Golden Tide Cage Owls, Clinch Share of MVL Title

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CURWENSVILLE — The Curwensville Area High School boys basketball team clinched at least a share of the 2014 Moshannon Valley League championship and stretched the program’s longest winning streak since the 2006-07 season to four with a 51-21 victory over Harmony in Patton Hall Monday night.

Brett Gardner scored 11 points while Tanner Elensky and Austin Jacobson chipped in with 10 apiece as the Golden Tide padded their MVL record to 6-1.

To claim the league title outright, coach Shane Pentz’s senior-laden unit must handle what will be a fired-up West Branch team on the Warriors’ hardwood Wednesday.

The Warriors will be seeking to atone for a 63-52 loss at Curwensville in a December 16 meeting when they did not have point guard Austin Krise, who was injured.

If the Warriors prevail, they’ll tie the Golden Tide for first place and a share of the toga.

And Glendale can create a three-way dead heat with a win at Harmony Thursday.

While the quarter totals and final score indicate Curwensville (12-7) had its way during the first of four games in a grueling final week of the regular season, Pentz wasn’t happy with the Golden Tide’s performance against the undersized and winless Owls, now 0-19.

“We just didn’t play with a lot of effort,” he said. “We never got into a rhythm.

“We let them dictate pace, and we didn’t try to force them into speeding up. We let them continue to slow down the pace, and it affected us both offensively and defensively. ”

Gardner drove the lane for Curwensville’s only bucket in the first three minutes.

The Golden Tide’s other seven possessions resulted in five turnovers and three missed shots.

The Owls weren’t faring any better, getting only a lay-up by Joshua Lucas off a pass by Austin Hugill, their lone senior.

Curwensville reeled off eight consecutive points for a 10-2 lead with two minutes remaining in the first period, at which time Harmony had turned the ball over nine times and misfired on three shots. Three of the turnovers were steals by Elensky.

A three-pointer by Lucas interrupted the Golden Tide run, but briefly.

The Owls didn’t score again for almost 5½ minutes, and the Golden Tide transformed a five-point margin into a 20-5 bulge with 4:33 left in the half.

Elensky’s drive and Jacobson’s putback closed the scoring at intermission, setting the tally at 26-9 and triggering a 17-0 run that extended five minutes into the third quarter and iced it for the Golden Tide.

Elensky keyed that surge with two field goals and two assists while Gardner hit a trey from the left side and scooped in a tough lay-up.

Curwensville, which did shoot 42.9 percent (21-for-49), didn’t get as much out of its 27-14 rebounding advantage as Pentz would have liked.

“We didn’t get into transition offense like we wanted to, and we didn’t run the floor like we wanted to,” he said.

The Golden Tide racked up 14 steals and forced 32 turnovers but also was guilty of 23 of its own.

“We were just very sloppy,” Pentz said. “We didn’t take care of the ball. We weren’t real crisp running our offenses. In all honesty, it looked like we were at the end of this week, not the beginning. It looked like we had some tired legs.

“Give credit to Harmony. They made us play at their pace. It’s something we need to adjust to moving forward, because that’s the way playoff games are gonna be played.”

Though No. 5 in Class AA in the final Laurel Eye Clinic/D9Sports.com District 9 Rankings released Sunday, Curwensville entered the week third in winning percentage among the seven teams that have declared for the district tourney.

Before thinking playoffs, the Golden Tide must contend with St. Joseph’s Academy in a home make-up game Tuesday night, then West Branch Wednesday and backyard rival Clearfield Friday, which will be their sixth game in eight days.

Pentz warned the Golden Tide they must rebound from their showing against the Owls if they want to build some momentum for the post season.

“We did tell them if this is the level we’re going to play at, then we won our last game of the year tonight,” he said. “We’ll lose the last three this week and we’ll be an early exit from the playoffs.

“So, we’re gonna have to pick up with our effort and our intensity.”

The Curwensville jayvees, led by Jake Terry’s 12 points, romped to a 60-23 win in the prelim.

Moshannon Valley League - Curwensville 6-1, Glendale 5-2, West Branch 5-2, Moshannon Valley 2-6, Harmony 0-7.

HARMONY — 21

Logan Sral 3  0-0  7, Joshua Lucas 3  0-0  7, Dustin Kurtz 1  0-0  2, Austin Hugill 1  0-0  2, Cody Fritz 1  0-2  2, Devin Beck 0  1-2  1, Austin Young 0  0-1  0, John Polisky 0  0-0  0, Brian Baker 0  0  0-0  0, Josh McCulley 0  0-0  0, Logan Watson 0  0-0  0.  TOTALS: 9  1-5  21.

CURWENSVILLE — 51

Brett Gardner 5  0-2  11, Tanner Elensky 4  2-2  10, Kyle Johns 1  2-2  4, Trey Rauckhorst 2  2-4  6, Jason Thorp 0  0-0  0, Alex Olson 1  0-0  2, Austin Jacobson 5  0-0  10, Jake Terry 0  0-0  0, Nate Kurtz 2  0-0  5, Bryce McClure 0  1-4  1, Jonathan Miller 0  0-0  0, Noah Strickland 0  0-0  0, R.J. Olson 1  0-0  2, Dylan Davis 0  0-0  0.  TOTALS: 21  7-14  51.

Three-Point Field Goals – Harmon 2 (Sral, Lucas); Curwensville 2 (Gardner, N. Kurtz).

Score by Quarters

Harmony        5    4    7   5  –  21
Curwensville  12  14  16  9  –  51

Officials – Rich Gormont and Bill Zupich.

Golden Tide Scoreboard:

Date Opponent Score Record
12/06 MO VALLEY ppd. 0 – 0
12/09 @ Clearfield 56 – 38 1 – 0
12/10 BROCKWAY 54 – 51 2 – 0
12/13 @ Ridgway 25 – 46 2 – 1
12/16 WEST BRANCH 63 – 52 3 – 1
12/19 @ Harmony 68 – 31 4 – 1
12/20 @ Kane 47 – 54 ot 4 – 2
01/03 DUBOIS CENTRAL 63 – 55 5 – 2
01/08 @ Mo Valley 61 – 44 6 – 2
01/14 @ Elk County 38 – 67 6 – 3
01/16 @ Glendale 55 – 56 ot 6 – 4
01/21 RIDGWAY 41 – 56 6 – 5
01/24 @ Brockway 51 – 41 7 – 5
01/27 @ DuBois Central 55 – 64 7 – 6
01/29 GLENDALE 64 – 53 8 – 6
01/31 JOHNSONBURG 31 – 81 8 – 7
02/04 @ Sheffield 59 – 41 9 – 7
02/05 ST. JOE’S ACADEMY ppd. 9 – 7
02/07 KANE 53 – 48 10 – 7
02/08 MO VALLEY 83 – 53 11 – 7
02/10 HARMONY 51 – 21 12 – 7
02/11 ST. JOE’S ACADEMY    
02/12 @ West Branch    
02/14 CLEARFIELD    
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