Wyoming Area Tops Sem To Snap Losing Streak
KINGSTON — Other than for the obvious reason, Wyoming Area and Wyoming Seminary were both in need of a win Thursday night. Both teams were in the midst of a losing streak. Wyoming Area’s was at four, while Wyoming Seminary lost its last two.
But more importantly for both teams, they are each down a pair of starters. With that in mind, roles for players have expanded and in-game rotations have needed to be adjusted.
Wyoming Area, though, had a little more in the tank, and after weathering a Wyoming Seminary fourth-quarter run, the Warriors picked up a 35-28 road victory for its first win since Jan. 4 when it beat Coughlin.
“It has been very challenging,” Wyoming Area coach Chad Lojewski said. “It always knocks you down when you have girls that are contributors get injured. Everybody wants them out there, they want to be out there. We persevered tonight.
The Warriors are without Cassidy Orzel who is averaging 12.9 points per game and Maria Amato who averages 4.4. With the two out of the lineup, the scoring falls on the shoulders of Aleah Kranson and Nicole Silinskie. Kranson finished with 19 points, while Silinskie had 12.
“I don’t think it is going to be a shock to anybody who scouts us that we are going to look to our playmakers,” Lojewski said. “We are going to get a couple more girls to contribute. Once we do that, we are going to be an above average team. We are getting there.”
It was clear from the beginning that Wyoming Area was looking to slow the tempo of the game down. By contrast, Wyoming Seminary is a team that likes to get out and run, pass the ball and take shots.
“They tried to set the tone,” Wyoming Seminary coach Abbey Rodway said. “We like to push the ball and get shots up. I thought we were able to control the tempo, but the shots weren’t falling as much as they should.”
Wyoming Seminary led by two at the end of the first quarter before Wyoming Area made its first run of the game early in the second. Kranson scored on a drive to the basket and followed that up with a three-point play off a Seminary turnover. Wyoming Seminary’s Abby McDonald made a 3-pointer to beat the buzzer to bring Seminary within one at the half.
Wyoming Area capitalized on cold Sem shooting in the third quarter, scoring eight unanswered points before Ally Vezendy made Sem’s only shot from the floor in the third quarter with 50.2 seconds left.
But Vezendy’s basket gave the Blue Knights the energy they needed. Semscored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to take a 25-24 lead. Kelsey Reznick made a foul shot to give Sem a 26-25 lead with 4:21 left to play. However, Wyoming Area continued to fight back.
Kranson scored five of Wyoming Area’s next seven points as the Warriors were able to open up a six-point lead. Seminary got as close as four points with 2:32 left to play, but the Warriors made 3 of 5 free throws in the final 50 seconds to snap the losing streak and improve to 4-10 overall and 2-7 in Wyoming Valley Conference play. Wyoming Seminary dropped to 7-6 and 5-3.
“We took a good punch in the mouth at the beginning of the fourth quarter,” Lojewski said. “We came right back. There was no quit, and that starts with the younger girls making great contributions.”
Wyoming Seminary was without the services of Maaike Reitsma (6.8 ppg) and Emily Matthews (4.0). Rodway said she is hoping to get Reitsma back in time for Monday’s game, while Matthews will probably be out a little longer. Regardless, she is pleased with what she is seeing from the players who are stepping up and seeing their roles increase.
“Maaike is the glue that holds the team together,” Rodway said. “She brings energy and is a big part of the team. Emily is also a big spark for us. (Wyoming Area) was without two players, we were out two players. We both played the best we could. We don’t have a lot of numbers because of the injuries. Right now we have a lot of girls playing a full junior varsity game and stepping up and playing varsity.”
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