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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Scranton Prep Girls Hold Off Wallenpaupack

February 6, 2019

SCRANTON — Wallenpaupack coach Roy Gibbs had a decision to make.

Hannah Smith had just pulled her team within five points of No. 2-ranked Scranton Prep, hitting a half-court shot to end the third quarter and a 12-footer 2 minutes into the fourth. And Classics guard Cecelia Collins now stood just inside the midcourt circle, pounding the ball as Scranton Prep tried to lure sixth-ranked Wallenpaupack out of its zone defense.

For 3½ minutes, Collins pounded the ball off the floor, alternating hands with every dribble, as she waited for Gibbs to order his team to come out to try to guard the Classics man-to-man.

Once Wallenpaupack came out, it was game over.

Rachael Rose broke down the defense and fed Elisa Penetar for a layup, then Rose added a layup off Penetar’s feed, and Penetar got another layup off an inbounds pass, and just like that, Scranton Prep pulled away for a 51-42 win in Tuesday’s Lackawanna League Division I-II crossover game at the Xavier Center.

“If you were going to ask me, ‘Roy, would you be satisfied being down five with 2 minutes and 30 seconds to go?,’ I would have said absolutely,” Gibbs said. “That’s two possessions. Now having said that, I knew Coach (Bob) Beviglia does a great job of coaching them and I knew they were going to be setting picks and going back door.

“I knew if we stayed man-to-man for six minutes, not a lot of good could come of it, to be very honest with you. In my head, I said we’re going to go down to 2½ minutes, knowing full well that he has those girls running circles to that basket that if you turn your back for one minute, they’re getting a layup.”

Rachael Rose foiled Wallenpaupack’s plan in under 30 seconds, and helped the Classics clinch no worse than a tie for the Division I title. Driving toward the basket, a second defender stepped up on Rose, which allowed her to serve an easy bounce pass to Elisa Penetar.

“I think we’re all smart players,” said Rose, who led the Classics with seven assists, six rebounds and 14 points. “We all know we didn’t need to score any more to win that game so we just wanted to run the clock and keep running the clock down.”

But when the opportunity for a layup arose, there was Rose to deliver.

“They were playing a box-and-one on me, and the girl that was playing me, Rachael Tirjan, did a great job,” Rose said. “She wouldn’t let me drive or shoot. I saw if I could drive past her then Elisa’s girl would come out and help and I’d be able to dish it out, or get it to Cecelia Collins for a 3.

“Teams have to overplay us, and when they’re overplaying us we all know to cut back door and everybody looks for it. We run that a lot in practice.”

It started a 6-0 spurt that put the game out of reach, and solidified a point Beviglia and his staff have been trying to make.

“We have talked to them over and over and over in practice and games about using Elisa Penetar offensively,” Beviglia said. “Last night over at Scranton, we might be cooked in the first half if not for her. She made shot after shot. But she’s so confident offensively.”

For a half, both were clicking, each hitting six 3s in the first half as Scranton Prep built a 31-25 lead.

“Offensively, I thought we were productive,” Beviglia said. “It looked pretty good there at times.

“Maggie Mills hit a couple big 3s to keep us there in the first half and Cecelia (Collins, 12 points) hit two right off the bat. We told them in order to get them out of their gimmick — they play that diamond against everybody — that the other girls had to make shots. They did, and then we were able to get Rachael loose a little bit.”

Smith led Wallenpaupack with 14 points and Tirjan scored 11, but the contributions the Lady Buckhorns got from role players dried up after Scranton Prep switched to a triangle-and-two late in the first half.

“Defensively, the move to the triangle-and-two was probably the difference,” Beviglia said. “We felt like what was happening was even some of their role players were knocking down 3s. So we felt if we guarded (Megan) Guerrieri and Smith, it would force their other players to try to beat us, and they kind of got quiet there for a little while and stood around.”

Scranton Prep also was able to match Wallenpaupack’s backcourt quickness.

“They’re a really good team,” Rose said. “They’re quick, they’re fast, they have great guards and everybody was making shots, so for us to pull this out, it’s a really good sign coming into districts and hopefully states.”

