YATESVILLE — Shot after shot, the crowd in the Pittston Area High School gymnasium got louder. Three-pointer after 3-pointer, Wyoming Area sophomore Sarah Holweg stamped her name in the record books. While doing so, she sent the Warriors to one of their biggest wins in school history.
With a floater in the lane in the waning seconds, Holweg set a school record with 44 points as Wyoming Area took down Dallas, 67-48, in the PIAA District 2 Class AAA quarterfinals Friday at Pittston Area High School.
“I have a good team behind my back and I knew we had to work together and we ended up making a comeback there and pulled ahead,” Holweg said.
Wyoming Area will play Abington Heights in the semifinals on Monday, Feb. 22 at a site and time to be determined. The Warriors and the Comets played in last season’s first round.
The win gives the Warriors at least two more games, as three teams from Class 3A go to the state tournament. A playoff between the third- and fourth-place teams will be on Wednesday. The district championship will be at 4 p.m. on Feb. 27 at Mohegan Sun Arena.
“Our goal was not to get to the final four but to compete for a district title,” Wyoming Area coach Chad Lojewski said. “We still have a goal.”
Nikki Conway, a 2002 Wyoming Area graduate, set the scoring mark in 2002 when she scored 42 points against Lake-Lehman. The boys scoring record, held by 2015 Wyoming Area graduate Jeremy Zezza, is 43 points. Holweg eclipsed them all with that one shot in the fourth quarter.
Against Lake-Lehman in January of 2002, Conway, then a senior, led the Warriors to a thrilling triple-overtime win where she scored 42 points.
“Personally, it means something,” Holweg said. “But I wanted to walk off that court with a win. I didn’t care how many I scored I just wanted to win.”
Holweg and the Warriors found themselves in an early 9-0 hole. Thanks to Holweg, it didn’t take long to get back out. Her first of seven 3s went in midway through the first quarter. She then hit back-to-back shots from behind the arc to give the Warriors an 11-9 lead. Another 3-pointer and a pair of free throws put the sophomore at 14 points in the quarter.
“She was really locked in,” Lojewski said. “We went down 9-0 and then she just got locked in and it was fantastic to watch. She makes everyone around her better.”
With a 15-14 lead after the first quarter, Dallas’ offense stalled once the second quarter started. Wyoming Area outscored Dallas, 22-6, in that frame. Holweg had 18 points in the second, including three 3-pointers. The Warriors used a 15-0 run to end the second quarter to take complete control of the game.
While Holweg’s hot shooting was running Dallas ragged, senior Nikki Wren did everything she could to try and keep the Mountaineers within striking distance. She finished with 20 points and 19 rebounds.
“She’s a phenomenal athlete,” Dallas head coach Kelly Johnson said. “She’s a workhorse and plays in most games against players that have three or four inches on her. She’s tough as nails.”
Holweg’s 32 points at the half were a career high. She needed just 10 points to get to Conway. But more important to her, was the fact that her team was heading onto the district semifinals.
Holweg scored eight points in the third quarter and four points in the final quarter. Monday’s game will mark the first time the Warriors have reached the district semifinals in at least a decade.
“You’re in an Elite Eight game in the district,” Lojewski said. “This is one of those games where the gamers have to step up. It was an unbelievable performance by a player who has worked her tail off.”
PIAA D2 3A QUARTERFINALS
Wyoming Area 67, Dallas 48
DALLAS (48) — Maddie Kelly 2 1-2 5, Courtney Hoats 2 3-4 8, Sara Lojewski 5 1-6 15, Olivia Johnson 0 0-0 0, Kendra Saba 0 0-2 0, Nikki Wren 7 6-8 20. Totals 16 11-22 48.
WYOMING AREA (67) — Jordan Kelly 2 0-0 4, Aleah Kranson 0 2-2 2, Rachel Solano 3 0-0 7, Sarah Holweg 14 9-10 44, Lydia Edwards 0 3-4 3, Jessica Sorick 0 0-0 0, Addison Orzel 1 0-4 2, Kristy Skok 0 0-0 0, Nicole Wright 1 0-4 2. Totals 22 15-24 67.
Three-point goals — D 5 (Lojewski 4, Hoats 1); WA 8 (Holweg 7, Solano 1).