By Tom Robinson, NEPABasketball.com
KINGSTON – Julia Andrejko scored 20 points and Sam Yencha fueled a game-breaking, second-half surge Saturday afternoon as Holy Redeemer defeated host Wyoming Seminary, 60-42, in a game between Wyoming Valley Conference girls basketball teams that had clinched division titles the night before.
The game is also a preview of Thursday’s semifinal game at Holy Redeemer in the first WVC Tournament.
Andrejko scored 17 of her 20 points in the middle two quarters to help Holy Redeemer turn a 13-6 deficit into a 40-34 lead.
Yencha scored half of the points in a 22-3 run over a stretch of 7 ½ minutes from midway through the third quarter to midway through the fourth.
“When we’re getting the ball into Sam, it makes us go,” Holy Redeemer coach John Jezorwski said. “It really opens up the inside-out.
“Most teams are trying to double-team and collapse on her like they did, that’s why we move her out. But, in a game like today, we really needed her to go inside and finish strong. That’s something we’ll work on recognizing as a team.”
Wyoming Seminary took its last lead when Ally Vezendy hit a 3-pointer to make it 33-32 with 3:13 left in the third quarter.
Holy Redeemer scored points three at a time to break the game open from there.
Jordan Cicon made 3-pointers to begin and end the run.
The first six points came on Cicon’s first basket and Yencha’s three-point play. The last six came on consecutive 3-pointers by Cameron Marcinkowski and Cicon for a 54-36 lead with 3:45 left.
Yencha took over inside, scoring 11 points during the run. She was just 2-for-4 from the floor for nearly 23 minutes to begin the game before going 5-for-6 over the next 7 minutes.
“I think we started to drive and kick more, especially when they played their 2-3,” Andrejko said. “We were moving the ball around, driving the gaps and also getting it inside to Sam.
“They normally double-team Sam, so when she kicks it out to me, I have a wide-open jump shot. It gets everything going.”
Yencha finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.
Sarah Kuderka had six assists.
Freshman point guard Karissa Spade scored just one point, but provided a spark with seven rebounds, four steals and two assists.
“She does a lot,” Jezorwski said. “She plays great defense for us. She, as an on-the-ball defender, has to be the one of the best in the whole league.
“Her speed is a game-changer.”
Holy Redeemer, the repeat Division 2 champion, improved to 16-0 in the WVC and 18-3 overall.
Division 3 champion Wyoming Seminary fell to 10-5 and 13-8.
Vezendy led the Blue Knights with 14 points. She made all three of her 3-point attempts in the second half, hitting from the wing, top of the key and corner in a span of 1:49 to lead the 11-4 streak to the final Wyoming Seminary lead.
“She’s always someone we look to for that 3-point shot,” Wyoming Seminary coach Abbey Rodway said. “She usually capitalizes.”
Alex Wesneski, who had 4 assists, and Margaret Mahalick each scored 10 points.
Wyoming Seminary was still within, 42-35, with 6:19 left when Wesneski was called for an offensive foul and then was assessed a technical foul right after for her fourth and fifth fouls, fouling her out of the game.