Andrejko, Yencha keep Holy Redeemer girls basketball team unbeaten in WVC

By Paul Sokoloski - [email protected]
Crestwood’s Sarah Richards looks for an open teammate during the first quarter Monday night against Holy Redeemer. - Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
Crestwood’s Sara Hopkins dribble in the offensive end. - Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
Holy Redeemer’s Sam Yencha hits a layup against Crestwood. - Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
Holy Redeemer’s Julia Andrejko drive to the basket against Crestwood’s Sarah Richards. - - Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
Holy Redeemer's Sam Rajza (20) holds her ground as Crestwood's Julia Makowski (11) charges into her drawing the foul. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader - - Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

WRIGHT TWP. — In a beautifully-balanced offensive attack that boasts a knack for passing the ball to open players, Julia Andrejko had the hot hand for Holy Redeemer when it came to points in the basket.

Sam Yencha put her hands in just about everything else.

Yencha altered opposing shots, grabbed rebounds and scored 15 points to go along with Andrejko’s 20 as Redeemer cut off Crestwood’s comeback attempt Monday during a 59-50 victory that kept the Royals girls basketball team unbeaten in the Wyoming Valley Conference and tied for first place in Division 2.

“I just try my hardest to make a difference, even if it’s not by scoring,” Yencha said.

Goal accomplished.

Yencha pulled down five of her 10 rebounds in the first quarter as Redeemer built an early nine-point lead, blocked six shots and even made two steals. While the ball was rattling around Crestwood’s unforgiving rims for everyone else, Yencha scored the game’s first basket with 2:34 remaining in the opening quarter and she added 11 of her 15 points in the second half to keep thwarting the pesky Comets.

Even without all that, Yencha’s influence was almost overwhelming.

The presence of her 6-foot frame had Crestwood attempting reverse layups and, at times, desperate and off-target scoop shots in the paint.

“Sam Yencha changes things for us,” Redeemer coach John Jezorwski said. “Teams have a hard time matching up with her.”

It quickly became clear Yencha was giving Crestwood a giant problem.

The Comets didn’t make much of a dent in Redeemer’s early lead until Yencha left the floor in foul trouble for a good chunk of the second and third quarters.

“I wasn’t scoring in the first quarter, but I was getting the ball other players and I was rebounding,” Yencha, a junior center, said. “They (opponents) definitely try to get around me and adjust their shots.”

It helped the Royals stick with their gameplan.

Redeemer remained tied with Nanticoke Area at 11-0 at the top of the WVC Division 2 and kept just ahead of Dunmore and Holy Cross in a fight for the top seed in the District 2 Class 3A playoffs.

Crestwood, which dropped its second straight game to a Division 2 leader, fell to 7-4 in the WVC and out of first place in Division 1, behind Hazleton Area (7-3).

“I think it’s fun,” Yencha said of the tight races. “I have to bring my A game to every single game. It’s kind of like motivation, more than a burden.”

Andrejko was certainly driven.

She scored five points in the first quarter as the Royals opened a 13-4 lead, popped a big 3-pointer in the third quarter to give Redeemer its widest margin, 32-20, and polished off the victory with nine points in the final quarter to help boost the team’s regular-season league record to 23-1 since Jezorwski began coaching the team last season.

“The key of the team is the team,” Jezorwski said. “I’ve been saying that for two years, but this year, even more. Julia scored a lot tonight, but Sam Razja’s distributing the ball better than she ever has before. Sarah Kuderka’s knocking down shots for us.

“To come up here and win is big for us.”

In no small part, thanks to the big girl.

After Crestwood closed within 39-35 on a scooping layup by Sara Hopkins with 6:10 remaining, Yencha came back off the bench carrying her four fouls.

She promptly scored three straight Redeemer buckets — two of them rebound layups — to restore a 10-point lead for the Royals with 3:06 on the clock.

“Sitting on the bench with my fouls, I felt I had to go out there and really make a difference for the team,” Yencha said. “They really needed a spark at that moment, when the game was getting close.”

Northwest 64, MMI Prep 17

Reagan Harrison led the Northwest Rangers in scoring with 13 points.

Maddie Perchak had seven points for MMI Prep.

Hazleton Area 58, Lake-Lehman 49

Hazleton Area’s Maddie Mrochko and Virginia Yurchak combined for 35 points.

Sarah Salus scored 12 points for Lake-Lehman.

Berwick 41, Dallas 38

Reese Mensinger scored 20 points in Berwick’s road win over Dallas.

Dallas’ Samantha Kern and Gianna Centrella combined for 20 points.

Meyers 46, GAR 27

Allysia Harris led Meyers with 13 points.

Khira Cook chipped in 13 points for GAR.

Wyoming Area 57, Pittston Area 43

Wyoming Area’s Casssidy Orzel tossed in 17 points to lead the Warriors.

Alexa Noone scored 21 for Pittston Area.

Nanticoke 56, Wyo. Valley West 46

Katie Butczynski scored 17 points and Alyssa Lewis and Lisa Radziak added nine each as Nanticoke defeated Wyoming Valley West.

Nicole Boutanos scored 12 and Toni Amato added 10 to pace Valley West.

Wyo. Seminary 53, Hanover Area 39

Alex Wesneski led Seminary with 18 points while Paige Parsons tossed in nine.

Victoria Benning led Hanover Area with 15.

Holy Redeemer 59, Crestwood 50

HOLY REDEEMER (59) — Julia Andrejko 6 7-12 20, Sam Yencha 7 1-2 15, Lauren Wasiakowski 1 0-0 3, Sam Rajza 3 5-9 11, Cameron Marcinkowski 0 0-0 0, Sarah Kuderka 4 0-0 8, Alyssa Gushka 1 0-0 2. Totals 22 13-23 59.

CRESTWOOD (50) — Sara Hopkins 5 4-4 15, Julia Makowski 4 4-6 14, Kristen Andrews 2 1-1 5, Sarah Richards 3 2-4 8, Andrea Shipton 0 1-2 1, Bella Termini 2 2-2 4, Helena Jardine 1 1-1 3, Riley Magin 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 15-20 50.

Holy Redeemer`13`11`10`25 — 59

Crestwood`4`11`12`23 — 50

Three-point goals — HR 2 (Wasiakowski, Andrejko); CRE 3 (Makowski 2, Hopkins).

Northwest 64, MMI Prep 17

NORTHWEST (64) — Reagan Harrison 6 1-1 13, Brenna Babcock 5 2-3 12, Trista Babcock 4 0-0 8, Jordan Harrison 3 2-2 8, Hailey Taylor 3 0-0 6, Cassidy Crawford 3 0-0 6, Tess Edwards 2 0-2 4, Kendra Saxton 1 1-2 3, Maddie Mclendon 1 0-0 2, Danielle Bowman 1 0-0 2, Lindsey Thomas 0 0-2 0, Megan Harry 0 0-0 0, Jill Clarke 0 0-0 0, Lindsey Hufford 0 0-0 0, Reilly Balko 0 0-0 0, Cassidy Foley 0 0-0 0. Totals 29 6-12 64.

MMI PREP (17) — Maddie Perchak 3 0-0 7, Bailey Slusser 1 1-4 3, Irene Altmiller 1 0-0 2, Morgan Allen 1 0-0 2, Julie Amentler 0 2-4 2, Kim Amentler 0 1-8 1. Totals 6 4-16 17.

Northwest`21`18`9`16 — 64

MMI Prep`1`1`7`8 — 17

Three-point goals — MMI 1 (Perchak).

