By Tom Robinson
Athletes are limited to one PNC Bank District 2 Basketball Player of the Week award per season.
There is no restriction, however, on the calendar year.
JB Hoops AAU player Kaeli Romanowski, just a sophomore at Western Wayne, already has two PNC Bank Girls Player of the Week awards to her credit, after squeezing in her second during 2019.
Romanowski received the award for the week that ended Sunday after earning tournament Most Valuable Player honors when she helped Western Wayne repeat as Honesdale Jaycees Tournament champion.
“It was pretty cool,” Romanowski said of the tournament MVP selection. “We all played so well, so it was nice to know I helped the team.”
The point guard scored more than half the team’s points as Western Wayne used the two tournament wins to extend its winning streak to five games and complete the non-league portion of its schedule with a 7-2 record.
Romanowski’s first honor came back in January when she scored 26 points and the overtime game-winner in a road win at West Scranton to clinch a playoff berth for the Lady Wildcats.
Western Wayne would have been just fine without 25 points from Romanowski in Thursday’s 57-13 rout over Forest City. However, with the title on the line against Honesdale, Romanowski was again showing off her ability to score when needed most, putting up 27 points in a 45-40 victory over the Lady Hornets.
“We knew that Honesdale was a very good team and they wanted to win their own tournament on their own floor,” said Romanowski, who was an all-tournament choice last season when Western Wayne also beat Honesdale in the final. “And, we knew they were very physical and they were going to make us earn every basket.”
Even against Forest City, Romanowski did score before the game technically was decided. She had 14 points in a 26-3 first quarter and had 23 of her 25 by halftime.
Still responsible for running the Western Wayne offense, Romanowski has increased her scoring from about a dozen points per game to more than 20, scoring more than any three of her teammates combined.
“Last year, Gracie (Guarino) was our leading scorer,” Romanowski said of Guarino, who graduated and is now playing at Marywood University. “I was the second-leading scorer, so I figured I had to step up my game and score more.
“ … I’ve gotten better shooting and I’m taking it to the basket more, kicking it off to my teammates who can score. We’ve all gotten better as a team.”
Romanowski had 17 of Western Wayne’s 24 points in the first half, hit her second and third 3-pointers of the game in the third quarter, then made two of three free throws when the Lady Wildcats were holding on through a low-scoring fourth quarter.
“I was basically just driving to the basket, giving it to my other teammates, but when I was open, I took it,” Romanowski said.
Romanowski is busy making an impact athletically year-round.
In addition to being a force in three varsity high school sports at Western Wayne, Romanowski also has been playing in the spring and summer for JB Hoops since sixth grade.
Romanowski is a two-year starter in the fall in volleyball where she helped the Lady Wildcats to a District 2 championship. In the spring, she was the pitcher and leading hitter on the softball team last season as a freshman.
Kaeli is the daughter of Joe and Julia Romanowski of Lake Ariel.