Sempa nets career high in Lady Crusaders’ win
Kranson shines in debut victory over Scranton.
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.
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.
Holy Cross’ Kaci Kranson scores against Scranton.
Holy Cross’ Haley Bestrycki shoots while defended by Scranton’s Kristy Hart.