Last updated: May 31. 2014 3:40PM - 789 Views
By - nwagner@timesleader.com

Pittston Area's Michael Schwab, right, escapes the grasp of Wyoming Area kicker A.J. Lenkaitis during a punt return for a touchdown.
Pittston Area's Michael Schwab, right, escapes the grasp of Wyoming Area kicker A.J. Lenkaitis during a punt return for a touchdown.
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When Pittston Area’s Olivia Giambra landed her second attempt at the triple jump Saturday in Shippensburg, she closed the book on the 2013-14 high school sports season.

And in some ways, it’s bittersweet. Bitter because there is nothing like watching seven innings of a pitcher’s duel — or the thrill of a 100 meter dash. Sweet because that means we’re just that much closer to the fall, and a leaf-changing backdrop of a brisk Friday night.

Here’s how things shaped up for our local teams in the 2013-14 scholastic sports season.


The 49th game between Pittston Area and Wyoming Area was played at the Warriors’ Jake Sobeski Stadium. But it would be a Patriot that took over.

Kyle Gattuso rushed for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns enroute to a 28-14 win over the Warriors. His scoring gallops were of 60 and 66 yards. Gattuso won the Carmon Falcone MVP Award.

The series is now 25-24 in favor of the Warriors.

The Patriots and the Warriors each finished the season 3-7. Pittston Area picked up wins against Tunkhannock and Dallas, while the Warriors beat Hanover Area, Holy Redeemer and Meyers.

Pittston Area will be with a new coach for the upcoming season. Mike Barrett resigned and that paved the way for Jim Norris to take over.

I can’t sit here and write this and leave Old Forge out of it. The Blue Devils reached the PIAA final in Class A. They lost on a quarterback sneak with seconds remaining against North Central Catholic, Pittsburgh. They finished 12-2.

Field hockey

It was a long time coming for Pittston Area. And it knew it pretty much had the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 title wrapped up. But the Patriots needed to make it official.

Pittston Area claimed its first divisional title in field hockey beating Elk Lake, 1-0, in mid-October.

The Patriots got a score from Alana Platukus, then held on for the victory. With the win, Pittston Area squared off against Crestwood. In the quarters, the Patriots fell 9-0.

For the second year in a row, Wyoming Area did the improbable. They built a lead, saw the home team come back to tie after goalie Christina Granteed was injured and still go on to an overtime 4-3 victory — this year at Lake-Lehman in the District 2 Class 2A quarterfinals.

Last year, Wyoming Area led 3-1 at Dallas in the quarterfinals and had standout goalie Granteed injured by a high stick. Bree Bednarski ended up scoring the overtime winner against the Mountaineers.

The Warriors would eventually lose to Wyoming Seminary, 3-0, in the semifinals.

Girls soccer

Pittston Area’s Allie Barber, on her way to being named All-State by the Pennsylvania Coaches Association, scored her 100th career goal — she’s only a junior.

In a 14-2 rout of MMI, Barber made the uncommon tally, finishing the game with four goals. The Patriots fell to Berwick in the District 2 Class AA Championships, 4-3 in double overtime. The Patriots had a 3-0 lead in that game.

Wyoming Area failed to make the District 2 field. The graduating seniors are Danielle Stallarty, Brianna Shinko, Amanda Gallagher, Nicole Cumbo and Samantha Acacio.

Boys soccer

Pittston Area’s season came to an end with a 7-0 loss to Delaware Valley in the District 2 quarterfinals. The Patriots surrendered four first-half goals enroute to the loss.

The Patriots finished this season 7-9-1, two wins better than their 2012 campaign. But it could have certainly been much better if they weren’t hit very hard by numerous injuries throughout the season.

Wyoming Area finished with the 5th ranked defense in the entire conference giving up only 1.3 goals a game. The Warriors put in their first winning season in eight years. They finished 8-0-2 in Division 3.

Due to rule changes and some miscommunication with District 2, the Warriors did not compete in the district playoffs.

Girls tennis

Four locals represented Greater Pittston at the District 2 Class AA and AAA girls tennis tournament held at Kirby Park back in October.

Wyoming Area’s Keirsten Grillo was the only one to advance out of the first round. Grillo, a senior, was pitted against Tunkhannock’s Haley Puterbaugh in the first round. The Wyoming Area netminder made easy work of her opponent, winning by a score of 6-2, 6-2.

Fellow Warrior Anna Thomas had to play her way into the first round of the tournament, and failed to do so. Up against Montrose’s Anna Ruseski, Thomas gave it everything she had. Thomas lost a first-set tiebreak 7-6 (5) before falling to Ruseski 6-4 in the second set.

Pittston Area’s Elaina Menichelli and Haleigh Zurek were each knocked out in the first round. Menichelli put up a hard-fought match and fell 7-6 (3), 6-2. Zurek was eliminated by Coughlin’s Alia Sod, 6-1, 6-0.

Cross country

Pittston Area sophomore Tara Johnson had another brilliant season in Cross Country.

She started off her season with a third-place finish in the Cliff Robbins Invitational. She was the top finisher in the girls race at the Lackawanna County Commissioner’s Championships at Dade Park in Scranton with a time of 19:08, a full 20 seconds ahead of the field. That gave Pittston Area a second-place finish to Wallenpaupack.

At the PIAA Foundation Race in Hershey, Johnson finished third. One of her best runs of the season was a week later. She ran a time of 18:55, a full minute ahead of the girls field in a Pittston Area win.


Wyoming Area’s dynamic duo of Courtney Melvin and Maddy Wharton was fun to watch all season long.

Melvin was the low scorer among the girls with an 87, while teammate Wharton took second with an 89 at the Wyoming Valley Conference Pre-Districts tournament held at Fox Hill Country Club back in October.

At the district tournament at Elmhurst Country Club, Melvin, who advanced in 2012 as a junior, shot a 13-over-par, 86 to finish fourth in Class AAA and miss a PIAA East Regional berth by one spot and one stroke.

Wharton finished sixth of 12 players with a 91.

Pittston Area’s Tyler McGarry was the only Patriot to advance to the district tourney. He shot 94 to finish 32nd out of 35 Class AAA boys playing for six spots in the regional event.


In the quarterfinals of the District 2 playoffs, Wyoming Area fell to Holy Redeemer, 3-0.

Led by Sam Acacio, the Warriors had a steady season under first-year head coach Nick Diaco. Always with a smile on her face, the senior middle was second in the conference in kills with 193, and added 34 blocks.

Pittston Area did not qualify for the District 2 championships.

Girls basketball

Both Wyoming Area and Pittston Area qualified for the District 2 Class AAA Championships.

The Patriots, after garnering wins against Berwick and North Pocono, fell to Scranton Prep in the semifinals. The game against North Pocono, however, was one for the history books.

Allie Barber hit a pair of free throws with four seconds remaining to give the Patriots a 32-31 win.

The Warriors fell to No. 2 seed Holy Redeemer in the opening round. Coach Ryan Kennedy stepped down from his position to spend more time with his family. Chad Lojewski was picked to lead the team at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

Boys basketball

It was a heckuva season for Pittston Area. The Patriots made it to the District 2 Class AAA final against Abington Heights. Although the team didn’t win, the ride was something special.

The Patriots, after going 18-7 in the regular season, got wins against Tunkhannock then upset Crestwood and GAR enroute to the state playoffs.

In the state playoffs, the Patriots were bounced by high-powered Bishop McDevitt, in a game that was played at Wyoming Area.

The Warriors struggled through their third straight season. Wyoming Area finished 0-23. Coach Al Brogna stepped down this off season and that gave way to Pete Moses, who was appointed this past week.


Pittston Area finished its fourth straight unbeaten regular season.

Junior Mia Nardone finished 16th at the PIAA championships in Class AA in the 100 fly She won her first District 2 gold medal after posting a time of 59.67 at the Wilkes-Barre CYC.

On a team that featured just two seniors, Pittston Area ran away with Division 3 of the Wyoming Valley Conference. They finished the season by dominating second-place Wyoming Area, 127-59, to lock up the perfect season.

Pittston Area’s Sierra Williams claimed a bronze medal at the District championships.

Also at Districts, Wyoming Area’s Michael and Ryan Murphy turned in a pair of solid performances in the 200 IM. Michael finished ninth, with Ryan taking 10th. Ryan also took home eighth place in the 100 fly.


In his second season on the mats for Wyoming Area, sophomore 126-pounder Charles Johnson turned in one of the most impressive season by a Wyoming Valley Conference grappler this year.

Johnson was one of only nine WVC wrestlers to make the trip to the PIAA Wrestling Championships held in Hershey. He came out on the losing end in his first two matches, but that doesn’t take away from the year he had.

Johnson finished his sophomore season at 36-7.

Two Patriot grapplers went into the finals in District 2. Tyler Lutecki and Keven Wesolowski each won silver medals.


Pittston Area got one of its big bats back in 2014. Joe Champi returned to the Patriots lineup and provided a spark that led Pittston Area to an appearance in the District 2 quarterfinals.

The Patriots lost to Valley View, 3-2.

The Warriors fell to Pittston Area in the District 2 opener. John Faggotti and Matt Mott held the Warriors scoreless over the final six innings, while Champi and Michael Schwab twice put together consecutive RBI hits to lift the Patriots to a 7-3 road victory.


In my opinion, it couldn’t have ended much worse.

Wyoming Area was on and off for most of the season but found its stride heading into the District 2 playoffs. The Warriors knocked off Coughlin, 10-3, in the opening round. Then, at Berwick, Emily Wolfgang was robbed of a home run with one out in the top of the seventh by a reaching-over-the-fence catch to preserve an 8-7 win for the Bulldogs.

After winning only two games a year ago, a very young Patriots team started 3-0 and had a lead in the conference for a while. The Patriots lost to Honesdale in the opening round of the playoffs.

Girls Lacrosse

Pittston Area’s girls lacrosse team, in its second season, made big strides during its one-win season. The Patriots defeated Tunkhannock, 11-3, in early May for its first win.

Throughout the season, Sara Ruby and Haley Norwillo led the charge for Emily Foley’s squad. In the District 2 Class AAA first round, the Patriots were knocked off by Delaware Valley. DelVal made it to the finals, then lost to Wyoming Seminary.

Track and Field

Pittston Area took a handful of athletes to the PIAA Championships in Shippensburg. The girls team claimed the first district title since 1988. It was a good year.

Olivia Giambra picked up the only medal at states with an eighth place finish in the long jump.

At the district meet, Madison Mimnaugh won gold in the 400 and 800, and anchored two relays teams that finished second and fourth. Giambra claimed gold in the long and triple jump. Michael Harth was a gold medalist in the 800. He also ran a leg of the 4x400 gold medalists.

Wyoming Area finished eighth out of the 18 teams that scored points in the meet, compiling a total of 37. Haley Stackhouse led the way for the Warriors, finishing second in the high jump and sixth in the long jump.

Marcyssa Brown was fourth in the long jump, sixth in the triple jump and tied for sixth in the high jump. Bree Bednarski placed fourth in the 400 and eighth in the 100 while also joining Brew Bednarski, Maya Custer and Alexa Malloy on the seventh-place 1600 relay.

Danielle Bulger was fifth in the high jump and eighth in the triple jump. Danielle Stillarty finished sixth in the 300 hurdles.

Boys tennis

Pittston Area’s Trent Woodruff made it to the final eight in the District 2 for the second straight season. But this year, the Patriot senior ran into a player from North Pocono that was rolling through competition.

Woodruff fell to North Pocono’s Zac Lehman Friday in the quarterfinals of the PIAA District 2 Tennis Tournament held at Kirby Park. However, it was one of the best matches of the day.

Wyoming Area was represented by two players at Districts: Mike Werbin and Nick Leon. Werbin was a 6-2, 6-0 winner over Tunkhannock’s Daniel Greenip. Werbin then gave Wyoming Seminary’s Matt Cartwright, the tournament No. 8 seed, a run in the first set. He eventually fell to the Blue Knight 7-5, 6-0.

Leon got a tough draw in the first round. He was pitted against tournament No. 7 seed Tom Occhipinti of Dunmore. He fell 6-1, 6-2.

Pittston Area won its play-in match to open the team tournament. They fell in their following action.

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