CURWENSVILLE — It was celebration night for the Curwensville Lady Tide on Wednesday night. Prior to their final Mo Valley League contest of the season against the Lady Damsels of Moshannon Valley, the trio of seniors, Tarah Jacobson, Brianna Swindell and Hannah Condon, were honored for their dedication to the basketball program, having gone through a coaching change, plus many high and low points in their careers.
But, once the honors were done, both squads got down to business.
Just like on Monday night against Harmony, the Lady Tide fell behind in the opening quarter, but a sudden second quarter surge fueled the home squad. The Lady Tide rode that momentum for the remainder of the game, including a final push in the final quarter, to take the Senior Night victory, 51-41 and up their record to 6-15.
“It’s nice to get the win on Senior Night,” head coach Bob Desmitt said afterwards. “Those kids work so hard, literally you couldn’t ask for any more out of them.”
Two of those seniors, Tarah Jacobson and Hannah Condon, had a night to remember, each accounting for 14 points, and combining for nine rebounds on the night.
But early on, it was the Damsels having a bit of momentum.
After the Tide got out to a slight lead, all via points from the charity stripe, Moshannon Valley pulled themselves into the lead. After one quarter, the Damsels held a 12-9 advantage, and looked to extend the lead early in the second quarter.
However, the Lady Tide began turning up the defense, and forced the visitors to mishandle the ball. Those opportunities, unfortunately, did not lead to immediate baskets on the opposing end of the court. The Damsels did prevent baskets, as Curwensville only made 14 shots from the floor, but in doing so they were also committing fouls and the Tide would make up for it at the free throw line. Curwensville made five of their field goals in the second quarter, but also went 5-for-5 at the line. After winning the quarter, the Lady Tide went into the locker room up by two.
In the end, the free throw advantage fell towards Curwensville, as all but three of Moshannon Valley’s 21 fouls on the night led to free throws. The Damsels went to the line 13 times, making nine, while Curwensville had 34 opportunities, making 23.
“That’s one thing we (as coaches) have been telling the girls all season: when an opportunity arises, take it,” Desmitt said afterwards. “If this were early on, when we were down, we would’ve started to panic. We just kept telling them, be patient. If we were down by four (points) or six, that’s still a two or three possession game.
“We showed that tonight in the second quarter, and turned a deficit around into a lead in a couple minutes.”
The third quarter was all in favor of Curwensville, as defensively they got aggressive in going after the ball, but not chase it to the point of being outnumbered. The Lady Damsels only managed six points in the quarter, while the Lady Tide added in 16. Nine of those came from Alyssa Bakaysa, who finished the night with a team-high 17 points, and made the night a double-double with a game-high 16 rebounds, along with a pair of steals and three blocks.
Curwensville held a 39-27 advantage heading into the final quarter, but Moshannon Valley came out in the final stanza hot, and suddenly cut the lead to a two-possession game.
Sydney Bubb fueled the rally, scoring 10 of her game-high 22 points in the final quarter, and kept Moshannon Valley within striking distance. But, four of the five starters for the Damsels got in foul trouble in the final quarter, with Aubrey Dotts fouling out with a few minutes remaining in the game, and it led to more foul shooting for Curwensville. Despite being outscored in the fourth quarter, 14-12, the opportunities at the foul line gave enough of a cushion for Curwensville to push ahead, as they went 8-for-10 at the line in the final quarter.
Desmitt, who missed most of Monday’s victory due to family obligations, admitted that his team needed a victory like they had on that night, but to follow it up with an equally impressive victory was a proud moment. Yet, he was still looking forward, because one chapter remained in the book for the 2019-2020 season.
“We have one more game left on Friday night, and we want to send these seniors out with one more win,” Desmit said.
That final game is on Friday night, an AML contest, against Sheffield, which was originally set for last Friday but was postponed due to weather. Tip off, as of this writing, is unofficially set for 5 p.m. as no junior varsity game will take place.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Moshannon Valley 12 9 6 14 – 41
Curwensville 8 15 16 12 – 51
Moshannon Valley – 41
Dotts 0 2-2 2, Bubb 8 4-5 22, Davis 4 0-0 8, Murawski 1 0-0 2, Wilson 2 3-6 7, Demko 0 0-0 0, Greenawalt 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 16 9-13 41.
Curwensville – 51
Condon 3 8-13 14, Jacobson 4 6-8 14, Swindell 0 2-2 2, Bakaysa 5 7-9 17, Henry 2 0-0 4, Guiher 0 0-0 0, Cossar 0 0-0 0, Anderson 0 0-0 0, Caldwell 0 0-0 0, Pentz 0 0-0 0, Weber 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 14 23-34 51.
Three-Point Shots: Bubb-2
Foul Outs: Dotts
Lady Tide Scoreboard:
|12/09||WEST BRANCH||34 – 37||0 – 1|
|12/11||@ Mo Valley||49 – 35||1 – 1|
|12/16||PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA||47 – 24||2 – 1|
|12/18||RIDGWAY||18 – 30||2 – 2|
|12/27||CLEARFIELD||16 – 49||2 – 3|
|01/02||@ DuBois Central||32 – 73||2 – 4|
|01/03||@ Brockway||21 – 63||2 – 5|
|01/06||@ West Branch||31 – 32||2 – 6|
|01/08||GLENDALE||17 – 58||2 – 7|
|01/10||@ Harmony||52 – 36||3 – 7|
|01/14||ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC||14 – 27||3 – 8|
|01/17||@ Kane||23 – 49||3 – 9|
|01/21||@ Ridgway||13 – 30||3 – 10|
|01/24||BROCKWAY||33 – 51||3 – 11|
|01/27||@ Clearfield||33 – 34||3 – 12|
|01/30||@ Philipsburg-Osceola||31 – 34||3 – 13|
|01/31||@ Johnsonburg||45 – 24||4 – 13|
|02/04||DUBOIS CENTRAL||26 – 38||4 – 14|
|02/05||@ Glendale||26 – 64||4 – 15|
|02/07||SHEFFIELD||ppd.||4 – 15|
|02/10||HARMONY||66 – 45||5 – 15|
|02/12||MO VALLEY||51 – 41||6 – 15|