Valley West rallies past Hazleton Area in girls basketball


By Paul Sokoloski - [email protected]



Source: Paul Sokoloski

Erin Gibbons scores again

Cougar Kendra Pfeil tosses in a 3-pt. shot in the first half. Pfeil ripped the nylons for 14 first half points against the traveling Wyoming Valley West Spartans. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader


Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Hazteton's Maddie Mrochko (10) gets by Spartan Erin Gibbons (3) for a lay up. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader


Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

WVW’s Natalie Gruver steals the ball for the Spartans in second quarter against Hazleton


Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Wyoming Valley West’s Gabby Smicherko tosses in two points for the Spartans.


Tony Callaio | For Times Leader


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    HAZLETON — The imposing center was strapped to the bench following a technical foul.

    The home team was in the lead, with momentum, two foul shots and then possession of the ball.

    The game was quickly getting away from the Wyoming Valley West Spartans.

    And then …

    Erin Gibbons scored 12 of her 24 points in the final 12 minutes, Gabby Smicherko keyed a dynamic defensive run and Valley West stung rival Hazleton Area again, 61-56, in a game at Hazleton Area High School where the Spartans grabbed control — of the night, and their season.

    “We all kind of came together and realized we can’t let this set us back,” said Smicherko, who finished with 14 points.

    Instead, Valley West surged forward.

    The Spartans moved to 15-4 overall and their 11-2 record puts them at the top of the WVC Division 1, keeping a two-game lead for first place over Crestwood both the in the division and the District 2 Class 5A rankings with three games remaining in the regular season.

    “It’s exciting. Since the beginning of the year, it’s been our goal to play at the Arena,” Smicherko said, referring to the Mohegan Sun Arena — where the District 2 boys and girls championships will be held.

    It seemed to be Hazleton Area’s goal to get even.

    The Cougars, who lost their regular season opener to Valley West, rode the shooting of Kendra Pfeil, a fast break attack and some strong inside play from freshman Marissa Trivelpiece to a 31-28 halftime lead.

    Pfiel popped four 3-pointers and scored 14 of her team-high 22 points in the opening half, then hit another in the third quarter as the Cougars held a 39-36 lead.

    Then it happened.

    While wrestling for a rebound, 6-foot Spartans center Colleen Cwalina flung Trivelpiece to the floor, then was slapped with a technical when she angrily shouted at Hazleton Area players trying to defend their fallen teammate.

    Neither girl returned to the court, as Trivelpiece banged her head hard during the fall, and Cwalina was reprimanded by the Spartans coaching staff.

    “Unfortunately, it was an incident I didn’t like to see,” Wyoming Valley West coach Gary Ferenchick said. “Gotta keep your emotions in check.”

    Valley West hardly checked out, though.

    Back-to-back 3-pointers by Gibbons and Andi Blaski sent the Spartans on a 13-point run and into the final quarter holding a 42-39 lead.

    Gibbons and Smicherko teamed up to extend the advantage and keep Valley West’s divisional lead safe.

    Gibbons scored five straight points to open the third quarter and continue the scoring spurt, and Smicherko hit a scoop layup to give Valley West a 10-point lead with 5:30 to play.

    “She shouldn’t have done that,” Smicherko said of Cwalina. “But it pulled us together. Knowing that was going to give them life, we used it in our favor.”

    Down the stretch, Smicherko hit two free throws to keep Hazleton Area at a distance, And when she missed two more foul tries, Smicherko followed it up by batting away a Hazleton Area pass to stunt a scoring attempt.

    “Can’t make them all,” Smicherko said. “As long as I make it up on defense, I’ll be OK.”

    Holy Redeemer 68,

    Tunkhannock 32

    Sam Rajza scored nine of her 13 points in the opening quarter as the Royals won their 13th consecutive game and remained unbeaten at the top of the WVC Division 2.

    Cameron Marcinkowski added 11 points in the victory and Julia Andrejko hit for 10 for the Royals.

    Rebecca Avery scored 14 points for the Tigers.

    Northwest 60, Hanover Area 58

    Brenna Babcock scored 20 points and the Rangers survived an upset bid by the Hawkeyes to maintain a one-game lead at the top of the WVC Division 3.

    Reagan Harrison added 13 points in the victory and Trista Babcock finished with 10 points for Northwest.

    Genesis Rodriguez led the Hawkeyes with 23 points and Victoria Benning added 16 in the loss.

    Nanticoke Area 50,

    Berwick 47

    Riley Klepadlo scored a team-high 14 points as Nanticoke held off the Bulldogs.

    Alyssa Lewis chipped in with 11 for the Trojans.

    Tori Talanca and Reese Mensinger scored 18 and 10 points, respectively for Berwick.

    Crestwood 49,

    Dallas 48

    Julia Makowski scored 24 point, including a last-second layup as the Comets slipped past Dallas.

