Makowski and Hopkins lead Crestwood girls basketball team past Wyoming Area

By Paul Sokoloski - [email protected]
Crestwood’s Julia Makowski looks to pass after grabbing a rebound in front of Wyoming Area’s Kristi Skok in WVC girls basketball action Monday night. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Wyoming Area’s Cassidy Orzel takes the ball down the court while being guarded by Crestwood’s Riley Magin. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Wyoming Area’s Sarah Holweg drives to the hoop as Crestwood’s Riley Magin defends. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Crestwood’s Sara Hopkins looks to pass as Wyoming Area’s Nicole Silinskie defends. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

WRIGHT TWP. — The mere thought of ruining an opponent’s perfection only turned up the intensity for Sara Hopkins, Julia Makowski and the rest of Crestwood’s girls basketball team.

Then the Comets used their enthusiasm to shoot down the Wyoming Valley Conference’s last unbeaten and shoot straight to the top of the league’s Division 1 standings.

Makowski scored 22 points, slick ballhandler Hopkins hit for 13 more Monday and Crestwood won its second big showdown in three days by easily handing Wyoming Area its first loss of the season 64-57 at Crestwood High School.

“I knew it’d be a big win, not only for the conference, but for districts, with seeding,” Hopkins, Crestwood’s 5-foot-4 senior pionts guard, said. “We were knocking down shots from everywhere — inside, outside. I was surprised.”

By now, nobody should be raising an eyebrow over the Comets’ success.

They’ve won six straight league games since dropping the season opener at Dallas, including a rare 60-57 victory over Hazleton Area at home on Saturday that handed the Cougars their first WVC defeat and pushed the Comets into first place in the league’s Division 1 by a half-game.

That league lead expanded to 1 1/2 games Monday when Crestwood coupled its victory over the Warriors with Hazleton Area’s 10-point loss to Holy Redeemer.

Meanwhile, Wyoming Area had its school-record 11-game winning streak to open a girls season snapped, while falling to 6-1 in the WVC and into a third-place tie with Lake-Lehman in Division 2 — behind 7-0 Holy Redeemer and 6-0 Nanticoke Area.

“They are a legitmately good team,” Crestwood coach Ed Stepanski said of the Warriors. “They play real aggressive defense. I’m happy to get that win.”

Hopkins was a huge part of it.

She popped a regular bucket and a 3-pointer in the second quarter to give the Comets their largest lead, 37-21, and hit some crucial buckets in the fourth quarter to stave off Wyoming Area’s frantic comeback attempt.

“This year, especially, I’m trying to pick it (scoring) up a little bit,” Hopkins said. “And also, passing to my teammates inside.”

That work was nice, but her biggest impact came when the Warriors rolled out a fierce press defense in the second half. Hopkins kept zig-zagging right through it.

“I just keep my composure, take my time, don’t rush anything and find my teammates,” Hopkins said.

For most of the game, the Comets found a way to confound Wyoming Area.

Makowski buried two 3-point goals and put up 10 points in the opening quarter, Riley Magin hit a couple more treys and fired in eight of her 10 points and Crestwood cruised to a 10-point lead by the end of the first quarter.

“First quarter, we moved the ball well, had a lot of good open looks,” Stepanski said. “Our shooting’s really been improving.”

From there, the Comets were on cruise control through most of the night.

Andrea Shipton’s bucket gave Crestwood a 15-point lead late in the second quarter and Hopkins hit her lone 3-pointer for the 16-point advantage not long after that.

Cassidy Orzel kept the game from getting away from the Warriors by scoring eight of her 22 points in the second quarter and five more in the third. But Wyoming Area had trouble whittling its deficit, as Crestwood played patient basketball and got two buckets each from Makowski and Sarah Richards to take a nine-point advantage into the final quarter.

Then things became interesting, mainly because the Comets nearly collapsed at the foul line.

“I think it was a little bit of nerves,” Strepanski said. “We’re usually a good foul shooting team.”

Instead, Crestwood missed eight of its 17 free throws in the fourth quarter and the Warriors worked their way into striking distance.

Sarah Holweg hit the last two of her five 3-point goals to finish with 20 points and pull Wyoming Area within five points with 3:18 to play, then Orzel’s three-point play with 69 seconds on the clock closed the gap to 55-51.

“As good of a defense as we played, they chipped away at the lead we had,” Stepanski said.

Hopkins and Makowski made sure Crestwood didn’t lose it, though.

Hopkins took off for a quick and easy layup off an inbounds pass to boost the Comets’ lead to nine points midway through the final quarter, then made a steal and layup with 50 seconds to play to give Crestwood a seven-point edge.

And Makowski finished up by converting three foul shots in the final 30 seconds to keep the Warriors at arm’s length.

“It definitely gives us a lot of confidence and motivation to keep the winning up,” Hopkins said. “Tonight was a really big win. I think we’re going to keep the momentum going.”

