NEPA Sports Nation

Classics streak to championship

Maya Jenkins drives to the basket for Scranton Prep against Wyoming Area in District 2 final. (Tim Drewes Photo)

By Tom Robinson,

WILKES-BARRE TWP. – Scranton Prep roared out of the gates with the game’s first nine points.

When Wyoming Area finally scored, the Classics ran off 10 more.

Unfortunately for the Lady Warriors, they still had not seen the best of a team that has now won five of the last six District 2 Class 4A girls basketball championships.

Just when Wyoming Area had appeared to be settling in and working its way back into the contest, Scranton Prep put together its biggest run of a 58-31 championship game romp Thursday to kick off a series of 11 title games at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Scranton Prep scored 14 straight points, spanning both halves, and coasted home with the victory behind a balanced offense and tenacious defense.

“I think as long as we can defend in the half court and pressure in the full court, we’ll give teams problems,” Scranton Prep coach Bob Beviglia said after his team forced 26 turnovers. “We’re really balanced. I think we’re hard to guard.

“When we can kick some balls loose and get out in transition, we’re even better.”

Maya Jenkins hit 3-pointers to open the scoring and start the 14-0 run, then added a three-point play to begin the second half on the way to a game-high 12 points.

Claire McGrath was in the middle of the group of five players scoring between 12 and 8 points while spearheading the defense.

“I think we pressure the ball very well,” said McGrath, who had 10 points, a game-high 5 steals and 4 assists while sharing the team rebound lead of 4. “We came out knowing we had to pressure the ball. We knew if we pressured the ball, we’d get steals, get deflections and maybe get some easy ones down the other end.”

Bella Dennebaum also scored 10 points in the game and had 3 offensive rebounds in the first 5½ minutes.

Seconds after scoring off one of those offensive rebounds, Dennebaum made a steal that Jenkins used to set up Collins for the 9-0 lead.

Collins had two baskets in the game-opening run, then turned to other duties on the way to nine points, a team-high five assists, four rebounds and two steals.

Jenna Hillebrand came off the bench to add eight points while missing just one shot. She was 3-for-4 from the floor and made her only free throw.

Hillebrand buried her only 3-point attempt to create the 19-2 lead with 5:40 left in the half, leading to Wyoming Area coach Mark Casper using his second timeout.

Coming out of that timeout, Olivia Allen hit a 3-pointer for the Lady Warriors.

Then, after Hillebrand converted a Collins feed on the fastbreak, Wyoming Area ran off six straight points to get within, 21-11.

Allen came off the bench to score all of her team-high seven points in that 9-2 surge that gave Wyoming Area a bit of hope.

An offensive foul by Scranton Prep and a pass into the lane on the other end had Casper hopeful his team was beginning to put pressure on the Classics, but one more pass slipped away.

“We made one extra pass and we didn’t get a shot,” Casper said. “You get minimal opportunities against Prep that you can’t pass up. I was hoping if that went in, maybe we get an and-one and now it’s a seven-point game.”

The Classics never let the Lady Warriors have another chance.

Jenkins hit a 3-pointer with 1:11 left and McGrath pulled up from the right baseline to score a second before the buzzer for a 26-11 halftime lead.

The five points to end the half were followed by nine more to start the second, with seven of the points in the first 2:34 of the third quarter coming off of steals.

“We tried to create chaos in the half court,” Beviglia said. “I noticed watching them on film that they are very deliberate. We did not want to let them be deliberate and have possessions that were 45 and 50 seconds.

“ … We had a little bit of a run there in the first and then another in the third to put them away, but I just thought defensively that we had a great effort all night long.”

Collins had kicked the ball out from the post to Jenkins for the 3-pointer to start the 14-0 run and she set things up again with a steal and assist to Dennebaum to end it.

Morgan Janeski, who blocked four shots, and Anna Wisnewski, who went 3-for-3, added six points each for Wyoming Area. Halle Kranson had five points and four assists.

Both teams advance into state play beginning March 11.


Expanded boxscore: Class 4A girls expanded boxscore – NEPA Sports Nation.

Photo Gallery: Scranton Prep/Wyoming Area Girls Basketball Photo Gallery – NEPA Sports Nation.

Broadcast archive: District 2 Class 4A Girls: Wyoming Area vs. Scranton Prep | Basketball | NPFNetwork6 (

Video highlights: NEPA Sports Nation on Instagram: “🏆CHAMPS @scrantonprepgirlsbasketball presented by Maddock Insurance & Burke Stone Supply”.

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