Trojanette Basketball

Trojanette Basketball

Times Leader’s 2017 Girls Basketball All-Stars

Nanticoke Area

5-7 Sr. G Aufiero led the Trojans to a 26-2 record, a third consecutive Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 title, a District 2 Class 4A championship and to a first-round state victory by averaging 16.2 points, swiping 73 steals and knocking down 48 3-point field goals at a 40.2 percent clip. Aufiero scored her 1,000th career point and set the school record with eight 3-pointers in a single game and scored 31 points in a victory over Hazleton Area after hitting 30 in the previous game. She hit every shot she took in a regular-season win over Holy Redeemer, where she went 9-for-9 from the floor — hitting all four of her 3-point attempts and all three of her foul shots during a 25-point night.

Nanticoke Area
5-8, Sr. G

After missing her junior season with a torn ACL, Klepadlo returned to the court with a vengeance and picked up right where she left off as a sophomore. She averaged 15.1 points, 4.4 steals per game, and 6.2 assists per game. She also led the Trojanettes’ on the boards averaging 8.4 rebounds per game. That included an 18-rebound effort where she pulled down 10 in the final quarter of the season finale. Her all-around game helped Nanticoke Area finish 26-2 and with WVC and District 2 Class 4A championships, and to Nanticoke Area’s first opening round PIAA tournament victory in five years.


Lisa Radziak
Nanticoke Area

Girls basketball: Gibbons, Aufiero earn all-state honors
Steve Bennett - Citizens Voice

GNA Webdesign note: The 2 articles below were posted on 4/16/2017 and only the GNA section was taken.

Aufiero led Nanticoke Area in scoring with 16.2 points per game. She made 146 field goals on the year, with 65 of them coming from beyond the 3-point line. Aufiero was not just a presence on the offensive end, but she was also a menace on defense, especially when the Trojanettes went to the full-court press that helped them force turnovers and convert easy baskets at the other end of the floor.
“It wasn’t as if somebody told her when she was in junior high that she was going to be an all-state player,” Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “This is a testament to all the hard work she put in. She would come in during the summer and work on her game.”Aufiero helped lead the Trojanettes to the District 2 Class 4A championship and a trip to the second round of the state playoffs, where they were eliminated by Gwynedd-Mercy. Nanticoke Area finished the year 26-2. Aufiero led the Trojanettes in scoring in 17 games this season and scored a season-high 31 points in a victory over Crestwood.
Aufiero’s best single-game performance came in a regular-season victory at Holy Redeemer, where she had a perfect shooting night, making all nine of her field goal attempts as well as all three free throws to finish with 25 points.
“I am really proud of her,” Yendrzeiwski said. “She made a lot of big plays for us whether it was on the offensive end or the defensive end.”

WVW’s Erin Gibbons, Nanticoke’s Kayla Aufiero receive girls basketball All-State honors
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They came into high school with pure passion for the game they loved, but without many of the abilities that made them leaders of championship teams.
But by the time they walked off the court, everyone in the Wyoming Valley Conference was aware of how dangerous senior guards Erin Gibbons of Wyoming Valley West and Nanticoke Area’s Kayla Aufiero could be with a game in their hands.That didn’t happen by accident. And neither did their selections to the Pennsylvania All-State Girls Basketball teams.
Their coaches contend nobody could have projected either Gibbons or Aufiero would have ended up among the state’s 16 best players in their respective classes when they first stepped into a high school varsity gym.
“Kayla, when she was in eighth grade, she was a nice little player,” Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “But I don’t think she was even starting. Nobody said this is going to be your next 1,000-point scorer, you’re next All-State player at Nanticoke. She kept getting better and better every year. She worked so hard, and got so much better from when she walked through the doors as compared to when she left.
“This incredible honor is a great credit to her.”
Yet, the success of her team meant the most to Aufiero.
She spearheaded Nanticoke Area’s run to a 26-2 overall record, a third consecutive WVC Division 2 title, and the school’s first District 2 championship and PIAA playoff victory since 2011. Aufiero sparked Nanticoke Area’s 16-game winning streak to open the season, and another 10-game run before it ended with a loss in the second round of Class 4A state play.
“My team and I had a tremendous season,” said Aufiero, who stands 5-foot-7 and will play for Wilkes next season. “This really caps it off. My team and I, we gave it our all and played our hearts out every game. I couldn’t ask for any more.”
Yet, Aufiero delivered more than anyone could have envisioned.
Known for her game-changing and game-winning shots over the past few years, Aufiero took her eye-popping performances to another level this season.
She set a Nanticoke Area girls basketball records by hitting eight 3-point field goals in one game. She scored 21 in the first quarter in a victory over Hazleton Area. Aufiero scored 61 points over two games as the Trojanettes extended their season-opening win streak to 16 consecutive victories. She ignited a press defense that regularly produced more than 20 turnovers per game by averaging 2.6 steals.
And then there was that perfect night against Holy Redeemer, when Aufiero went 9 for 9 from the floor, 2 for 2 from the foul line and scored a game-high 25 points to force a tie for the WVC Division 2 lead and, ultimately, propelled the Trojanettes to a division championship.
“She had a fantastic year,” Yendrzeiwski said. “She scored her 1,000th point toward the end of it. She led our team in scoring, on a very formidable team that went 26-2. The combination of the two got her noticed. The success our team had, and of her, I think both played a part in this.
“I think it’s well-deserved.”

2016-17 Citizens' Voice girls basketball all-star team
Citizens Voice

Kayla Aufiero
School: Nanticoke Area
Year: Senior
Position: Guard

She led the team in scoring (16.2 ppg) and helped guide them to the second round of the PIAA Championships. She scored the 1,000th point of her career this season.

Riley Klepadlo
School: Nanticoke Area
Year: Senior
Position: Guard
She returned to the court for her senior season after missing all of last year because of a knee injury. She finished second on the team in scoring with 15.1 points per game.

PIAA Girls Basketball: Shooting woes sink Nanticoke Area
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The big spurt came toward the end of the first quarter, one that not only brought the Nanticoke Area fans to their feet, but seemed to give the Trojanettes a jolt of much-needed energy.
After being able to survive a sluggish first half that saw them tied with Gwynedd-Mercy heading into the third quarter, Nanticoke Area’s season essentially came down to 16 minutes.And while 16 minutes in basketball time can seem like an eternity, for the Trojanettes on Friday night, it seemed to fly by with the blink of an eye.
Gwynedd-Mercy held the high-powered Trojanettes to just eight second-half points, and ended Nanticoke Area’s season by handing the Trojanettes a 56-33 loss at Parkland High School.
The loss ends Nanticoke Area’s season at 26-2, and ends what it had hoped would be a journey to the state championship game.
“We couldn’t put the darn ball in the basket. They did a great job defensively,” Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “They did a good job taking away our shooters and not letting us get to the rim. Early on, we had a nice flow going.”
That flow came when Lisa Radziak hit a pair of 3-pointers as part of an 8-0 Nanticoke Area run that gave it a 15-9 lead with 1:03 left in the first quarter.
But Gwynedd-Mercy had all the answers. Point guard Maura Conroy controlled the Gwynedd-Mercy offense with her speed, which never allowed the Trojanettes to set up their trap. Coupled with Nanticoke Area’s struggles shooting the ball, the Trojanettes were never really able to establish their pressure defense.
“All season long, we don’t mind playing a fast pace. Sometimes we give up baskets going it,” Yendrzeiwski said. “Normally, we are able to score baskets to keep up. They were fundamentally sound on the defensive end.
Moving the ball around to the open shooter proved difficult for the Trojanettes. Gwynedd-Mercy used its length to clog the passing lanes, and even when the Trojanettes tried to drive to the basket, there was help from all sides to close off the driving lanes.
With the score tied at 25 at the half, the Trojanettes managed just one field goal — on a drive by Riley Klepadlo — in the third quarter. Katie Butczynski added a free throw at the 5:43 mark to bring the Trojanettes within one point
But from there, Gwynedd-Mercy took control. The Monarchs closed the third quarter with seven unanswered points to go up by eight.
Butczynski knocked down a 3-pointer to open up the fourth, but the Monarchs put together another stretch, scoring eight consecutive points to grab a 44-31 lead. Nanticoke Area managed just two free throws over the final 5:11, giving the team just two field goals in the second half
“Their length was tough for us,” Yendrzeiwski said. “They did a great job taking everything away. It was a fantastic job by their kids to guard us. We just had a real struggle in the second half getting a good look.”

Nanticoke girls fall in second round of state basketball play
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They were right there.
The Nanticoke Area Trojanettes were even at the half and within striking distance even during an ugly third quarter
But they never could quite overcome the quickness and precision of an opponent that suddenly turned the tables on Nanticoke and cut short its promising state run.
Speedy Gwynedd Mercy guard Maura Conroy scored eight of her 10 points in the second half and keyed a bothersome defense that held the Trojanettes to a mere eight points in the second half, sending the Monarchs to a 56-33 victory and into the PIAA Class 4A girls basketball tournament quarterfinals
“We couldn’t put the darn ball in the basket,” Nanticoke coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “They did a great job defensively.”
Against a speedy and sneaky-quick Gwynedd Mercy defense that held star scorers Kayla Aufiero and Riley Klepadlo to a combined six points, the Trojanettes tried to counter with some other options
After the Monarchs burst out to a fast 8-2 lead, Aufiero knocked down a 3-pointer, Alyssa Lewis came off the bench with a couple of timely buckets and Lisa Radziak drilled a pair of 3-point goals to give Nanticoke Area a 15-9 lead late in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, reserve Amiah Lukowski drilled another three and Lewis pumped in a two more baskets as the Trojanettes tied the game three time in the final three minutes of the first half to enter intermission in a 25-25 tie
“We were confident,” Yendrzeiwski said. “We knocked down some shots. We were happy to be at halftime tied.”
But the good feeling didn’t last
Conroy scored six points in the third quarter as Gwynedd Mercy took an eight-point lead, then Georgia Cattie hit eight of her 14 points in the final quarter as the game got away from the Trojanettes.
Katie Butczynski, who joined Lewis with eight points to lead Nanticoke, hit a 3-pointer to cut the Monarchs’ lead to 36-31 early in the fourth quarter, but the Trojanettes never got closer
“Obviously, it’s not the way you want it to end,” said Yendrzeiwski, whose team had a 10-game winning streak snapped and finished 26-2. “But our girls have a lot to be proud of. We had three fantastic seniors to lead us this year. What a great season for them. After the minutes, the hours, the days and months pass, our kids will realize they had a season to be proud of, a real special season.
“I’m just really proud of them.


Nanticoke holds off West Perry in girls basketball PIAA Class 4A opener
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As far as the list of accomplishments go, Nanticoke Area has finished it.
Maybe it’s time for the Trojanettes to start a new one
Kayla Aufiero scored her 1,000th career point, Riley Klepadlo scored 15 and Nanticoke wiggled past West Perry, 52-46 in a PIAA Class 4A girls basketball tournament opener at Wilkes University’s Marts Center that gave the Trojanettes their first state win in five years.
“It means a lot, my team’s helped me achieve that goal,” Aufiero said of her career scoring milestone, which came during her team-high 17-point night. “But I wasn’t really worried about that. I was worried about winning the game. We’re setting goals for ourselves. The last one is to make it to Hershey.
The Trojanettes, who moved to 26-1 and will face Gwynedd Mercy in a second-round state game Tuesday, actually checked off the last item on their original chalkboard from the preseason.
They won the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2, won the District 2 Class 4A championship and avenged a four-point defeat suffered in last season’s Class 3A PIAA opener
“They set all these goals before the season,” Nanticoke coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “They pretty much achieved every single one of them. Now they get to go and chase the dream.
“And that’s going to be an exciting dream to chase.
The undersized Trojanettes — who feature the 5-foot-9 Klepadlo as their tallest starter in a lineup of all guards — chased away a much taller West Perry team that kept things interesting, but never quite caught Nanticoke after the game’s early moments.
Aufiero scored four points in the opening period — the last being her career 1,000th — as the Trojanettes grabbed a 12-8 lead and nursed it throughout
West Perry’s 6-4 center Gracie Stauffer finished with a game-high 21 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots but couldn’t put the Mustangs over the top.
When West Perry pulled within two points in the second quarter, 5-2 Lisa Radziak popped a 3-pointer and the Trojanettes took a 24-21 lead into halftime
Aufiero hit a key 3-pointer in the third period for a seven-point Nanticoke lead and Radziak converted a couple of buckets as the lead grew to 11 near the end of the period.
“It felt good,” said Aufiero, who helped key a press defense that gave the Trojanettes a fairly comfortable lead in the second half. “When I would make a shot, they’d get close on me, and then Lisa would make a shot. We went back and forth.
Klepadlo made sure West Perry didn’t come all the way back, hitting four foul shots in the final 2:04 to protect Nanticoke’s first state win since 2012.
“The turning point was in the third quarter,” Yendrzeiwski said, “when we started getting some steals and some stops off the press. I think everybody looks to them (Aufiero and Klepadlo) as our leaders, for being there before, for being seniors, for being good players. You need them to step up and make plays in a game like that
“They made enough."

Nanticoke Area girls advance in opener
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The goals the Nanticoke Area basketball team had set have been reached. Now, it is officially time to start chasing the dream. The Trojanettes eclipsed the final goal of the season with their state playoff victory on Friday night at Wilkes University’s Marts Center in the opening round of the Class 4A state playoffs.
Kayla Aufiero scored 17 points, including the 1,000th of her career, and Riley Klepadlo added 15 more in a 52-46 victory over West Perry. But it was not a typical opener to the state tournament for either team
The game, originally scheduled to begin at 6:30, was delayed 54 minutes after West Perry had all kinds of travel issues because of the weather and road conditions. In all, the Mustangs spent nearly five hours on the team bus, which left for Wilkes-Barre around 1:30 in the afternoon.
Nanticoke Area arrived in plenty of time, getting to the Marts Center in time to catch the first game of the night. It made for a lot of waiting around for both teams — Nanticoke Area for the game to start and West Perry just getting to the venue in the first place
“I think the kids handled it better than we did,” Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said of the extended delay in the start time. “I was talking to their coach, and he said the same thing sitting on the bus. His team handled it better. I can’t imagine sitting in traffic waiting to play a state game.”
The win improved the Trojanettes to 26-1 on the season as the program won its first state playoff game since the 2012 season. It was also the final goal the team set for itself at the beginning of the year. Nanticoke Area won a division title and district title, as well
Now, the focus is to see how long this run can last. Nanticoke Area’s next game will be on Tuesday at a site and time to be announced against Gwynedd Mercy, a 71-45 winner over Audenried.
“I think it is nice, the girls set all kinds of different goals at the beginning of the season and this is the last one: They wanted to win a state game,” Yendrzeiwski said. “Not only did they achieve all their goals, now they can chase the dream of getting to Hershey.
But first things first.
The Trojanettes had to tangle with a West Perry team that featured 6-foot-4 center Gracie Stauffer, who controlled the boards and finished the night with a game-high 21 points. Stauffer’s presence also helped the Mustangs handle Nanticoke Area’s pressure better than most teams have all season. West Perry was able to stretch the floor and avoid dribbling into potential double teams, which normally lead to turnovers and easy baskets for the Trojanettes
“Their size was challenging. They did a good job of spanning the floor and working the high-low game,” Yendrzeiwski said. “We struggled with it. I thought we shot well enough to take care of that early on.”
Nanticoke Area’s pressure finally got to the Mustangs in the third quarter as the Trojanettes forced six turnovers, three of which they turned into six points that helped turn what was a 24-21 lead at the half into a nine-point lead going into the fourth quarter
Stauffer scored West Perry’s first nine points of the fourth quarter as part of a 9-4 run, helping the Mustangs close within four points. West Perry was as close as four points with 1:20 left to play, but the Trojanettes got a basket from Alyssa Lewis and the Trojanettes went 4 of 7 from the foul line in the final 53.9 seconds to ice the game.
“Early on, I thought we didn’t deny the ball the way we normally should, and they did a good job of attacking us,” Yendrzeiwski said. “Once we did start pressing well and forcing turnovers, that was the difference. The press in the third quarter got us a bit of a lead and we made a couple free throws at the end to hold on.”

Nanticoke snatches away District 2 girls basketball titl
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They had been down this road before, banging on the door of a district title, only to be turned away again and again.
This time, the Nanticoke Trojanettes didn’t bother to knock
They simply stormed the last obstacle standing in their path to a championship and smashed it down.
Kayla Aufiero rang up 18 points, Riley Klepadlo worked her way to 15 more and Lisa Radziak hit the money shots Thursday as the Trojanettes burned Berwick with a tenacious press defense that carried them to a 52-33 victory in the District 2 Class 4A girls basketball final at Mohegan Sun Arena
“Oh my gosh, unbelievable,” Aufiero said. “We came up short last year. To finally get it feels great.”
The three-time Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 champion Trojanettes have been targeting this moment for three seasons, since Aufiero and Klepadlo were sophomore starters
But their gold medal dreams were dashed in the district semifinal round the past two seasons, including last season’s four-point loss to Scranton Prep with Klepadlo watching from the bench with a season-robbing torn ACL.
Not this year
Klepadlo, Aufiero and Alyssa Lewis each made three steals as Nanticoke’s swarming press defense forced 12 turnovers in the first half and 21 for the game while neutralizing a much bigger — and younger — Berwick team.
“Their press is really good,” Berwick coach Bill Phillips said. “That’s why they only have one loss. They are a very, very good pressing team. It just got to us.
Right from the start.
The 25-1 Trojanettes harassed Berwick into eight turnovers in the first quarter, Aufiero scored seven points in the first eight minutes and Klepadlo swished a 3-point goal that gave Nanticoke a 10-7 lead it never lost
And while Berwick took better care of the ball in the second quarter — losing it four times — the Bulldogs were held to just six points during the period.
“Our defense is relentless,” Aufiero said, “Our press gets teams confused, frazzled. From the start, we came out strong.
It sent Nanticoke into the PIAA Class 4A playoff tournament to face 18-6 Lancaster Catholic, the fourth seed out of District 3 on March 10.
Berwick, as the District to runner-up, will face either Jersey Shore or Lewisburg, which play tomorrow for the No. 3 seed from District 4
And that defense sent a message to Berwick, which battled the Trojanettes to the very end of a three-point loss during the regular season.
“Today, we were going to go into this game and press in the half court, full court, just playing with a lot of energy and enthusiasm,” Nanticoke coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “The press, I think, was really tough for them to handle.
The Bulldogs really became rattled when Radziak began rattling the rims.
She completely changed the direction of the game, by burying a 3-point goal two seconds from halftime to send the Trojanettes into the locker room with a 27-17 lead
“I knew time was running out,” Radziak said. “I just wanted to get a last shot. I was able to take it.”
For good measure, the 5-foot-2 sharpshooter continued beating Berwick’s zone defense by drilling two more 3-pointers in Nanticoke’s first couple of possessions of the second half, as a seven-point Nanticoke lead shot to 35-19 in the span of less than three minutes
“Huge,” Aufiero said of Radziak’s long-range shooting spree. “They really helped us to build the lead. When she hit those, we felt great confidence.”
That helped the Trojanettes overcome a Berwick team that rode a five-game winning streak into the district final
And the Bulldogs had reason to believe they were capable of pulling an upset in the title game, packing the middle with post players Roni Isenberg, Megan Dalo and Tori Talanca, all standing 6-foot or a tick under against a much smaller Nanticoke attack.
But the Trojanettes were undeterred
Aufiero kept finding ways to produce points in the paint, swooping in for 11 of the team’s 27 points in the opening half.
“It was challenging,” said Aufiero, who converted all seven of her free throws. “But I went up and got some fouls. My teammates did a good job of finding me.
She had plenty of help from Klepadlo, at 5-9 Nanticoke Area’s tallest player, who scored two points in each of the last three quarters to help the Trojanettes navigate through a tall task and reach the top of the district at long last.
“I’m really happy for our seniors,” Yendrzeiwski said. “To get this opportunity, to finally clime the mountain and get that district title, is something they’ll remember for a really long time.”

Golden year for Nanticoke Area continues with district title

The pressure was on from the beginning of the season.
Nanticoke Area was projected as the team to beat in Class 4A.
Anything less than a District 2 championship would be a failure
Well the Trojanettes responded to the pressure the best way they possibly could — with pressure.
That was the biggest difference in Thursday’s 52-33 victory over Berwick to give the Trojanettes the district title at Mohegan Sun Arena
Nanticoke Area (25-1) advances to next week’s state tournament as the top seed out of District 2.
It’s the Trojanettes first district title since 2007
Berwick (16-9) will also play in the state tournament.
“Their press is very good. That is why they have one loss,” said Berwick coach Bill Phillips, whose team lost by three points to Nanticoke Area earlier in the year. “We worked hard against the press. We had a lot of video. They are a very good pressing team. It got to us.
The pressure started from the opening tip and wasn’t limited to just made field goals.
The Trojanettes were pressing on inbound passes as well as missed shots
The plan worked as Berwick turned the ball over nine times in the first quarter and 14 times in the first half.
That led to easy baskets for Nanticoke Area, mostly in transition and the majority coming close to the rim
“One of the things we talked about is we wanted to press the whole time,” Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “It’s something that has been good for us all year. Our girls played with a ton of energy, and Berwick had a hard time getting in the sets they run well.”
Realizing Nanticoke Area’s strength is its shooting from the outside, Phillips felt it was best to play zone and force the Trojanettes to try to win the game from the perimeter, particularly with having to shoot in a strange environment with the roll away baskets
Nanticoke Area did its best to try to find holes in the zone to get some buckets in the lane. But once the outside shooters began to get acclimated to the new surroundings, the Trojanettes seemed to find another gear.
Nanticoke Area held a three-point lead at the end of the first quarter, but started to open up things in the second
Despite Berwick’s Reese Mensinger finishing with seven points in the first quarter, Nanticoke Area’s defense was able to limit her shot opportunities in the second.
Berwick scored just six points in the second period, and was within seven points on Nanticoke Area’s last possession of the half
That was when Lisa Radziak helped open up the game with a 3-pointer from the top of the key that made it a 10-point game. It helped swing all the momentum in Nanticoke Area’s favor.
“That hurt us,” Phillips said
Radziak carried that momentum into the third quarter as she hit two more 3-pointers as part of a 10-0 run to open up a 37-19 lead.
“To get that bucket at the end of the half was huge for us,” Yendrzeiwski said. “Early on we didn’t shoot it well and it was the press that kept us going. We got some easy baskets, then our shooters started to warmup.
Radziak, who finished the night with 10 points, said it took a while to get used to shooting at the arena, but felt eventually the perimeter shots would start to fall.
“We knew it would be a different atmosphere but we were able to adapt to it,” Radziak said. “It was crazy to be here and win. It was better than we could describe.”

Nanticoke storms back to earn spot in Class 4A girls basketball final
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As she looked around her, it wasn’t hard for Katie Butczynski to see what was happening
The Dallas defense was determined to keep a trio of high-scoring Trojanettes from taking over the game.
So Nanticoke’s defensive ace turned into an offensive force, and the Trojanettes turned the tables at the end of a District 2 Class 4A girls basketball semifinal
Light-scoring Butczynski scored seven of her 13 points in the final six minutes Friday as Nanticoke fought back from a 10-point deficit for a 55-54 victory over Dallas and into the District 2 championship next week.
“We are super-pumped,” Butczynski said. “Can’t wait to be there.
The Trojanettes got there with patience and resilience.
They trailed by a point after the first quarter, by five at halftime and by eight heading into the fourth quarter, where Dallas boosted its lead to 10 points
“Every time we started to make a little run at it,” Nanticoke coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said, “they’d make a shot. It seemed like, for the longest time, it (the deficit) was eight, 10 (points). It seemed like it took forever.”
Then Butczynski stepped up
She swished a 3-point field goal with 6:09 to play, igniting a Nanticoke run that erased that 10-point deficit in under four minutes and ultimately carried the Trojanettes to the district championship game.
“I knew we were down by quite a lot,” Butczynski said. “Someone had to make it for us to come back. I thought I might as well give it a shot. I knew my team needed it.
It turned into a shot of electricity for the Trojanettes.
Riley Klepadlo followed Butczynski’s 3-pointer with two consecutive steals and fed Kayla Aufiero for buckets both times — with Aufiero completing a 3-point play on the second one to pull Nanticoke within 50-48
Minutes later, Klepadlo tied it at 52-52 with a drive for a layup, and Nanticoke’s vaunted press defense never allowed the Mountaineers to recover.
“We pulled out the press and said, ‘We’ve got to play the best pressure defense we played all season,’” Yendrzeiwski said, as the Trojanettes were looking at making up 10 points in the final six minutes. “Then we had a 3-point shot, a three-point play, the crowd was going bonkers. Our girls fed off that
“The place just started to get rocking.”
Alyssa Lewis, who came off the bench with 13 points, rolled in a free throw that gave Nanticoke a 53-52 lead, and the Trojanettes never lost it
The point production of Lewis and Butczynski helped Nanticoke recover from a Dallas defense that held star scorer Aufiero to nine points and limited 3-point ace Lisa Radziak to just one point. Meanwhile, Klepadlo finally broke loose in the second half after being held to eight points in the first half.
Klepadlo willed her way to a game-high 19 points and made five of her eight steals in the fourth quarter to help fuel Nanticoke Area’s comeback
But it probably wouldn’t have been possible without a kick-start from some of the team’s lighter scorers.
“They’re taking away our top three scorers, kind of slacking off other kids,” Yendrzeiwski said. “Some of them, Katie and Alyssa Lewis, had to make big plays in the clutch
“Thank God they did.”
A number of Mountaineers took turns making things tough on the tournament’s top-seeded Trojanettes
Sara Lojewski scored eight points in the first half and Lauren Charlton tossed in seven as Dallas opened a 26-21 halftime lead and Maddie Kelley scored seven of her team-high 17 points in the third quarter as the Mountaineers retained control.
“I was a little nervous,” Butczynski said. “But I knew we had it in us to come back.
Once they did, Butczynski made sure the Trojanettes secured a trip to the finals, while Berwick will play Scranton Prep in Tuesday’s third-place game for the right to join the PIAA tourney as the District 2 No. 3 team.
She hit four shots over the final four minutes, and made a key steal in the final minute with Nanticoke protecting a two-point lead
“Katie was huge,” Yendrzeiwski said. “We’re just so used to her being huge on defense. It (her scoring) was such a big turning point in the game for us. We never quit. We’ve just got a bunch of kids from Nanticoke who play their tails off every game. They work their tails off for everything they get. We just had barely enough.
“But we had enough.”

District 2 girls basketball: Trojanettes rally past Dallas to advance

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Eight minutes, that is what Friday night’s District 2 Class 4A semifinal between Dallas and Nanticoke Area came down to. Sure, the loser would have another game to play with the opportunity to advance to the state tournament on the line. They were also the most important eight minutes that Dallas and Nanticoke Area would play this season.
But the winner was assured a chance at playing for a district championship.
With all that in mind, the scoreboard painted a pretty bleak picture for top seed Nanticoke Area. The Trojanettes were down by eight heading into the fourth quarter, and all the momentum was resting in the Dallas huddle before the quarter began.
But it turned out the Trojanettes had another gear. They upped the defensive intensity, created turnovers, and overcame a 10-point deficit to escape with a 55-54 win at Wyoming Area High School.
The win sends the Trojanettes to the district championship game, where they will face Berwick. Dallas will play Scranton Prep in the third-place game on Tuesday at a site and time to be announced.“We picked up the press and we told them they have to play our best pressure defense in the last eight minutes,” Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “We have our strengths and they have their strengths. We are smaller and quicker. They had the size advantage.”
Dallas held a pair of 10-point leads in the fourth quarter with the final one coming at the 6:24 mark after a Maddie Kelley basket. But, eventually, the Nanticoke Area pressure proved to be too much.
The Mountaineers turned the ball over 12 times in the fourth quarter. They had 14 possessions where they didn’t get a shot off.
Katie Butczynski hit a 3-pointer that sparked an 8-0 run, with Kayla Aufiero adding the other six points to cut the deficit to one possession. However, Dallas proved to be resilient, even with all its struggles in the final quarter.“We turned the ball over multiple times and they capitalized on our turnovers,” Dallas coach Kelly Johnson said. “One turnover seemed to lead to another turnover. I think the kids got a little flustered with the momentum (Nanticoke Area) built. We were right there.”
Riley Kelpadlo scored on a drive to the basket to help the Trojanettes tie the game. Butczynski made 1 of 2 free throws to put Nanticoke Area in the lead for good.
But Dallas had a shot to win it at the end.
A pair of Gianna Centrella foul shots got Dallas within one point with 36.2 left to play. Nanticoke Area missed a pair of free throws, but another Dallas turnover gave the Trojanettes the ball back and a chance to either get fouled or take time off the clock.
That never happened, as a turnover gave the ball back to Dallas with 11.1 left and another opportunity. Having to go the length of the floor, Dallas had two chances as time was running out, but both attempts were altered. And as the buzzer sounded, a relieved Nanticoke Area team rushed the floor to celebrate the chance to play for a district title.
“We made a couple of mistakes at the end where we could have put it away,” Yendrzeiwski said. “We got a big stop, we had high hands and we tipped the ball out a little and they ran out of time. We ended up with the win.”
Taking the top seed to the brink was of little consolation to Dallas, who was coming off its best game of the season when it eliminated Wyoming Area from the tournament on Tuesday night.
“We still had two chances there at the end,” Johnson said. “We told the kids how proud we are of them. That is not good enough for them. They know we were right in that game and we could have won that game. We made some mistakes that cost us.”

District 2 roundup: Nanticoke Area marches on
Class 4A quarterfinals
Citizens Voice

At Valley West, Lisa Radziak and Kayla Aufiero each scored 15 points to lead Nanticoke Area to a 56-35 win over Honesdale in the District 2 Class 4A quarterfinals on Tuesday night.
Riley Klepadlo added 13 for the Trojanettes, who play Dallas in the semifinals on Friday at a site and time to be determined.
Emily Theobald scored 11 points for Honesdale.


