A trip back to the top of the WVC standings Paul Sokoloski Opinion
Last Modified: February 19. 2013 1:17AM
It‚??s almost a lifetime.
And a lot of life appeared to leave the Trojans when their scoring star walked out the door very early this season.
They didn‚??t know it then, but that only helped drive Nanticoke Area back to the top.
The scoreboard said Nanticoke Area got there Monday by pulling away from its nemesis Lake-Lehman, 60-42, in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division III championship game at Holy Redeemer High School.
The truth is, the Trojans turned themselves into champions long before that.
‚??It means a lot to us,‚?Ě Nanticoke Area sharp-shooting guard Kayley Schinski said. ‚??We work hard every day.
‚??We picked ourselves up.‚?Ě
She didn‚??t just mean in a title game Nanticoke Area trailed after a quarter and was still a dogfight well into the second half.
‚??You train your Chihuahuas,‚?Ě Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said, ‚??to think they‚??re German Shepherds.‚?Ě
The Trojanettes always believed they could play bigger than they were, because they weren‚??t going over the top any other way.
Part of that comes from their storied history, filled with league and district titles and even a state championship that is still the standard at Nanticoke Area.
‚??We‚??re lucky. We have a strong tradition,‚?Ě Yendrzeiwski said. ‚??Every day at practice, we have the banners on the wall.‚?Ě
They didn‚??t have any lately.
And the Trojanettes don‚??t have any 6-foot players this season, they don‚??t have the talent or tenacity that took their 1990 team to a state title and they didn‚??t have their top scorer anymore from the start of the new year.
What the Trojans do have is faith in each other.
‚??We all pulled through, made some adjustments,‚?Ě Nanticoke Area guard Alex Brassington said.
Now they‚??ve altered the standings.
‚??Even though we lost a player,‚?Ě Schinski said, ‚??we‚??re still on top and doing just as good.‚?Ě
They are doing it with a team concept, in a galaxy where anyone can become a shooting star at any time.
Take Monday‚??s division-clincher, for example.
Katie Wolfe, Nanticoke Area‚??s top scorer of this season, didn‚??t even get on the board until her team had a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.
But Brassington carried the Trojans through the first quarter with the first five of her team-high 17 points. And Schinski‚??s two 3-pointers in the final two minutes of the third quarter turned a tight battle into a blowout against a Lehman team trying to win its fourth straight division title.
‚??Once one person makes a shot,‚?Ě Brassington said, ‚??usually we all go off out there. We psyched ourselves up during halftime.‚?Ě
Actually, the mind over matter part came long before that.
‚??We really know how to work as a team,‚?Ě Schinski said.
‚??Our kids are a tight-knit group,‚?Ě Yendrzeiwski said. ‚??They really play well together.‚?Ě
It is why the Trojans played their way right out of the doldrums, and all the way back to the top.