GIRLS BASKETBALL: Wesneski Leads Sem In Battle Of Unbeatens

January 8, 2019
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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Wesneski Leads Sem In Battle Of Unbeatens

By Tom Fox Correspondent KINGSTON – Fittingly, it was Alex Wesneski that sealed the victory for Wyoming Seminary. The senior got her hand on the Hanover Area pass, tipped the ball to herself and went downcourt for the breakaway layup in the final moments. It was Wesneski that willed the Blue Knights in the first half. She scored eight of her game-high 21 points in the second quarter, one where Sem outscored Hanover Area by 11, as the Blue Knights pulled away for a 49-35 victory in a battle of undefeated Wyoming Valley Conference Division 3 squads. The win moves Wyoming Seminary to 4-0 in Division 3, while Hanover falls to 3-1. “This gives us a lot of team pride,” said Wesneski, who will play field hockey at the University of Iowa in the fall. “We have been working hard all week. We knew this would be a big win. My coaches really get me going, and I know that my teammates always have my back. I can miss a shot, and they are encouraging me to keep taking shots because they are going to fall. Today was just a really good day for me.” Sure, it would have been easy for Sem to hang its head. Sara Whitesell hit probably the shot of the season to date as she dribbled across half-court and heaved a shot at the first-quarter buzzer that touched nothing but nylon. Prior to that moment, Hanover Area went scoreless from the field in the first 7 minutes of the opening quarter, shooting just 1 of 12. But Whitesell’s second trifecta in the final 90 seconds put the Hawkeyes down just 12-7. “We really talk about the mental game, so we are able to regroup,” Sem head coach Abbey Rodway said. “We wanted to keep the tempo going our way. We wanted to keep our heads and just control the game. We didn’t want that one shot to affect the way we were going to play the rest of the game.” Seminary never got rattled. Wesneski and Ally Vezendy combined to hit their first four 3-pointers, as the Blue Knights ran off a 16-5 run in the second quarter for the 28-12 lead at halftime. It was a quarter where Seminary connected on 6 of 12 from the floor. “We have been the underdogs for a long time in this conference, and to be on top right now is a great feeling,” Rodway said. “My first year here was a big transition for us. We started to build a program three years ago, and in the fourth year, that’s usually when it peaks. Half of these girls won states in field hockey, so they have that positive attitude. That success helps 100 percent. Just to know that you have that state-championship mentality, they bring that attitude and confidence to the court.” Wesneski really took control whenever the Blue Knights needed her. And it was no more evident than the fourth quarter when Hanover mounted one final comeback. Two trifectas by Kyleen McCance and Madison Bobos’ offensive rebound and putback gave the Hawkeyes their opportunity, down 42-32 with 3:22 to play. But Wesneski accounted for 10 of Seminary’s fourth-quarter points, and managed to hit a critical bucket each time Hanover had a glimmer of hope for the comeback . “We knew tonight was a big game for us. Sem is a good team that’s well coached,” Hanover Area head coach Chris Parker said. “We were too flat early. I told them to forget the score at halftime and to come out and win the second half. And we did that. We made a run in the fourth, and we were there. I continue to tell the girls that we can’t have quarters like we did in the second quarter where we were outscored.” Vezendy added 10 for Sem, while Hooper had a team-high 11 for the Hawkeyes. “Now, we have to get ready for Meyers on Wednesday. We knew this was going to be a pretty big week for us,” Wesneski said. Contact the writer: sports@citizensvoice.com; 570-821-2060

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