D2 BASKETBALL: Hazleton Area Holds Off Williamsport For Second Straight Class 6A Title

March 2, 2019
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Lady Cougars Hold Off Williamsport For Second Straight District 2/4 Class 6A Title

WILKES-BARRE TWP. — The Hazleton Area girls didn’t have Faith on Friday night, so they relied on the faith they have in each other to get the job done.

Playing without injured starting forward Faith Grula in their biggest game of the season, the Cougars dug deep, got contributions from throughout the lineup, and withstood a huge Williamsport rally to defeat the Millionaires 48-41.

With the win, Hazleton Area successfully defended its District 2/4 Class 6A title at Mohegan Sun Arena, and validated its spot in the upcoming PIAA Tournament.

The Cougars (20-6) will face the No. 9 finisher out of District 1 in next Friday’s opening-round game.

“At this point, win and advance. That’s all you want to do,” said head coach Joe Gavio. “Any time you can get a W, we’ll take it. The will to win is what pulled us through tonight.”

Without the six-foot Grula in the lineup, Marissa Trivelpiece helped the Cougars hold their own in the paint, producing a huge double-double (13 points, 17 rebounds) and notching five steals for the defense. Fellow forward Kyra Antolick chipped in 13 points, five rebounds and three steals.

“Without Faith it puts a lot of pressure on me and Kyra,” noted Trivelpiece. “I knew I had to do something. When my shot’s not falling, rebounding was the least I could do. I figured if I box out and get my butt into them, I can do as much as I can for the team.”

The Cougars had their press working effectively from the get-go, forcing Williamsport into 10 first-quarter turnovers en route to a 19-5 lead by quarter’s end.

On offense, point guard Brooke Boretski penetrated and either scored or dished to a teammate for baskets on six first-quarter possessions. She had six of her eight points and pair of assists in the first eight minutes.

Antolick, Trivelpiece and Olivia Wolk all canned 3-pointers in the Cougars’ big first quarter.

Williamsport didn’t score its first basket until the final minute of the opening quarter, that a drive by Katelyn Wilson.

But Boretski’s putback and subsequent driving layup kept the Cougars in control.

The Millionaires began to catch fire in the second quarter, as Kailee Helmrich and Wilson hit back-to-back baskets, and later a 3-pointer from Whitney Felix helped Williamsport to a 16-12 quarter that trimmed a 17-point deficit to 10 (31-21) at intermission.

“We had a chance to put them away, but it’s vintage us. We just didn’t finish it there,” Gavio said. “We missed a bunch of chippies when we could have put it away.”

Hazleton Area came out of the locker room ice cold to start the third quarter, missing its first nine shots from the field to go with five turnovers. To add to their problems, Trivelpiece picked up her third and fourth fouls in that third quarter.

Meanwhile, Williamsport showed its fight, cutting the deficit to five (35-30) by quarter’s end, and getting to within a point (37-36) on Wilson’s fast-break score, and again at 38-37 on Whaley’s pull-up jumper in the lane with six minutes to play in the game.

“They’ve done it all season. They don’t quit, they keep working hard,” said Williamsport head coach Terrill Seward. “I thought the first couple minutes we were a little overwhelmed by being here, and the fact we were playing Hazleton Area, we haven’t beat them in a long time. Sometimes you have to get over that fear.”

Although they went cold from the field, the Cougars continued putting points on the board at the foul line. In the bonus and eventually the double-bonus, Hazleton Area began to work the clock and force Williamsport to foul.

In the fourth quarter, the Cougars went 9-for-16 at the line to maintain their slim lead. Trivelpiece hit 5-of-8 during that stretch, and Yurchak was 4-for-6. But it was Yurchak’s steal and feed to Antolick for a fast-break layup with 55 seconds left that pushed the lead to six (45-39) and started Hazleton Area’s celebration of a second straight subregional championship.

“They cut it to one, and we made plays and made just enough foul shots,” Gavio said. “They were not going to be denied no matter what happened. They sucked it up at the end.”

“As Gav would say, we turned into us,” Trivelpiece said with a smile. “Sometimes we get a little tight, but we did a great job of settling down. We picked it up in the second half.”

Diane Garnett, who started in place of Grula, had a solid all-around game, as did Wolk (seven points, six steals). Fellow reserves Carley Krizansky, Katie Lipinski and Isabella Colyer also stepped up and contributed.

Williamsport (41)

J. Whaley 4 2-3 10, E. Pardee 2 3-6 7, K. Wilson 3 1-2 7, K. Helmrich 2 2-4 7, F. McClain 1 1-4 3, W. Felix 1 0-0 3, J. Robinson 1 0-0 2, S. Little 1 0-0 2, K. Maggs 0 0-0 0, E. Green-Pratt 0 0-0 0, Totals 15 9-19 41.

Hazleton Area (48)

M. Trivelpiece 2 7-10 13, K. Antolick 6 0-0 13, V. Yurchak 2 5-8 9, B. Boretski 3 2-4 8, O. Wolk 1 2-3 5, I. Colyer 0 0-0 0, M. LaBuda 0 0-0 0, C. Krizansky 0 0-0 0, M. Fay 0 0-0 0, A. Holodick 0 0-0 0, A. Zumar 0 0-0 0, K. Lipinski 0 0-0 0, D. Garnett 0 0-2 0, Totals 14 16-27 48.

Williamsport 5 16 9 11—41

Hazleton Area 19 12 4 13—48

3-point goals: W. Felix (Wil) 1, K. Helmrich (Wil) 1, M. Trivelpiece (Haz) 2, K. Antolick (Haz) 1, O. Wolk (Haz) 1.

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Game Summary

District 2/4 Class 6A Subregional Girls’ Basketball Championship At Mohegan Sun Arena

WILLIAMSPORT (41) — McClain 1 1-4 3, Whaley 4 2-3 10, Maggs 0 0-0 0, Pardee 2 3-6 7, Wilson 3 1-2 7, Little 1 0-0 2, Robinson 1 0-0 2, Helmrich 2 2-4 7, Green Pratt 0 0-0 0, Felix 1 0-0 3. Totals 15 9-19 41.

HAZLETON AREA (48) — Trivelpiece 2 7-10 13, Fay 0 0-0 0, Antolick 6 0-0 13, Wolk 1 2-3 5, Holodick 0 0-0 0, Zumar 0 0-0 0, Boretski 3 2-4 8, Lipinski 0 0-0 0, Garnett 0 0-2 0, Yurchak 2 5-8 9, LaBuda 0 0-0 0, Colyer 0 0-0 0, Krizansky 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 16-27 48.

Will (11-13) 5 16 9 11 — 41 HA (20-6) 19 12 4 13 — 48

3-point FGs: Helmrich, Felix, Trivelpiece 2, Antolick, Wolk