Golden Tide Unable To Protect Fourth Quarter Lead Again in 60-55 Loss

CURWENSVILLE — A season of sheer frustration continued for the Curwensville Area High School boys basketball team in Patton Hall Tuesday night.

The Golden Tide saw another fourth quarter lead slip away as Sheffield rallied for a 60-55 win in the Allegheny Mountain League cross-over game that counted in division standings.

The Wolverines (7-14, 1-9 AML-North) outscored their hosts 17-7 in the final 3:21 to make the long trip home a happy one.

For coach Shane Pentz, the exasperating setback was a repeat of a scenario that has played out in about half of the Golden Tide’s losses.

“Get down early, come back, have the lead in the fourth quarter, and just kind of stop doing what made us successful,” he said. “I’m not sure why, down the stretch, we have a really hard time defensively rebounding missed free throws. This is the fourth or fifth game that if we can just rebound missed free throws, we’d be okay. But when the other team is getting offensive rebound after offensive rebound on a missed free throw, we just have to keep fouling.

“And we’re not giving ourselves any chances.”

Point guard Tanner Elensky single-handedly made sure Curwensville (3-14, 1-7 AML-South) had a chance at halftime with 17 of his game-high 24 points.

He was the only Golden Tide cager to score in the first quarter.

First, he buried an NBA-distance three-pointer at the outset. Then, he tossed in two foul shots to halt a 10-point Wolverine run. Finally, he swished another triple from the top of the key after the Golden Tide had missed 16 consecutive shots around a half dozen turnovers.

Ahead 14-8, the Wolverines registered the first six points of the second quarter, including their second and third putbacks, courtesy of Dylan McNeal and Shequan Wright, that were indicative of Curwensville’s ineffectiveness in boxing out.

“We really struggled to defensively rebound,” Pentz said. “They’re scoring from three and four feet away, or square-offs, and we’re trying to come down on the other end and take a tough jump shot.”

Alex Olson, praised by Pentz for his work under the boards before fouling out with 1:30 remaining, hit a baseline jumper and Elensky followed with a steal for two and his third three-pointer to keep the Wolverines in sight.

Another steal and lay-up and a strong drive by Elensky sent the Golden Tide to the lockerrom down only 26-20.

The other four starters joined him in the scoring column in the third quarter when Curwensville’s half-court trapping defense got results with six steals among eight Sheffield turnovers.

Kyle Johns, working hard in the low blocks, tallied seven points and Brett Gardner nailed two jumpers from behind the arc as the Golden Tide emerged with a 38-34 advantage.

Curwensville maintained the upper hand five minutes into the fourth period, thanks to Gardner’s fourth trifecta and two brilliant passes by Elensky that set up lay-ups by Johns and Austin Jacobson. Johns also sank two free throws and Elensky added one to make it 48-43 with 3:36 left.

In the next two minutes, the game completely turned around.

McNeal’s three-pointer triggered a 10-0 run by Sheffield. Reserve Nic Confer popped in a short jumper after grabbing an offensive rebound to knot the score and then put the Wolverines ahead to stay, 50-48, with a similar shot in the paint following a Golden Tide turnover.

With 1:24 left, Elensky logged a conventional three-point play off one of his numerous steals, narrowing Sheffield’s lead to 53-51, but the Wolverines cashed five of six freebies and got a crucial fast-break lay-up from McNeal in the final 1:07.

“I thought after the DuBois Central game, we had started to realize we can win games down the stretch,” Pentz said. “Tonight, it looked like we took another step back.

“We just made the same mistakes we’ve been making all year. And it cost us again.”

Wright, a 6-2 leaper, pulled down 12 rebounds to go with his team-high 18 points for Sheffield.

“He’s a good athlete,” Pentz said. “He was able to get his hands on a lot of balls and keep some rebounds alive. And they were able to convert.”

McNeal chipped in with 15 points and Winslow added 10.