Hazleton Area 58, Lake Lehman 49

HAZLETON AREA (58) — Maddie Mrochko 8 3-5 21, Virginia Yurchak 4 2-2 14, Kyra Antolick 6 0-0 12, Faith Grula 4 1-4 9, Marissa Trivelpiece 1 0-0 2, Mia Cundro 0 0-0 0, Olivia Wolk 0 0-0 0, Brooke Boretski 0 0-0 0, Abby Valente 0 0-0 0, Erin Potoski 0 0-0 0, Diamond Truluck 0 0-0 0.Totals 23 6-11 58.

LAKE-LEHMAN (49) — Sarah Salus 5 0-0 12, Savannah Purdy 6 0-0 12, Corrina Scoblick 4 2-5 11, Madison Borum 2 6-10 10, Jodie Salansky 2 0-2 4. Totals 19 8-17 49.

Hazleton Area`14`21`9`14 — 58

Lake-Lehman`13`13`9`14 — 49

Three-point goals — HAZ 6 (Mrochko 2, Yurchak 4); LL 3 (Scoblick, Salus 2).

Berwick 41, Dallas 38

BERWICK (41) — Reese Mensinger 6 4-4 20, Mallory Pinterich 4 1-1 10, Katie Starr 3 0-1 6, Sierra Miedaner 1 0-0 2, Roni Isenberg 1 0-0 2, Megan Dalo 0 1-2 1, Renny Murphy 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 6-8 41.

DALLAS (38) — Samantha Kern 5 0-1 10, Gianna Centrella 4 0-3 10, Kendra Saba 3 0-0 7, Hanna Johnson 1 4-4 6, Olivia Jonson 1 2-2 5, Morgan MacNeely 0 0-0 0, Emily Weiland 0 0-0 0, Hannah Doran 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 6-10 38.

Berwick`17`14`4`6 — 41

Dallas`12`2`20`4 — 38

Three-point goals — BER 5 (Pinterich, Mensinger 4); DAL 4 (O. Johnson, Saba, Centrella 2).

Meyers 46, GAR 27

MEYERS (46) — Allysia Harris 7 1-6 15, Erin Morris 4 2-2 11, Amanda Gray 3 0-0 7, Da’Nayia Ballard 3 0-1 6, Ashley Bruno 2 0-0 5, Sarah Bottger 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 3-9 46.

GAR (27) — Khira Cook 5 3-4 13, Lyann Pena 1 3-4 5, Olivia Prato 1 2-4 4, Jada Redditt 1 0-0 2, Emily Engle 1 0-0 2, Alana Germano 0 1-2 1. Totals 9 9-14 27.

Meyers`16`13`8`9 — 46

GAR`6`5`6`10 — 27

Three-point goals — MEY 3 (Morris, Gray, Bruno).

Wyoming Area 57, Pittston Area 43

WYOMING AREA (57) — Cassidy Orzel 6 4-4 17, Aleah Kranson 4 3-4 11, Nicole Silinskie 3 1-2 10, Ellie Glatz 2 5-8 9, Sarah Holwig 2 2-2 6, Addison Orzel 1 2-4 4, Jalen Rhodes 0 0-0 0, Maria Amato 0 0-0 0, Lauren Kelly 0 0-0 0, Kristi Skok 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 17-24 57.

PITTSTON AREA (43) — Alexa Noone 9 0-0 21, Leah Hodick 6 1-1 13, Brooklyn Pedana 2 0-2 5, Emily O’Brien 1 0-0 2, Portia Weidlich 1 0-0 2, Kayleigh Walker 0 0-0 0, Nicole Zambetti 0 0-0 0, Emma Coles 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 1-3 43.

Wyoming Area`7`13`12`25 — 57

Pittston Area`7`9`13`14 — 43

Three-point goals — WA 3 (Silinskie 3); PA 4 (Pedana, Noone 3).

