West Branch Edges Upset-Minded Golden Tide 53-48

CURWENSVILLE – There were a whole lot of whistles blowing Monday night in Patton Hall at Curwensville Area High School as the West Branch Warriors came from behind at the end to beat a determined, upset minded Curwensville team in Moshannon Valley League (MVL) boys basketball, 53-48.

All told there were 48 personal fouls called, plus one technical foul that led to a combined 64 free throws taken by both squads.

But in the end the Warriors victory has them sitting at 11-5 overall and 7-0 in the (MVL) and now the league title.

West Branch, less than two weeks ago beat Curwensville on its home court 56-40.

A disappointed Tide head coach, Matt Wassil, said after the battle, “Our kids really played hard tonight and have been doing so, especially after the Christmas break. Once again we had our opportunities in this game but we just didn’t take advantage of them.”

In the first quarter the Warriors started out with a 8-1 edge over the Tide before Curwensville went on a
8-0 run and took the lead at 9-8 on two free throws by senior Dakota Bloom.

West Branch picked up the last two points of the first to go in front 10-9 heading into the second eight minutes of action.

The Tide would win the second quarter 9-6 to go into the break up 18-16. Seven of the nine points scored by Curwensville came on free throws.

In the second half, Curwensville jumped out in front 23-18 at the 6:40 point of the third quarter on a Jeremy Irwin three pointer.

The Warriors did cut the Tide margin to 35-33 heading into the final period where a total of 18 free throw attempts by both teams were taken.

Irwin buried another trey with 6:38 to play that once again gave the Tide a five point advantage at 40-35.

Larry Cowder, a Warrior senior, would tie the game at 42 apiece with a bucket at the 4:50 mark.

Christian Bakaysa kept the Tide in the lead with a basket and 3:15 to play that gave his squad a 46-44 lead before Cowder put the Warriors in front for good, 48-46, with a bucket and just exactly two minutes to play.

Matt Fluck sealed the deal for West Branch at 53-48 with two free throws and just 35 ticks left on the clock.

Curwensville was 27 of 40 from the free throw line while the Warriors connected on 10 of 24.

Bakaysa paced all scorers on the night with 22 points, and was 14 of 24 from the charity stripe.

West Branch was led by Cowder with 12 tallies while sitting out most of the first half in foul trouble.

Senior David Guerra also had double figures for the Warriors, hitting for 10 points.

Wassil then commented, “The key to this game, to me, was that we didn’t finish the deal when we had our chances because we did have them in foul trouble, plus we just missed too many shots. And turnovers certainly hurt us there at the end of the game.”

In the junior varsity game it was West Branch winning by a score of 57-26 over the Tide. High scorer for the Tide was Caleb Vance with 10 points.

Curwensville (2-13) plays at Glendale on Wednesday night in a Moshannon Valley League game. JV’s tip off at 6 pm with the varsity game to immediately follow.

The Vikings defeated the Golden Tide earlier this season, in Curwensville, 66-45.

WEST BRANCH – 53

Matt Fluck 1 2-4 4, John Arnold 3 2-6 8, Ayden Gutierrez 3 0-0 6, David Guerra 4 1-5 10, Larry Cowder
5 1-2 12, Dalton Kristofits 0 0-0 0, Doug Kolesar 1 0-1 3, Trenton Bellomy 1 0-0 3, Chance Eboch
0 3-4 3, Travis Rothrock 0 0-0 0, Eddie Dale 1 1-2 4, TOTALS – 19 10-24 53

CURWENSVILLE – 48

Ty Terry 1 2-2 5, Dakota Bloom 0 4-4 4, Jeremy Irwin 2 2-2 8, Christian Bakaysa 4 14-24 22, Avery Francisco 2 3-6 7, Lincoln Giuffre 0 0-0 0, Adam Miller -0 0-0 0, Trevor Lansberry 0 2-2 2, TOTALS – 9 27-40 48

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

WEST BRANCH 10 6 17 20 53
CURWENSVILLE 9 9 17 13 48

THREE-POINTERS: WEST BRANCH – 5 Guerra, Cowder, Kolesar, Bellomy, Dale CURWENSVILLE – 3 Irwin 2, Terry

OFFICIALS: Tim Barnes, Rich Gormont, Bill Zupich

Golden Tide Scoreboard:

Date Opponent Score Record
12/07 @ Clearfield 32 – 77 0 – 1
12/10 @ Mo Valley 26 – 56 0 – 2
12/14 RIDGWAY 26 – 65 0 – 3
12/17 @ Penns Manor 53 – 66 0 – 4
12/19 GLENDALE 45 – 66 0 – 5
12/21 @ Leechburg 45 – 83 0 – 6
01/04 @ Brockway 54 – 67 0 – 7
01/08 @ DuBois Central 36 – 67 0 – 8
01/10 @ Harmony 64 – 59 1 – 8
01/15 ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC 48 – 64 1 – 9
01/16 @ West Branch 40 – 56 1 – 10
01/18 @ Kane 43 – 62 1 – 11
01/21 HARMONY ppd. 1 – 11
01/22 @ Ridgway 23 – 55 1 – 12
01/25 BROCKWAY 63 – 60 2 – 12
01/28 WEST BRANCH 48 – 53 2 – 13
01/30 @ Glendale
02/01 @ Johnsonburg
02/05 DUBOIS CENTRAL
02/08 SHEFFIELD
02/11 MO VALLEY
02/13 CLEARFIELD
02/15 HARMONY

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