Below the headlines there are many efforts that contribute to team success. NEPA Sports Nation takes a weekly look at some of those contributions. Here are the Key Contributors from the week of Dec. 13-19:
SHELBY ARDO-BOYKO, Wilkes-Barre Area girls basketball
Ardo-Boyko was the second- or third-leading scorer in each game while providing tough defense and rebounding for the Wolfpack in a 3-0 week. She scored 31 points. Ardo-Boyko sparked a fast start in one game with eight first-quarter points in a 62-38 victory over North Pocono and helped close out another with a late steal and layup to make a 43-37 win over Honesdale into a two-possession game.
JONAH HOUSER, Lackawanna Trail wrestling
Other Lions were more dominant on the way to four individual titles that Lackawanna Trail used to help win the team title at the Lackawanna League Wrestling Tournament. Houser’s championship at 215 pounds was vital, however, because it included a victory over a wrestler from second-place Delaware Valley in the semifinals. He opened with a quick pin, then followed with two low-scoring decisions. His week also included a first-period pin in the team’s shutout of Elk Lake in the league opener.
MOLLY HUBAL, Valley View girls swimming
Hubal had Valley View’s two best finishes Dec. 18 in the Diplomats Open at Franklin & Marshall. She set a school record in the 200-yard individual medley while placing third out of 20 entries in a time of 2:13.97. Hubal was also tied for ninth out of 61 entries in the 100 freestyle in 55.59 seconds.
JOE RIVAS, Wyoming Valley West wrestler
Rivas shook off an 8-6 loss in the 189-pound semifinals to pin two straight opponents and take third place at the Penn Manor Tournament Dec. 17-18. Two Wyoming Valley West teammates, Dorian Hoffman and Ian Ratchford, won titles, but those two Rivas pins were a big part of the Spartans climbing all the way to fifth in the final team standings of the 20-team event. Rivas posted a second-period pin over Blake Weaver from Garden Spot in the third-place match, which also decided fifth place in the final team standings, giving Wyoming Valley West a 128½-122 edge over Garden Spot.
MICHAEL SAMSELL, Riverside boys basketball
Samsell’s defense helped the Vikings limit opponents to an average of 41 points per game in a 3-0 week. He often takes on the opponent’s top threat, regardless of the position, but still has energy for other contributions. Samsell scored 32 points in 3 games, along with 27 rebounds and 8 steals while shooting 14-for-21 (66.7 percent). Samsell scored 13 points against Wyoming Area and 17 against Honesdale with just 9 shots in each game. In the Nanticoke game, he only shot three times, but instead dished out eight assists. That week was typical for Samsell, who through six games, now averages 10.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting 68 percent.
PREVIOUS KEY CONTRIBUTORS
First week of winter season: https://nepasportsnation.com/key-contributors-15/.