Kaeli Romanowski has not been fazed by handling the ball on nearly every Western Wayne possession right from the start of her first varsity season as a freshman point guard.
So, why should her first overtime game on the high school level be any different for the JB Hoops AAU player?
“It was really fun, exciting and suspenseful,” Romanowski said of Saturday afternoon’s game at West Scranton. “It was a little nerve-racking at times because we didn’t know what was going to happen and anything could have changed the game for either team.
“We were doing our best to stay in it.”
Romanowski’s jump shot from the elbow with six seconds left accounted for the last points of the game, lifting the Lady Wildcats to a 43-42 win in the Lackawanna League Division 1-2 crossover. She finished Western Wayne’s only game of the week with 26 points on 11-for-21 shooting from the floor.
For her effort, Romanowski has been selected PNC Bank District 2 Girls Basketball Player of the Week by NEPABasketball.com.
The win clinched a District 2 Class 4A playoff berth for Western Wayne a year after the Lady Wildcats missed out on the playoffs by going 7-15. It improved the Lady Wildcats to 11-5 and snapped them out of a slump in which they had lost three of their previous four and had suffered their largest loss of the season, 49-20, against North Pocono in the most recent game.
“We worked really hard in practice after having so many days off,” Romanowski said. “North Pocono, we had a really bad game. We weren’t focused.
“Against West Scranton, we just came out and played our best and good things happened for us.”
Romanowski has been a big part of many of the good things happening for the team this season.
Through Saturday’s win, Romanowski was averaging 13 points, 5 steals and 4 rebounds in seven league games while shooting 42 percent from the floor and 70 percent from the line. Overall, Romanowski is averaging 12.7 points and 5.0 steals while committing fewer than two turnovers per game.
Romanowski, a three-sport athlete, began playing basketball in second grade. She said she started taking the sport more seriously between fourth and fifth grade and added AAU basketball the spring of sixth grade.
Following a loss Monday, Western Wayne is 3-5 in the league and 11-6 overall.
The award was announced on the John Bucci Show, which airs each Monday at 6 p.m. on NEPA’s ESPN radio and is available on demand at http://webca.st/146503.