    Makowski went for 8 for 9 from the free-throw line, while Sarah Hopkins had nine points in the win.

    Maddie Kelley scored a team-high 16 points and Lauren Charlton finished with 13 points and Sara Lojewski had 12 for the Mountaineers.

    Wyoming Area 49,

    Lake-Lehman 48

    Sarah Holweg scored seven of her team-high 15 points in the Warriors’ win.

    Lydia Edwards finished with 11 points.

    Corrina Scoblick led the Black Knights with 19 points.

    Meyers 40,

    Wyoming Seminary 33

    Bella Skaff’s 13 points fueled the Mohawks’ win over Wyoming Seminary.

    Devan Keiper scored 10 points in the victory.

    Alex Wesneski led the Blue Knights with 17 points.

    GIRLS BASKETBALL

    Wyoming Valley West 61, Hazleton Area 56

    VALLEY WEST (61) — Erin Gibbons 8 6-8 24, Natalie Gruver 3 3-3 9, Gabby Smicherko 5 4-8 14, Colleen Cwalina 2 1-2 5, Andi Blaski 4 0-0 9, Katie Johson 0 0-0 0, Katie Mackiewicz 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 14-21 61.

    HAZLETON AREA (56) — Marissa Trivelpiece 2 0-0 6, Virginia Yurchak 3 0-0 8, Mackenzie Jones 0 0-1 0, Maddie Mrochko 5 0-0 12, Kendra Pfeil 8 1-4 22, Megan Trivelpiece 4 1-2 9, Erika Book 1 0-1 2, Alexis Sheeto 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 3-8 56.

    Wyoming Valley West`13`15`14`19`—`61

    Hazleton Area`16`15`8`17`—`56

    Three-point goals — WVW 3 (Gibbons 2, Blaski); HAZ 8 (Pfeil 5, Yurchak 2, Mrochko).

    Holy Redeemer 68, Tunkhannock 32

    TUNKHANNOCK (32) — Sydney Faux 1 1-1 3, Kelly Barber 1 0-2 2, Josie Frisco 3 1-7 7, Sadie Trochak 0 0-0 0, Jessica Ell 0 0-0 0, Katie Hawley 1 0-2 2, Abby Ritz 1 2-2 4, Izzy Robinson 0 0-0 0, Rebecca Avery 6 2-2 14. Totals 13 6-16 32.

    HOLY REDEEMER (68) — Maya Kornfeld 1 1-1 3, Irelyn Jannuzzi 4 0-0 9, Sarah Kuderko 1 0-0 2, Julia Andrejko 4 0-0 10, Sam Yencha 1 1-2 3, Liv Moore 0 0-0 0, Talia Kosierowski 4 0-0 9, Lauren Wasiakowski 2 0-0 4, Sam Rajza 5 4-5 13, Randie Kuhar 1 0-0 3, Cameron Marcinkowski 4 2-3 11, Alyssa Gushko 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 8-11 68.

    Tunkhannock`8`11`10`3`—`32

    Holy Redeemer`21`17`22`8`—`68

    Three-point goals — HR 6 (Andrejko 2, Jannuzzi, Kosierowski, Kuhar, Marcinkowski).

    Northwest 60, Hanover Area 58

    NORTHWEST (60) — Jordan Harrison 1 1-3 3, Trista Babcock 3 4-9 10, Brenna Babcock 7 6-10 20, Reagan Harrison 4 1-2 13, Danielle Bowman 3 0-0 8, Tess Edwards 2 2-2 6, Megan Harry 0 0-0 0, Brooke Harvey 0 0-0 0, Jackie Jones 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 14-26 60.

    HANOVER AREA (58) — Sara Tuzinski 0 0-0 0, Mary Slusser 3 0-0 6, Victoria Benning 5 6-13 16, Lauren Blazaskie 1 0-0 2, Emily Bobos 1 0-0 2, Madison Hooper 0 5-6 5, Sara Whitesell 2 0-0 4, Genesis Rodriguez 10 3-3 23, Name x x-x x. Totals 22 13-21 58.

    Northwest`10`13`15`22`—`60

    Hanover Area`9`13`16`20`—`58

    Three-point goals — NW 6 (Harrison 4, Bowman 2).

    Nanticoke 50, Berwick 47

    NANTICOKE (50) — Riley Klepadlo 5 0-3 14, Alyssa Lewis 2 7-10 11, Kayla Aufiero 2 3-6 8, Alexis Dyzia 2 0-0 4, Maddy Grilz 0 0-0 0, Lisa Radziak 2 0-0 6, Katie Butczynski 0 0-0 0, Jil Baron 0 0-0 0, Bella Czeck 3 1-2 7. Totals 16 11-21 50.

