LEHMAN TWP. — With second place up for grabs in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2, Wyoming Area had a plan against Lake-Lehman.
“Take it to the basket,” coach Chad Lojewski would yell from the bench. That’s exactly what junior Katie Wolfgang did.
Wolfgang converted 17 of 22 free throws as Wyoming Area went to the foul line 42 times in an 80-69 win over the Black Knights Thursday night at Lake-Lehman High School. Wolfgang finished with a team-high 24 points and added another six rebounds.
Wolfgang said she’s never been a part of anything like that from the free throw line.
“I just like to take it as hard as I can,” she said. “We’re really happy about this win. It’s another win in our division and we’re ready to take on the rest.”
As a team, Wyoming Area made 32 of those 42 free throws. Lake-Lehman, however, made just 6 of 16 from the charity stripe. The difference proved to be the edge Wyoming Area needed to improve to 3-1 in conference play and sole possession of second place. Nanticoke still leads the division with a 4-0 mark.
Wolfgang said she never hears Lojewski yelling from the bench. It’s instinct, she said, when she decides to take it to the basket and use her patented scoop shot to draw the foul.
“We’ve been working on making more (free throws) and being more efficient,” Lojewski said. “It was absolutely phenomenal what Katie was able to do.”
Aided by Wolfgang’s ability to get to the stripe, Lake-Lehman had three players foul out of the game. Two of those players fouled out in the third quarter.
Sophomore Sarah Holweg finished with 22 points and five rebounds. The Warriors were slightly outrebounded by Lake-Lehman, but that didn’t mean Addison Orzel and Nicole Wright would be denied. The duo combined for 16 rebounds. Wright had 10 points, while Orzel finished with eight points.
“It’s a big win for us,” Holweg said. “Now we’re one step closer to the top. It was a good team win and everyone contributed.”
Early on, Wyoming Area was using their 1-3-1 press against the Black Knights. Lake-Lehman was able to break it a few times, but Lojewski decided to stay in it. Ultimately, that pressure helped the Warriors to some easy buckets.
The Warriors put nine players in the scoring column against Lake-Lehman.
“We can do deep on our bench,” Lojewski said. “We have a great rotation. It’s almost like a hockey line change and we like to ware teams down.”
On Monday, Holweg scored 20 points and Wolfgang chipped in with 14 as the Warriors beat GAR, 70-56.
Teammates Jordan Kelley finished with 12 and Lydia Edwards had 10 in the win. Aleah Kranson hit a pair of three-pointers for the Warriors.
Patriots drop D2 rematch
In a rematch of last year’s PIAA District 2 Class AAAA championship, Pittston Area had a chance to take command of the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1. Instead, it was Hazleton Area who reigned supreme.
Cougar guard Kendra 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.
Pittston Area had a four-point lead at halftime, but Hazleton Area turned that into a 10-point deficit in the first six minutes of the third quarter.
Pittston Area was outscored 24-8 in the third quarter Thursday night.
Taryn Ashby finished with a team-high 10 points. Jamie Chisdock, Megan Cummings, Marley O’Brien and Alexa Noone each had eight points for the Patriots.
On Monday, Pittston Area was handed a defensive struggle against Berwick. Pittston Area held Berwick to five or fewer points in each quarter in a 33-19 win.
O’Brien finished with nine points and Kirsten Durling added eight. Noone had five points, while Cummings contributed four points.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick