Weatherly faces Benton in state playoffs
The Weatherly girls basketball team takes on Benton in the second round of the PIAA Class 1A playoffs tonight.
GIRLS PIAA CLASS 1A SECOND ROUND
Weatherly (17-8) vs. Benton (16-10)
TIP-OFF - Tonight at Bloomsburg University, 7:30 p.m.
COACHES - Weatherly: Kevin Kringe; Benton: Harry Schlichter.
LEADING SCORERS - Weatherly: Emily Zoscin (17.92 points per game), Megan Peifer (10.80), Lindsey Hoffman (10.00), Abby Hernandez (5.68); Benton: Emily Lockard (17.9), Sasha Farr (5.7), Cece Huntington (5.4), Trinity Brown (5.1), Evie Bowman (4.7).
GAME NOTES ... Benton is the No. 4 seed out of District 4, while Weatherly is the second seed out of the District 11/2 subregional ... The winner will face Lourdes Regional (District 4 No. 1 seed, 20-6) or Bishop Carroll (District 6 No. 1 seed, 18-7) in the PIAA quarterfinals … Benton upset District 3 champion Lancaster Day Country, 45-41, in the opening round of states to advance. The Wreckers reached the second round by gaining some redemption against The Christian Academy with a 64-41 victory on Saturday night. Weatherly lost to TCA in last year’s state playoffs … Benton posted a 12-2 record in the Mid-Penn Conference to tie Sullivan County atop the league standings … Lockard (No. 22) is the key player for the Tigers. She leads the team this season with 430 points and 275 rebounds, and also shoots 84 percent from the foul line. “We need to really keep her off the boards,” said Weatherly’s Kringe. “That has been our Achilles heel all year because we are kind of small.” … The Tigers’ Brown (No. 1), Huntington (No. 3) and Farr (No. 4) have been up and down this season, but the Wreckers’ mentor expects they’ll attempt to ramp up their game a notch. “Their guards are kind of streaky. But I’m hoping our pressure will get to them.” … Brown is the only senior on the Tigers roster. Of the remaining players, there are eight juniors, four sophomores and three freshmen … The Wreckers, on the other hand, are senior-loaded with Zoscin, Hoffman, Peifer, Abby Hernandez, Kaileigh Barnes, Kailyn Jones and DeAnna Strouse all upperclassmen. Kringe is looking to them for leadership to hopefully make this run last a long time. “I love coaching my seniors. They’ve been through everything with me through the four years of transforming our program. I’d really like to hang on to them as long as I can.” … The Wreckers and Tigers haven’t met this season but they did have three commons opponents. Both teams posted wins against Meadowbrook Christian, as Weatherly rolled to a 71-21 win and Benton registered a 49-21 victory. Benton went 1-2 against Millville, winning a 37-26 contest while dropping scores of 58-40 and 38-34. The Wreckers hung a 71-38 loss on the Quakers. The two squads fell to Lourdes. Weatherly held a lead against the Red Raiders before dropping a 50-48 decision, while Benton suffered a 63-39 loss to the District 4 champs “This helps gauge where we are, and where they are,” Kringe said. “We have to contain them inside, and they have to contain our press. If they can handle our pressure, they should be able to stay in the game. But, they like to keep the game a little slower. If we can, we want to dictate the pace.” … The last time the Weatherly girls won a state playoff game was 1986, when they posted a pair of victories. The team, coached by Bill Knepper, defeated Christopher Dock (44-30) and Seton Catholic (59-51) before losing to Columbia (62-39).
QUOTABLE: “I think the seniors get it. One game and this is over. They really like being in the gym. Sunday night we had a practice, and the kids stayed about an hour afterwards talking. They want to win and advance, and keep our little family together as long as we can ... they’d like to ride it for all it’s worth,” – Weatherly head coach Kevin Kringe. — By TJ Engle