CURWENSVILLE — Curwensville’s Kyra Henry and Alyssa Bakaysa packed a 1-2 punch on Monday night, combining for 38 points and 20 rebounds in a 66-45 victory over Harmony at Patton Hall.
Henry had her best game of the season with 18 of those points and seven rebounds.
“She’s been developing a three-point shot for some time,” said Lady Tide assistant coach James Hoyt. “And it’s just now getting to the point where I can coach her to say, it’s not when you catch and dribble back, it’s when you catch it in stride, get that footing and knock it down.
“And that opens up so much for her.”
The game started off with a technical foul after Harmony was called for a violation in pre-game warm-ups. Bakaysa hit one of two allotted free throws to give the Lady Tide a 1-0 lead before the clock even started.
But it was Harmony who broke out an 11-5 lead to start the game. Sherri Kephart had eight points in the first quarter, while Traci Hauser added four.
Curwensville cut it to 14-9 at the end of one.
“We just have to keep them under control while the chaos is happening,” Hoyt said. “Once they get back in rhythm and they start following the coaching, things go our way.”
The Lady Tide switched up their defense in the second quarter, allowing them to slowly chip away at the Lady Owls’ lead.
Two buckets from Tarah Jacobson and a three from Henry cut it to 21-20.
Traci Hauser hit a foul shot to put Harmony up 22-20, but a three from Skylar Pentz with 2:49 left in the half gave Curwensville a 23-22 lead.
The Lady Tide closed out the frame on a 9-3 run to take a 33-25 lead into the half.
“The girls have been playing really well the last two weeks,” said Lady Owls head coach Sean McMullen. “I thought early in the game we were executing our offense really, really well. We were moving the ball and getting good quality shots.
“Then, Curwensville switched up their defense and started pressuring our guards higher up. We started to turn the ball over. I think that was the difference in the game.
“I think we just rushed ourselves and started to panic a little bit. We gave Curwensville all the momentum they needed to hold us off in the second half.”
The game turned physical in the third quarter, with several fouls being assessed to both sides.
“We have to drag them over sometimes and tell them, ‘If you want to kill momentum, a good way to do it is by getting a technical foul or getting in a scrape you don’t need to,” Hoyt said. “The second person always gets seen. So no matter what happened to you, you retaliate, you are going to get called and that’s fair.”
Curwensville held on to a 45-35 lead at the end of three, led by five points from Jacobson.
All 10 of Harmony’s points in the third came from Traci Hauser, who was 5-for-5 from the line in the quarter.
But with two starters out with injuries and leading rebounder Tori Hauser fouling out with 1:47 to play in the third, the Lady Owls struggled to come back, committing several turnovers.
“Very uncharacteristic turnovers for us at this point in the season,” McMullen said. “I thought we were taking care of the ball really well. Not having Dorey (Westover) to be our typical point has given Hannah and Traci that responsibility that they typically don’t have.”
Curwensville closed out the game with a 21-10 run, setting the final at 66-45.
Bakaysa led all scorers with 20 points and nine rebounds. Jacobson added 11 points. Hannah Condon had five rebounds.
“We are on target to hold 14 opponents to under 40 points,” said Hoyt. “It’s been our offense that has lacked a little bit. We are really about 10 points from being a .500 team. I know what the record looks like, but had we won some of those close ones, we very well could be in the playoffs.”
Traci Hauser led the Lady Owls with 19 points and six rebounds. Kephart added 16 points and four rebounds. Tori Hauser had six rebounds and five points.
“I thought in spurts they played really well,” McMullen said. “This will help them for the future. They need to have tough situations and they need to get through those tough situations to become better ballplayers.
“It was a tough night, but overall, I am pleased with their efforts.”
Harmony dropped to 4-16 overall and 2-6 in the Moshannon Valley League. Harmony travels to Blacklick Valley this evening.
Curwensville improved to 5-15 overall and 3-4 in the MVL. The Lady Tide host Moshannon Valley on Wednesday.
To. Hauser 2 0-0 5, Tr. Hauser 5 8-9 19, Smith 0 0-1 0, Brothers 0 0-1 0, Price 0 0-0 0, Kephart 6 2-4 16, Passmore 0 0-0 0, Winings 0 0-1 0, Schneider 2 1-3 5, Meagher 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 11-19 45.
Jacobson 5 1-4 11, Swindell 1 3-4 5, Bakaysa 7 5-6 20, Condon 0 2-2 2, Henry 8 1-2 18, Pentz 2 1-2 7, Cossar 0 0-0 0, Guiher 1 1-3 3, Caldwell 0 0-0 0, Anderson 0 0-0 0, Weber 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 14-23 66.
Three-pointers: To. Hauser, Tr. Hauser, Kephart 2. Bakaysa, Henry, Pentz 2.
Score by Quarters
Harmony 14 11 10 10—45
Curwensville 9 24 12 21—66