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Wreckers meet Lourdes in state quarters

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    Tabitha Hinkle and the Weatherly girls basketball team face Lourdes in the state quarterfinals today. BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS

Published March 15. 2019 11:19PM

The Weatherly girls basketball team will face Lourdes Regional this afternoon in the quarterfinal round of the Class 1A state playoffs.

GIRLS PIAA CLASS 1A QUARTERFINALS

Weatherly (18-8) vs. Lourdes (21-6)

TIP-OFF - Today at Martz Hall (Pottsville), 1 p.m.

COACHES - Weatherly: Kevin Kringe; Lourdes Regional: Michael Klembara.

LEADING SCORERS - Weatherly: Emily Zoscin (18.04 points per game), Megan Peifer (10.77), Lindsay Hoffman (10.19), Abby Hernandez (5.46); Lourdes: Lily Bickel, Kaitlyn Sandri, Emma Shimko, Frances Czeponis, Sierra Coleman.

GAME NOTES ... The winner will face either Jenkintown (26-1, District 1 champ) or Susquehanna (21-6, District 2 champ) in the state semifinals ... Lourdes advanced in the Class A bracket by knocking off District 1’s Faith Christian 43-24 in the first round before upsetting District 6 champiom Bishop Carroll 49-44 in the second round. The Wreckers reached the quarterfinals by defeating The Christian Academy, 64-41, and Benton, 52-35 ... The last time Weatherly had 18 wins during a season was back in 2003-04 when it finished with an 18-7 record ... Both teams are members of the Schuylkill League. Weatherly is in Division 3, while Lourdes won the Division 2 title this season ... The clubs faced each other earlier this season (Jan. 17) in a league game with the Red Raiders rallying for a 50-48 victory. In that contest, the Wreckers held a 39-30 lead after three quarters. Lourdes used a late 10-0 run to go ahead for good. Bickel led the winners with 22 points, while Sandri added nine. Zoscin topped Weatherly with 16 points and 13 rebounds with Hoffman netting nine ... Kringe is obviously aware of the Raiders past success in the state playoffs. “They’ve been to the Elite 8 of the East like the last four years. We sort of had them at our place. We were up nine three times during the game and couldn’t put them away. So, we’re looking forward to the challenge again.” … The Wreckers did a good job on Bickel during the first half of their regular-season matchup, but the leading scorer for Lourdes was a game-changer in the final two frames. “She makes them go,” said Kringe. “In the last game, we shut her out in the first half, but she had a big second half. She presents many challenges for us.” … The biggest key for the Wreckers, according to Kringe, is “trying to create our pace.” Accoring to the fifth-year mentor, they’re a “bit more deliberate. They want to punch it inside and kick it back out for threes. We obviously have a height disadvantage, so we’re a little quicker. So, we want to ramp up the pace. I think last time we got stuck on one press. We’ve got to do more than just one. We’ve got to mix it up a little more.” … The two teams had 10 common opponents this season. Both of them defeated the same seven teams (Williams Valley, Nativity, Schuylkill Haven, Shenandoah Valley, Minersville, Tri-Valley and Benton) while losing to the same three (Mahanoy Area, Marian, and Jim Thorpe) ... Weatherly gained redemption once this postseason (defeating The Christian Academy, who beat the Wreckers in last year’s state playoffs) and can do it again Saturday. If they can pull out a win, there’s a chance they could meet another team they lost to earlier — Susquehanna, who registered a 49-44 triumph over the Wreckers in the District 2/11 subregional final. “I’ve been telling the kids that this is our revenge bracket,” said Kringe. “We can make all the wrongs that we kind of messed up before right, which would kind of be really incredible if we are able to do that.”

QUOTABLE: “Our press is really cooking right now. It’s real intense. We really have it going. We forced (42) turnovers ... last game. We really have it working in our favor. The press is really what we spend most of our time on. If we have that with us, we will be okay,” – Weatherly head coach Kevin Kringe.

— By TJ Engle

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