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N.Eastern

PA Report

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Past Columns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ed note: We are pleased to have the some info from the North Eastern part of the state. We are pleased to have a long time LLHoops fan , Jon K. to contribute. Thanks Jon. Hope you enjoy.

 

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DISTRICT 2 GIRLS DIVISION PREVIEWS

 

 

WYOMING VALLEY CONFERENCE

 

DIVISION 1

 

1.    Wyoming Valley West (Gary Ferenchick) 5A

2.    Hazleton Area (Joe Gavio) 6A

3.    Pittston Area (Kathy Healey) 5A

4.    Dallas (Kelly Johnson) 4A

5.    Crestwood (Ed Stepanski) 5A

6.    Wilkes-Barre Coughlin (Tony George) 5A

 

While Hazleton Area and Pittston Area have slugged it out in recent years for Division 1 honors, Wyoming Valley West looks to make a return to the top of the realigned division for the first time since the 2011-2012 season.  The Lady Spartans have a veteran squad and good balance both underneath the basket and around the perimeter.  WVW is led by a trio of senior guards, Erin Gibbons (14.2 ppg), Gabby Smicherko (13.4 ppg), and Natalie Gruver (5.6 ppg).  Inside, 6-0 senior center Colleen Cwalina scores 7.8 ppg.  Head coach Gary Ferenchick is currently without standout 5-10 senior forward Jordan Reilly who suffered a shoulder injury before the season began but she will probably return to the lineup later in the season.  Look for Hazleton Area, Pittston Area, Dallas, and Crestwood to be close behind all the way.  Defending division and district champ Hazleton Area had some uncertainty develop after expected senior point Lauren Pataki suffered a season-ending injury.  Joe Gavio had lots of options but, so far, has gotten sensational efforts from his stellar backcourt of sharpshooter junior Maddie Mrochko (15.5 ppg) and senior Kendra Pfeil (13.2 ppg).  Inside, there is ample depth, but it needs to be developed.  And 5-10 freshman playmaker Marissa Trivelpiece (11.7 ppg with 9 triples) has impressed along with older sister Megan (5-7 senior forward) and 5-10 senior forward Alexis Sheeto.  Pittston Area returns senior guards Taryn Ashby (17.3 ppg) and Kirsten Durling (13.5 ppg) along with junior guard Alexa Noone (5 ppg).  An early bright spot for the Lady Patriots has been the addition of freshman Leah Hodick who has been scoring about 10.5 ppg.  Pittston always plays tough defense and that should again keep them in the thick of the race.  Everybody loves a sleeper team and that team could be Dallas.  The Lady Mounts return a majority of their scoring punch and have been bolstered by the strong play of 5-11 freshman forward Lauren Charlton (7.6 ppg).  They also have a duo of outstanding senior guards in Maddie Kelley (17.4 ppg) and Sara Lojewski (12.2 ppg).  Added backcourt depth comes via three solid juniors, Olivia Johnson, Hanna Johnson, and Kendra Saba.  There is a LOT to like about their chances.  Crestwood graduated an all-state player, but the Lady Comets have so far featured terrific team balance.  They have a trio of solid guards in junior Julia Makowski (13.5 ppg), senior Kate Snipas (4.5 ppg), and junior point Sara Hopkins (8.8 ppg).  Inside, they have 5-8 junior forward Andrea Shipton (9 ppg).  Wilkes-Barre Coughlin looks to work on the basics to achieve some conference wins.  The Lady Crusaders get about 13.6 ppg combined from seniors guards Claire Curtis and Emily Ciron.  Teams plays each Division 1 opponent twice and each Division 2 team once for a total of 16 games.                                                         

 

 

DIVISION 2

 

1.    Nanticoke Area (Alan Yendrzeiwski) 4A

2.    Holy Redeemer (John Jezorwski – 1st year) 3A

3.    Wyoming Area (Chad Lojewski) 4A

4.    Berwick (Bill Philips) 4A

5.    Lake-Lehman (Charlie Lavan) 4A

6.    Tunkhannock (Joe Reno) 4A

 

