Kendra Pfeil lifts Hazleton Area past Pittston Area and into a first-place tie


Cougars guard catches fire in third quarter to propel victory

By Paul Sokoloski - psokoloski@timesleader.com



Pittston Area’s Jamie Chisdock (4) pushes the ball upcourt as Hazleton Area’s Maddie Mrochko (10) is in pursuit during Thursday’s WVC girls high school basketball in Yatesville.


Pete G. Wilcox | Times Leader

Hazleton Area’s Mackenzie Yori, left, passes the ball around Pittston Area’s Taryn Ashby in Thursday’s WVC game in Yatesville.


Pete G. Wilcox | Times Leader

YATESVILLE — With the team’s star scorer being smothered and his team trailing at halftime, Hazleton Area coach Joe Gavio laid down a challenge.

Almost immediately, Kendra Pfeil responded.

Pfeil shook out of her recent scoring slump by pouring in 14 points in the third quarter, changing the game and the result. That effort led the Cougars past previously unbeaten Pittston Area 57-48 at Pittston Area High School in a rematch of last season’s District 2 Class 4A championship game.

“Once shots kept fallling, we just kept going at it,” said Pfeil, who finished with a game-high 19 points. “We played really teamy.”

Before creating that new word, Pfeil created new hope for the Cougars.

She popped one 3-pointer after another — four in all during the first six minutes of the third quarter — and added a layup between those long-range bullseyes. That outburst turned a four-point Pittston Area lead at intermission into a 10-point Hazleton Area advantage.

And the Patriots never recovered.

“Third quarter, Kendra Pfeil, that was key,” said Pittston Area coach Cathy Healey, whose Patriots won their first-ever district title last season by upending Hazleton Area. “We had a little bit of lapse in defense in the third quarter, for her to score all those points.”

Pfeil’s scoring spree quickly opened up avenues to the basket for others.

Maddie Mrochko got loose for the final eight of her 12 points in the third quarter. And Hazleton Area scoring leader Mackenzie Yori cranked it up to score nine of her 16 points in the fourth quarter while thwarting a couple of comeback attempts by the Patriots.

Even then, Pfeil came up with a clutch shot, positioning herself for a layup to extend the Cougars’ lead to 52-46 with 97 seconds to play and Pittston Area threatening to come all the way back. The effort threw Division I into a three-way tie for first place between 4-1 teams Pittston Area, Hazleton Area and Dallas — with Wyoming Valley West and Crestwood lurking right behind at 3-2.

“Kendra Pfeil has not been playing well,” Gavio said. “She’s been scoring three, four points a game. I challenged her at halftime.”

Before that, the Patriots established a sense of control.

With defensive ace Taryn Ashby clamping down on Yori, Pittston Area edged to a 10-9 lead after the first quarter, then rolled into intermission with a 24-20 advantage behind six points apiece from Ashby and Jamie Chisdock.

“In the second quarter, a lot of shots didn’t work,” Pfeil said. “We needed them to fall.”

She made sure things would be different, right from the start of the second half.

Pfeil’s first trey gave the Cougars the lead to keep at 29-26. Her second put Hazleton Area up by four. A third 3-pointer by Pfeil made it a nine-point game and her fourth gave the Cougars a 40-30 cushion with 2:02 to play in the third quarter.

“That got us going,” Yori said. “It’s a great win when your teammates come out and pick the team up. (Pfeil) is a great player and I couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Over the final eight minutes, the pride and joy of Hazleton Area girls basketball — that vaunted press — gave way to a much slower and patient game. And it proved enough to thwart a couple of Patriots rallies over the game’s final minutes, when Yori suddenly darted out of her dribble and drove the lane for a couple of easy layups down the stretch.

“We slowed the game down,” Yori said. “We just spread the ball out. When they opened the lane, I just made sure I took it to the basket.”

“They ran the weave play,” Healey said.

And ultimately, wove a tangled web at the top of Division 1.

“We’re starting to feel it,” Gavio said.

Holy Redeemer 72, MMI Prep 9

Holy Redeemer scored 33 points in the first quarter and 21 in the second and rode a 50-point lead into the second half as they went on to defeat MMI Prep.

Rebecca Prociak had a team-high 21 points while Lydia Lawson scored 11 for the Royals.

Dallas 44, Coughlin 34

Maddie Kelley tallied a team-leading 17 points while both Sara Lojewski and Nikki Wren pitched in with nine points each as Dallas topped Coughlin by 10.

Claire Curtis registered 15 points during the loss for the Crusaders.

Nanticoke 56, GAR 33

Gianna Roberts and Kayla Aufiero were the offensive leaders for Nanticoke, scoring 20 and 16 points respectively, as the team scored a victory over GAR.

Wyoming Area 80, Lake-Lehman 69

Katie Wolfgang converted on 17 of 22 free throws as she totaled 24 points to lead Wyoming Area past Lake-Lehman. Sarah Holweg added 22 points while Nicole Wright pitched in with 10 for the Warriors.

Julia Eneboe led Lake-Lehman with 27 points.

Wyoming Valley West 42, Tunkhannock 39

Three players reached double digits as Wyoming Valley West defeated Tunkhannock. Erin Gibbons tallied 15 points, Colleen Cwalina scored 11 and Smicherko added 10 for the Spartans.

Christina Rossi had a team-high 18 points to lead Tunkhannock

Crestwood 65, Berwick 50

Maddie Ritsick was 8 for 10 from the free-throw line as she totalled a team-leading 28 points in Crestwood’s defeat of Berwick. Julia Makowski helped the Comets’ cause by added in 17 points of her own.

Taylor and Payden Montana were the leaders on the score sheet for Berwick, tallying 17 and 14 points respectively.

Northwest 59, Wyoming Seminary 57

Brenna Babcock scored 26 points while Hannah Wisniewski tallied 23 to lead Northwest past Wyoming Seminary by just two points.

Wyoming Seminary had four players reach double-digit point totals: Miranda Pace (19), Maya Kornfeld (18), M.T. Lehman (10) and Paige Allen (10).

Hanover Area 49, Meyers 33

Asdone Hooper netted 23 points while Haylee Bobos pitched in with 15 more as Hanover Area defeated Meyers.

Gia Skaff had a trio of three-pointers totalling nine points for Meyers.

Hazleton Area 57, Pittston Area 48

HAZLETON AREA (57) — Kendra Pfeil 7 0-0 19, Mackenzie Yori 7 1-2 16, Maddie Mrochko 4 4-4 12, Ashley Martincek 3 0-2 6, Alyssa Shamany 0 4-4 4. Totals 21 9-12 57.

PITTSTON AREA (48) — Kirsten Durling 3 0-0 6, Jamie Chisdock 3 2-2 8, Megan Cummings 4 0-0 8, Marley O’Brien 4 0-4 8, Taryn Ashby 4 2-4 10, Alexa Noone 3 2-2 8. Totals 21 6-12 48.

Hazleton Area`9`11`24`13`—`57

Pittston Area`10`14`8`16`—`48

Three-point goals — HAZ 6 (Pfeil 5, Yori).

Holy Redeemer 72, MMI Prep 9

MMI Prep (9) — Kryslyn Postupack 1 1-2 3, Madison Perchak 0 0-0 0, Jessie McClellan 1 1-2 3, Jessica Smith 0 0-0 0, Emily Mundorf 1 0-0 3, Madeline Dryfoos 0 0-0 0. Totals 4 2-4 9.

Holy Redeemer (72) — Lydia Lawson 6 0-0 11, Rebecca Prociak 7 7-8 21, Meghan Corridoni 3 0-0 7, Sara Flannelly 2 0-0 5, Talia Kosierowski 3 1-2 8, Kayla Hons 2 0-0 5, Sam Rajza 2 1-1 5, Julia Andrejko 0 0-0 0, Randy Kuhar 0 0-0 0, Madison Guido 3 1-1 8, Jocelyn Kosik 0 0-0 0, Sara Kuderka 0 0-0 0, Samantha Carr 0 0-0 0. Totals 28 10-12 72.

MMI Prep`4`0`3`2`—`9

Holy Redeemer`33`21`11`7`—`72

Three-point goals — MMI 1 (Mundorf 1); HR 6 (Lawson 1, Corridoni 1, Flannelly 1, Kosierwoski 1, Hons 1, Guido 1).

Dallas 44, Coughlin 34

Dallas (44) — Maddie Kelley 5 6-8 17, Courtney Hoats 1 0-0 2, Sara Lojewski 2 3-5 9, Leah Gorr 0 2-2 2, Kendra Saba 1 0-0 2, Nikki Wren 2 5-8 9, Sydney Strickland 1 1-2 3. Totals 12 17-25 44.

Coughlin (34) — Emily Cicon 1 0-0 2, Savana Robinson 3 0-2 7, Casey Salinas 0 0-0 0, Claire Curtis 7 1-2 15, Victoria Phillips 1 0-0 2, Molly Poray 0 0-2 0, Niasha Sherry 3 0-0 6, Kira Meager 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 1-6 34.

Dallas`18`8`9`6`—`44

Coughlin`12`13`7`2`—`34

Three-point goals — DAL 3 (Kelley 1, Lojewski 2); CGH 1 (Robinson 1).

Nanticoke 56, GAR 33

Nanticoke (56) — Kayla Aufiero 6 1-2 16, Alexis Pyzia 1 0-0 2, Amber Grohowski 1 0-0 2, Maddy Grilz 0 0-0 0, Lisa Radzick 1 0-0 2, Taylor Zabreski 0 0-0 0, Chaquanna Zendarski 2 3-4 7, Gianna Roberts 6 8-10 20, Kate Butczynski 3 1-2 7. Totals 20 13-18 56.

GAR (33) — Lindsey Quinn 4 0-1 11, Alexis Whiting 2 3-4 7, Aaliyah Braham 2 0-1 4, McKenzie Nichol 1 0-0 2, Cheyanne Taylor 0 0-0 0, Shaelynn Taylor 0 0-0 0, Marie Skrepenak 4 1-3 9. Totals 13 4-9 33.

Nanticoke`17`13`19`7`—`56

GAR`6`5`6`16`—`33

Three-point goals — NAN 3 (Aufiero 3); GAR 3 (Quinn 3).

Wyoming Area 80, Lake-Lehman 69

Wyoming Area (80) — Jalen Rhodes 0 0-0 0, Jordan Kelly 0 3-4 3, Rachel Solano 0 4-4 4, Sarah Holweg 10 0-0 22, Lydia Edwards 1 3-4 6, Jessica Sorick 1 0-2 2, Katie Wolfgang 3 17-22 24, Addison Orzel 2 4-4 8, Kristi Skok 0 1-2 1, Nicole Wright 5 0-0 10. Totals 22 32-42 80.

Lake-Lehman (69) — Miranda Parry 0 1-2 1, Mackenzie Love 5 2-9 13, Corina Scoblick 1 0-0 2, Molly Storz 10 0-0 16, Julia Eneboe 10 3-4 27, Savannah Purdy 4 0-1 8, Madison Borum 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 6-16 69.

Wyoming Area`15`22`22`21`—`80

Lake-Lehman`10`16`19`24`—`69

Three-point goals — WA 4 (Holweg 2, Wolfgang 1, Edwards 1); LL 0.

Valley West 42, Tunkhannock 39

Wyoming Valley West (42) — Erin Gibbons 4 6-8 15, Natalie Gruver 1 0-1 2, Amanda Scarcella 0 1-2 1, Kiersten Wiedwald 1 1-3 3. Gabby Smicherko 3 3-4 10, Colleen Cwalina 4 3-5 11. Totals 13 14-23 42.

Tunkhannock (39) — Sydney Faux 1 1-2 3, Josie Frisco 2 0-2 4, Megan Manglaviti 1 2-4 4, Amanda Hardy 4 2-4 10, Christina Rossi 8 1-3 18, Sam Gencrotti 0 0-0 0, Izza Robinson 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 6-15 39.

Wyoming Valley West`12`11`8`11`—`42

Tunkhannock`11`9`7`12`—`39

Three-point goals — WVW 2 (Gibbons 1, Smicherko 1); TUNK 1 (Rossi 1).

Crestwood 65, Berwick 50

Berwick (50) — Reese Mensinger 1 2-5 5, Hannah Woodeshick 0 0-1 0, Tori Talanca 3 4-5 10, Raina Goulstone 1 0-0 2, Roni Isenberg 0 0-0 0, Taylor Montana 6 5-10 17, Mikayla Davis 1 0-0 2, Payden Montana 4 4-6 14. Totals 16 15-27 50.

Crestwood (65) — Marlee Dillion 1 4-4 6, Sarah Hopkins 2 2-2 6, Kate Snipas 2 2-3 6, Abby Macko 1 0-0 2, Emily Shiplett 0 0-0 0, Julia Makowski 7 2-2 17, Abby Murphy 0 0-0 0, Maddie Ritsick 9 8-10 28. Totals 22 18-21 65.

Berwick`9`10`8`23`—`50

Crestwood`10`15`19`21`—`65

Three-point goals — BER 3 (Mensinger 1, P. Montana 2); CRES 3 (Makowski 1, Ritsick 2).

Northwest 59, Wyoming Seminary 57

Wyoming Seminary (57) — Therese Young 0 0-0 0, M.T. Lehman 3 1-2 10, Amarinske Reitsman 0 0-2 0, Maya Kornfeld 5 8-16 18, Miranda Pace 8 3-6 19, Paige Allen 5 0-2 10. Totals 21 12-28 57.

Northwest (59) — Brooke Mendegro 0 0-0 0, Trista Babcock 3 1-4 7, Brenna Babcock 6 12-19 26, Liz Gurzynski 1 0-0 2, Jill Kondrosky 0 0-0 0, Danielle Bowman 0 1-2 1, Hannah Wisniewski 10 3-4 23. Totals 20 17-29 59.

Wyoming Seminary`9`9`11`14`—`57

Northwest`8`15`6`15`—`59

Three-point goals — WS 3 (Lehman 3); NW 2 (B. Babcock 2).

Hanover Area 49, Meyers 33

Hanover Area (49) — Asdone Hooper 10 2-3 23, Madison Birosik 0 0-0 0, Tiana Davis 0 0-0 0, Cassy Stoffel 0 1-2 1, Mary Slusser 0 2-4 2, Lauren Blazaskie 1 0-0 2, Haylee Bobos 7 1-2 15, Emily Bobos 0 0-0 0, Erica Menth 3 0-0 6. Totals 21 6-11 49.

Meyers (33) — Erin Morris 3 0-0 7, Tiffany Muniz 2 3-4 7, Bella Skaff 2 2-4 6, Alaena Lloyd 1 0-4 2, Devon Keiper 1 0-0 2, Gia Skaff 3 0-0 9, Selena Soto 0 0-0 0, Cameron Daughtry 0 0-2 0. Totals 12 5-14 33.

Hanover Area`15`14`9`11`—`49

Meyers`8`4`12`9`—`33

Three-point goals — HAN 1 (Hooper 1); MEY 4 (Morris 1, G. Skaff 3).

Pittston Area’s Jamie Chisdock (4) pushes the ball upcourt as Hazleton Area’s Maddie Mrochko (10) is in pursuit during Thursday’s WVC girls high school basketball in Yatesville.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/web1_pittstonhazleton01-1.jpgPittston Area’s Jamie Chisdock (4) pushes the ball upcourt as Hazleton Area’s Maddie Mrochko (10) is in pursuit during Thursday’s WVC girls high school basketball in Yatesville. Pete G. Wilcox | Times Leader

Hazleton Area’s Mackenzie Yori, left, passes the ball around Pittston Area’s Taryn Ashby in Thursday’s WVC game in Yatesville.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/web1_pittstonhazleton02-1.jpgHazleton Area’s Mackenzie Yori, left, passes the ball around Pittston Area’s Taryn Ashby in Thursday’s WVC game in Yatesville. Pete G. Wilcox | Times Leader
Cougars guard catches fire in third quarter to propel victory

By Paul Sokoloski

psokoloski@timesleader.com

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

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

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