Last updated: February 19. 2013 10:08PM - 499 Views

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PLYMOUTH ‚?? With fans being ejected from the gym at a lightning pace, the loss of their scoring star to foul trouble and confusion over a questionable call in the final seconds, the Wyoming Valley West Spartans had plenty of reason to become distracted.


Cassie Smicherko and Tara Judge wouldn‚??t allow it.


Smicherko‚??s two free throws lifted Valley West to victory Friday and Judge sealed it with a foul shot and steal down the stretch as the Spartans upended Nanticoke Area, 42-40 at Valley West High School.


‚??You just have to block everything out and focus completely,‚?Ě Smicherko said.


That certainly wasn‚??t easy.


After officials ruled the Trojans had called a timeout before their possession was knocked loose with eight seconds remaining, a few fans erupted in anger.


Two spectators were removed from the gym by police escort ‚?? bringing the night‚??s total to three fan ejections ‚?? and four other people joined them in heading for the doors.


‚??It‚??s a natural thing to look in the crowd and see why the cops are there,‚?Ě Valley West coach Paul Appel said. ‚??It‚??s like a car crash - you can‚??t help but look. The kids are looking over there (during the timeout) and I‚??m trying to say, ‚??No, (look) right here.‚??


‚??Our kids stayed focused.‚?Ě


Still, the call gave Nanticoke the ball one last time with a chance to tie. But a pass was juggled by a Nanticoke Area player, and Judge snatched it away ‚?? along with the Trojans‚?? final hopes.


‚??I thought both teams played hard,‚?Ě Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said, ‚??and it was right down to the wire at the end. We just came up a little short.‚?Ě


The fast finish completed an inspiring comeback for the Spartans, who trailed by nine points late in the third quarter and lost 6-foot-2 center Olivia Hoffman and her co-game-high 15 points to fouls with 67 seconds to play.


‚??We didn‚??t have anybody as big as her to stop her,‚?Ě Yendrzeiwski said. ‚??It‚??s been a problem since I‚??ve been here. She‚??s got some good moves inside, moves her body well. She‚??s really a fantastic player.‚?Ě


But Valley West was intent on a fantastic finish, with or without Hoffman.


Before she left, Hoffman scored the final two points of the third quarter and the first three of the fourth, pulling the Spartans within 31-27.


Then the rest of her crew took over.


Smicherko pulled Valley West within a point with a 3-point goal early in the fourth quarter. Cheyenne Reese put the Spartans on top, 35-33, with a three-point play. And after Nanticoke Area freshman Kassie Schinski twice tied the game in the final four minutes, Judge dropped home a bucket that gave Valley West the lead again.


‚??It was nerve-racking,‚?Ě Smicherko said.


She calmed herself long enough to provide the winning points.


Kayley Schinski, Kassie‚??s senior sister, tied the game with the last of her team-high 15 points and Brittany Sugalski‚??s foul shot with 38 seconds to play lifted Nanticoke Area into a 40-39 lead.


But 10 seconds later, Smicherko calmly connected on a pair of free throws and Valley West clung tightly to victory during the final half-minute.


‚??Right from the beginning, I never lost focus,‚?Ě Smicherko said. ‚??I knew we had it in us that we could beat them. Nanticoke is a really good team. Every win we get this year is going to be a confidence-boost.‚?Ě


Wyoming Valley West 42, Nanticoke 40


NANTICOKE (40): Alex Brossington 2 1-3 5, Brittany Sugalski 2 4-5 8, Kayley Schinski 5 3-4 15, Kassie Schinski 3 3-5 9, Deanna Thomas 1 1-3 3. Totals 13 12-20 40.



WYOMING VALLEY WEST (42): Tara Judge 2 3-6 7, Cassie Smicherko 2 4-7 10, Cheyenne Reese 2 1-1 5, Megan Kane 1 0-2 2, Lauren Lupinski 1 0-0 2, Savannah Piazza 0 1-3 1, Olivia Hoffman 5 5-6 15. Totals 13 14-25 42.























Nanticoke812119‚??40
Wyoming Valley West812418‚??42


3-Point Field Goals‚?? NAN 2 (Kay. Shinski 2); WVW 2 (Smicherko 2)


Wyoming Area 41, Coughlin 13

Serra Degnan scored a game-high 11 points for the Warriors and her teammate Ashley Blannett chipped in 10.


Marissa Ross tossed in eight points to lead Coughlin.



COUGHLIN (13): Savannah Robinson 0 3-6 3, Kami Ivey 0 0-4 0, Casey Lello 0 0-0 0, Cassidy Stelligo 0 0-0 0, Calie Reed 0 0-0 0, Bre Georgetti 0 0-0 0, Kim Martinez 0 1-4 1, Dayzonia Gibson 0 0-0 0, Kaitlyn Oliver 0 1-4 1, Marissa Ross 4 0-6 8, Mary Tona 0 0-5 0. Totals 4 5-29 13.



WYOMING AREA (41): Emily Wolfgang 2 4-4 8, Nicole Cumbo 0 0-0 0, Serra Degnan 4 2-4 11, Nicole Turner 2 0-2 5, Audrey Hiedacavage 0 0-0 0, Rachel Solano 0 0-1 0, Felicia Turner 0 0-0 0, Abby Thornton 1 1-2 3, Jess Sorick 0 0-0 0, Nicole Wright 2 0-0 4, Melissa Mazzitelli 0 0-0 0, Ashley Blannett 5 0-0 10, Jordan Kelly 0 0-0 0, Marcayssa Brown 0 0-0 0, Vicky Sidari 0 0-0 0, Elizabeth Coombs 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 7-13 41.























Coughlin5215‚??13
Wyoming Area915710‚??41


3-Point Field Goals‚?? COU none; WA 2 (Degnan, Turner)


Panther Valley 71, MMI Prep 46

Kristen Purcell scored 17 points in the MMI Prep loss to Panther Valley.


Rachel Stanziola contributed with 12 points.



PANTHER VALLEY (71): Abbey Whildin 9 4-7 23, Kailee Smith 1 1-3 3, Marcy Markovich 1 0-0 2, Trayvonda Rice 9 1-2 19, Sam Vlock 9 6-10 24, Maddison Blasko 0 0-0 0, Taylor Nantz 0 0-0 0, Brianna Picht 0 0-0 0, Amy Coby 0 0-0 0, Jess Jacobs 0 0-0 0, Samantha Jones 0 0-0 0, Jamey Mikovich 0 0-0 0; Totals: 29 12-22 71.



MMI PREP (46): Kristen Purcell 5 6-8 17, Rachel Stanziola 4 4-6 12, Hayle Shearer 3 1-4 7, Kayla Karchner 1 0-0 3, Aries Klesh 2 3-4 7, Annika Fisk 0 0-0 0, Maria Carrato 0 0-0 0, Paige Darrow 0 0-0 0; Totals: 15 14-22 46.























Panther Valley19182014‚??71
MMI Prep513820‚??46


3-Point Field Goals‚?? PV 1 (Whildon); MMI 2 (Purcell, Karchner)


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