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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2019:12:07 16:08:59

STAFF PHOTO/COLLEEN MCALEER Tunkhannock’s Alaina Ritz (22) guards Elk Lake’s Krista Jones in a battle of the local teams to open the season. Elk Lake rallied in the fourth to pull off the 62-52 win.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2019:12:07 16:18:16

Sophomore Krista Jones looks to set up a play against Tunkhannock on Saturday.

Saturday afternoon in Elk Lake, Krista Jones scored 11 of her game-high 19 points in the fourth quarter as the Lady Warriors rallied for a win.

“I expected we might start a little slow, with two new starters and girls being amped up for that first game,” said Warriors head coach Kevin Tewksbury. “But I knew after we calmed down, our experience- led by Krista Jones and Mercedes Zajackowski- would eventually take control of the game.”

Zajaczkowski had a double-double for Elk Lake with 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Zajaczkowski said, “We have struggled with Tunkhannock in the past, as they are our first game and we usually aren’t in shape yet. This didn’t hold true on Saturday. It felt good to win, the last time we beat them was my freshman year, and that season was successful.”

Amanda Golden, Tunkhannock’s head coach, said, “The game obviously did not have the outcome I would have preferred but we have been able to take away valuable learning moments. We have been focusing on those the last couple days in practice as we prepare for our upcoming games this week.”

She continued, “Watching game film is a great way for these girls to see where changes need to be made and also see what we are doing well. Even though we lost, I was proud of the good things they did as a whole.”

Lady Tiger Hailey Long said of the young Tunkhannock squad, “Our coaches are bringing us together, on and off the court. We are working hard to work together, from silly little things in practice, to spending time together. It will all pay off.”

Tewksbury added, “Tunkhannock shot the ball extremely well in the first half and weren’t converting on the offensive end. In the fourth quarter, I was very pleased with our free throw shooting, which was the difference in the game.”

Of his starting lineup, Tewksbury said, “Sophomore Lily Decker and junior Destiny McCarey have proven the first three weeks of the season that they have earned the two other starting spots. But, we will rely heavily on our bench throughout the season.”

“Our starting line up has potential to change at times depending on the opponent and what we will need to focus on,” said Golden. “The pace of the game is definitely going to take some getting focused to for the underclassmen but I feel we will adapt and make the changes we need to.”

Golden said, “The seniors have stepped up with the younger athletes and are being great leaders. We are going to take it game by game and focus on our strengths and continue to work on the areas we need.”

In the game, Zajaczkowski and Long had the chance to square off against each other for the first time since this summer, as both were at Camp Kelly.

“Playing with people you know tends to make a game a lot less intimidating, knowing Hailey made things easier because I’ve played her so many times that I know how she plays,” said Zajaczkowski. “We’re friends outside of the sport so we can laugh together when something happens.”

Long agreed, saying, “It was fun, I was happy to see her in her first game of her senior year. We don’t see each other a lot because of our schedules.”

Anna Williams scored 17 points for Tunkhannock.

Elk Lake 62, Tunk.52

Tunk. 18 11 13 10 - 52

EL 13 11 14 24 - 62

Tunkhannock (0-1) - A. Williams 6 1-4 17, H. Long 4 3-8 13, A. Ritz 4 2-4 11, R. Shrivastava 3 0-2 6, L. Corby 1 1-6 3, A. Brown 1 0-0 2, L. Demarco 0 0-1 0. Totals: 19 7-25 52.

Elk Lake (1-0) - K. Jones 7 5-7 19, M. Zajaczkowski 6 6-9 18, L. Decker 4 1-2 10, T. Voda 2 4-4 8, J. Daye 2 0-0 4, M. Johns 1 0-0 2, D. McCarey 0 1-4 1, S. Bosscher 0 0-0 0, L. Herman 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 17-26 62.

3-point goals: A. Williams (T) 4, H. Long (T) 2, A. Ritz (T), L. Decker (EL).