Holy Redeemer 57, Hazleton Area 47

Holy Redeemer jumped to a 17-point lead at halftime on the way to a road victory.

Julia Andrejko scored 15 points to lead three Royals in double figures. Cameron Marcinkowski scored 11 and Sam Yencha netted 10.

Maddie Mrochko scored 17 and Faith Grula added 10 for Hazleton Area.

Nanticoke 68, Coughlin 14

Nanticoke defeated Coughlin on the road behind strong shooting from Alyssa Lewis and Lisa Radziak.

Lewis scored seven of her 16 points in the third quarter. Coughlin’s Molly Poray and Kird Meager combined for eight points.

Pittston Area 40, Berwick 30

Pittston Area defeated Berwick at home behind Alexa Noone and Leah Hodick, who combined 36 points.

Noone registered seven points in the second and third quarters. Berwick was led by Megan Dalo’s 11 points.

Wyo. Valley West 50, Lake-Lehman 35

Toni Amato had 22 points and Nicole Boutanos had 13 as Wyoming Valley West defeated Lake-Lehman.

Madison Borum paced Lehman with 17.

Postponements

Three basketball games were postponed Monday.

In girls action, Wyoming Seminary at Northwest and Tunkhannock at Dallas were scratched from the schedule. The Tunkhannock at Lake-Lehman game was moved to Jan. 22.

H.S. WRESTLING

Lake-Lehman 51, Nanticoke 28

Hunter Burke (138) and Riley Newman (170) and T.J. Meehan recorded pins for the Black Knights, which also received four forfeit victories.

Zackery Capie (106), Joseph Sauers (113) and Shane Repasky (220) had pins for Nanticoke.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Crestwood 64, Wyoming Area 57

WYOMING AREA (57) — Nicole Silinskie 1 0-0 3, Aleah Kranson 1 2-2 4, Sarah Holweg 7 1-2 20, Cassidy Orzel 8 4-7 20, Kristi Skok 0 0-0 0, Ellie Glatz 4 2-6 10, Jalen Rhodes 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 9-17 57.

CRESTWOOD (64) — Sara Hopkins 6 0-2 13, Julia Makowski 7 6-8 22, Riley Magin 4 0-2 10, Helena Jardine 2 2-2 6, Sarah Richards 4 1-2 10, Bella Termini 0 1-2 1, Andrea Shipton 1 0-2 2, Kristen Andrews 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 10-20 64.

Wyoming Area`13`14`11`19`—`57

Crestwood`23`14`10`17`—`64

Three-point goals — WA 6 (Holweg 5, Silinskie); CRE 6 (Makowski 2, Magin 2, Richards, Hopkins).

Nanticoke 68, Coughlin 14

NANTICOKE (68) — Alyssa Lewis 7 1-3 16, Amiah Lukowski 2 0-0 4, Lillian Galazin 0 0-0 0, Jennifer Kurkoski 2 1-2 1, Maddy Grilz 1 0-0 3, Lisa Radziak 4 0-0 12, Lily Kratz 1 0-0 2, Emily Haver 1 1-2 4 Riley Miller 1 0-0 3, Katie Butczynski 1 1-2 3, Jil Baron 2 4-4 8, Lauren Casey 2 0-0 4, Bella Czeck 4 0-0 8. Totals 18 8-13 68

COUGHLIN (14) — Arianna Brittingham 1 0-0 2, Ajalaya Butts 1 0-0 2, Le’June Berry 1 0-2 2, Molly Poray 2 0-0 4, Kird Meager 2 0-0 4, Abigail Kush 0 0-0 0, Yansel Perez 0 0-0 0, Milady Zabala 0 0-0 0, Courtney Wartella 0 0-0 0, Sanduta Loutif 0 0-0 0. Totals 7 0-2 14.

Nanticoke`20`9`22`17`—`68

Home`0`4`6`4`—`14

Three-point goals — NAN 8 (Lewis, Grilz, Haver, Miller, Radziak 4)

Pittston Area 40, Berwick 30

BERWICK (30) — Reese Mensinger 1 1-2 3, Renny Murphy 3 0-0 7, Sierra Micdanner 2 0-0 5, Katie Starr 0 0-0 0, Megan Dalo 4 3-5 11, Mallory Pinterich 1 0-0 2, Roni Isenberg 0 2-2 2. Totals 11 6-9 30.

PITTSTON AREA (40) — Mary Silinskie 1 0-0 2, Emily O’Brien 0 0-0 0, Portia Weidlich 1 0-0 2, Leah Hodick 6 3-5 15, Alexa Noone 9 0-0 21, Emma Coles 0 0-0 0, Andrea Ruby 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 3-5 40.

Berwick`4`7`8`11`—`30

Home`9`11`11`9`—`40

Three-point goals — BER 2 (Murphy, Micdaner); PA 3 (Noone 3).