    BERWICK (47) — Reese Mensinger 3 2-2 10, Tori Talanca 6 6-9 18, Abbey Burt 1 0-0 3, Megan Dalo 2 2-3 6, Mikayla Davis 0 0-0 0, Mallory Pinterich 1 1-2 4, Roni Isenberg 2 2-2 6 . Totals 15 13-18 47.

    Nanticoke `12`17`13`8`—`50

    Berwick `11`18`7`11`—`47

    Three-point goals — NAN 7 (Klepadlo 4, Aufiero, Radziak 2); BER 4 (Mensinger 2, Burt, Pinterich).

    Crestwood 49, Dallas 48

    CRESTWOOD (49) — Riley Magin 0 0-0 0, Andrea Shipton 2 0-0 4, Sarah Hopkins 3 2-2 9, Kate Snipas 1 2-4 4, Sarah Richards 3 1-2 8, Julia Makowski 7 8-9 24. Totals 16 13-17 49.

    DALLS (48) — Maddie Kelley 7 2-4 16, Hanna Johnson 0 1-2 1, Sara Lojewski 5 1-3 13, Olivia Johnson 0 0-0 0, Kendra Saba 2 0-0 6, Lauren Charlton 3 6-7 13, Maria Bednar 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 10-16 48.

    Crestwood`20`11`6`12`—`49

    Dallas`18`9`10`11`—`48

    Three-point goals — CRE 5 (Hopkins, Richards 2, Makowski 2); DAL 4 (Lojewski, Saba 2, Charlton).

    Wyoming Area 49, Lake-Lehman 48

    LEHMAN (48) — Sarah Salus 4 0-0 8, Corrina Scoblick 9 0-0 19. Janelle Cawley 2 2-2 6, Savannah Purdy 2 0-0 5, Madison Borum 4 2-2 10. Totals 21 4-4 48.

    WYOMING AREA (49) — Nicole Silinskie 0 0-2 0, Aleah Kranson 0 1-2 1, Kari Melberger 0 0-0 0, Sarah Holweg 7 0-1 15, Lydia Edwards 4 0-0 11, Cassidy Orzel 4 0-0 8, Katie Wolfgang 2 0-2 5, Addison Orzel 3 3-3 9, Kristi Skok 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 4-10 49.

    Lehman`6`17`15`10`—`48

    Wyoming Area`17`15`7`10`—`49

    Three-point goals — LEH 2 (Scoblick, Purdy); WA 5 (Holweg, Edwards 3, Wolfgang).

    Meyers 40, Wyoming Seminary 33

    MEYERS (40) — Erin Morris 2 0-0 4, Kayley Nilon 0 1-2 1, Amanda Gray 1 2-5 4, Bella Skaff 5 3-4 13 Devan Keiper 4 0-0 10, Gianna Skaff 0 3-4 3, Allycia Harris 2 1-6 5. Totals 14 10-21 40.

    SEMINARY (33) — MT Lehman 2 0-0 6, Alex Wesneski 5 5-6 17, Julia Gabriel 0 1-2 1, Ally Vezendy 0 0-0 0, Olivia Meuser 1 0-0 2, Mia Raneiri 3 1-4 7. Totals 11 7-12 33.

    Meyers`11`10`9`10`—`40

    Seminary`7`10`3`13`—`33

    Three-point goals — MEY 2 (Keiper 2); SEM 4 (Lehman 2, Wesneski 2).

    Cougar Kendra Pfeil tosses in a 3-pt. shot in the first half. Pfeil ripped the nylons for 14 first half points against the traveling Wyoming Valley West Spartans. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
    http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/web1_WVW-Hazleton-GBB-1.jpgCougar Kendra Pfeil tosses in a 3-pt. shot in the first half. Pfeil ripped the nylons for 14 first half points against the traveling Wyoming Valley West Spartans. Tony Callaio | For Times LeaderTony Callaio | For Times Leader
    Hazteton's Maddie Mrochko (10) gets by Spartan Erin Gibbons (3) for a lay up. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
    http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/web1_WVW-Hazleton-GBB-2.jpgHazteton's Maddie Mrochko (10) gets by Spartan Erin Gibbons (3) for a lay up. Tony Callaio | For Times LeaderTony Callaio | For Times Leader
    WVW’s Natalie Gruver steals the ball for the Spartans in second quarter against Hazleton
    http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/web1_WVW-Hazleton-GBB-3.jpgWVW’s Natalie Gruver steals the ball for the Spartans in second quarter against Hazleton Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
    Wyoming Valley West’s Gabby Smicherko tosses in two points for the Spartans.
    http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/web1_WVW-Hazleton-GBB-4.jpgWyoming Valley West’s Gabby Smicherko tosses in two points for the Spartans. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

    By Paul Sokoloski

    [email protected]

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

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