Nanticoke 56, Wyoming Valley West 46

NANTICOKE (56) – Alyssa Lewis 2 5-9 9, Mandy Biehl 0 0-0 0, Amiah Lukowski 3 0-1 8, Lillian Galazin 0 0-0 0, Jennifer Kurkowski 0 0-0 0, Maddy Grilz 0 0-0 0, Lisa Radziak 3 0-0 9, Lily Kratz 0 0-0 0, Emily Haver 0 0-0 0, Reilly Miller 0 0-0 0, Kate Butczynski 7 1-3 17, Jil Baron 3 2-7 8, Lauren Casey 0 0-1 0, Bella Czech 2 1-2 5. Totals 20 9-23 56.

WVW (46) – Aubry Boyd 0 0-0 0, Nicole Boutanos 4 4-4 12, Alima Tikhtova 0 0-0 0, Katlyn Rincavage 0 1-2 1, Karaline Stelma 1 0-0 2, Lindsey Gruver 3 0-2 9, Toni Amato 2 5-5 10, Jessica Shaver 0 0-0 0, Grace Giza 2 0-0 4, Kylee Laudenslager 0 0-0 0, Megan Brody 0 0-0 0, Kara Mackiewicz 0 0-0 0, Andi Blaski 4 0-2 8. Totals 16 10-15 46.

Nanticoke`18`14`16`8 – 56

WVW`17`9`7`13 – 46

Three-point goals – NAN 7 (Lukowski 2, Radziak 3, Butczynski 2); WVW 4 (Gruver 3, Amato).

Wyoming Seminary 53, Hanover Area 39

WYO. SEMINARY (53) – Paige Parsons 4 1-2 9, Alex Wesneski 7 0-0 18, Mia Raineri 0 0-0 0, Julia Gabriel 3 1-2 7, Ally Vezendy 2 2-2 7, Olivia Meuser 3 0-0 6, Julia Iskra 0 0-0 0, Maaike Reitsma 3 0-0 6, Mia Magnotta 1 0-0 2. Totals 23 4-6 53.

HANOVER AREA (39) – Victoria Benning 5 5-10 15, Genisis Rodriguez 5 1-8 9, Sarah Tuzinski 0 0-2 0, Emilee Bobos 0 0-0 0, Madison Hooper 2 0-0 5, Tanisha Atherton 1 0-0 2, Mary Slusser 0 0-0 0, Arianna Sillah 0 0-0 0, M.Corbett 0 0-0 0, K.Slusser 0 0-0 0, T.Hines 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 6-20 39.

Wyoming Seminary`19`13`10`13 – 53

Hanover Area`8`11`12`8 – 39

Three-point goals – WS 5 (Wesneski 4, Vezendy). HA 3 (Whitesell 2, Atherton).

Crestwood’s Sarah Richards looks for an open teammate during the first quarter Monday night against Holy Redeemer.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_Crestwood-HR-GBB-1.jpgCrestwood’s Sarah Richards looks for an open teammate during the first quarter Monday night against Holy Redeemer. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Crestwood’s Sara Hopkins dribble in the offensive end.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_Crestwood-HR-GBB-2.jpgCrestwood’s Sara Hopkins dribble in the offensive end. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Holy Redeemer’s Sam Yencha hits a layup against Crestwood.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_Crestwood-HR-GBB-3.jpgHoly Redeemer’s Sam Yencha hits a layup against Crestwood. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Holy Redeemer’s Julia Andrejko drive to the basket against Crestwood’s Sarah Richards.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_Crestwood-HR-GBB-4.jpgHoly Redeemer’s Julia Andrejko drive to the basket against Crestwood’s Sarah Richards. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Holy Redeemer’s Sam Rajza (20) holds her ground as Crestwood’s Julia Makowski (11) charges into her drawing the foul. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_Crestwood-HR-GBB-5.jpgHoly Redeemer’s Sam Rajza (20) holds her ground as Crestwood’s Julia Makowski (11) charges into her drawing the foul. Tony Callaio | For Times LeaderTony Callaio | For Times Leader
Crestwood can’t overcome Holy Redeemer’s Yencha

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