WVC Girls Basketball All-Stars selected
High School, High School Basketball

Times Leader Wyoming Valley West senior Erin Gibbons (Division 1), Nanticoke senior Kayla Aufiero (Division 2) and Northwest sophomore Brenna Babcock (Division 3) were named MVPs by the WVC girls basketball coaches on Sunday.
Hazleton Area senior Kendra Pfeil was named Division 1 Player of the Year and Valley West’s Gary Ferenchick was named Division 1 Coach of the Year.
Joining Gibbons and Pfeil on the Division 1 first team were: Valley West senior Gabby Smicherko, Dallas senior Maddie Kelley, Crestwood junior Julia Makowski and Pittston Area seniors Taryn Ashby and Kirsten Durling.
Nanticoke senior Riley Klepadlo
and Holy Redeemer junior Sam Rajza were named Division 2 co-Players of the Year, while Nanticoke’s Alan Yendrzeiwski was selected Coach of the Year.
Also selected for the Division 2 first team were: Berwick junior Reese Mensinger, Wyoming Area juniors Sarah Holweg and Addison Orzel, Berwick senior Tori Talanca and Holy Redeemer sophomore Julia Andrejko.
Meyers’ Erin Morris was named Division 3 Player of the Year, while the Coach of the Year honor went to Northwest’s Amy Kachinko.
Joining Babcock and Morris on the Division 3 first team were: Hanover Area junior Victoria Benning, GAR junior Khira Cook, Meyers senior Gia Skaff, Wyoming Seminary’s freshman Alex Wesneski and Northwest freshman Reagan Harrison.

Second-team selections:
Division 1: Sara Lojewski, senior, Dallas; Colleen Cwalina, senior, Wyoming Valley West; Sara Hopkins, junior, Crestwood; Maddie Mrochko, junior, Hazleton Area; Alexa Noone, junior, Pittston Area.
Division 2: Lisa Radziak, junior, Nanticoke; Irelyn Januzzi, junior, Holy Redeemer, Katie Wolfgang, senior, Wyoming Area, Corrina Scoblick, sophomore, Lake-Lehman, Madison Borum, sophomore, Lake-Lehman.
Division 3: Genesis Rodriguez, junior, Hanover Area , Olivia Prato, sophomore, GAR, Bella Skaff, sophomore, Meyers, Mia Raineri, sophomore, Wyoming Seminary, Trista Babcock, sophomore, Northwest. 

Lisa Radziak, Kayla Aufiero take Nanticoke to WVC Division 2 title
Radziak, Aufiero spark Nanticoke’s comeback
[email protected]

For a while there, Nanticoke got lost in a flood of spirit, strength and determination.
And it was all coming from the other team.
Then, slowly but surely, the Trojanettes found a way to swim out of it.
Lisa Radziak found her shooting touch, Kayla Aufiero found more game-changing points Saturday and Nanticoke found enough resolve to overcome a sensational scoring performance by Sam Rajza and hold off hard-charging Holy Redeemer, 49-47 in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 girls basketball title game at Wilkes University’s Marts Center.
“Not a lot of kids get the opportunity to do this,” Nanticoke coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “First, you want to come out and win a championship. And hopefully, this will pay some dividends down the road.”
It was the third consecutive league title for Nanticoke and seniors Aufiero, Riley Klepadlo and Alexis Pyzia, who helped the Trojanettes run their overall record to 22-1 as the top seed in the District 2 Class 4A Playoffs, which open Tuesday.
“It’s just another thing checked off,” Aufiero said of a team list that includes much bigger goals.
It nearly became a black mark.
The 18-5 Royals, fueled by the memory a 15-point Feb. 10 home loss to Nanticoke that essentially forced Saturday’s playoff between two teams that finished 15-1 in league play, roared out on a mission.
After consecutive driving buckets by Alyssa Lewis gave Nanticoke an early 9-5 lead, Rajza and the Royals responded with 11 consecutive points.
“In the first half, I couldn’t wait for our girls to calm down,” Yendrzeiwski said. “I thought we were a little sloppy dribbling the ball.”
Even after Aufiero tried to clean things up, hitting a 3-point field goal and an 18-foot jumper to even the score at 18-18 late in the first half, Rajza responded by dashing along the baseline to give the Royals a 20-18 halftime lead.
“This wasn’t the way I anticipated it going,” Yendrzeiwski said.
Then Radziak got going.
The 5-foot-2 shooting guard drilled two straight 3-pointers midway through the period — including one from NBA 3-point range — then added another one near the ned of the period to lift Nanticoke back into a lead.
“I knew we were down and I knew we needed it,” said Radziak, who finished with a team-high 11 points. “I was just happy to help for the team.”Aufiero helped a little more.
The stalwart scorer who developed a reputation for coming through in clutch moments — going back to the District 2 playoffs of her sophomore season — provided more punch during pivotal moments for the Trojanettes.
Her 3-pointer from the wing lifted Nanticoke into its largest lead, 38-30, with 6:49 to play. And her inside bucket with just under four minutes answered a Redeemer rally and restored a six-point lead to Nanticoke.
“I feel just playing (helps),” said Aufiero, who finished with 11 points, “and not worrying about what the score is at that moment. Just keep playing. Things weren’t going our way. We didn’t let ourselves get down. We came back in the second half.”
Rajza wasn’t about to let the Royals roll over.
She converted an electric reverse layup while falling to her knees with 1:47 remaining, then 23 seconds later, buried a 3-pointer to finish with a game-high 22 points and even the score at 45-45.
“Sam Rajza played fantastic,” said Holy Redeemer coach John Jezorwski, whose Royals lost just twice — both times against Nanticoke — over its past 19 games and will enter the District 2 Class 3A playoffs as the second seed. “She put us on her back for awhile there.”
The performance couldn’t quite carry the Royals to a fifth straight league title between Division 2 and Division 3 play.
Radziak saw to it, by sinking three free throws in the final 1:15 to cement a third straight divisional crown, along with a sixth consecutive victory, for the Trojanettes.
“It was very difficult,” Jendrzeiwsi said. “To not be at our best and and still grit it out and make enough plays to be up at the end of the game is a testament to our team.”
In the end, the Trojanettes barely escaped the wave of Holy Redeemer’s resolve, as the Royals missed a few shots to tie the game or go ahead in the final 30 seconds.
“We had three good, open shots at the end by three good players,” Jezorwski said. “Finish. That’s the word for the week. I’m proud of the girls, they really played with heart. I think they’re disappointed. That’s a feeling, going into districts, we’ve got to fix. Have to give it to Nanticoke, they’re a very, very good team. I thought we were playing really well defensively, containing shooters. They’re just a very good team, and it’s tough to do for a whole game.”

