CURWENSVILLE – Curwensville Area High School girls basketball coach Rusty McCracken warned his players before Friday night’s tip-off that they were about to meet the best team on their schedule.
And Kane certainly lived up to his expectations in the Allegheny Mountain League crossover game.
The Lady Wolves had too much height inside and too many good ballhandlers outside, doubling up the Lady Tide 18-9 in the first quarter and then outscoring their hosts 40-11 in the middle two periods en route to a 67-34 win in Patton Hall.
“They’re the smoothest team that we’ve played,” McCracken said. “It’s quite possible they’ll be the single A District 9 champs.”
Two of the big reasons the Lady Wolves improved to 18-2 with the second-highest point total allowed by the Lady Tide this season were 6-0 junior Drew Victory and 5-11 sophomore Kaila Jamerson.
Victory logged a double-double with 20 points and 10 boards.
Jamerson, who averaged 7.6 points a game last season, showed why she is one of the top scorers in District 9 by netting 16 points on three turnaround jumpers and several strong moves on the baseline.
“They’re tough to contend with,” McCracken said. “We’re about half a head shorter in any position down low, no matter who we throw in there. That’s as much height that we’ve seen all year.”
And the Lady Tide hasn’t had to contend with any better group of perimeter players, including sophomores Dawn Saquin and Audrey Perry who contributed 10 points apiece.
No matter which combination of Kane’s five guards was on the floor, they were either turning the majority of their 15 steals into lay-ups, forcing nearly two dozen more turnovers or breaking down the Lady Tide zone defense to get easy shots for Victory or Jamerson.
Curwensville wound up with 37 turnovers against the Kane zone press.
“We see people coming at us and we kind of panic a little bit instead of finding the gaps and moving and getting open so we can make good passes,” McCracken said. “We have a tendency to hope our guards are gonna do something to get by them, I guess. We’re standing still in the background.”
For most of the first quarter, the Lady Tide was able to hang close, thanks to a three-pointer by Courtney Bachelier, a long jumper by Taylor Bumbarger and a shot in the low post by Katie Wriglesworth.
Free throws by Bumbarger and Katrina Seaburn cut Kane’s lead to 10-9 with 2:16 left in the period.
“You like to think we took them out of what they wanted to do coming in, cause they had to change their defense early,” McCracken pointed out. “They threw a different-look press in there.
“I tried to get the girls to understand it’s the same break. You can do the same things. Get somebody in the middle. Hit them. Go back door. Find the lay-ups.
“But we never figured that out, and it turned into a 13-point lead real quick.”
The Lady Wolves posted the next 12 points, Jamerson and Victory netting four apiece, to open a 22-9 gap 1:16 into the second quarter.
Becca Johnson found Wriglesworth underneath for two and Bumbarger banked in a three-pointer from the right side to cut the margin to single digits again at 22-14.
Then, the Lady Wolves went on a 17-4 run to close out the first half for a 39-18 cushion.
The worst was yet to come for the Lady Tide, though.
Kane opened the second half with 17 consecutive points, 10 by Jamerson.
Curwensville was guilty of 11 turnovers and four missed shots before Savannah Strickland banked in a tough short jumper with 2:32 remaining in the third period.
Outscoring the visitors 14-9 in the final quarter was little consolation for the Lady Tide, which tumbled to 4-16.
Curwensville got nine points from Bumbarger before she fouled out midway through the fourth period and eight points from Wriglesworth.
Because of all the turnovers, the Lady Tide got off only 32 shots, making 12 for 37.5 percent.
The Lady Wolves’ percentage was only slightly higher, 39.7, but they took 68 shots and hit 27.
Kane, which had 18 turnovers, sported a 27-18 advantage in rebounds.
Curwensville will end the season next week by hosting Clearfield Monday and taking on West Branch in a Moshannon Valley League game at Allport Wednesday.
Kane won the junior varsity game 51-31. Kealy Wassil scored nine points for Curwensville.
KANE — 67
Andrea Saquin 2 0-0 4, Ashley Wilson 0 1-2 1, Drew Victory 7 6-8 20, Kaila Jamerson 8 0-0 16, Dawn Saquin 3 4-4 10, Audrey Perry 4 2-4 10, Angie Geer 3 0-1 6, Shannon Kocjancic 0 0-0 0, Jackie Bedford 0 0-0 0, Nerissa Rich 0 0-0 0, Taylor Bucheit 0 0-0 0, Morgan Nicholson 0 0-0 0, Katelyn Moran 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 27 13-19 67.
CURWENSVILLE — 34
Savannah Strickland 2 0-1 4, Taylor Bumbarger 3 2-4 9, Courtney Bachelier 1 2-3 5, Katrina Seaburn 1 2-4 4, Katie Wriglesworth 4 0-0 8, Becca Johnson 0 0-0 0, Paige McCracken 0 0-0 0, Kealy Wassil 1 0-0 2, Brittany Carter 0 0-0 0, Cheyenne Pentz 0 2-2 2, Kaitlynn Sass 0 0-0 0, Tiara Bumbarger 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 12 8-14 34.
Three-Point Field Goals – Curwensville 2 (Ta. Bumbarger, Bachelier).
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Kane 18 21 19 9 – 67
Curwensville 9 9 2 14 – 34
Officials – Chris Sherkel and Dave Gardner.