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McCrae helps Glendale rally to defeat Curwensville
Thursday, January 3, 2013
By Jaclyn Yingling Sports Editor
CURWENSVILLE - For the first 20 minutes of Wednesday's game against Curwensville, Glendale's Marcus McCrae had no stats except for a few rebounds.
But for the last 12 minutes of the game, McCrae helped carry the Vikings on his back, netting 13 points to help Glendale overcome a 16-point deficit in a 57-53 victory over the Tide.
"Marcus was the big key for me," said Vikes head coach Ryan Pastva. "He hasn't been hitting a lot lately and I've had the reins on him a little bit. He was feeling it and he took them and knocked them down. That was really big. We got after the boards in the end there. We played through some adversity."
Glendale led 10-8 after one quarter, but Curwensville responded with a 15-9 second quarter, giving them a 23-19 lead at the half.
The Tide were led in the second frame by eight points from Austin Jacobson. Jacobson finished the game with 12 points.
"Austin had a very strong game," said Curwensville head coach Shane Pentz. "He came up really big for us in the first half. He was able to convert some inside shots off some nice passes."
The Vikings struggled to hit shots in the second quarter, and turned the ball over several times, most of which the Tide converted into points.
But the visitors seemed to hang in there, even when Curwensville went on a 7-0 run.
"I've been preaching playing with heart regardless of the situation," Pastva said. "We've been in some tough spots in games, and so far we have done a really good job with the exception of one or two games. It showed that we have heart, and I'm proud of the guys for that."
The Tide built a 43-27 lead after two straight turnovers by Glendale midway through the third quarter. Curwensville's Brett Gardner came up big in the frame, scoring eight of his team-high 15 points.
But the Vikings rallied, thanks to back-to-back 3s from Anthony Barnhart and Damon Braniff to cut the score to 43-33.
McCrae added a bucket before the Tide's Gardner hit a 3 at the buzzer to put the score at 46-35 heading into the final frame.
"Barnhart got us started there with a couple of 3s," said Pastva. "He was knocking them down. Damon had a few, too."
Barnhart and Braniff each finished the night with four treys. McCrae netted two.
"Sometimes you live by the 3 and die by the 3," Pastva said. "We weren't getting some of the stuff we wanted inside late because we were getting away from our gameplan. What we did early was working, but for some reason we got away from that. We were able to hit some 3s and it worked out for us."
Glendale started off the fourth with two more 3s from Barnhart to trim the lead to 46-41 with 5:45 remaining in the game.
After a Gardner free throw, the Vikings got right back at it with two baskets from Braniff, including another trey.
Gardner and Tanner Elensky each had baskets to extend the lead back out to 51-46 before a 3 by McCrae cut it to 51-49.
Jacobson added a huge bucket with a jumper with just over three minutes to play off a pass from Gardner, who had a steal.
That put the score at 53-49, but the momentum was short-lived.
McCrae hit his second trey of the night at the 2:50 mark, before a turnover by the Tide set him up for another bucket shortly after, giving Glendale its first lead since the beginning of the second quarter.
"For some reason we got very tentative in the fourth quarter," said Pentz. "We stopped doing what got us the lead. We had a 16-point lead with a minute to go in the third quarter. They made back-to-back 3s there to end the quarter and that started the downfall. We just lost our confidence."
Up 54-53 with 1:42 to go, the Vikings called a timeout to set up their game plan.
A foul shot by Braniff with just over a minute left gave Glendale a 55-53 lead with 23.3 seconds left to play.
Curwensville was forced to foul, and the Vikings missed most of their shots, getting a free throw from Shea O'Donnell to put the score at 56-53.
A block by O'Donnell with 6.7 seconds left forced the Tide to foul McCrae. McCrae hit one of his two allotted shots, and a last-second 3 by Curwensville fell short, giving the Vikings a 57-53 win.
"They made five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter," Pentz said. "For some reason we lost shooters. We told them the couple of shooters Glendale had, and we just weren't there to guard them. I credit Glendale for making the shots when they were open."
Curwensville was led by Gardner's 15 points and five rebounds. Alex Olson added eight rebounds and four blocks.
"From here on, we are going to play a lot of games and we aren't going to have a lot of practices," said Pentz. "We've played six games, and five of them have come down to the last couple of minutes. We just have to find a way to get a win."
McCrae had 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Braniff netted 21 points and seven rebounds. Barnhart had 14 points, while O'Donnell notched nine rebounds.
"We got down big in the third going into the fourth," said Pastva. "I've told them that we've come back from worse, and they know they have the ability to do that. Both sides fought really well. It was a good game."
Glendale improved to 3-3 overall and 2-0 in the Mo Valley League. The Vikings travel to West Branch on Friday night.
Curwensville (0-6 overall, 0-3 MVL) travels to DuBois Central Catholic on Friday.
Glendale won the junior varsity game, 29-27. Bill Snyder led the Vikings with 12 points, while Trey Rauckhorst had six for Curwensville.

McCrae 5 1-6 13, O'Donnell 1 3-7 5, Sinclair 1 2-4 4, Braniff 7 3-7 21, Barnhart 5 0-0 14, Schultz 0 0-0 0, Witherow 0 0-1 0. Totals: 19 9-25 57.
Gardner 5 4-6 15, Johns 2 0-1 4, Elensky 4 0-0 9, Olson 3 0-0 6, Jacobson 6 0-0 12, Stephenson 0 0-0 0, Rauckhorst 2 0-0 4, Brooks 0 0-0 0, Kurtz 1 0-0 3, Thorp 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 4-7 53.
Three-pointers: Braniff 4, Barnhart 4, McCrae 2; Gardner, Elensky, Kurtz.
Score by Quarters
Glendale         10  9 16 22-57
Curwensville      8 15 23  7-53

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