CURWENSVILLE – Coming off of a 15-8 season that included winning the Moshannon Valley League championship and gaining a berth in the District 9 AA playoffs, the Curwensville Area High School girls basketball team would like to pickup right were it left off last season.
Despite losing in its final game, 52-45, to Kane in the D-9 playoffs, the Lady Tide are definitely seeking another banner year with five letter winners returning.
Curwensville has lost in the first round of the District 9 playoffs the past two seasons, a trend they would like to halt in 2014-15.
Gone from last season’s team are Abby Dugo, Tierra Shope and Kealy Wassil.
Curwensville head coach Rusty McCracken, now in his sixth year, talked about the make-up of this year’s Lady Tide, saying, “We have a solid core of starters, who will need support from a relatively untested group. So our success is going to depend a great deal on how quickly the younger kids develop.”
To begin the 2014-15 campaign the Lady Tide will start all five of those returning letter winners in seniors Ciara Strickland and Heather Thorp; juniors Shauna Guy; and sophomores Hannah Dixon and Christine Limbert.
Starting at the guard positions will be Strickland and Thorp and the forwards will be Dixon, Guy and Limbert.
Strickland has been the leading scorer for the Lady Tide the past three years and needs just one point to reach the 1,000 point milestone in her career. In 2013-14 she paced the Lady Tide with 19.2 points per game and in her career has averaged 14.5 per game.
Thorp led Curwensville last year in assists with a total of 123 and Dixon returns as the second leading scorer after recording 6.5 points per game in her freshman year.
McCracken will look to the bench for help from juniors Kayli Sedgwick, Katie Evans and Kristina McCracken and sophomores Maddy Bash, Camryn Richards and Nikki Wormuth.
“Offensively, I do think we are stronger than we were last year. Most teams will be focused on stopping Ciara (Strickland), which is tough enough, but we can score from anywhere. Hannah Dixon has strengthened her game, and will score on multiple levels, while Heather Thorp, who turns defense into offense easily, has also shown more confidence in her jump shot,” McCracken said.
As far as the inside game, McCracken said, “Christine Limbert and Shauna Guy have worked hard on their inside games and have been challenged to clean the boards at both ends of the court.”
McCracken closed by commenting, “The program has come a long way in the past five years, and we’re not looking to take any backward steps. However, we’re not flying under the radar anymore, and teams have to take us seriously. That makes every game tougher to win and more important as well. We have to look at the season one game at a time, and, win or lose, find a way to be better in the next contest.”
The Lady Tide open the 2014-15 season with a home game on Monday December 8 versus Moshannon Valley.
Listen to Curwensville-Moshannon Valley girls basketball on WOKW-FM, 102.9, starting with the pre-game show at 7:15 pm.
SENIORS: Domonique Newkirk, * Ciara Strickland, * Heather Thorp
JUNIORS: * Shauna Guy, Katie Evans, Kristina McCracken, Kayli Sedgwick, Lydia Opaliski
SOPHOMORES: Maddy Bash, *Hannah Dixon, Selena Goodrow, *Christine Limbert, Camryn Richards, Nichole Wormuth
FRESHMEN: Amethyst Adams, Jaide Collins, Madison McCracken, Abby McGarry, Maddy Olson, Heidi Rowles, Mikayla Warren
* DENOTES LETTER WINNER
DECEMBER – 8 MOSHANNON VALLEY, 9 BROCKWAY, 12 at Ridgway, 19 at Kane, 29 at Clearfield
JANUARY – 2 DUBOIS CENTRAL CATHOLIC, 5 WEST BRANCH, 6 at Johnsonburg, 9 at Harmony, 13 at Elk County Catholic, 15 at Moshannon Valley, 20 RIDGWAY, 23 at Brockway, 26 at DuBois Central Catholic, 28 GLENDALE, 30 JOHNSONBURG
FEBRUARY – 3 at Sheffield, 4 at Glendale, 6 KANE, 9 HARMONY, 11 at West Branch,
NOTE: HOME GAMES IN CAPS. ALL JUNIOR VARSITY GAMES START AT 6 PM UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED. VARSITY GAMES START 15 MINUTES AFTER JV CONTEST.