WILKES-BARRE TWP. – Talia Kosierowski had started every game as a freshman and sophomore at Dallas before transferring to Holy Redeemer prior to the start of her junior year.
Still, asked to see and play the game from a different perspective, Kosierowski needed to learn, practice and adjust before fitting in with her new team.
“This year, I had to completely transform my game from being a point guard because we had Lydia Lawson who’s a really awesome point guard,” Kosierowski said. “I had to learn to be a shooting guard.”
Kosierowski was used to calling plays, then putting them in motion and distributing the ball. She found herself hearing Lawson’s instructions then thinking about what to do next, getting in position to receive the ball and keep it moving, as needed.
While she was adjusting her instincts, Kosierowski needed to develop new skills, to fit the new position of “shooting” guard.
“I would have to, every single day, go to the gym and shoot, shoot, shoot,” said Kosierowski, who was also a starter on the Holy Redeemer field hockey team. “After every practice, I would stay and spend 20 or 30 minutes just shooting with my coaches rebounding for me.”
The time paid off.
The Kosierowski that took the floor for the at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza the afternoon of Feb. 26 was a different player than the one who first appeared for her new team in December. The result was the Royals as a whole were a tougher team.
In a meeting of state-ranked teams, Holy Redeemer avenged an early-season loss and defeated Holy Cross, 52-47, for the District 2 Class AA championship.
“We knew it was going to be a battle because they beat us at the beginning of the season,” Kosierowski said, “but that was before I knew the offenses; before we were conditioned; before we had any team chemistry going; and before we had a set starting lineup.”
Kosierowski, a resident of Wyoming in the Dallas School District, is a fixture in that lineup now. She was the winning team’s most productive player in the game that represented the debut of championship high school basketball at the arena.
When she hit both ends of a one-and-one with 20.7 seconds left, Kosierowski completed a 14-point effort and essentially clinched the victory by pushing the lead to seven points. She also had five assists, five rebounds and three steals.
Holy Redeemer took a 12-game winning streak into the start of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state tournament March 4.