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Wharton finishes career on a high note
Friday, February 22, 2013
By Jaclyn Yingling Sports Editor
It has been said that all good things must come to an end.
That saying came to passage on Thursday night as Clearfield Alliance's top-scoring female, Alyssa Wharton, played in her last game at home in Owens Recreation Hall in front of family and friends.
Wharton, who came into the game against Calvary Baptist just 32 points shy of the school's all-time scoring leader Josh Rhone, didn't disappoint the home crowd.
The Lady Crusader scored 28 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and racked up four blocks in a 35-31 defeat at the hands of Calvary Baptist Academy of Clymer.
"I thought she had an excellent game tonight," said Clearfield Alliance head coach John Wharton. "She passed the ball well and looked to get her teammates involved.
"After the first quarter, she started turning it on. If she hit a couple more layups, we are looking at W."
And Wharton did all of that despite dealing with a knee injury suffered against Huntingdon Calvary Baptist.
The senior, who plays just about every position on the court, came out in warm-ups with a brace and a heavily taped knee.
Her dad, and head coach, John, said that even though he and her mom, assistant coach Jenn, left the decision up to her, they had no doubts what her answer would be.
"She was playing in a lot of pain tonight," John Wharton said. "We let it up to her to play, and there was no way she wasn't going to be out there on the court."
After going down by as many as nine points in the third quarter, the Lady Crusaders rallied back on six straight points from Wharton.
The senior had 10 points in the third quarter and several takeaways.
Wharton then added two buckets to start the fourth, trimming Calvary Baptist's lead to 27-26, but turnovers and some missed buckets came back to haunt CACS late, and the Lady Crusaders fell, 35-31.
While it was definitely the last home game for Wharton, it may also be her last in a CACS uniform.
Clearfield Alliance is scheduled to play Bedford CIA today in Everett weather permitting. Wharton needs just four points to surpass Rhone and become the school's all-time scoring leader.
Even if she doesn't eclipse that mark, she still has plenty of accolades to her credit.
Wharton passed the 1,000-point mark on Jan. 15, scoring 16 points against Cambria County Christian.
The senior, who will be a four-year letterwinner, has also been a member of several playoff teams and a 22-0 regular season mark in 2009-10.
Still, the most telling mark comes from someone who knows her best.
"I loved the way she finished tonight," said John Wharton. "She played tough the entire time. She didn't give up, and she kept a strong spirit in the second half.
"As a coach and as a dad, I'm just extremely proud of her. I'm proud of her effort through her entire career, her summer work and her offseason effort. It's culminated into the player that she has become."
And that couldn't be a more fitting ending for Alyssa Wharton.
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