YATESVILLE — In the end, patience beat poise.
And it carried Scranton Prep into the district title game.
Julia Sirotnak scored six of her team-high 13 points in the final quarter Monday as Prep barely held off a frantic Nanticoke Area and upended the top-seeded Trojanettes, 40-36 in a District 2 Class 3A girls basketball semifinal at Pittston Area High School.
“I thought if we tied the game, I just had a feeling, I thought we would pull it out,” Nanticoke Area coach Alan Yendrzeiwski said. “We were never able to tie it.”
The 22-3 Trojanettes are still able to get to the state playoffs, though.
They’ll face Wyoming Area, a team they defeated twice during the regular season on their way to a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 title, Wednesday at a time and site to be determined in the District 2 Class 3A third-place game. Winner advances to the PIAA tournament as the district’s No. 3 representative.
Meanwhile, 15-10 Scranton Prep will play 20-5 Abington Heights for the District 2 championship at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Scranton Prep was a far cry from doing things fast.
With their coach Bob Beviglia continually yelling “Patience! Patience!” as his team methodically worked the ball around the offensive floor, Prep surged to leads of 10-8 after the first quarter, 20-10 at halftime and 27-17 entering the fourth quarter.
Calista Kline, Holly Daveski and Jillian Paulus all had six points and Sirotnek scored seven over the first three quarters as the Classics worked their offense to near-perfection by remaining patient in their shot selection.
“We try to be,” Beviglia said. “It’s a plan we’ve tried to preach the whole year long. When we are patient, we run our offense well enough to get opportunities.”
Meanwhile, Nanticoke Area saw one slipping away.
The Trojanettes fell behind by 15 points in the third quarter and trailed by 16 early in the fourth.
Then Kayla Aufiero kicked in with some of her late-game magic.
Her 3-point field goal chipped the Trojanettes’ deficit to 10 points with eight seconds to play in the third quarter. Her three-point play closed the gap to seven points midway through the fourth. And Aufiero’s floating basket followed by another 3-pointer pulled Nanticoke Area within 35-31 with 3:24 remaining.
Nanticoke Area, though, couldn’t quite boost themselves into the title game.
The Trojanettes missed a tough layup and three foul shots down the stretch while failing to forge a tie.
Meanwhile, Kline, Paulus and Daveski combined to convert five of the team’s six foul shots in the final quarter to seal a shot at the district title.