District 2 Playoff Quarter-Final Recaps (Girls 4A, Boys 5A from Hazleton Area)

Written by: on Wednesday, February 19th, 2020



February 18, 2020


Patriots Shock Comets, Lady Bulldogs Advance into Semis


3-Berwick 38, 6-Western Wayne 26 (Girls 4A)

5-Pittston Area 59, 4-Crestwood 53 (Boys 5A)


HAZLETON – The Hazleton Area McGeehan Gymnasium was a welcome site in what was a gloomy and foggy evening in the Mountain City.  But inside, things began to heat up as the 2020 District 2 Basketball Playoffs got into full gear.  First up was a Girls 4A match-up between #3 seed Berwick and #6 seed Western Wayne.  The game began with the Lady Wildcats taking their only lead of the game as senior Coral Swoyer converted a pair of free throws for a 2-0 lead.  A triple by Berwick’s Renny Murphy put Berwick in the lead.  Katie Starr, who played extremely well inside all night, got a pair of baskets wrapped around a jumper by Western Wayne’s Kaeli Romanowski for a 7-4 edge heading into the second period.  The Lady Dawgs extended their lead in the second quarter as both teams played quite sloppy at times.  Berwick would get triples from Murphy and Rachel Whitenight plus a pull-up short bank shot from Starr to go up by a dozen points, 17-5.  A basket by Sinaea Buford would make it 19-9 at the break.

The gap would remain at about 10 points throughout a majority of the third stanza before Romanowski would hit a triple to cut the deficit to 28-21 as the Lady Wildcats fans voice their approval.  Murphy would hit a short shot just before the end of the quarter to push the Berwick advantage to 30-21 heading into the final eight minutes.  Back-to-back scores by Swoyer and Romanowoski would again rally the ‘Cats as they pulled within 5 points (30-25), but that is as close as they would get.  Berwick would hit a few free throws and then get a key rebound off a missed free throw by Sarah Steeber.  Whitenight would then hit a driving layup to put her team back up by double-digits, 35-25.  The Lady Dawgs would go on to secure the 38-26 victory.

Katie Starr had a terrific game scoring 14 points and being a force on the boards for BerwickRenny Murphy added 11, Rachel Whitenight 7 points, and Sarah Steeber hit 6 points,

Western Wayne, who finished their season at 14-9, got 9 points from Kaeli Romanowoski, 7 from Kathy Shepherd, 6 from Coral Swoyer, 3 from Sinaea Buford, and a free throw from Amber Fenwick.  

Berwick advances to Friday’s Girls 4A Semi-Finals where they will take on #2 seed Dallas.        


The Boys 5A quarter-final between #4 seed Crestwood (the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 champ) and #5 seed Pittston Area delivered as much excitement as can possibly fit into a hoops game.  Adding to the drama as that the loser would see their season end.  This one started out with the Comets doing what they do best, connecting on triples.  Treys by Marcus Vieney, Paul Feisel, and Ryan Petrosky put them up 11-5 after the first period.  Two more treys by Feisel and one by Nick Ruggerio extended the lead to 10 points, 21-11.  But the Patriots did not crack.  Brennan Higgins would respond with a triple for the Pats followed by JJ Walsh hitting one from the deep corner following a frantic possession.  Vieney would convert a pair of free throws for Crestwood wrapped around a basket by Higgins and another triple by Walsh to send the Patriots into the locker trailing by just one point (25-24) and having a ton of confidence.            

The intermission did not impact the Pats’ rally.  They came out red-hot as Walsh connected on a pair of triples, the second one from long range to put PA up 30-25.  Crestwood continued to miss their shots until Vieney’s jumper from around the foul line, their only points of the quarter, cut it to 30-27.  Baskets by Matt Johnson and Andrew Krawcyzk would give the Patriots a 34-27 lead going into the final period.  Pittston Area continued their amazing run with scores by Krawczyk and Logan Booth wrapped around a Johnson triple for a 41-27 lead (a 28-4 run by PA).  After Walsh hit a pair of free throws with 3:10 remaining for a 47-34 lead, the Comets would go on a 10-3 run to cut it to 50-44 with 1:21 remaining.  That’s when Marcus Vieney would take control scoring 9 points as it would become a 3-point game (56-53) with 32 seconds left.  Pittston Area, however, was able to lock in the 59-53 win from the free throw line to advance to Friday’s Boys 5A semi-final against top-seeded Wallenpaupack.

Pittston Area was led by JJ Walsh with 18 points, Brennan Higgins with 15, and Logan Booth with 10.  Andrew Krawczyk added 9 points, Matt Johnson 5, and Mike George scored 2 points.

Crestwood got a magnificent effort from Marcus Vieney who netted 29 points.  Paul Feisel hit 9 points, Ryan Petrosky had 6, Nick Ruggerio 4, Mike Zaleski 3, and Jacob Zaleski 2.

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