Sempa nets ca­reer high in Lady Cru­saders’ win

Kran­son shines in de­but vic­tory over Scran­ton.

The Times-Tribune - - SPORTS - BY MARTY MY­ERS STAFF WRITER

DUN­MORE — It’s a start that nei­ther will for­get.

Holy Cross se­nior Abby Sempa knifed through Scran­ton’s de­fense for a ca­reer­high 25 points, and fresh­man back­court coun­ter­part Kaci Kran­son added 17 in her scholas­tic de­but, and both filled up other ar­eas of the stat sheet to help the third-ranked Lady Cru­saders open with a 64-51 win over No. 4 Scran­ton on Fri­day night.

In ad­di­tion, Sempa was 13 of 17 at the free throw line, made six steals and dished out five as­sists. Cranston con­trib­uted eight re­bounds and three steals.

“I think Abby is a tough matchup for any­body in terms of keep­ing her in front of them,” Holy Cross coach Barry Fitzger­ald said. “Kaci is su­per ath­letic. They’re both go­ing

to be dif­fi­cult to de­fend as far as at­tack­ing the bas­ket.

“The ath­leti­cism is there. We just have to slow down at times. That one stretch in the fourth quar­ter where we fi­nally slowed down and spaced them out, we had three or four layups. We were just too fast all game long.”

Kran­son’s driv­ing scoop just two min­utes into the game erased Scran­ton’s only lead and sparked a 13-0 run in which Sempa scored six.

“Se­nior sea­son, I know we have to start off with a bang,” Sempa said. “I wanted to get in there and try my best and start the sea­son off right.

“I think the last cou­ple years I didn’t feel as con­fi­dent as I do this year, and I know I have a good team be­hind my back.”

The teams com­bined for 18 first-quar­ter turnovers and com­mit­ted 24 fouls in a some­times sloppy half, Holy Cross build­ing a 37-23 lead thanks in part to hit­ting 13 con­sec­u­tive free throws. Sempa ac­count­ing for six of those.

“Abby’s very dif­fi­cult to keep from at­tack­ing the bas­ket,” Fitzger­ald said.

Only Co­lette Mul­derig, who fin­ished with 23 points, and Kristy Hart, who chipped in with 15, scored for Scran­ton in the first half.

De­spite three fouls, Mul­derig showed off an im­pres­sive of­fen­sive skill set that saw her score from the rim to the 3-point line.

“Co­lette did a lot of good stuff for us tonight,” Scran­ton coach P.J. Hughes said. “She’s got to be a lit­tle smarter on de­fense. She’s a three-year player. But af­ter the first quar­ter she started us­ing her new moves and the jump shot.

“They all fought and Co­lette kept her head for the most part in the sec­ond half.”

Mul­derig picked up her fourth foul on the open­ing se­quence of the sec­ond half, but she scored six and Sophia Gl­o­gowski added nine of her 15 sec­ond-half points to slice the lead to 50-42 af­ter three.

“Sophia’s start­ing to get it that she is a re­ally good player,” Hughes said. “Sec­ond half, she went by a few girls and got some layups and got her­self a lit­tle more con­fi­dence.”

The Lady Knights couldn’t get closer be­cause sopho­more Abbey Len­towski was a men­ace on the boards, col­lect­ing 14 re­bounds to go with 11 points.

But Holy Cross couldn’t shake Scran­ton un­til Sempa’s drive and nifty dish to Kran­son with 3:23 left helped seal the win.

“Abby has re­ally good moves,” Kran­son said. “She’s a re­ally good bas­ket­ball player. I thought it was re­ally big.”

It was enough to keep Scran­ton at bay, es­pe­cially af­ter Mul­derig fouled out with 2:51 to play.

“They’re a qual­ity team,” Hughes said. “So any time you run into a team like that at this time of year, we’re go­ing to learn some­thing from it.” Con­tact the writer: mmy­[email protected]­rock.com; 570-348-9100, ext. 5437; @mmy­er­stt on Twit­ter

Dun­more 64, Mount Carmel 18

At Dun­more, fresh­man Mo­riah Mur­ray hit four 3-point­ers and scored 23 points to lead the top-ranked Lady Bucks.

