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Blue Devils upset Lady Vikes to start 2011

Pittston Area hands Berwick its first loss of season

Above, Old Forge’s Andi Alsalahat (20) looks to penetrate against Riverside’s Morgann Haduck.


Mia Hopkins (23) advances the ball for Pittston Area against Crestwood.

photo by charlotte bartizek

Wyoming Area’s Katie Scalzo (12) fights through traffic against Holy Redeemer.

photo by charlotte bartizek

Old Forge’s Nicole Marianelli (12) goes in for two of her 17 points as Riverside’s Kayla Cavanaugh defends.


Wyoming Area’s Serra Degnan (5) controls a loose ball against Holy Redeemer.

photo by charlotte bartizek

Old Forge ushered in the New Year the right way on Monday night.

The Blue Devils used a stifling defense to pull off a 51-41 upset of arch-rival Riverside in a Lackawanna League Division II matchup at the Patrick C. Riviello Gymnasium in Taylor.

Coach Tom Gatto’s cagers employed different looks against the Lady Vikes and star Morgann Haduck. And even though Haduck was able to scored 26 of Riverside’s 41 points, Old Forge forced the four-year senior point guard into many bad shots as they controlled the glass. The Blue Devils forced Riverside into shooting just 18 percent (11-for-61) from the field in the Lady Vikes home gym.

The game opened with two easy baskets for the Blue Devils as Andi Alsalahat first found Nicole Marianelli for a layup on a backdoor move to the hoop, then on a fast break for a bucket against the Riverside press that led to a 4-0 Old Forge lead.

Kellie Nash made to free throws for Riverside to get within 4-2, but for most of the first-half from that point, it was the Blue Devils against Haduck.

Lindsay Regan nailed two free throws and then scored on a fast break on an assist from Marianelli to give Old Forge an 8-2 lead.

Haduck scored the final six points of the quarter for Riverside, but a basket by Alsalahat and a three-pointer by Regan gave the Blue Devils a 13-8 lead after the first quarter.

Old Forge opened its lead to 18-11 with 4:09 left in the second quarter but Haduck added a basket and a free throw, and Kayla Cavanaugh banked in a three-pointer at the horn to get the Lady Vikes within 18-17 at intermission.

Alsalahat opened the third quarter with a drive to the basket, and Nash answered with 1-of-2 free throws before the Blue Devils went on a 6-0 run spurred by three points from freshman Lauren Carey on a layup and a free throws after a steal with 3:46 to go in the third that gave Old Forge a 24-18 lead.

Haduck would scored four straight to get Riverside within 24-22 with 2:45 left in the quarter, but the Blue Devils answered with a 7-1 run to end the quarter as Carey scored off of a rebound, Alsalahat scored on a drive to the hoop, and Regan came out of a scrum with the ball for a layup and a free throw after getting fouled on the play with just two seconds remaining before the fourth quarter.

Old Forge continued its run with six straight points to open the final stanza as it increased its lead to 37-23 with 6:57 left in the game. Madison Haduck stopped the Blue Devils run with a jumper from the free throw line at the 6:13 mark.

It was Riverside’s first field goal in over four minutes.

Old Forge increased its lead to 16 at 43-27 midway through the fourth quarter as Regan scored on an out-of-bounds play and Marianelli made 1-of-2 free throws with 4:13 left in the game.

Marianelli kept the Lady Vikes at bay the rest of the way, converting 11-of-14 free throws in the fourth quarter, including 5-of-6 in the final two minutes. The senior led the Blue Devils with 17 points, 13 from the free throw line. Marianelli also chipped in with four rebounds and three assists.

Regan finished with 16 points and six rebounds for Old Forge, and Alsalahat added nine points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Carey chipped in with eight points and seven rebounds.

OF 46, Western Wayne 28

Old Forge held Western Wayne without a field goal in the third quarter as they sailed by the Wildcats, 46-28, in a Lackawanna League Division II game on Thursday night in the Elio Ghigiarelli Gymnasium.

Leading 26-14 at the half, the Blue Devils scored 10 straight points to start the third quarter as it held the Lady Wildcats without a bucket for the first 10:14 of the second half.

Nicole Marianelli scored eight of those points during the third quarter as Old Forge took a 38-15 lead into the final stanza.

Marianelli led the Blue Devils with 16 points, including three three-pointers. Dana Bilski added eight points and four rebounds, and Lindsay Regan chipped in with six points and four rebounds. Lauren Carey added four points and eight rebounds, and Andi Alsalahat – who left the game in the third quarter with an apparent shoulder injury – chipped in with six rebounds, three steals and two assists.

OF 44, Wyoming Area 28

Old Forge beat Wyoming Area for the second time this season, 44-28, in an exhibition game played at the Thomas R. Kelly Gymnasium in Yatesville last Thursday.

The Blue Devils raced out to a 9-2 lead after the first eight minutes as Nicole Marianelli scored all six of her points during the run.

Wyoming Area came back in the second quarter and cut its halftime deficit to 21-15 as Katie Scalzo scored eight of her game-high 14 points in the stanza, including a 6-for-6 performance from the charity stripe.

Old Forge maintained its lead in the third quarter before pulling away in the fourth as Andi Alsalahat and Lauren Carey combined for all 14 Blue Devil points in the quarter.

Carey scored all eight of her points in the final eight minutes, and Alsalahat went 6-for-6 at the line as the Blue Devils held off the Lady Warriors.

Lindsay Regan led the Blue Devils with 12 points, and Alsalahat finished with nine.

Serra Degnan chipped in with five points for the Lady Warriors.

WA 37, Tunkhannock 48

Wyoming Area dropped its fourth straight game in a 48-37 loss to Tunkhannock on Thursday night in a WVC Division II game in Exeter.

Trailing by four entering the second quarter, the Lady Warriors rallied to take a 21-20 halftime lead by outscoring the Lady Tigers, 12-7, in the second stanza. Katie Scalzo paced the WA surge, scoring 11 of her game-high 17 in the first half.

But Tunkhannock came right back in the third quarter with a 15-7 run to take command of the game.

Aubrey Wargowsky added 11 points for Wyoming Area and Sara Radzwilka chipped in with four points.

WA 24, Holy Redeemer 57

Wyoming Area hung around with Holy Redeemer for the first eight minutes of action on Monday night in Wilkes-Barre but the Lady Royals raced away fro the Lady Warriors in the middle quarters for a 57-24 victory in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division II opener for both teams.

Holy Redeemer outscored Wyoming Area, 35-9, during the second and third quarters on its way to the big win. The Lady Warriors were outscored in every quarter.

Serra Degnan and Katie Scalzo each scored five points to lead WA. Becca Zielen, Aubrey Wargowsky and Michelle Gitkos chipped in with three points each.

PA 42, Crestwood 49

Three nights after upending undefeated Berwick, Pittston Area was upset itself by Crestwood, 49-42, in a WVC Division I game on Thursday night in the Thomas R. Kelly Gymnasium in Yatesville.

The Lady Comets held Lady Patriots leading scorer Mia Hopkins to a season-low seven points on the night as it pulled away gradually over the first three quarters of play.

Crestwood led 24-20 at the half before extending its lead to seven after the third quarter.

Freshman Charley Zanta led Pittston Area with a career-best 11 points. Shannon Gilhooley added eight points for the Lady Patriots. PA second-leading scorer Grace O’Neill was held to just a three-point field goal.

PA 38, Berwick 35

Pittston Area opened Wyoming Valley Conference play with a bang as they handed previously undefeated Berwick its first loss of the season in a 38-35 come-from-behind victory over the Lady Bulldogs in a WVC crossover on Monday night in the Thomas R. Kelly Gymnasium in Yatesville.

The Lady Patriots ran out to an 11-8 lead after the first quarter but Berwick stormed back to take a two-point halftime lead at 19-17.

The Lady Bulldogs extended their lead to 28-24 after three quarters but Grace O’Neill got hot for Pittston Area in the final stanza pacing a 14-7 run over the final eight minutes with seven of her 11 points.

Mia Hopkins scored a game-high 14 points to lead the Lady Patriots in the scoring column. Shannon Gilhooley added five points and Kristen Ferack chipped in with four points.

PA 52, Central Columbia 73

Pittston Area was bombarded with 11 three-pointers by Central Columbia as they dropped a 73-52 decision to the Lady Blue Jays last Thursday in an exhibition game at the Thomas R. Kelly Gymnasium in Yatesville.

The Lady Patriots trailed just 12-11 after the end of the first quarter, but Central Columbia used its strong outside shooting to gradually pull away for 30-22 and 48-36 leads after the second and third quarters.

Mia Hopkins scored a game-high 22 points for Pittston Area, and Grace O’Neill added 10 points. Charley Zanta chipped in with a career-high eight points and Shannon Gilhooley chipped in with six points for the Lady Patriots.

This week’s schedule


PA at Coughlin

WA v. Berwick

OF v. Valley View


PA v. Hazleton

WA at Dallas

OF at Dunmore

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