Lady Tide Drop AML-South Showdown to Lady Cardinals, 55-49
CURWENSVILLE — The Curwensville Area High School girls basketball team let a golden opportunity to take command of the Allegheny Mountain League South Division race slip away in Patton Hall Friday night.
After being on the short end of the score through most of the first half, the Lady Tide seemed poised to prevail in the showdown for first place against DuBois Central Catholic when Lady Cardinal guard and leading scorer Kylee Schaffer picked up her fourth foul 3:30 into the third quarter and backcourt mate Aundrea Snyder exited less than a minute later because of back-to-back technical fouls.
Ciara Strickland, who had snapped a 31-31 tie with a long set shot, arched in three of the free throws after the technicals and Becca Johnson tacked on another foul shot on the ensuing possession for a six-point lead.
However, adversity became an inspiration for the Lady Cardinals, and they outscored the Lady Tide 24-12 the rest of the way to walk off with a 55-49 victory.
“It’s definitely one that got away,” coach Rusty McCracken said after Curwensville (4-3) absorbed its third consecutive defeat. “I told the girls is just seemed like we thought it was gonna take care of itself and we just didn’t play as hard as they did.
“They outhustled us down the stretch and it looked like they wanted it worse than we did. That’s something we’ve gotta work on.”
Without Snyder, coach Tom Stafford opted to keep Schaffer on the floor despite her foul situation, and that decision proved crucial for the Lady Cardinals.
The 5-5 junior rewarded his confidence by playing, and doing so very aggressively at both ends of the court, until the buzzer sounded.
She recorded 14 of her game-high 18 points in the final 11 minutes, including an eight-for-nine performance at the foul line.
Schaffer ignited DuBois CC’s comeback with a foul-line jumper.
Curwensville’s Kealy Wassil, getting a dandy assist from Katrina Seaburn, and Maria French traded baskets before Schaffer forged the game’s fifth tie, 39-39, at the end of the third period with two free throws and, just before the clock flashed all zeros, a short jumper in the lane.
The Lady Cardinals opened the final quarter with an 11-2 run that was highlighted by Schaffer’s five points and a sweet bounce-pass feed to Gabby Ridenour under the hoop. Schaffer’s old-fashioned three-point play on a drive through the lane made it 50-41 with 4:24 remaining.
A putback by Tiffany Carter and two tough drives into the low post by Seaburn enabled the Lady Tide to get within three points, 52-49, with just under a minute to play.
“During a timeout, I said we do need to foul, but don’t foul No. 2, ” McCracken said.
Unfortunately, Schaffer was the recipient of the contact and swished three charity tosses in the final 35 seconds.
French posted a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds while Ridenour contributed 11 points and nine rebounds to the Lady Cardinals’ fourth win in 10 outings. They sit atop the AML-South at 3-0.
Curwensville, which rode a 17-point second period into a 27-27 tie at intermission, had good balance with Johnson’s 14 points complemented by Seaburn’s 11, Strickland’s nine and Carter’s eight. Carter also pulled down eight rebounds.
Although the Lady Tide was 20-for-55 from the field for 36.4 percent against the Lady Cardinals’ tight man defense, McCracken believed his team could have fared better.
“It just doesn’t seem like we’re relaxing and taking the good shots that we had in the beginning of the season,” he said. “Sometimes, we just lose our focus. And that’s a big problem.
“We let frustration rule us, instead of toughening up and going after what we can do.”
The Lady Tide junior varsity broke into the win column with a 29-27 squeaker. Shauna Guy and Wassil scored seven and six points, respectively.
Curwensville journeys to Johnsonburg (6-3) Tuesday for an AML cross-over game with the North Division front-runners.
Allegheny Mountain League South Division standings – DuBois Central Catholic 3-0, Curwensville 2-1, Brockway 1-2, Ridgway 0-3.
DUBOIS CENTRAL CATHOLIC — 55
Kylee Schaffer 5 8-9 18, Aundrea Snyder 3 0-0 6, Gabby Ridenour 5 0-0 11, Maria Ginther 1 0-0 2, Maria French 7 0-1 14, Angel Cardamone 0 0-0 0, Kasey Baronick 1 0-0 2, Mara Baronick 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 23 8-10 55.
CURWENSVILLE — 49
Heather Thorp 0 1-3 1, Becca Johnson 6 1-4 14, Ciara Strickland 2 5-6 9, Katrina Seaburn 5 1-2 11, Tiffany Carter 4 0-0 8, Tierra Shope 2 0-0 4, Kealy Wassil 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 20 8-15 49.
Three-Point Field Goals – DuBois Central Catholic 1 (Ridenour); Curwensville 1 (Johnson).
Score by Quarters
DuBois Central Catholic 16 11 12 16 - 55
Curwensville 10 17 12 10 - 49
Officials – Tim Barnes and Jerry Carnicella.
Lady Tide Scoreboard:
|12/10||MO VALLEY||52 – 16||1 – 0|
|12/11||BROCKWAY||57 – 32||2 – 0|
|12/14||@ Ridgway||70 – 28||3 – 0|
|12/19||HARMONY||60 – 15||4 – 0|
|12/21||@ Kane||ppd.||4 – 0|
|12/27||@ Clearfield||52 – 60||4 – 1|
|01/02||@ Kane||31 – 59||4 – 2|
|01/04||DUBOIS CENTRAL||49 – 55||4 – 3|