Queen Of The Mountain: Yencha Wants To Cement Status As Area’s Best

December 22, 2018
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Queen Of The Mountain: Yencha Wants To Cement Status As Area's Best

DALLAS — Sam Yencha reached the top and she wants to stay there, too.

After winning Citizens’ Voice Player of the Year last season — becoming the first sophomore girls basketball player to earn the honor since Holy Redeemer great Alexis Lewis — Yencha went back to work.

“I put a lot of work in over the summer to make sure I didn’t fall back, and to respond to how defenses would play me this year,” Yencha said. “I would go to AAU tournaments; practice almost every single day; shooting around, working out, lifting and working on my strength and conditioning, too.”

The results showed Friday.

Yencha scored a season-high 30 points and led Holy Redeemer to a 62-37 win at Dallas in Wyoming Valley Conference action.

The 5-foot-11 junior also hauled in 14 rebounds, finishing with a double-double for the Royals (3-1, 2-0 WVC).

“She finds the ball,” Redeemer head coach John Jezorwski said of Yencha. “She really does a lot of things. She’s very active, but what I really think is helping us is the rest of her teammates getting her the ball in the right situations, too. And if you focus on her, Cameron Marcinkowski’s playing great so far this year; Jordan Cicon is knocking down shots; Julia Andrejko is the constant professional. Everything is working and we’re still early in our season. Sarah Kuderka’s just coming off an injury. Julia just played in the state volleyball championship. So, they’re not even in basketball form yet. We’re excited about the future here.”

Redeemer built an early lead Friday and never looked back, relying on the 3-point shot to take command.

By halftime, Redeemer had six 3-pointers — one each by Yencha, Anna Capaci and Aleia Atherton, as well as three by Cicon — and a 35-20 lead.

Even the 2-point field goals were mostly long-range jumpers, as, of Redeemer’s 35 first-half points, only six were scored in the paint.

“We want to take any open shots we have. That’s what we’re looking for. Whoever’s open takes the shot,” Jezorwski said. “We shoot a ton of 3s and the thing is, though, we have to get rebounds when we miss the 3s.”

That wasn’t a problem for the most part, as Yencha and Andrejko led a strong rebounding effort for the Royals.

Andrejko nearly recorded a double-double, scoring 12 points with eight rebounds.

After losing three games by a combined 12 points, Friday’s loss was easily the most lopsided yet for Dallas (2-4, 1-1 WVC).

Lauren Charlton led the Mountaineers with 18 points.

Deanna Wallace scored seven points off the bench for Dallas. Emily Weiland scored only one point, but had a team-high seven rebounds.

Contact the writer:

mbufano@citizensvoice.com; 570-821-2060;

@CVBufano on Twitter

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