Nanticoke Area appears to be the team to beat in Division 2.  Their rotation this year features guards everywhere, all the time.  And, so far, their relentless hustle and tenacious play has proven highly effective – especially as seen in a recent (slight) upset victory over a taller state-ranked Nazareth squad.  The not-so-secret sauce that brings everything together is senior Riley Klepadlo (16 ppg, 10 triples) who missed all of last year with an injury.  She is joined by senior sharpshooter Kayla Aufiero (13.5 ppg, 10 triples).  Junior returnees Lisa Radziak and Katie Butczynski average a combined 12.6 ppg.  The Trojanettes also rely on senior Alexis Pyzia (4.8 ppg) and sophomore Alyssa Lewis (9.5 ppg).  Holy Redeemer, Wyoming Area, and Berwick are all expecting to have fine seasons.  How the pieces continue to come together on these teams will decide how far each of them can go.  Holy Redeemer, under first year head coach John Jezorwski, gained the services of senior guard transfer Maya Kornfeld (a 1,000 point scorer, 10.2 ppg) to go along with senior guard Talia Kosierowski (9.8 ppg).  Additional perimeter contributions come from junior Sam Rajza (7.6 ppg) and sophomore Julia Andrejko.  The Lady Royals, who always play relentless defense, also feature 5-10 freshman forward Samantha Yencho (6.2 ppg) and transfer junior guard Irelyn Januzzi.  Wyoming Area definitely has the ingredients for a championship push, but the Lady Warriors are still learning how vital it is to finish strong in big games.  They are paced by a trio of guards, junior Sarah Holweg (22.8 ppg, 17 treys), senior Katie Wolfgang (15.5 ppg), and senior Lydia Edwards (13.8 ppg).  Inside, 5-10 junior forward Addison Orzel has been scoring 7.8 ppg.  Berwick could surprise and surge toward the top of the division behind the consistent play of junior guard Resse Mensinger (17.2 ppg, 13 triples) and 5-11 senior forward Tori Talanca (15.7 ppg).  The Lady Dawgs also have plenty of frontcourt height in junior Roni Isenberg (5.5 ppg) and sophomore Megan Dalo (2.8 ppg).  Lake-Lehman is a team with plenty of potential and several younger players contributing.  The Black Knights are led by a pair of sophomores, center Madison Borum (10.8 ppg) and guard Savannah Purdy (9.3 ppg).  They also have freshman Sarah Salus and soph Corrina Soblick combining for 14.7 ppg.  Tunkhannock returns senior guard Sydney Faux who was their top three-point shooter a year ago.  The Lady Tigers also return junior guard Kelly Barber.  Sophomores Abby Ritz (guard) and Rebecca Avery (forward) score a combined 12.6 ppg.  As has been both praised and panned by some coaches, the new Division 2 schedule has teams playing every Wyoming Valley Conference team once for a total of 17 games.                                      

 

 

DIVISION 3

 

1.    Northwest Area (Amy Kachinko) 2A

2.    Wilkes-Barre Meyers (Mary Mushock – 1st year) 3A

3.    Wyoming Seminary (Abbey Rodway) 2A

4.    Hanover Area (Tom Gilroy) 3A

5.    Wilkes-Barre GAR (Hattie Caruso) 3A

 

Division 3 has a new look with perennial contender Holy Redeemer now competing in Division 2.  And that has Northwest Area in position to be the favorite in this race.  The Lady Rangers, like every other team in this division, has a tremendous amount of developing young talent on their roster.  They are deservedly getting a lot of attention as their sophomore-led lineup has already defeated highly-regarded Wyoming Area during a challenging non-league slate.  Northwest is paced in the backcourt by sophs Brenna Babcock (19.8 ppg) and sister Trista (5.3 ppg).  Freshmen Raegan Harrison is hitting 13.7 ppg.  Inside NW features 5-9 soph forward Hannah Wisniewski (15 ppg) along with 5-8 junior Jordan Harrison (4.3 ppg).  Another steadily-improving team with a bunch of young talent is Wilkes-Barre Meyers.  First year head coach Mary Mushock relies on senior guard Giana Skaff (7 ppg) and junior guard Erin Morris (9 ppg).  In the frontcourt, the Lady Mohawks feature seniors Devon Keiper and Elise Fellerman along with soph Bella Skaff (8.8 ppg).  Wyoming Seminary is working through some roster changes this season, but that’s often the norm for the Lady Knights.  Senior guard Mary Theresa Lehman (5 ppg) leads their attack, but so far it’s been the play of their younger guards that has them in a battle for second position.  Alex Wesneski (freshman, 9.4 ppg) and Annemaakie Reitsma (soph, 7.2 ppg), along with junior forward Julia Gabriel (4.6 ppg), have the future looking bright for Sem.  Yet another team with plenty of talented underclassmen is Hanover Area.  The Lady Hawks graduated a pair of 4-year starters that are not easily replaced.  And adding to their early-season woes, are injuries to a pair of key starters (junior guards Lauren Blazaskie and Genesis Rodriguez).  Victoria Benning (5-11 junior forward) averages 11.4 ppg.  She is joined in the front court by soph forward Emilee Bobos.  In the backcourt, it’s a pair of freshmen (Madison Hooper and Sarah Tuzinski) along with sophomore Sara Whitesell (5.5 ppg).  Wilkes-Barre GAR gets about 14.7 ppg inside from senior Cierra Taylor and junior center Alexis Whiting.  Outside, it’s the hot shooting of junior guard Khira Cook (15.2 ppg with 18 triples).  She is joined by sophomore Olivia Prato Adolphis (6.3 ppg).  MMI Prep decided to cancel their girls’ program this season as the roster numbers to field a team were problematically low.  Teams play each Division 3 team twice and each Division 2 team once for a total 14 games.  Teams have the option to replace the MMI game on their schedule.                                   

 

 

 

LACKAWANNA LEAGUE 

 

DIVISION 1

 

1.    Scranton Prep (Bob Beviglia) 4A

2.    West Scranton (Leo Ciullo) 5A

3.    Scranton (PJ Hughes) 6A

4.    Abington Heights (Deanna Klingman) 5A

5.    Valley View (Rob Martin) 4A

 

Division 1 looks to be an outstanding race between Scranton Prep, Scranton, and West Scranton.  All of these teams feature an experienced senior leader, are all well-coached, and have played a rigorous non-league slate.  The Classics definitely impressed fans last week with their near comeback win against highly-regarded Dunmore in the Lynett Tournament.  Julia Sirotnak is their 5-10 senior center who scores 10.6 ppg and has 17 triples on the season.  She is joined by 5-8 junior Holly Daveski and improving sophomore Katherine Dzwonczyk.  In the backcourt, Bob Beviglia relies on senior Calista Kline (5.9 ppg) and soph Kathleen Rose (9.1 ppg).  West Scranton and Scranton each boasts a soon-to-be 1,000 point scoring senior guard.  West features Destiny Jefferson, a dynamic player who hits 19.6 ppg.  She is joined by a trio of talented underclassmen, junior Nadya Brown (5-10, 3.9 ppg), soph Nevaeh Ross (6.4 ppg), and freshman Tatum Rephis (6.8 ppg).  The Lady Invaders also have a tall frontcourt in 5-10 senior Kalia O’Neil and 5-11 junior Raven Rozina who score a combined 7.3 ppg.  Right on their heels will be top rival Scranton.  The Lady Knights have the firepower to challenge for the division title with superb ball handling, quickness, and exceptional height.  Their go-to player is the uber-quick Ciaira Lloyd, 15.1 ppg, although fellow senior guard Tahliah Dillon (5.1 ppg) also makes things happen on the floor.  Inside, 5-11 junior forward Shelby Funchess (4.3 ppg) is back.  She is joined by a pair of forwards to be reckoned with in the coming years, 6-0 sophomore Kristen Hart (4 ppg), and 6-2 freshman, Colette Mulderig (7 ppg).  Abington Heights is without a key piece from last year as 6-0 junior forward Cassandra Ksiazek, a versatile player all over the floor who averaged 9.3 ppg in 2015-2016 is out for the season.  That puts more pressure on seniors Alessia Brunori (5-11 center, 5.3 ppg) and Olivia Baker (5-11 forward, 4.1 ppg).  In the backcourt, senior guards Nicole Getz (3.4 ppg) and Nicole Nealon (6.4 ppg) are joined by juniors Hannah Kowalski (8.9, ppg) and Sharon Houlihan (5.8 ppg).  The Lady Comets are improving and will likely play a key role in the division race, especially in the latter half.  Valley View does have experience on the floor anchored by the return of Olivia Chieffallo (senior guard, 7.5 ppg) who missed all of last year with an injury.  She is joined by guards Cali Craig (senior, 5.8 ppg) along with juniors Jenn Nguyen (6 ppg) and Britney Charles.  The Lady Cougars do not have much height inside where they rely on seniors Hannah Yanoski (4.4 ppg) and Quinn Kelley.  Teams play a total of 13 games, Division 1 teams twice and Division 2 teams once.                        

