NEPA Sports Nation

Perluke, Valley West reach 6A final

By Tom Robinson,

WILKES-BARRE – Mackenzie Perluke scored 19 points, including 3-pointers in the game’s three biggest runs, Tuesday night as Wyoming Valley West rallied past host Wilkes-Barre Area, 47-39, and into the District 2-4 Class 6A Subregional girls basketball final.

The semifinal loss ended Wilkes-Barre Area’s two-year reign as subregional champion.

Wyoming Valley West (15-8) will play District 4’s Williamsport (10-14) Friday at 6 at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

To get there, the Lady Spartans needed to overcome a pair of eight-point, second-quarter deficits.

Wilkes-Barre Area led by six until Gabby Marsola, playing on her 17th birthday, hit a floater from the right elbow to beat the buzzer and keep Wyoming Valley West within 15-11.

The Wolfpack built the lead to 20-12 on a Eternity Aiken putback, then back to 22-14 when Aiken ran the floor to score in the lane.

Perluke’s 3-pointer from the left wing with 3:30 left in the second quarter started a 9-0 run to the first Wyoming Valley West lead.

Marsola scored the first basket of the second half to give Wyoming Valley West its first lead, 23-22.

The Wolfpack went ahead just one more time before Perluke put the Lady Spartans ahead for good on a back-court steal and drive. Perluke could not convert the three-point play, but Wyoming Valley West rebounded and Thalia Irizarry scored from the wing.

Wyoming Valley West remained in front the rest of the way.

The lead was at one point late in the third quarter before Perluke hit a 3-pointer between drives by Haylie Oliphant and Irizarry.

Irazarry made it 35-27 with 12 seconds left in the third, but Diamond Thornton hit a 3-pointer with four seconds left to keep Wilkes-Barre Area within five.

Emma Krawczeniuk’s 3-pointer with 6:38 left made it 37-33, the closest Wilkes-Barre got in the fourth quarter.

Perluke hit two free throws to start an 8-2 run that she concluded by burying a 3-pointer from the right corner to just about finish off the Wolfpack at 45-35 with 3:14 left. She scored a dozen points in the second half.

Irizarry added 12 points in the win.

Krawczeniuk led Wilkes-Barre Area with 12 points. Thornton added nine and Aiken eight.

The Wolfpack hit the midway point in the regular season at 11-0, but finished 16-7, ending the season on a five-game losing streak.

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