WVC girls basketball: Nanticoke Area beats Holy Redeemer, wins Division 2 title
Citizens Voice

All Nanticoke Area needed to do was settle down. The first half was not a picture-perfect performance on either end of the floor.
Particularly with the Division 2 championship on the line.But once the Trojanettes got to halftime, they had time to relax and assess the situation. All they really needed was to have one or two shots fall and get back to playing the way they are capable.
Lisa Radziak delivered those shots, and the Trojanettes grabbed their third consecutive division title.
Radziak finished with 14 points and helped Nanticoke Area to a 49-47 victory over Holy Redeemer Saturday afternoon at Wilkes University’s Marts Center.
“This was by far the hardest,” Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said of comparing titles. “The last two, we kind of clinched early in the regular season. We knew we had to do it the hard way. We welcomed the opportunity. We had a chance to beat them twice. We didn’t get a chance to play anybody in our division twice.”Nanticoke Area won the regular-season meeting between the two teams at Holy Redeemer. But when the teams finished tied for first place in Division 2, a special playoff game was necessary to determine the overall champ.
“If we beat them twice, we prove that we are the better team,” Yendrzeiwski said. “It wasn’t the prettiest at times. It’s great when your kids can not be as pretty or as nice execution-wise and still win a game.”
The Trojanettes finished the first half shooting 8 of 26 from the floor and 1 of 9 from beyond the 3-point line. They also turned the ball over 12 times, which helped Holy Redeemer grab a 20-18 lead at the half.
“The first half, I couldn’t wait for the girls to come down. I thought I could help them settle down offensively executing,” Yendrzeiwski said. “We were a little better in the second half.”
Holy Redeemer played fast in the first half, which helped it create turnovers and get some transition baskets. But once Radziak knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter, the Trojanettes began to gain confidence. A 6-0 run to close the third quarter gave Nanticoke Area a 33-28 lead.
The Trojanettes led by as many as six points with 3:05 left in the game, but Redeemer wouldn’t go away. Samantha Rajza scored five consecutive points, including a 3-pointer to tie the game at 45 with 1:22 left. Nanticoke Area went 4 of 8 from the foul line in the final 1:15, but Julia Andrejko’s basket in the lane cut the deficit to 48-47 with 6.4 seconds left.
Prior to Andrejko’s bucket, the Royals had three chances at the basket to score, but could not get a shot to fall. Riley Klepadlo iced the game for Nanticoke Area with a free throw with 4.6 seconds left, leaving Redeemer with a last shot attempt that was off the mark.
“We did a good job; we played defense and didn’t give them open shots,” Holy Redeemer coach John Jezorwski said. “We didn’t finish. That was the thing that was different. Nanticoke finished, and we didn’t.”
Nanticoke Area improved to 22-1 with the win and will head to the upcoming District 2 playoffs as the top seed in Class 4A. Holy Redeemer is 18-5 and will be the No. 2 seed in Class 3A.

Athlete of the Week: Kayla Aufiero, Nanticoke Area girls basketball
Tyler Piccotti - Citizens Voice

Kayla Aufiero
Nanticoke Area
Senior, Basketball
Hometown: Nanticoke
Age: 17
Family: Mother, Kristin; father, Matt; sister, Claire; dog, Marvin
Accomplishment: Aufiero was perfect against Holy Redeemer on Friday, making 9 of 9 field-goal attempts and all three of her foul shots for 25 points in a 66-51 victory over the Royals.

Getting to Know Kayla

Favorite subject: Calculus
Favorite television show: “Grey’s Anatomy”
Favorite actor: Matthew McConaughey
Favorite books: The “Harry Potter” series
Favorite music artist: The Weeknd
Favorite athlete: Carli Lloyd
Favorite sports team: Penn State football
Favorite junk food: Cinnamon roll Pop-Tarts
Favorite color: Purple

For Kayla, the best thing about playing basketball is ... playing as a team and getting a victory.
For Kayla, the most difficult part of basketball is ... knowing her final season is soon coming to an end
Away from the basketball court, Kayla likes to ... spend time with her friends and family.
If Kayla could meet anyone in history, she would like to meet ... Albert Einstein
If Kayla could travel anywhere in the world, she would travel to ... Italy.
If Kayla could have one superpower, it would be ... the ability to read minds
Kayla’s biggest role models have been ... her parents.
Up next, Kayla ... will attend Wilkes University and study pharmacy. She is unsure if she will play any sports.


Athlete of the Week: Nanticoke’s Kayla Aufiero

School: Nanticoke
Year: Senio
Sport, position: Basketball, guard
Family: Kristin, mom; Matt, dad; Claire, sister

Last week: The senior began the week with a 31-point performance as the Trojanettes rallied from a halftime deficit to beat Crestwood 66-49 on Thursday. On Saturday night, Aufiero came out red hot. She hit four 3-pointers and scored 21 of her team’s 27 points as the unbeaten Trojanettes rolled to their 15th consecutive victory by topping Hazleton Area 76-67. Aufiero finished with a game-high 30 points and six 3-pointers.
What she says: “They (Crestwood, Hazleton) are both really great teams. My teammates did a great job of driving and getting me the ball. I just had to take it to the rim and draw fouls.
Cake or pie: Cak
Oreos or Chips Ahoy: Oreos
Favorite/Go to move? Pull-up 3-pointe
Favorite TV show: “Friends”
Superman or Batman: Superma
Trapped on a desert island one thing you would bring: Cellphone
Favorite subject in school: Calculu
Favorite ice cream: Mint chocolate chip
What do you put on your pizza: pepperon
A place you’d like to visit: Italy
What are you binge watching on Netflix: “Grey’s Anatomy
Future goals: Become a pharmacist
Pirates or Ninjas: Ninja
Future goals: Go to college and play basketball

