YATESVILLE — With MVP! chants raining down from the crowd, Mia Hopkins went to the free-throw line and sank a pair of shots.
There was nothing unusual about that, as she's among the Wyoming Valley Conference leaders in free-throw shooting percentage.
But after her second shot, with 2:39 remaining in the fourth quarter Wednesday, the horn sounded and she exited the game – her final home appearance before heading off to Monmouth.
Pittston Area won 65-40 over Wyoming Area in the District 2 Class 3A first round on a night featuring another Hopkins milestone and another stellar performance by the senior.
I knew coming in this would be my last time, Hopkins said. It felt pretty good out there.
It was definitely more sad on Senior Night, Patriots coach Kathy Healey said. But Mia got her 1,000th rebound and, overall, the whole team played very well.
The game was put away early, as the No. 5 seed Patriots (21-3) sprinted to a 21-4 lead and never looked back. A Jackie Rabender layup and two steals and fast-break baskets by Allie Barber gave Pittston Area six points in the first 70 seconds. The margin reached 20 in the third quarter and broke 30 at one point in the fourth quarter.
We talked about coming out quick in the first five minutes, Healey said. They were diving on the floor for the ball and being aggressive. The kids came out ready to play.
The fast start helped erase any lingering memories of last week's WVC Division I title game, where the Patriots were leading at halftime before being outscored 47-13 in the second half by Dallas.
We pretty much put it all behind us, Hopkins said. Something like that's only going to make us better in the long run.
Hopkins had some things to do while relishing her final time in front of a home crowd. She had 11 points and 12 rebounds in the first half, including the 1,000th rebound of her career. She is the only player in the program's history to have both 1,000 points and rebounds.
I knew I was close, Hopkins said of the rebounding milestone. They don't tend to tell me these things, though, until they happen.
If the game had been closer, she'd have challenged for a quadruple-double, as the senior finished with 23 points, 17 rebounds, seven assists and six blocks.
That's my favorite thing to do, Hopkins said of her seven assists. Even when we have the other kids coming off the bench I like to set them up for shots.
The Patriots got seven rebounds from Rabender and 10 points from Liz Waleski.
No. 12 seed Wyoming Area (8-14) was led by senior Serra Degnan, who posted 15 points.
Serra had a great game, Hopkins said. She plays hard all the time.
Pittston Area plays Saturday against No. 4 seed Nanticoke, a 39-25 winner over Western Wayne. The site and time should be announced today.
The teams met in December in a game won by Pittston Area 67-47.
WYOMING AREA (40): Emily Wolfgang 0 3-4 3, Serra Degnan 6 2-3 15, Nicole Turner 1 0-0 2, Audrey Hiedacavage 2 0-0 4, Felicia Turner 0 0-4 0, Abby Thornton 3 1-2 7, Nicole Wright 1 2-2 4, Val Bott 0 3-4 3, Ashlee Blannet 1 0-2 2. Totals 14 11-21 40.
PITTSTON AREA (65): Brooke Balchune 0 0-0 0, Allie Barber 3 3-4 9, Jamie Chisdock 0 0-0 0, Liz Waleski 4 1-2 10, Jacqueline Rabender 4 0-1 8, Mia Hopkins 5 13-16 23, Cales Owens 1 0-2 2, Ali Brady 3 0-2 7, Eastin Ashby 3 0-1 6. Totals 23 17-30 65.
3-Point Field Goals— WA 1 (Degnan); PA 2 (Waleski, Brady)