For Curwensville, Gardner and Johns backed Elensky’s big night with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Johns reached double figures for the first time this season.

“He has started to get a lot more aggressive over the past couple weeks,” Pentz said. “It’s really helped us offense. He’s getting to the line more often. It’s good to see that.”

Shooting percentages from the floor and rebounding were the keys.

Curwensville got off 70 shots but hit only 24.3 percent, while Sheffield was 24-for-58 for 41.4 percent.

“There’s not many nights you’re going to get 70 shots up,” Pentz said. “I think, maybe, we settled for too many long jump shots.”

The Wolverines sported only a 39-32 advantage under the boards, but 17 were on the offensive end.

“You don’t have to know a lot about basketball or be a really talented player to rebound,” Pentz said. “It comes down to desire and just wanting the all. Sometimes, the other team is more aggressive than we are.”

Sheffield prevailed despite 30 turnovers, 12 more than Curwensville.

Sparked by Harrison Bloom’s 17 points, the Golden Tide junior varsity turned a two-point halftime lead into a 49-33 win.

Curwensville will be back on its home floor again Wednesday evening for a Moshannon Valley League game against Moshannon Valley.

SHEFFIELD — 60

Brendan Winslow 2  4-4  10, Shequan Wright 8  2-7  18, Dylan McNeal 6  1-4  15, Brandon Kipp 2  0-1  4, Tyler Fitzgerald 3  1-1  7, Travis Peterson  0  0-0  0, Nic Confer 3  0-0  6.  TOTALS:  24  8-17  60.

CURWENSVILLE — 55

Brett Gardner 4  0-0  12, Kyle Johns 3  5-9  11, Tanner Elensky 7  7-10  24, Alex Olson 1  0-0  2, Austin Jacobson 2  1-4  5, Trey Rauckhorst 0  1-2  1, Harrison Bloom 0  0-0  0, Nate Kurtz 0  0-0  0, Marcus Stephenson 0  0-0  0.  TOTALS: 17  14-25  55.

Three-Point Field Goals – Sheffield 4 (Winslow 2, McNeal 2); Curwensville  7 (Gardner 4, Elensky 3).

Score by Quarters

Sheffield                14  12   8  26  –  60

Curwensville         8  12  18  17  –  55

Officials – Marvin Martell and Dave Wright.

Golden Tide Scoreboard:

Date Opponent Score Record
12/07 @ Clearfield ppd. 0 – 0
12/10 @ Clearfield 37 – 42 0 – 1
12/11 @ Brockway 32 – 45 0 – 2
12/14 RIDGWAY 37 – 59 0 – 3
12/17 @ West Branch 56 – 68 0 – 4
12/18 HARMONY 60 – 62 0 – 5
12/21 KANE ppd. 0 – 5
01/02 GLENDALE 53 – 57 0 – 6
01/04 @ DuBois Central 29 – 35 0 – 7
01/08 JOHNSONBURG 32 – 77 0 – 8
01/09 @ Glendale 40 – 52 0 – 9
01/15 ELK COUNTY  40 – 57 0 – 10
01/16 @ Mo Valley 74 – 49 1 – 10
01/22 @ Ridgway 31 – 70 1 – 11
01/23 KANE 45 – 63 1 – 12
01/25 BROCKWAY ppd. 1 – 12
01/28 DUBOIS CENTRAL ppd. 1 – 12
01/30 @ Harmony 55 – 37 2 – 12
02/01 @ Brookville 46 – 50 2 – 13
02/02 DUBOIS CENTRAL 37 – 33 3 – 13
02/05 SHEFFIELD 55 – 60 3 – 14
02/06 MO VALLEY    
02/08 @ Kane    
02/09 BROCKWAY    
02/11 CLEARFIELD    
02/13 WEST BRANCH    
Cold Shooting Bison Fall To Tyrone, 61-38
Lady Tide Win Second Straight, Dump Sheffield 56-38

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