Lady Bucks Advance to District Two Championship Game
- Wallenpaupack Area's girls varsity basketball team defeated Scranton Wednesday night
Delayed a day by bad weather, Paupack's girls basketball team squared off against the Lady Knights of Scranton in the District 2 Class AAAA semifinals.
The game was played Wednesday night at North Pocono and the Lady Bucks wasted no time at all taking control of the contest.
Thanks to the offensive exploits of Alexix Roman, Danielle Palazzi and Nicki Mann, Paupack cruised to a 58-38 win and a berth in the championship game.
Weather permitting, that contest was set for 8 p.m. Saturday at Lackawanna College.
Both squads took some time to feel each other out after the tip-off.
A full 2 ½ minutes drizzled off the clock before Bridgette Mann let loose an inside jay to get things going for the Lady Bucks.
Danielle Palazzi missed a trey, but after several tries from her teammates, she came in for the rebound and settled for two.
Tough defense by the Knights gave Alexix Roman a set of free tosses where she bounced in the first and swished the second.
Then, things began to heat up.
Nicki Mann landed a trey for the Lady Bucks, but Hart fired back for two.
Palazzi added another bucket before Samantha Bloom hit for three for Scranton. Another long shot gave Nicki Mann her second trey which she followed up on with a fast break and a lay-up.
Bloom tallied another trey for the Lady Knights but Roman would hit back with another bucket from underneath to close out the quarter with Paupack in the lead 18-9.
Early in the second, McAndrew found no love from the free throw line after a Paupack foul.
A pass from Nicki Mann to Roman found its way through the net for another two points for the Lady Bucks, but Hart would strike back with an old-time three pointer.
Emily Matis followed for two more for Scranton and tough calls sent Roman to the bench, lest she foul out early.
Kaelyn Ragonese drained two from the stripe, and then Palazzi added her third bucket of the night and followed with four straight free throws.
Georgia Miller added one for Scranton from the line as well and Hart followed up with two more baskets.
Paupack's Irene Dispenza went 0-and-1 from the line and then added a reverse layup before Jamaica Miller netted a deuce for Scranton.
As the second half came to a close, it was Palazzi one more time with another good shot from the low post and the Lady Bucks were still in command 33-21.
Palazzi picked right back up where she left off at the close, netting another bucket to bring her total to 14 for the night.
Ragonese netted another 2-pointer for the Buckhorns, but the rest of the period belonged to Alexix Roman.
Roman sunk a rebound, went 1-for-2 from the line twice, and then made good on two more free throws to catch up to Palazzi.
She then netted another two deuces to close out the quarter for the Lady Bucks, keeping them ahead 47-30.
Nicki Mann drained two free throws to bring her total to 10 for the evening as the fourth period began.
Roman followed with a deuce and the plus-1.
Jamaica Miller hit for two to help out the Knights, but Bridgette Mann struck from way outside for another two Paupack points.
Roman shook the silk again for another two, bringing her final tally to 21 and Ragonese would go 2-for-2 to end the scoring spree for the Lady Bucks.
Paupack played keep-away for the remaining minutes of the game.
The Lady Bucks would close the book on Scranton with a 58-38 win and ensure a trip to the district finals.
"We were more prepared to face Scranton this time," said Palazzi post-game.
"A lot of people really stepped up and even though we started out a bit flat things got going in the second and we kept it up."
Her rookie mentor was quick to second that thought and praise his team.
"You can tell the girls really want to be here," said Adam Holtzer.
"We shot better and we played well defensively. We wanted to deny them the ball and we're going into the next game with the same plan."