NEPA Sports Nation

Thornton 3s complete comeback

Pictured above: Shelby Ardo-Boyko

By Tom Robinson,

Diamond Thornton completed a monumental Wilkes-Barre Area comeback with a figurative and literal assist from Shelby Ardo-Boyko Wednesday night.

Thornton’s two 3-pointers in the final 32 seconds lifted the Wolfpack to a 47-46 win over Dallas in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 girls basketball opener for both teams.

Trailing by 17 on the road with less than 6 minutes remaining, Wilkes-Barre Area remained unbeaten by scoring 19 of the game’s last 20 points to pull out the win in what coach Mary Mushock-Namey described as “one of the most exciting games I ever coached.”

The Wolfpack scored the last nine on three 3-pointers in the final minute, two of which came off Ardo-Boyko assists.

Ardo-Boyko made a lunging save off an offensive rebound, shuffling a pass out to the wing before falling for a likely traveling violation. She sent the ball right to Emma Krawczeniuk, who hit her fourth 3-pointer right at the one-minute mark to cut the deficit to 46-41.

Thornton drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 32 seconds left and Wilkes-Barre Area got the ball back four seconds later by forcing a turnover for the seventh time in the last six minutes.

When that did not immediately produce a score, Wilkes-Barre Area got yet another chance with its sixth offensive rebound of the comeback. Ardo-Boyko kicked the ball out to Thornton, who hit the game-winner from the top of the key with 12 seconds left.

Krawczeniuk forced a held ball and the Wolfpack had the possession arrow, but she missed a free throw as part of the team’s 1-for-4 effort from the line in the fourth quarter.

That set up Dallas for one last chance coming out of a timeout with the ball in the backcourt with 2.9 seconds left.

The Mountaineers completed a long pass to get the ball inside the arc, but an off-balance shot at the buzzer was not close.

Krawczeniuk, who hit a 3-pointer with 5:45 remining to start the comeback, finished with a team-high 12 points.

Thornton, who also hit a 3-pointer in the first quarter, added 11.

Wilkes-Barre Area needed more than a minute to follow up Krawczeniuk’s first 3-pointer of the fourth quarter. Natalia Credle, who added nine points, converted a three-point play out of a fourth shot attempt resulting from three straight offensive rebounds.

Eternity Aiken was next in the comeback, scoring in the lane off an interior pass from Ardo-Boyko, getting the deficit into the single digits at 45-36 with 3:42 left. Aiken finished with seven points.

The rally stalled until Ardo-Boyko made a steal and took it the other way to score on a drive with 1:27 left. She had four assists, three steals, three rebounds, two points and a block in the last six minutes.

Ardo-Boyko only scored six points, but still had a double-double with 15 rebounds and 10 steals.

Molly Walsh hit one of two free throws with 1:10 remaining to briefly slow the comeback.

Dallas, however, was hurt by missing three front ends of one-and-ones in the last 3:14, prior to Walsh connecting.

Victoria Spaciano had 10 points in the first quarter to get the Mountaineers out to a 22-12 lead. She also had the only basket of the first two minutes of the fourth quarter to give the Mountaineers their 45-28 lead and finish with 12 points.

Walsh had 8 of her 10 points and Viglone 6 of her 12 during the third quarter when Dallas stretched a 26-22 halftime lead to the 15-point advantage it carried into the fourth quarter.

Walsh was 6-for-6 from the line during the 17-6 third quarter that also included a 3-pointer by Mia Delgaudio.

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