NEPA Sports Nation

Booth, Ranieli help PA girls avenge only defeat, run record to 21-1

By Tom Robinson,

YATESVILLE – Kallie Booth kept the Pittston Area offense running just enough until Daniella Ranieli joined in Wednesday night.

Scoreless into the last two minutes of the first half, Ranieli wound up with a game-high 16 points as Pittston Area closed out the regular season with a 36-31 victory over Wyoming Valley West.

Already the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 girls basketball champions, the Lady Patriots gained a measure of revenge for the only loss of the season, 41-27, Jan. 19 at Wyoming Valley West.

“We kept that in mind, definitely,” said Booth, who finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

After celebrating Senior Night in pregame ceremonies, Booth was the only Pittston Area player to score a basket and had all but one of the team’s points for the first 14:06. Her personal, 9-2 run gave the Lady Patriots a 10-6 lead with 3:03 left in the half.

Haylie Oliphant’s 3-pointer pulled Wyoming Valley West within one.

That’s when Ranieli got started.

The sophomore guard hit a 3-pointer with 1:54 left in the half, starting a stretch in which she scored the next 10 Pittston Area points.

Once Ranieli got some help in the scoring department, the Lady Patriots produced the game’s decisive run.

The Lady Spartans, who last led in the first quarter, pulled even on a Thalia Irizzary 3-pointer with 4:30 left in the third quarter.

Ranieli hit two free throws to start a 9-0 run to a 25-16 lead.

Booth made a steal and sent a pass to spring Ranieli for a transition basket, Ava Callahan drilled her only 3-point attempt and Booth got free for a layup on an in-bounds play.

Gabby Novitski hit a long 3-pointer before the third-quarter buzzer and Irizzary had 4 of her team-high 10 points in the first minute of the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 25-23, but Wyoming Valley West never caught up again.

Mackenzie Perluke’s three-point play with 38.4 seconds left made it 34-31, but Ranieli made both ends of a one-and-one with 23.6 remaining.

With four fouls to give, Pittston Area used three to get the clock under 10 seconds before Wyoming Valley West could take a shot.

Pittston Area, which finished 13-1 in the division to repeat as champion, is 21-1 overall.

The Lady Patriots controlled the boards, 39-22, with Maddie Karp adding six rebounds and Ranieli five.

Wyoming Valley West, which needed a win to claim Division 1’s second spot in next week’s WVC Tournament, fell to 14-8.

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