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H.S Girls Basketball: Wilkes-Barre Area holds off Wyoming Valley West

Jan. 26—PLAINS TWP. — There was a lot to unpack from Wilkes-Barre Area's 53-48 victory over Wyoming Valley West in Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 girls basketball Thursday.

First, there was WBA's incredible 3-point shooting in the first half. Secondly, there was Valley West's rally attempt from an 18-point deficit.

Then there was a traveling violation that didn't sit well with the Valley West fans in the final seconds that led to a technical foul call. And lastly, there was some key free throws by WBA's Emma Krawczeniuk to finally ice a game that the Wolfpack nearly let slip away.

Everything added up to WBA improving to 5-5 in the division and 7-10 overall, while Valley West fell to 3-6 and 6-11.

The game was also important in the District 2/4 Class 6A standings as Valley West came in as the third seed and WBA the fourth in the five-team bracket. The top-three teams move to the semifinals while the fourth seed plays the fifth for a spot in the semifinals and a meeting with Hazleton Area, which has lost once thus far.

"We've been looking at that all year," Valley West coach Gary Ferenchick said. "There have been a lot of tough losses this year for us. Unfortunately, that's part of the game. Somebody has to lose.

"But the kids are working hard and we still have five games to go. We go to Crestwood tomorrow. It's tough playing day in and day out."

WBA shot 8-of-11 from 3-point range in the first half, building a 32-14 lead with two minutes until the break. Valley West, though, scored the final eight points of the second quarter as Thalia Irizarry and Gabby Marsola hit 3-pointers around an inside basket by Anya Richet.

"They are a very skilled offensive team and knew they were going to make a run," WBA coach Dale Rapson said. "They shoot the ball extremely well. They have five girls that make three. I think they had five different girls make a three tonight."

The Spartans extended the run to start the third as Mackenzie Perluke scored the quarter's first five points. Richet then began dominating inside as part of her 16-point, 15-rebound night. WBA went cold and Valley West cut the deficit to three before the Wolfpack took a 38-34 lead into the fourth quarter.

Krawczeniuk opened the fourth with WBA's first field goal since 5:23 of the second quarter. Valley West moved within 47-45 with under a minute to play, but a free throw by WBA's Diamond Thornton bumped the advantage to three with 40 seconds left.

The technical foul came 14 seconds later when a Spartan intercepted a long pass, but was whistled for traveling and disputed the call.

Krawczeniuk hit two technical free throws and two more free throws with 25.4 seconds left to make it 52-45.

Krawczeniuk finished with 19 points as did Thornton, who led the 3-point assault in the first half. Katie Keating had two of WBA's six 3-pointers in the first quarter and finished with 10 points.

Irizarry had 11 for Valley West.

"We just played horribly at the beginning of the game," Ferenchick said, "but the girls fought hard and it could have gone either way at the end."

Wilkes-Barre Area 53, Wyo. Valley West 48

WYOMING VALLEY WEST (48) — Gabby Novitsky 1 0-0 2, Gabby Marsola 3 0-0 9, Mackenzie Perluke 2 0-0 5, Thalia Irizarry 4 0-0 11, Anya Richet 6 4-6 16, Alissa Laudenslager 2 0-0 5, Anna Sierra 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 4-6 48.

WILKES-BARRE AREA (53) — Katie Keatng 3 2-2 10, Diamond Thornton 5 6-8 18, Mahogany Robinson 0 0-0 0, Hannah McAfee 1 0-0 2, Emma Krawczeniuk 5 7-8 19, Aisyah Grady 1 0-0 3, Lucheska Perez 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 15-18 53.

Wyo. Valley West'14'8'12'14 — 48

Wilkes-Barre Area'22'10'6'15 — 53

Three-point goals — WVW 8 (Marsola 3, Perluke, Irizarry 3, Laudenslager), WBA 8 (Keating 2, Thornton 3, Krawczeniuk 2, Grady).