Last updated: April 04. 2014 11:52PM - 2021 Views
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Eastin Ashby, right, of the East All-Stars puts the ball up in front of a West defender during the WVC girls All-Star basketball game Friday at Holy Redeemer High School.
Eastin Ashby, right, of the East All-Stars puts the ball up in front of a West defender during the WVC girls All-Star basketball game Friday at Holy Redeemer High School.
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WILKES-BARRE — Somewhere in the middle of a season without much success, Maggie Michael discovered it doesn’t always take victories to produce a winner.

One last time, she put that lesson into practice.

Michael scored a team-high 12 points Friday and was named MVP of an East squad that defeated the West 75-50 in the 45th annual Wyoming Valley Conference Girls Senior All-Star Basketball Classic at Holy Redeemer High School.

“It’s a great honor,” said Michael, a stalwart under the basket through her four years at Dallas High School. “But honestly, all these girls are MVPs.”

But perhaps nobody deserved to be honored more than Michael, who along with fellow Dallas seniors and All-Star Classic teammates Katy Comitz and Sam Missal persevered through a most difficult season for the Mountaineers.

After winning the WVC Division I title in 2012-13, Dallas was stung by some key player losses this season, lost a handful of tight games early and spent most of the 2013-14 season out of league contention while fielding an inexperienced team trying to learn on the fly.

But the Mountaineers leaned on Michael and Comitz for strength, and by the end of the year, they became a tough out for opponents battling for District 2 playoff positioning.

“It only helps you to be stronger,” said Michael, who’s headed to play for King’s College in the fall, “and to be a better player.”

Friday’s Classic featured plenty of strong players — including 6-foot center Alyssa Platko and outside sharpshooter Julie Kosik from PIAA Class 3A state semifinalist Holy Redeemer, who played for the final time in their home gym.

Platko scored four points and Crestwood’s Rebecca Rutkowski hit six as the East opened a quick 17-4 lead to start the game. Eastin Ashby from Pittston Area popped home seven points in the first half, Kosik nailed a three-pointer, then Michael got going. She scored six points in the first half, and when Pittston Area’s Jackie Rabender broke free for a layup, the East had a 33-13 lead at the halfway point of the first half.

For an added thrill, Comitz beat the halftime buzzer with swishing a half-court shot for a 48-21 East lead at intermission.

The West wasn’t about to go quietly, though.

Nanticoke’s Heidi Kile hit four straight buckets for the West, and when Wyoming Valley West’s Cassie Smicherko converted a break-away layup, the West was within 55-42.

That deficit shrunk even more when West team MVP Quinnea Gross of Meyers got on a roll, scoring 12 of her game-high 19 points in the second half and muscling underneath for a bucket that chopped the East lead to 60-48 with 7:09 remaining.

But Crestwood teammates Rutkowski and Maury Cronauer crushed any comeback hopes, with the East Stroudsburg-bound Rutkowski drilling a three-pointer and Cronauer following with a jumper to boost the lead back to 17 points.

Rutkowski finished with 11 points for the East, while Ashby totaled 10 — joining Missal as the only players to hit two three-pointers on the night.

Kile wound up with 10 points for the West, while Valley West teammates Smicherko and Cheyenne Reese combined for 15.

Berwick’s Allison Rinehimer won the halftime three-point shooting contest, burying eight threes to edge Ashby.

“These are a great bunch of girls,” Michael said. “The past two days, we’ve become kindred spirits. I’ve made friendships I’ll have for a long time.”


East 75, West 50

WEST (50) — Cassie Smicherko 3 2-2 8, Emily Sutton 1 0-1 2, Cheyenne Reese 3 1-2 7, Allison Rinehimer 0 0-0 0, Olivia Hoffman 1 0-4 2, Ashley Knott 0 0-2 0, Alyssa Sitch 0 0-0 0, Amy Williams 0 0-0 0, Becky Marchetti 0 0-0 0, Heidi Kile 5 0-0 10, Ayrin Shortlidge 1 0-0 2, Emily Buerger 0 0-0 0, Breanna Mosier 0 0-0 0, Quinnea Gross 7 5-7 18, Brina Sotelo 0 0-0 0, Kristen Purcell 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 8-18 50.

EAST (75) — Alyssa Platko 3 0-0 7, Sam Missal 2 0-0 6, Rebecca Rutkowski 5 0-2 11, Maury Cronauer 1 1-2 3, Eastin Ashby 3 2-2 10, Taryn Wojnar 0 0-0 0, Julie Kosik 1 0-0 3, Maggie Michael 5 2-2 12, Jackie Rabender 3 2-2 9, Mickie Kaminski 0 1-2 1, Katy Comitz 3 0-0 7, Brittany Miller 0 0-0 0, Nicole Turner 0 1-2 1, Steph Cybulski 2 0-0 5. Totals 28 9-14 75.



Three-point goals — EAST 10 (Missal 2, Ashby 2, Kosik, Rabender, Comitz, Cybulski, Rutkowski, Platko).

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