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Hot start enough for Comets

Nanitocoke’s Jenn Harnischfeger (3) gets help from teammate Kaylan Sennefelder setting a pick on Crestwood’s Alex Plaviak in the first half of Tuesday’s WVC girls basketball game in Nanticoke.


NANTICOKE — Crestwood shot lights out during a four-minute run in the first quarter, cashing in five three-point shots. As things turned out, it was all the offense that the Comets really needed.

Carissa Gegaris scored a game-high 12 points, and 6-foot center Chelsea Cornelius turned in an outstanding defensive performance as the Comets posted a 39-27 victory over Nanticoke on Tuesday night.

Cornelius, who runs the floor like a guard, blocked six shots and snagged 15 rebounds as the Comets defense held the Trojans in check throughout the game.

“Our game plan was to play great defense, and I think we accomplished that,” said Cornelius, who also scored eight points—including a three-pointer in the first quarter. “We kept pressure on them all night.”

The Comets sealed the deal by taking a 19-4 lead into the second period. Carissa Gegaris and her sister Kayla each tossed in a pair of three-pointers during a 17-2 run that took the air out of Nanticoke’s sails.

Crestwood (4-0) scored only three points in the second quarter, but held a 22-9 halftime lead.

“I don’t know how many shots we missed, but we shot poorly,” Nanticoke coach Allen Yendrzeiwski said. “Crestwood forced the tempo and played excellent defense.”

The Trojans forced several shots and missed some open layups, especially in the second half. Cornelius played a big role in the missed shots near the basket as she repeatedly swatted the ball on drives the basket.

“I practice really hard at blocking shots,” Cornelius said. “Yesterday I went one-on-one with Isiah (Walker) about 10 times, and I got the best of him, I think he took it easy on me, though.”

Walker, the Crestwood coach, had high praise for Cornelius. “She did everything we needed her to do. She pretty much dominated the game on defense.”

One of the keys to victory was Crestwood’s ability to contain Nanticoke star guard Jenn Harnischfeger, who scored only two points, Walker added.

“Kayla Gegaris did a great job of defending Harnischfeger. She played her tough.”

Nanticoke pulled to within 10 points on two occasions in the second half, but Crestwood was in total control throughout the game. The Comets opened a 33-19 lead on a basket by Carissa Gegaris late in the third quarter.

“We played with a lot of intensity,” Gegaris said. “We executed on offense in the first quarter. Our three point shots fell.”

Teresa Kalinay paced Nanticoke (3-2) with seven points, followed by Sami Gow with six .

“Crestwood shot well and we didn’t,” Harnischfeger said. “We have to play more aggressive and shoot better.”

NANTICOKE (27): Harnischfeger 1 0-0 2, Wolfe 0 0-0 0, Schinski 1 1-2 3, Kalinay 2 1-3 7, Gow 1 4-4 6, Churnowski 0 0-0 0, Sugalski 2 1-3 5, Sennefelder 2 0-3 4, Pientka 0 0-0 0, Katra 0 0-0 0, Krietzer 0 0-0 0. Totals 9 7-15 27.

CRESTWOOD (39): Cornelius 2 3-4 8, Plaviak 3 3-4 9, Andrews 0 0-2 0, Kobela 1 0-0 2, C. Gegaris 4 2-2 12, K. Gegaris 2 0-0 6, Hislop 0 2-2 2, Kania 0 0-0 0, Ritz 0 0-0 0, Hill 0 0-0 0, Mera 0 0-0 0, Ciaverella 0 0-0 0, Mazzon 0 0-0 0, Jesikiwicz 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 10-14 39.

Nanticoke 4 5 10 8 27
Crestwood 19 3 11 6 39

3-Point Field Goals— NA 2 (Kalinay, 2); CR 5 (C. Gegaris 2, K. Gegaris 2, Cornelius)

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