Curwensville girls topple Moshannon Valley, 52-16|
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
By Jaclyn Yingling Sports Editor
CURWENSVILLE - After spending several years building a young Curwensville girls basketball team, head coach Rusty McCracken can understand the frustration Moshannon Valley is going through.
The Damsels are very young, with just one letterwinner back from last year's team.
That showed on Monday evening at Patton Hall, as the more experienced Lady Tide toppled the Damsels, 52-16, in a Moshannon Valley League contest.
"They are young and we have been there," McCracken said. "It's a tough learning curve for them right now, but they are going to get better. They are going to give us a better game the next time we see them. It's just about playing the game and getting better at it at this level. They are very young and that's a tough thing. We've been there.
"I hope they don't think we were trying to run the score up. This was our first game and we were just trying to do what we have to do for the rest of the season."
The Lady Tide came out in an aggressive defense and took advantage of several Mo Valley turnovers in the first half.
Those turnovers led to points, including two straight baskets for Ciara Strickland and Becca Johnson to give Curwensville the early 8-2 advantage.
The Lady Tide forced 30 Damsel turnovers in the game.
"The effort was fine," Mo Valley head coach Van Cornish. "They are trying. They are still working hard. We aren't using being young as an excuse. We know what we have to do better. We have to handle the basketball. We had more turnovers than we had points tonight.
"Then when you go cold from the floor, that's a recipe for disaster."
Curwensville took a 12-4 lead after the first frame, before widening the lead to 22-8 at halftime.
The Lady Tide subbed in a few bench players in the second quarter when starter Katrina Seaburn got into foul trouble after picking up her third foul with 3:09 left to go in the half.
McCracken also gave some starters a rest, putting in Abby Dugo and Kealy Wassil. Both players scored in the frame, as did Johnson on a nice dish from Tiffany Carter.
"That's going to be our strength," McCracken said. "We have to look for other people. Ciara is hopefully going to get her points, but the other girls have to add to that. We can't live and die by Ciara and the points she's getting with the teams we have coming up."
Strickland had her best quarter in the third, scoring eight points, including a basket off an inbounds pass and another on a steal. She finished the night with 20 points.
"She played well," said McCracken. "She did the things she needed to do. She cleared, she got some tips and she got some steals. She finished at the other end. She didn't quite do that at the beginning, but she got it together through the later quarters. She did a great job for us defensively and offensively."
The Lady Tide defense also played well in the third frame, outscoring the visitors, 17-0.
Moshannon Valley attempted two foul shots late in the frame, but missed them both. The Damsels finished the game 4-of-15 from the charity stripe.
"Getting it in and running the plays, and motion and movement wasn't enough," Cornish said. "We were waiting for stuff. We were waiting on girls.
"I thought in the first half we didn't do too badly, at least with the offense. Then in the second we started to stand around and watch. One girl watching four when it's five against one or five against two. It's not going to end well."
Curwensville scored 13 points in the fourth, including seven from Strickland, but the Damsels also had their best frame of the night, putting up eight points.
Three of those came from lone letterwinner Tayia Swoope, while Emily Smith and Emily Kolesar each had a bucket.
Smith, Kolesar and Haley Stodart each had four points to lead the Damsels.
"We just have to keep going at it and keep our heads up," said Cornish. "We have to build from what we have. We have young girls. And it looked freshmen and sophomores against juniors and seniors, and that's what it was. That's the hand we have been dealt, so we just have to play."
Johnson had 15 points, while Seaburn added six rebounds. Wassil had five rebounds.
Curwensville improved to 1-0 on the season. The Lady Tide host Brockway this evening.
Moshannon Valley dropped to 0-3. The Damsels entertain Juniata Valley on Thursday.
The Damsels won the junior varsity game, 28-27. Ally Kronenwetter led Mo Valley with 11 points, while Dugo was the Lady Tide's top scorer with nine points.
Smith 1 2-2 4, Matchock 0 0-0 0, Swoope 1 1-8 3, Stodart 2 0-0 4, Kolesar 2 0-1 4, H. Kitko 0 1-3 1, K. Kitko 0 0-1 0, Kronenwetter 0 0-0 0. Totals: 6 4-15 16.
Thorp 1 0-0 2, Shope 0 0-2 0, Johnson 7 1-2 15, Strickland 10 0-0 20, H. McGarry 0 0-0 0, Guy 0 0-0 0, Dale 1 0-0 2, Dugo 2 0-0 4, Seaburn 2 0-0 4, Wassil 1 0-0 2, Carter 1 1-2 3. Totals: 25 2-6 52.
Score by Quarters
Moshannon Valley 4 4 0 8-16
Curwensville 12 10 17 13-52