Holy Redeemer 57, Hazleton Area 47

HOLY REDEEMER (57) — Sarah Kuderka 2 0-0 5, Aleisha Pekarovaky 0 0-0 0, Julia Andrejko 4 7-8 15, Sam Yencha 4 2-4 10, Lauren Wasiakowski 2 3-6 8, Sam Rajza 3 1-4 8, Jordan Cicon 0 0-0 0, Cameron Marcinkowski 4 2-6 11. Totals 19 15-28 57.

HAZLETON AREA (47) — Marissa Trivelpiece 2 1-1 5, Mia Lundro 0 0-0 0, Maddie Mrochko 6 1-2 17, Kyra Antolick 3 0-2 6, Olivia Wolk 0 0-0 0. Brooke Boretski 0 0-0 0, Abby Valente 0 0-0 0, Veronica Pecora 0 0-0 0, Virginia Yurchak 4 1-3 9, Faith Grula 3 4-6 10. Totals 18 7-14 47.

Holy Redeemer`14`19`11`13`—`57

Hazleton Area `6`10`11`20`—`47

Three-point goals — HR 4 (Kuderka, Wasiakowski, Rajza, Marcinkowski).

Wyoming Valley West 50, Lake-Lehman 35

LAKE-LEHMAN (35) — Sarah Salus 2 0-2 5, Corinna Scoblick 3 0-0 6, Jodie Salansky 0 0-1 0, Savannah Purdy 2 2-2 7, Madison Borum 7 3-7 17, Halle Jones 0 0-0 0, Madison Brdaric 0 0-0 0, Savannah Kline 0 0-0 0, Jess Salus 0 0-0 0, Jessica Spencer 0 0-0 0, Courtney Henninger 0 0-0 0, Hunter Kline 0 0-0 0, Autumn Savitski 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 5-12 35.

WVW (50) — Nicole Boutanos 6 1-4 13, Lindsey Gruver 3 0-0 7, Toni Amato 6 6-6 22, Grace Giza 1 0-0 2, Andy Blaski 3 0-0 6, Aubry Boyd 0 0-0 0, Alima Tikhtova 0 0-0 0, Katlyn Rincavage 0 0-0 0, Karaline Stelma 0 0-0 0, Jessica Shaver 0 0-0 0, Kylee Laudenslager 0 0-0 0, Megan Brody 0 0-0 0, Kara Mackiewicz 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 7-10 50.

Lake-Lehman`12`8`7`8`—`35

WVW`6`9`18`17`—`50

Three-point goals — LL 2 (S.Salus, Purdy), WVW 5 (Gruver, Amato 4).

H.S. WRESTLING

Lake-Lehman 51, Nanticoke 28

106: Zackery Capie (NAN) pinned Gavin Ruger; 113: Joseph Sauers (NAN) pinned Bradon Boston; 120: Zack Stuart (LL) pinned George Brown; 126: Bob Long (LL) won by forfeit; 132: Garrett Kolb (LL) won by forfeit; 138: Hunter Burke (LL) pinned Christopher Maute; 145: Jake Trumbower (LL) won by forfeit; 152: Collin Kudrako-Kashatus (NAN) pinned Chase Button; 160: Nick Zaboski (LL) dec. Adam Eckhart 3-2; 170: Riley Newman (LL) pinned Zackery Pelton; 182: Isaiah Johnson (NAN) maj. dec. Thomas Nalbone; 195: TJ Meehan (LL) pinned Seth Pelton; 220: Shane Repasky (NAN) pinned Chuck Harry; 285: Kaleb Konigus (LL) won by forfeit.

Match started at 170

Crestwood’s Julia Makowski looks to pass after grabbing a rebound in front of Wyoming Area’s Kristi Skok in WVC girls basketball action Monday night.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_TTL011618GBBWA-Crestwood_1.jpgCrestwood’s Julia Makowski looks to pass after grabbing a rebound in front of Wyoming Area’s Kristi Skok in WVC girls basketball action Monday night. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Wyoming Area’s Cassidy Orzel takes the ball down the court while being guarded by Crestwood’s Riley Magin.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_TTL011618GBBWA-Crestwood_2.jpgWyoming Area’s Cassidy Orzel takes the ball down the court while being guarded by Crestwood’s Riley Magin. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Wyoming Area’s Sarah Holweg drives to the hoop as Crestwood’s Riley Magin defends.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_TTL011618GBBWA-Crestwood_3.jpgWyoming Area’s Sarah Holweg drives to the hoop as Crestwood’s Riley Magin defends. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Crestwood’s Sara Hopkins looks to pass as Wyoming Area’s Nicole Silinskie defends.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_TTL011618GBBWA-Crestwood_4.jpgCrestwood’s Sara Hopkins looks to pass as Wyoming Area’s Nicole Silinskie defends. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Back-to-back big wins as Crestwood hands Wyoming Area first loss

By Paul Sokoloski

[email protected]

Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski

Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski