EXETER — The final numbers on the scoreboard at Wyoming Area were important. However, they weren’t nearly as important as what the team was doing off the floor.
Thursday’s game against Northwest marked the annual Coaches vs. Cancer game with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. Also on hand was Megan Lee, a Wyoming Area student who fought cancer and won. At the end, Wyoming Area turned in a 74-50 win over the Rangers. But to Wyoming Area senior Nicole Wright, what happened outside the game was just as important.
“Coaches vs. Cancer is a great night for us, especially with Megan here,” Wright said. “This is a great way to get the community together and rally for a cause.”
Prior to the game, the Wyoming Area Girls Basketball Elementary Program was introduced to the crowd. Putting the two together — Coaches vs. Cancer and the elementary night — was special for Wyoming Area head coach Chad Lojewski.
Lojewski introduced Lee prior to the game.
“Megan has been working her butt off and she has such a great attitude,” the coach said after the game. “We’re so happy that she was able to overcome this illness. To have the younger kids here was a great support system.”
As far as the game goes, it was all Wyoming Area most of the way. Junior Katie Wolfgang and sophomore Sarah Holweg combined for 43 of Wyoming Area’s 74 points. Wolfgang had a game-high 25 points in the win.
Once again, Wyoming Area got off to a fast start and found itself at the free throw line throughout the game. The Warriors attempted 29 free throws while hitting 14 of them. Wolfgang was 10-of-16 from the line herself.
The Warriors opened a 25-10 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. The Rangers shows some resistance in the third quarter, but Wyoming Area southpaw Jordan Kelly silence that run with seven straight points for the Warriors, including a three.
“We go through peaks and valleys a little bit,” Lojewski said. “We’re trying to overcome that.”
The Warriors look to be the only team in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 that can keep place with Nanticoke Area. The Trojans currently sit at 6-0, while Wyoming Area is 5-1. Up next for Wyoming Area is a matchup at GAR on Monday, Jan. 25.
The Warriors have already turned in one of their best seasons in recent memory. Wright and company are looking to build off of that heading into the second half of conference play.
“We’re in a good position, overall,” Wright said. “We’re not comfortable, but we’re striving for it.”
Pittston Area kept pace with Hazleton Area for the fight for Division 1 supremacy this past week. Pittston Area started it off with a win at Dallas on Monday then beat Coughlin on Thursday.
The two wins put Pittston Area in sole possession of second place behind unbeaten Hazleton Area. The Patriots lone loss came at the hands of Hazleton Area earlier this month. The two teams will play again on Feb. 5. However, the Patriots will be back in action at Tunkhannock on Monday, Jan. 25.
Here’s how the week went for the two Greater Pittston teams:
Pittston Area 54, Coughlin 41
Marley O’Brien scored eight of her team-high 14 points in the first half as Pittston Area opened a 12-point lead on the way to defeating Coughlin on Thursday.
Alexa Noone and Taryn Ashby had nine each for the Patriots.
Wyoming Area 68, MMI Prep 12
On Monday, Katie Wolfgang scored a team-high 10 points as every player from Wyoming Area scored in a 68-12 win over MMI Prep.
Jessica Sorick scored eight points, while Sarah Holweg, Kristi Skok and Brandi Sorokin had six each. The Warriors held MMI Prep to one player in the scoring column.
Pittston Area 56, Dallas 50
Pittston Area’s Kirsten Durling scored a game- and career-high 22 points to lift the Patriots to a 56-50 win over Dallas on Monday night in the Back Mountain.
Durlng’s performance helped Pittston Area stay in a tie for first place in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1. Taryn Ashby contributed 13 points while Alexa Noone had nine points. Noone hit the Patriots’ lone three on the evening.
Durling scored six of the game’s first eight points, then added another basket in the opening quarter to give the Patriots a double-digit lead.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick