First Posted: 12/15/2014
DALLAS — She was waiting for this game all season. Her father was waiting for this game all her life.
Dallas sophomore Sara Lojewski took on her dad, Chad, the head coach at Wyoming Area, on the court Wednesday night as the Mountaineers hosted the Warriors of Wyoming Are. Chad took over the Wyoming Area job earlier this year – it is his first head coaching job at the varsity level.
Dallas polished off Wyoming Area, 72-58, marking its first victory of the season.
Sara has been coached by her father for the majority of her young life. She started at age 3 with her father by her side. All the way through junior high, the duo has been together, trying to perfect Sara’s game. The younger Lojewski said Tuesday’s game brought out the best in her.
The game’s stat sheet proved that as Sara finished with 11 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals.
“I’ve been waiting for this game since he got the job,” she said. “I was excited for this all week. It was crazy.”
Chad had to take off his father cap and put on his coaching cap for two hours on Wednesday. But that didn’t mean he wasn’t still thinking about his daughter.
Midway through the second quarter, Sara traveled near the far sideline. Chad, of course, clapped in favor of the call but he was surely thinking something different.
“It was more of a reaction to our defense,” he laughed. “I actually, in my head, said ‘I thought we worked on that at home. Maybe we have to go back to the drawing board.’”
Of course, he was joking.
“Traitor, maybe?” Sara laughed when asked about her father’s cheering.
Chad wasn’t joking, however, when talking about the players he saw grow before his eye.
All five Dallas starters and a handful of bench players have played under Chad at one point or another during their careers.
The Dallas starters were impressive Wednesday, especially Nikki Wren. Wren finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Talia Kosierowski added 19 points, four assists and five steals. Maddie Kelly contributed 18 points and nine rebounds. They were all coached by Chad at one point in their careers.
“This game brought out the best in all of us tonight,” Chad said. “What a fundamental and talented group. It was very fun to coach against (Sara).”
Sometimes the duo talks after games. Other times, they said, the game is the last thing on their mind.
“We’ve been so close and he’s coached me in every single league,” Sara said. “Every single day it’s been awesome.”
As far as the game goes, Dallas jumped on to an early lead and never really looked back. The Warriors, however, were down 10 points and at two different times in the first half. They were able to cut the lead to 30-25 after a 6-0 run late in the second quarter.
In the end, however, it was the play of Wren and the work Dallas did on the board that proved to be the difference.
“That was one of the best games I’ve ever seen (Wren) play,” said Dallas coach Kelly Johnson. “As a team, we’ve been placing a lot of focus on being disciplined and working together.”
Dallas out-rebounded Wyoming Area, 42-32. The Mountaineers dished out 14 assists – nine in the first half.
“We moved the ball really well tonight and we took advantage of opportunities,” Johnson said. “Tonight, we felt like we finally put it together in terms of everyone having an impact on the floor.”
Sara Lojewski agreed.
“I thought we had amazing teamwork tonight,” she said. “We talked very well tonight.”