Contact the writer: mmyers@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100, ext. 5437; @mmyersTT on Twitter

Wallenpaupack (13-6, 7-3) — H. Smith 5-10 1-2 14, R. Tirjan 4-10 1-2 11, E. Peet 3-5 0-0 8, M. Guerrieri 1-3 2-2 5, D. Kiesendahl 1-3 2-2 4, M. Desmet 0-2 0-0 0, R. Steffen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-33 6-8 38.

Scranton Prep (18-1, 11-0) — R. Rose 6-13 2-2 14, C. Collins 5-7 0-0 12, E. Penetar 4-6 1-2 9, K. Rose 2-6 2-5 7, M. Mills 2-3 0-0 6, M. Belardi 1-3 0-0 3, M. Purcell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-38 5-9 51.

Wallenpaupack 16 9 13 4 — 42

Scranton Prep 16 15 14 6 — 51

3-point goals: WAL 8-20 (Smith 3-5, Peet 2-4, Tirjan 2-5, Guerrieri 1-3, Desmet 0-1, Kiesendahl 0-2), SP 6-11 (Mills 2-3, Collins 2-4, Belardi 1-2, K. Rose 1-2). Rebounds: WAL 17 (Tirjan 3, Kiesendahl 3, Desmet 3), SP 22 (R. Rose 6). Assists: WAL 9 (Guerrieri 5), SP 16 (R. Rose 7). Steals: WAL 2 (Peet, Kiesendahl), SP 6 (Penetar 3). Turnovers: WAL 9, SP 7. Blocks: WAL 1 (Steffen), SP 2 (Mills, Belardi). JV: No game.

Scranton 52

Western Wayne 50

At Western Wayne, Colette Mulderig scored with under a minute to play, capping a career-best 31-point effort as Scranton posted the Division I-II crossover win.

Mulderig also collected 15 rebounds and Sophia Glogowski scored 10 for the Lady Knights.

Kaeli Romanowski scored 14 points and had eight steals for Western Wayne. Coral Swoyer scored 11 and had seven boards, and Kathy Shepherd also scored 11.

Scranton (6-14, 3-8) — C. Mulderig 10 11-17 31, S. Glogowski 4 0-0 10, R. Cleveland 2 0-0 5, K. Harbin 2 0-0 4, A. Svetovich 1 0-0 2, F. Evans 0 0-0 0, O. Clough 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 11-17 21.

Western Wayne (11-7, 3-6) — K. Romanowski 5 2-2 14, K. Shepherd 4 0-0 11, C. Swoyer 5 1-2 11, G. Guarino 4 0-0 8, S. Buford 2 0-0 4, S. Collins 1 0-0 2. Totals: 21 3-4 42.

Scranton 14 13 11 14 — 52

Western Wayne 17 9 9 15 — 50

3-point goals: S. Glogowski (SCR) 2, R. Cleveland (SCR), K. Shepherd (WW) 3, K. Romanowski (WW) 2. JV: Scranton, 35-31 (SCR: Cleveland 10; WW: Hoch 14).

Triboro 36, North Rome 25

At Rome, Madison Howell had 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead Triboro Christian Academy to an NY-Penn League win.

Samantha Wright had 10 points for Triboro and Makayla Brown had eight steals.

Triboro — M. Brown 2 1-2 5, M. Howell 7 5-5 19, L. Stiekes 0 0-1 0, S. Brown 1 0-0 2, S. Wright 4 2-2 10, N. Straka 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 8-10 36.

North Rome — R. Beers 4 2-6 10, D. Middaugh 2 0-0 5, A. Winward 4 0-0 8, M. Beers 0 0-0 0, M. Dewing 0 0-0 0, S. Cubbedge 0 0-0 0, E. Jennings 1 0-0 2, K. Highdock 0 0-0 0. Totals: 11 2-6 25.

Triboro 2 14 7 13 — 36

North Rome 4 3 5 13 — 25

3-point goal: D. Middaugh (NR).

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