 

 

DIVISION 2

 

1.    Wallenpaupack (Kenny Hemmler) 5A

2.    North Pocono (Corey Valvano – 1st year) 3A

3.    Western Wayne (Colleen Kloss) 4A

4.    Honesdale (Pilar Beam) 4A

5.    Delaware Valley (Lindsay Baker) 6A

 

Division 2 has a great mix of teams that have lots of potential for improvement.  Wallenpauapck gets the nod but North Pocono and Western Wayne return top players.  And, while Honesdale and Delaware Valley have struggled to find wins through December, they are improving with virtually their entire lineups returning.  Paupack, even without senior playmaker Olivia Scartelli, who is out for the season, remains a very solid team – and the favorite to win the division.  The Lady Buckhorns feature a trio of sophomore guards in Megan Guerrieri (12 ppg), Hannah Smith (7.8 ppg), and Rachel Tirjan (5.2 ppg).  Inside, 5-10 junior forward Erin Worzel scores 6.3 ppg.  Although North Pocono graduated a majority of their scoring punch, look for the Lady Trojans (along with Western Wayne) to challenge for the top spot.  NP returns a front court led by senior standout Chloe Pehanick (13.4 ppg).  She is joined by Sarah Kaneski (5-9 junior, 5.3 ppg) and Izzy Pehanick (5-6 sophomore, 6.1 ppg).  Senior guard Rachel Lewis (the only other senior on the roster) nets 3.7 ppg.  Western Wayne returns super-sophomore forward Gracie Guarino (9.7 ppg).  She is joined by 5-10 senior center Caitlin Henneforth (7.2 ppg).  The Lady Wildcats have been getting balanced contributions around the perimeter from a mix of guards – Kallie Jones (junior, 7 ppg), Jessica Berger (senior, 5.2 ppg), Mariah Lombardi (senior), Hannah Roedel (junior, 7 ppg), and Paige Barillo (soph).  Honesdale, still looking for their first win, is showing steady improvement.  The Lady Hornets have been getting terrific efforts from 6-0 senior center Caroline Tuman (10.1 ppg).  Inside, she is helped by Emily Theobald (5-11 senior forward) with 8 ppg and soph Alexa Jones.  In the backcourt, senior Corrine Casazza leads the way (5.8 ppg) with senior Riley Barton adding 3.5 ppg.  Delaware Valley, who only won three games last season, returns their entire lineup.  The Lady Warriors are looking to continue to work hard and may achieve a few division wins along the way.  Del-Val is led by a trio of players, Hannah Gallaher (6-1 senior center, 10.8 ppg), Jenna Pacella (senior guard, 8.8 ppg), and Ciera Cavallaro (junior guard, 6 ppg).  Teams play a total of 13 games, Division 2 teams twice and Division 1 teams once.                                        

 

 

DIVISION 3

 

1.    Dunmore (Ben O’Brien) 3A

2.    Holy Cross (Barry Fitzgerald) 3A

3.    Riverside (Jack Mekilo) 3A

4.    Mid Valley (Vince Bucciarelli) 3A

5.    Carbondale (Will Reckless) 3A

6.    Lakeland (Amanda Vitzakovitch – 1st year) 3A

7.    Old Forge (Ron Stacchiotti) 2A

 

For starters, Division 3 features a wealth of basketball talent as seen from the three Division 1 college recruits among the top teams.  But, as has been seen over years, to capture this division championship, takes a lot more than individual talent.  The reputation of this group of teams is highly-respected through many well-earned state bracket wins.  Expect another season of battles between borough rivals Dunmore and Holy Cross staged in front of capacity crowds.  The Lady Bucks remain undefeated so far.  They are led by all-state senior guard Maddie Martin (16.8 ppg, 15 triples).  She is joined in the backcourt by another impressive senior, Erika Bistran (7.7 ppg, 10 triples) and junior Kelly Quinn (6.8 ppg).  Inside, Dunmore has steady sophomore Victoria Toomey (6-0 forward, 9.7 ppg).  Add playmaker Gianna Delfino (5-10 soph, 11 ppg) into that mix and you have a dangerous lineup.  Trying to catch them will be Holy Cross.  The Lady Crusaders are anchored by 5-11 senior forward Abby Anderson who can do it all.  She nets just under 19 ppg and has a fabulous outside touch (16 triples).  Junior guard Lexi Walsh (12 ppg, 8 treys) is a smooth shooter who can nail a clutch triple and drive inside.  She is a very versatile player for Barry Fitzgerald.  Holy Cross also has sophomores Abby Sempa (guard, 8 ppg) and Haley Bestrycki (forward, 6.3 ppg).  Junior guard Mollie Burdo scores 4 ppg.  The Lady Crusaders recently dropped their first game of the season in a holiday tourney to WVC Division 1 favorite Wyoming Valley West.  Riverside returns the bulk of their lineup and is paced by senior guard Lizzy Spindler (17.1 ppg, 13 triples).  5-10 center center Shelby Slaboda (8.1 ppg) also returns as does 5-11 senior forward Jess Millan (5.9 ppg).  The Lady Vikes have gained about 9 points per game from sophomore guard Julia Antoniacci who has a nice shooting touch.  Mid Valley is off to a terrific start behind the senior leadership of Erica Haefele (guard, 14 ppg) and Ani Holt (5-10 forward, 7.8 ppg).  The Spartanettes have excellent height in their frontcourt with Lauren Williams (5-8 senior) and Kiana Williams (6-0 junior, 7.5 ppg).  Sophomore guard Emily Morano hits about 5.3 ppg.  Carbondale Area has an experienced team paced by a trio of guards, senior Anna Totsky (11.7 ppg), senior Mikenna Walsh (10 ppg), and junior Amelia Zazzera (10 ppg).  They can all hit a triple and have 26 combined on the season.  Maresa Artone (5-10 senior forward) scores 6.7 ppg for the Chargerettes.  Coming off their superb 17-win season a year ago, Lakeland is getting great efforts from three seniors, Brooke Estadt (12.2 ppg, 13 triples), Madison Harding (10.8 ppg), and Katie Retzbach (5.8 ppg).  Junior Haley Clauss-Walton nets 7.8 ppg for the Lady Chiefs.  Old Forge’s fortunes took a hit earlier this month when senior guard Kierstyn Breig (11.2 ppg last season) got injured.  The Lady Devils, however, have returning junior guard Alex Nocera (7.9 ppg) and freshman Lindsey Welsh (10.7 ppg) has stepped in nicely.  Jen Regan (5-10 junior center) has been hitting 8.4 ppg.  Division 3 retains half play and the two crossover games against a Division 4 opponent do not count in the standings.                                                                                                                        

 

 

DIVISION 4

 

1.    Elk Lake (Kevin Tewksbury – 1st year) 2A

2.    Forest City (John Duffy) 1A

3.    Blue Ridge (Paula Finn) 2A

4.    Montrose (Al Smith) 3A

5.    Mountain View (Ashley Kilmer) 2A

6.    Lackawanna Trail (Lauren Sheakoski) 2A

7.    Susquehanna (Errol Mannick) 1A

                

Division 4 appears to be a battle between Elk Lake and Forest City, two teams which return a majority of their lineup from last season.  Elk Lake is led by their senior guards Justine Johns (11.4 ppg) and Keri Jones (9.8 ppg).  Inside, the Lady Warriors have junior forwards Abigail Johns (5-9, 8 ppg) and Rose Warner (5-7, 7 ppg) along with senior Tyler Whitney (5-7, 6.4 ppg).  Forest City, who played a very challenging December slate, returns several key players.  So far, as expected, Kendra Bendyk (5-8 senior forward, 13 ppg) and MacKenzie Hartman (junior guard, 11.8 ppg) are leading the way with Maggie Kowalewski (soph guard) and Skylar Fortuner (5-9 junior forward) combining for 10.8 ppg.  Blue Ridge heads into 2017 with a 4-2 mark and fresh off a holiday one-point win over Elk Lake.  So, look for the Lady Raiders to have a say in how this division gets decided.  Their top player is senior Isabella Cosmello (13.8 ppg).  She is joined by juniors Kalynne Myers (10.5 ppg) and Abby Hartman (5 ppg) along with senior Hunter Vaughn (3.4 ppg).  Montrose has been competitive despite their 1-6 record.  The Lady Meteors are a very young squad that has played some tough opponents, but they should be able to be competitive within division play.  A trio of sophomores are leading the way, Harper Andre (6.6 ppg), Georgia Smith (4.1 ppg), and Radville Vaicluyte (3.1 ppg).  Annalyse Ely, a freshman, hits 7 ppg and is a long-range shooting threat with Andre and Smith.  Mountain View also returns several players and is another extremely young team.  Their top scorer is Erika Freely (junior guard, 11.2 ppg).  She is joined on the perimeter by junior Lucy Adams (8.8 ppg).  Inside, the Lady Eagles have junior Samantha Jones along with 5-10 sophomore Sydney Newhart (5 ppg).  The beat continues at Lackawanna Trail where the Lady Lions are yet another roster full of underclassmen.  They have a group of three junior guards leading the way, Lexie Kwaitkowski (6.3 ppg), Ami Sohns (3.7 ppg), and Allison Decker (3.3 ppg).  Cali Fauquier, a sophomore guard, is their top scorer with 6.8 ppg.  Susquehanna graduated a majority of the scoring, but the Lady Sabers do return senior guard Lauren Soden (4 ppg).  Taylor Huyck (a freshman guard) hits 8.2 ppg while Bethany Maby (a soph guard) contributed 6.2 ppg.  Division 4 retains half play and the two crossover games against a Division 3 opponent do not count in the standings                                 

 

 

 

       

 

 

 

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