Varsity Voice: Nanticoke Area's Klepadlo returns from injury to help spur undefeated Trojanettes
By Steve Bennett - Citizens Voice

A sport Riley Klepadlo played for fun ended in a way that wasn’t fun at all. But now the Nanticoke Area senior point guard is back playing the game she loves most and is working her way to being one of the best players on one of the top teams in the Wyoming Valley Conference.
Klepadlo missed her entire junior season on the basketball court after she suffered a torn left ACL playing soccer in Nanticoke Area’s first regular-season game of the year.
“I have been playing basketball ever since I was young; soccer was always my ‘for fun’ sport,” Klepadlo said. “I have been on the varsity (basketball team) since my freshman year. Obviously, I missed my junior year.”At the time she suffered the injury, Klepadlo said she went down but was not in a severe amount of pain, and was able to walk off the field. She even went as far as trying to get back in the game, but that never happened. It was on her way to the team bus when the knee gave out and began to swell.
She knew something was wrong.
“I didn’t know for a month,” Klepadlo said. “I was diagnosed with an MCL sprain. I followed up with a specialist and was told it was another MCL sprain and to take a week off. I had a MRI scheduled that I pushed for and they told me it was completely torn.”
With surgery the only option to repair the injury, Klepadlo headed to the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia three weeks later for the operation. What followed were four months of rigorous physical therapy designed to get Klepadlo back on the court for this, her senior season.Klepadlo had to wait six months after surgery to be able to return to basketball activities — with the stipulation of having to wear a brace. After 10 months, she was able to shed the brace.
Even with an eye on the future, her junior season was admittedly tough. The Trojanettes finished last season 23-4. They won the Division 2 championship in the WVC and qualified for the state playoffs, where they were eliminated by Danville in the opening round.
“There was never a moment where the team made me feel as though I was hurt,” Klepadlo said. “I always wished I was out there. The focus was on getting better for (this) year. Every motivation going to the gym for rehab or working out on my own every day was just to get back to this point.”From a coach’s perspective, Alan Yendrzeiwski felt bad. High school athletes don’t get a redshirt with the chance to recoup a missed season. From the basketball end of things, Yendrzeiwski looked at it as an opportunity for other players needing to step up.
“You just feel so bad for the kid,” Yendrzeiwski said. “We knew we were going to have a good team. She was going to be a big part of it. The other side is that you still have the rest of the team. You still keep the team together, but you still feel bad for the kid.”
Klepadlo spent the season on the bench sitting right next to the coaches. Yendrzeiwski felt it was an opportunity for Klepadlo to see the game the way the coaching staff sees it. In the end, he believed when she returned to the court, she would become a much better player.
After a season on the bench, and once she was finally cleared to get back on the floor, Klepadlo hit the court running. She played for JB Hoops over the summer and participated with her teammates at Nanticoke Area in some summer leagues. All the while building up strength and endurance.
“In the beginning I felt like I lost some speed, but now I feel I am getting back to it,” Klepadlo said. “In the summer, it was like I was trying to reteach myself everything. I felt as though wearing the brace was a reminder. I wore it for 10 months. It was almost like I forgot about (the knee). The major part was the fast breaks and the open court. In the beginning that was the part where I may have been a bit apprehensive.”
It’s safe to say there are no longer periods of apprehension for Klepadlo. In fact, it was Nanticoke Area’s first game of this season against North Schuylkill in the third quarter when Klepadlo showed that she was back.
She finished the game with 17 points in a 70-41 victory. She currently is averaging 15.6 points per game and the team is off to a 13-0 start, and looking like one of the favorites in Class 4A.
“The first half of the North Schuylkill game she was a little shaky, just working off some of the rust,” Yendrzeiwski said. “By the third quarter it really started to click. You really saw the switch turn on. That was what we remembered from her sophomore year.” 


Times Leader’s Athlete of the Week: Nanticoke’s Lisa Radziak

School: NanticokeYear: Junior
Sport, position: Girls basketball, guard
Family: Lisa, mom; Leonard, dad; Leonard, brother; Laura, sister

Last week: The 5-foot-2 sharp shooter scored 17 points, including three 3-pointers to keep Nanticoke undefeated (9-0, 3-0) after a 81-51 win over Northwest on Friday. On Wednesday, Radziak scored 17 points in Nanticoke’s big win over Hanover Area.
What she says: “I think the team is starting to see the open player, working the fast break and our full-court press is really working well for us. … This year we’re working so much harder in practice, running a lot more in practice and really, really working hard.”

Cake or pie: Pie
Oreos or Chips Ahoy: Oreos
Favorite song right now: “Till I Collapse” Eminem
One thing people would be surprised to know about you: My dad taught me everything I know about basketball
Favorite TV show: “Big Bang Theory
Is a hotdog a sandwich?: No
Favorite teacher: Mr. Litch, world culture
Favorite subject in school: English
Favorite food: Pork and sauerkrau
Favorite ice cream: Chocolate
Favorite Athlete: Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spur
What do you put on your pizza: Chicken, hot sauce, blue cheese
Favorite book: “Tuesday’s with Morrie
A place you’d like to visit: Maui
What are you binge watching on Netflix: “American Horror Story
Future goals: Become a pediatrician
Pirates or Ninjas: Ninjas

Trojanettes win Taylor Lions Tournament
Citizens Voice

At Riverside High School, Tournament MVP Riley Klepadlo scored 22 points to lead Nanticoke Area to a 67-51 win over West Scranton in the title game of the Taylor Lions Tournament on Wednesday.
Making the all-tournament team for Nanticoke Area were Kayla Aufiero and Klepadlo.


2016-2017 Citizens Voice Girls Basketball Preview
Citizens Voice

Nanticoke Area
Head coach: Alan Yendrzeiwski

Last season: Finished the season 23-4. Lost in the first-round of the state playoffs to Danville.
Players to watch: Riley Klepadlo, Kayla Aufiero, Alexis Pyzia, Katie Butczynski, Lisa Radziak.Looking ahead: Klepadlo returns to the court after missing her junior season because of a knee injury. She was named division MVP by the coaches during her sophomore season. The Trojans will look to put a bit more emphasis on guard play this season, which will result in a more up-tempo style of play. The faster this group can play, the better off it will likely be.