HS Girls Basketball: Reese Mensinger, Berwick Bulldogs clamp down on defense to win Nespoli title


Hanover Area’s Asdone Hooper looks up at the basket as she’s guarded by Berwick’s Taylor Montana in Saturday’s WVC high school girls basketball game in Berwick.


Pete G. Wilcox|Times Leader

Berwick’s Raina Goulstone looks to pass the ball as she is guarded by Hanover Area’s Erika Merth in Saturday’s WVC high school girls basketball game in Berwick.


Pete G. Wilcox|Times Leader

BERWICK — The assignment wasn’t simple.

And while Reese Mensinger couldn’t control the other team’s scoring star by herself, she certainly had a hand in it.

Mensinger finished with a team-high 15 points Saturday and helped limit Hanover Area’s Asdone Hooper to four baskets as Berwick won its season-opening Nespoli Tournament with a 49-33 victory over the Hawkeyes at Berwick Middle School.

“That was part of our plan, to shut down the one girl that runs their team,” Mensinger said. “My teammates really helped.”

Mensinger didn’t need much assistance to break the Bulldogs loose at the start.

The sophomore sharp-shooter popped a pair of 3-point field goals from the corner before finishing with 10 points in the first quarter as Berwick raced to a 12-2 lead and never looked back.

“Well, I had a good warmup,” Mensinger said. “That’s usually how it happens.”

What she did next was even more impressive, hounding the high-scoring Hooper all game.

Although Hooper wound up with a game-high 19 points, 11 of those came after halftime – and after the Bulldogs had built a comfortable 11-point lead.

“Hooper makes them go,” Berwick coach Bill Phillips said. “She’s a really good player going to her left and she’s gotten much better going to her right. Our goal was to send two players at her every time she put the ball on the floor.”

One of those players was Mensinger, who played a huge role in helping Berwick’s defense limit Hanover Area to single-digit scoring in all four quarters.

“I thought Reese did an outstanding job at the top,” Phillips said. “Reese just shadowed her, and she’s so quick.”

Meanwhile, a number of other Bulldogs put together big stretches after Mensinger’s quick start.

Tournament most valuable player Payden Montana scored nine of her 12 points in the first half to help the Blue Knights build a 27-17 lead. Tori Tolanco kept it going by spreading all 10 of her points through the second and third quarters. And Mensinger finished up by popping her third trey of the game in the third quarter, then providing Sem’s final two points on a pair of free throws with 47 seconds remaining.

“It’s a continuity offense,” Phillips said. “We have Payden Montana at the top and Reese running baseline. That’s two good guards on the perimeter.”

Hooper, Hanover Area teammate Haylee Bobos, Berwick’s Taylor Montana and Wyoming Seminary’s Maya Kornfeld joined Payden Montana on the all-tournament team.

Plymouth Rotary Tip-off Tournament

Wyoming Valley West 63, West Scranton 53

Three players scored in double figures with Gabbie Smicherko scoring a game-high 21 points in the Spartans win over West Scranton at the Plymouth Rotary Tip-off Tournament.

Erin Gibbons finished with 13 points, while Colleen Cwalina chipped in with 12 in the victory.

Dallas 50, Honesdale 31

Sara Lojewski hit four 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 20 points in the Mountaineers win.

Maddie Kelley added 16 points to the victory.

Berwick 49, Hanover Area 33

HANOVER AREA (33) — Asdone Hooper 4 10-11 19, Haylee Bobos 3 1-3 7, Genesis Rodriguez 2 1-2 5, Victoria Benning 1 0-0 2, Lauren Blazaskie 0 0-0 0, Erika Merth 0 0-0 0, Alesha Dennis 0 0-0 0, Berengere Meyer 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 12-16 33.

BERWICK (49) — Payden Montana 5 1-4 12, Taylor Montana 3 0-0 6, Tori Tolanco 5 0-1 10, Reese Mensinger 4 4-4 15, Hannah Woodeshick 1 0-0 2, Raina Goulstone 0 0-0 0, Karen Boone 1 0-1 2, Mallory Pinterich 0 0-0 0, Roni Isenberg 0 2-2 2. Totals 19 7-12 49.

Hanover Area`7`9`9`8`—`33

Berwick`14`13`17`5`—`49

Three-point goals — HAN 1 (Hooper); BER 4 (Mensinger 3, P. Montana).

Plymouth Rotary Tip-off Tournament

Dallas 50, Honesdale 31

HONESDALE (31) — Faith Howell 2 2-2 7, Jess Carney 1 0-0 3, Karli Marin 2 0-0 4, Emily Theobald 2 2-2 6, Nat Tamblyn 1 2-4 4, Corinne Casazza 2 1-2 5, Caroline Tuman 1 0-0 2. Totals 11 7-10 31.

DALLAS (50) — Maddie Kelley 6 3-7 16. Courtney Hoats 0 0-0 0, Hanna Johnon 0 0-0 0, Sara Lojewski 6 4-6 20, Oliva Johnson 0 1-3 1, Kendra Saba 1 0-0 2, Nikki Wren 1 5-6 7, Gianna Centrella 1 0-0 2, Maria Bednar 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 13-22 50.

Honesdale`3`9`9`10`—`31

Dallas`11`6`14`19`—`50

Three-point goals — HON 2 (Howell, Carney); DAL 5 (Kelley, Lojewski 4).

Wyoming Valley West 63, West Scranton 53

WEST SCRANTON (53) — Kaitlyn Cole 4 0-0 9, Destiny Jefferson 6 6-6 19, Kayla O’Neill 1 0-0 2, Raven Rozina 4 1-6 7, Maria Coyne 4 4-7 13, Maddy Vinskofski 0 1-4 1, Nadia Brown 1 0-0 2. Totals 19 12-23 53.

WVW (63) — Erin Gibbons 13; Andi Blaski 0 0-0 0, Gabby LaBar 0 0-0 0, Natalie Grover 2 0-2 4, Katie Rincavage 0 0-0 0, Katie Malkiewicz 0 0-0 0, Gianna Jannuzzi 0 0-0 0, Amanda Scarella 0 2-2 2, Katie Johnson 0 0-0 0, Kiersten Wiedwald 0 4-4 4, Gabbie Smicherko 6 8-11 21, Colleen Cwalina 6 0-2 12, Grace Giza 0 0-0 0, Jordan Reilly 2 3-5 7. Totals 20 21-30 63.

W. Scranton `12`11`8`22`—`53

WVW`18`10`18`17`—`63

Three-point goals — WS 3 (Cole, Jefferson, Coyne); WVW 2 (Smicherko, Gibbons).

Hanover Area’s Asdone Hooper looks up at the basket as she’s guarded by Berwick’s Taylor Montana in Saturday’s WVC high school girls basketball game in Berwick.
http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_berwickhanover01.jpgHanover Area’s Asdone Hooper looks up at the basket as she’s guarded by Berwick’s Taylor Montana in Saturday’s WVC high school girls basketball game in Berwick. Pete G. Wilcox|Times Leader

Berwick’s Raina Goulstone looks to pass the ball as she is guarded by Hanover Area’s Erika Merth in Saturday’s WVC high school girls basketball game in Berwick.
http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_berwickhanover02.jpgBerwick’s Raina Goulstone looks to pass the ball as she is guarded by Hanover Area’s Erika Merth in Saturday’s WVC high school girls basketball game in Berwick. Pete G. Wilcox|Times Leader

By Paul Sokoloski

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Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski

Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski