North Catholic's Lauren Wolosik has gone from role player to top scorer
As a freshman starter on what is arguably the most storied girls basketball program in the WPIAL, Lauren Wolosik never had to face the spotlight on her own.
There was always an upperclassman to be the leader, a talented scorer to provide the bulk of the offense. Oftentimes, plenty of each.
Until this season.
Now a senior and the lone returning starter, Wolosik has taken the reins of the Trojanettes. The results have been typically stellar.
Wolosik's scoring average of more than 27 points per game was among the best in the WPIAL, and North Catholic enters the WPIAL playoffs this weekend with only two losses all season to Class A competition.
A 5-foot-9 point guard who has committed to Division I Central Connecticut State, Wolosik has been central in North's success.
“She was always happy to be a role player the last three years,” North Catholic coach Molly Rottmann said. “She'd score when we needed her to, but she was just as happy distributing the ball.
“Before this season, we talked about the importance of her stepping up offensively — and you see with the numbers, she's done that. It's a different mindset as well, but one that was necessary. There are different expectations for her (off the court), too. ... And I think she's had a good influence on our younger players.”
North Catholic has no shortage of those this season, with two freshmen and four sophomores among the top nine in the rotation.
Last season, Wolosik was the lone underclassman in the lineup. Now she is the lone senior starter.
“My role this year from last year is totally different,” Wolosik said. “I have to be way more of a leader on and off the court by example and also verbally.
“Last year we ... had a lot more scorers than we did this year, so my role of what I'm asked to do has changed. Instead of, ‘Our post needs the ball so I've got to get it there,' or ‘The guard on the wing needs the ball so it's my role to get it to her,' this year it's more scoring myself — but also still distributing the ball when needed. The team needs me to do more this year than last year. But I'll do whatever, whether it's points, rebounds, assists, whatever is best for the team for me to do.”
More often than not this season, that has meant scoring. As might be deduced from the points she's amassed this season, Wolosik has the ability to score from anywhere: 3-point range, driving to the basket, pulling up for a mid-range jumper.
Wolosik has scored so much this season, she's done it — on a single-basis, anyway — better than anyone in the history of the North Catholic program. Twice, Wolosik has broken Rottmann's record of 43 points in a game that had stood for a quarter of a century.
Also starting at times for North Catholic this season have been sophomore guard Evelyn Brazil, junior guard Paige Kizior, sophomore forward Brooke Zangaro and freshmen forwards Mikaela Palmer and Abby Goetz.
Sophomore guard Mia Palmer just returned to the lineup after missing most of the season because of injury, and junior guard Teresa Yanicko and sophomore guard Jess Graff have been valuable contributors off the bench.
The Trojanettes have advanced to the WPIAL title game during each of Wolosik's three prior seasons, winning in 2011. North Catholic opens this postseason at 1:30 p.m. Saturday against Frazier.
“We know if we work hard and do what we need to do, we'll have another gold medal in our sights,” Wolosik said.
Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.