WILKES-BARRE – Cassie Ksiazek got a sneak preview of what could be ahead for her in college basketball when the Abington Heights senior participated in the first Battle of the Valley All-Star Classic Monday night at Wilkes University.
A center for the Lady Comets, Ksiazek spent much more of her time away from the basket as part of a taller Lackawanna League lineup trying to counter a team full of talented guards from the Wyoming Valley Conference.
“Next year, they want me playing more as an outside (forward),” said Ksiazek, who is headed to East Stroudsburg University to play on the NCAA Division II level. She scored 14 points for the Lackawanna in an 87-70 loss to the WVC. “They want me more on the perimeter.
“Especially with this team, we had four tall girls, so we had three bigs in at one time, so I had to go outside. I was comfortable with it because I’ve played out there before.”
Ksiazek has done most of her playing away from the basket in summer AAU basketball.
“I was primarily a post during the regular season because I was really the only tall girl we had,” said Ksiazek, one of the leaders of a team that won the District 2 championship and advanced to the second round of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association tournament in Class 5A.
Monday’s game gave the two leagues that make up District 2 a chance to play for bragging rights in a senior all-star game that benefited local charities Miles for Michael and the Brian Forgione Foundation.
Ksiazek was the only Lackawanna League player to make more than one 3-pointer while finishing as the team’s second-leading scorer.
“We were all really excited to come in and play this game,” Ksiazek said. “It was a great time for all of us. It was great to play with these girls we played against all year.”
Ksiazek shot 4-for-10 from the floor, including 2-for-5 from 3-point range, and made all four of her foul shots. She grabbed four rebounds, dished out three assists and made two steals.
Jackson Danzig was selected to play in the boys game and was recognized during pregame introductions, but was ineligible because he still had the Class 5A boys state championship game to play the next night for the Comets.
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