Kayla Aufiero goes 9 for 9 from the field in Nanticoke win


Aufiero hits all 9 shots in win over Royals

Source: Paul Sokoloski

Kayla Aufiero hits the last of her 25 points

Kayla Aufiero (center) and her Nanticoke teammates celebrate a big 66-51 win over Holy Redeemer on Friday night in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 showdown.


Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Nanticoke’s Katie Butczynski races along the sideline against Holy Redeemer.


Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Nanticoke’s Riley Klepadlo goes to the basket against a Holy Redeemer defender Sam Yencha.


Fred Adams | For Times Leader

VIDEO

To see video of Nanticoke’s Kayla Aufiero scoring 25 points during Friday night’s win over Holy Redeemer, visit the online version of this story at timesleader.com

WILKES-BARRE — While shooting around in warmups, Kayla Aufiero got a sense something special was about to happen.

“I had a good feeling coming into this game,” Aufiero said.

Not even she realized how good.

Aufiero didn’t miss a single shot Friday while scoring 25 points to lead Nanticoke back into first place in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 with a convincing 66-51 victory over Holy Redeemer in an electric girls basketball game at packed Holy Redeemer High School.

“This has to be, by far, my best game,” Aufiero said. “And it was just great, everyone making layups, making free throws. It was just a fun game to play.”

It seems like Aufiero was having the most fun.

She scored 10 points in the first quarter and five more in second, burying all three of her 3-point field goal attempts along the way to lead the Trojanettes to a 10-point halftime lead.

In the third quarter, Aufiero added a fourth 3-pointer and connected on eight points in the third quarter and added her final two points on free throws in the fourth quarter while finishing 9-for-9 from the floor.

“Wow,” gasped Nanticoke coach Alan Yendrzeiwski. “I’ve never seen that in my life, a kid goes perfect for the game like that. What could you say? That’s uncanny.

“I’m speechless.”

The night of perfection had the Trojanettes making some noise.

It raised Nanticoke to 19-1 overall, and shot the Trojanettes back into first place in the WVC Division 2 at 13-1 — if just for a day. Holy Redeemer, which had its 14-game winning streak snapped, fell a half-game behind at 12-1 but plays winless Coughlin on Saturday.

“Tonight, Lady Luck wasn’t with us,” Holy Redeemer coach John Jezorwski said. “They (the Trojanettes) have a great team, one of the best teams. We were right there for a lot of it. It was their night tonight. Somebody has to lose, it just happened to be us.”

The Trojanettes turned the tables on the division, and the game, early.

Aufiero got started by wriggling free for a couple inside layups, then drilled a 3-pointer to give Nanticoke an early 11-4 lead.

“Coming into the game, our coach said we had to control the pace,” Aufiero said. “My teammates did a good job of getting me the ball. I knew my shooting had to be on for this game.”

She put it on display from the start.

Aufiero beat the first-quarter buzzer with a 3-pointer for a 16-7 Trojanettes lead, then scored the first basket of the second quarter to push the advantage to double digits.

That’s pretty much where the scoreboard stayed for most of the night.

“Honestly, I think both teams are so similar in style,” Yendrzeiwski said. “Both teams were really trying to play up-tempo. We got a couple easy ones early. They struggled early, missed some shots they normally make. Our goal was to try and do everything a little bit better.”

The Trojanettes held the upper hand throughout, out-scoring the Royals in every quarter as Aufiero and the Trojanettes were making just about everything.

Her 3-pointer midway through the second quarter lifted Nanticoke into a 16-point lead, and teammate Riley Klepadlo matched her with five points in the second to put Redeemer in a 30-20 hole at halftime.

In the final two minutes of the third quarter, Aufiero came up big again.

Her three-point play with 1:32 to play in the period gave the Trojanettes a 12-point lead, then Aufiero swished her fourth 3-pointer with four seconds on the clock to send Nanticoke Area into the final quarter with a 49-36 lead.

“She just played great,” Jezorwski said. “Sometimes it happens. She just had a great night. You have to give it to her, she deserved it.

“She played a great game.”

Holy Redeemer, though, seemed game for a comeback.

Sam Rajza scored eight of her 21 points in the fourth quarter as the Royals cut their deficit to eight points and gained possession of the ball with just over three minutes to play.

But Klepadlo came up with an inside stop — and the ball — and joined Katie Butczynski with four makes from the free throw line over the final six minutes as the Trojanettes secured a spot at the top of Division 2.

“It was important to defend the 3-point line and guard their shooters,” Aufiero said. “Their team is quick, fast-paced, has good shooters. We came into this game prepared. They started coming back a little bit.

“Couldn’t let them continue that.”

Dallas 43,

Pittston Area 33

The Mountaineers held the Patriots to nine first-half points to earn the win at home. Maddie Kelly led all scorers with 15 points.

Pittston Area got 11 points from Alexa Noone.

Valley West 65,

Coughlin 19

Eleven different Valley West players scored, led by 12 points from Erin Gibbons. The Spartans led 50-13 at halftime and held the Crusaders without a point in the third quarter.

Emily Cicon topped Coughlin with seven points.

Berwick 51,

Wyoming Area 50

Reese Mensinger and the Bulldogs held off a fourth-quarter run by Wyoming Area. Mensinger scored a game-high 26 points.

Wyoming Area’s Sarah Holweg scored a team-high 14 points.

Nanticoke Area 66, Holy Redeemer 51

NANTICOKE AREA (66) — Kayla Aufiero 9 3-3 25, Alexis Pyzia 3 0-0 6, Katie Butczynski 2 4-4 8, Lisa Radziak 2 2-2 6, Riley Klepadlo 3 5-6 11, Alyssa Lewis 1 6-10 8, Maddy Grilz 1 0-0 2, Amiah Lukowski 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 20-25 66.

HOLY REDEEMER (51) — Talia Kosierowski 1 0-4 3, Maya Kornfeld 4 1-2 9, Sam Rajza 6 8-10 21, Irelyn Jannuzzi 3 0-0 6, Julia Andrejko 0 1-2 1, Cameron Marcinkowski 1 0-0 2, Sam Yencha 4 1-3 9, Lauren Wasiakowski 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 11-21 51.

Nanticoke Area`16`14`19`17`—`66

Holy Redeemer`7`13`16`15`—`51

Three-point goals — NAN 4 (Aufiero 4); HR 2 (Rajza, Kosierowski).

Dallas 43, Pittston Area 33

PITTSTON AREA (33) — Mary Silinskie 1 0-0 2, Leah Hodick 3 3-4 9, Alexa Noone 4 1-2 11, Andrea Ruby 0 1-2 1, Taryn Ashby 2 1-2 5, Nicole Zambetti 1 0-0 2, Portia Weidlich 0 1-2 1, Lily Savoy 0 0-0 0, Cherokee Musto 1 0-0 2. Totals 12 7-12 33.

DALLAS (43) — Maddie Kelley 6 2-2 15, Hanna Johnson 1 3-3 5, Sara Lojewski 4 0-0 9, Kendra Saba 2 0-0 4, Lauren Charlton 2 0-0 4, Olivia Johnson 1 0-0 3, Maria Bednar 1 1-2 3. Totals 17 6-7 43.

Pittston Area`6`3`14`10 — 33

Dallas`12`10`11`10 — 43

Three-point goals — PA 2 (Noone 2); DAL 3 (Kelley, Lojewski, Johnson)

Valley West 65, Coughlin 19

COUGHLIN (19) — Emily Cicon 3 0-0 7, Le June Berry 0 0-0 0, Molly Poray 2 0-0 5, Kira Meager 0 0-0 0, Ajalaya Butts 2 0-0 4, Arianna Brittingham 1 0-0 3. Totals 8 0-0 19.

WYOMING VALLEY WEST (65) — Erin Gibbons 4 3-4 12, Andi Blaski 2 0-0 4, Natalie Gruver 2 2-2 6, Nicole Boutanos 1 0-0 2, Katie Mackiewicz 2 0-0 5, Toni Amato 3 0-0 9, Katie Johnson 3 0-0 6, Lindsey Gruver 0 2-2 2, Gabby Smicherko 3 0-0 8, Sidney Scarcella 1 3-4 5, Jessica Shaver 2 1-3 6. Totals 23 11-15 65.

Coughlin`9`4`0`6 — 19

Valley West`26`24`9`6 — 65

Three-point goals — COU 3 (Cicon, Poray, Brittingham); WVW 8 (Amato 3, Smicherko 2, Gibbons, Mackiewicz, Shaver)

Berwick 51, Wyoming Area 50

BERWICK (51) — Reese Mensinger 5 3-3 26, Tori Talanca 4 1-2 9, Roni Isenberg 3 2-2 8, Abbey Burt 1 0-0 3, Mallory Pinterich 1 0-0 3, Mikayla Davis 1 0-0 2, Megan Dalo 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 6-7 51.

WYOMING AREA (50) — Sarah Holweg 5 1-2 14, Katie Wolfgang 2 7-9 11, Aleah Kranson 2 3-4 8, Cassidy Orzel 4 0-0 8, Addison Orzel 2 1-2 5, Lydia Edwards 1 2-2 4, Nicole Silinskie 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 14-19 50.

Berwick`15`7`12`17`—`51

Wyoming Area`11`11`15`19`—`50

Three-point goals — BER 7 (Mensinger 5, Burt, Pinterich); WA 4 (Holweg 3, Kranson)

Kayla Aufiero (center) and her Nanticoke teammates celebrate a big 66-51 win over Holy Redeemer on Friday night in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 showdown.
http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/web1_hr_n1_faa-1.jpgKayla Aufiero (center) and her Nanticoke teammates celebrate a big 66-51 win over Holy Redeemer on Friday night in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 showdown. Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Nanticoke’s Katie Butczynski races along the sideline against Holy Redeemer.
http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/web1_hr_n2_faa-1.jpgNanticoke’s Katie Butczynski races along the sideline against Holy Redeemer. Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Nanticoke’s Riley Klepadlo goes to the basket against a Holy Redeemer defender Sam Yencha.
http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/web1_hr_n3_faa-1.jpgNanticoke’s Riley Klepadlo goes to the basket against a Holy Redeemer defender Sam Yencha. Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Aufiero hits all 9 shots in win over Royals

By Paul Sokoloski

[email protected]

VIDEO

To see video of Nanticoke’s Kayla Aufiero scoring 25 points during Friday night’s win over Holy Redeemer, visit the online version of this story at timesleader.com

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

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

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