnovers, which could lead to easy baskets at the other end. This year’s team will have more depth and a bit more size. Several players will have new roles on the offensive end, and there might be an adjustment period for them to get accustomed. Consistent scoring will be key, but Radziak had 47 3-pointers last year which was good for second on the team.

Trojanette Basketball Preview
Times Leader


Coach: Alan Yendrzeiwski

2016-17 WVC Record: 16-1 Division 2 (First place), 26-2 overall (1st Place District 2).

2016-17 Postseason: Defeated Honesdale 56-35 in District 2 Class 4A quarterfinals; defeated Dallas 55-54 in District 2 semifinals; defeated Berwick, 52-33 in District 2 championship; defeated West Perry 52-46 in PIAA first round; lost to Gwynedd Mercy 56-33 in PIAA second round.

State Classification: 4A

Key Players Lost: Kayla Aufiero, Riley Klepadlo, Alexis Pyzia.

Key Players Returning: Katie Butczynski, 5-7 Sr. G, Lisa Radziak, 5-2 Sr. G, Alyssa Lewis, 5-8 Jr. G, Amiah Lukowski, 5-5 Sr. G, Maddy Grilz, 5-8 Jr. G.

Outlook: The Trojanettes will miss all-stater Aufiero and Klepadlo, who combined for nearly 2,000 career points and fueled three straight league title runs. But they have plenty of speed to help keep up hopes of a title chase, starting with 3-point ace Radziak and track star Lukowski. Lewis and Butczynski hit some big baskets at key times in Nanticoke Area’s postseason run a year ago and 6-1 senior Jill Baron should supply some power inside.

Coach’s Comment: “We have more depth than we did last year. We still have that speed and we want to play that up-tempo-type game. For us, the challenge is going to be putting the ball in the basket.”