Lisa Tallo and Vic­to­ria Toomey each had 13 points for the win­ners.

Val­ley View 52, Mon­trose 28

At Val­ley View, Mia Ru­dalavage scored 17 points to lead the Cougars.

Sky­lar Bianchi had 10 re­bounds for the win­ners.

River­side 61, Hanover Area 28

At River­side, fresh­man Kylie Lavelle scored 15 points to lead the fifth-ranked Lady Vikes.

Ju­lia An­to­ni­acci had 13 points, six as­sists and five steals for the win­ners and Kayla Rose had 10 points and nine re­bounds.

Tunkhan­nock 40 Lack­awanna Trail 31

At Tunkhan­nock, Re­becca Avery scored a team-high 15 points, An­naliese Ver­beek added 13 and the Tigers pulled away with an 11-2 third quar­ter.

Cali Fauquier scored 13 points to lead Lack­awanna Trail.

Susque­hanna 55 Wy­oming Area 36

At Susque­hanna, Taylor Huyck had 18 points and five steals as the Lady Sabers earned a win in coach Kirk Fal­lon’s de­but.

Macken­zie Steele scored eight of her 16 points in the first quar­ter and also fin­ished with 14 re­bounds for Susque­hanna.

Po­cono Moun­tain East 53 Delaware Val­ley 33

At Swift­wa­ter, Macy Ber­ry­man popped for 21 points to lead Po­cono Moun­tain East.

Brooke Acovedo led Delaware Val­ley with 14 points and six re­bounds and Brooke Ol­som­mer had four steals and eight points.

Lake Re­gion Tip Off

Me­gan Guer­ri­eri hit four 3-point­ers and scored 24 points to lead No. 6 Wal­len­pau­pack to a 47-35 win over East Strouds­burg North in the open­ing round of the Lake Re­gion Tip Off Tour­na­ment.

Hannah Smith added eight points for the Lady Buck­horns,who will play Strouds­burg in the cham­pi­onship game to­day at 4 p.m. East Strouds­burg North will play Car­bon­dale Area in the con­so­la­tion game at 2 p.m.

Strouds­burg 36 Car­bon­dale Area 18

At Wal­len­pau­pack, Emily Strunk scored 15 points to lead Strouds­burg in the open­ing round of the Lake Re­gion Tip Off Tour­na­ment.

Deana Man­cuso had seven points for Car­bon­dale Area.

Towanda Tip Off

Gra­cie Guar­ino scored 19 points to lead West­ern Wayne to a 64-43 win over Sayre in the open­ing round of the Towanda Tip Off Show­case.

Paige Bar­illo added 13 points for the Wild­cats, who will play Towanda to­day at 3:30 p.m. on the fi­nal day of the round-robin event.

Soud­er­ton Tour­na­ment

De­nae Carter scored 12 points to lead St. Basil to a 47-36 win over No. 7 Abing­ton Heights in the first round of the Soud­er­ton Tour­na­ment.

Anna Scoblick had 12 points for the Lady Comets and Rachel Mcdon­ald hit three 3-point­ers and scored 11 points.

Ross Cor­ners Tour­na­ment

Madi­son How­ell had 18 points, 11 re­bounds and five steals to lead Tri­boro Chris­tian Acad­emy to a 38-15 win over Cen­tral Bap­tist in the first round of the Ross Cor­ners Tour­na­ment.

Sa­man­tha Wright had eight points and 12 re­bounds for Tri­boro, which will play Ver­i­tas Chris­tian Acad­emy in the cham­pi­onship game to­day at 2 p.m.

JA­SON FARMER / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Holy Cross’ Kaci Kran­son scores against Scran­ton.

JA­SON Farmer / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Holy Cross’ Haley Bestrycki shoots while de­fended by Scran­ton’s Kristy Hart.

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