PHILIPSBURG — After what turned out to be a rather chaotic and jumbled season that ended less than a year ago, due to so many changes and restrictions because of the pandemic, the Curwensville Lady Tide were ready to get back on the hardwood. Head coach Bob Desmitt and his staff were anxious to get going, and after not having any tournament to compete in last season, the Lady Tide were ready to go as part of the Philipsburg Tip-Off Tournament at the P-O High School.
The start of the season ended up being successful, and heartbreaking, as the Lady Tide would open the year against the Lady Owls of Harmony on Friday night, and would take a decisive victory, 37-18, to advance into the tournament final.
One day later, against the hosting Philipsburg-Osceola Lady Mounties, the Lady Tide would fight hard, and keep it close, but came up just short, taking second place with a heartbreaking 27-25 loss.
In the opening game of the tournament, Curwensville would get the big jump on the opposition in the opening eight minutes. Harmony would struggle on the floor trying to get to the basket, only managing a pair of shots from the floor to go in. At the same time, the Lady Tide were making their claim to play for the title early, and often. After one quarter of play, Curwensville held a 15-4 advantage, and would never fall behind from that point.
Neither team had anything go their way in the second quarter, each only putting up two points, but Harmony would not find any footing after halftime. The Lady Owls would only put up 12 points in the final 16 minutes. Sydney Winings would lead Harmony with eight points. The biggest struggle for the Lady Owls on this night was at the foul line, as they would only manage to finish 2-for-10 at the charity stripe.
For Curwensville, both Alyssa Bakaysa and Skylar Pentz would get into double digits, scoring 15 and 14 points, respectively. Curwensville wasn’t much better at the line, as they finished 6-for-12.
The victory meant that Curwensville would move into the tournament final, which this year meant a matchup with the host school, the Lady Mounties.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Harmony 4 2 5 7 – 18
Curwensville 15 2 9 11 – 37
Harmony – 18
Marissa Brothers 1 0-0 2, Alyssa Passmore 0 0-0 0, Sydney Winings 4 0-0 8, Jessalyn Schneider 0 1-8 1, Delia Meagher 0 0-0 0, Tyra Peace 1 1-2 3, Jaylee Beck 2 0-0 4, Mariah Brothers 0 0-0 0, Chloe Keener 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 8 2-10 18.
Curwensville – 37
Alyssa Bakaysa 6 3-3 15, Joslynne Freyer 2 0-0 4, Austyn Guiher 0 0-0 0, Skylar Pentz 4 3-7 14, Karleigh Freyer 1 0-0 2, Kyra Henry 0 0-2 0, Jaiden Weber 1 0-0 2, Savannah Carfley 0 0-0 0, Desaray Cossar 0 0-0 0, Janelle Passmore 0 0-0 0, Brooklyn Price 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 14 6-12 37.
The second game for Curwensville started similar to their first game of the season, but it was the opposite feeling. The Lady Tide could not buy a bucket in the opening eight minutes, with only a trio of free throws accounting for their only points. On the opposite end, P-O was riding the momentum of Lily Warlow, who got hot early, and often, in the opening stanza. She accounted for 11 of the team’s 16 points in the quarter, finishing the night with a game-high 16 points.
Curwensville’s defense got better in the second quarter, holding the Lady Mounties to just a field goal, and went into halftime down just six points, 18-12.
The second half started out extremely strong for Curwensville, as they slowly began reeling in P-O, closing the gap to just two points. The fourth quarter is when both squads would go toe-to-toe, as the lead would swap a couple times, igniting the Curwensville sideline and causing the home squad to go into defense mode.
Curwensville kept the pressure on, coming in hard, and giving the Lady Mounties everything they had, leaving it all on the floor, but would fall just shy of pulling off the upset on the home court for P-O. The Lady Tide could not overcome the opening stanza struggles, falling just short of the tournament victory. The runner-up position, however, was revered by the crowd in attendance, showing appreciation for the start of the new season.
The Lady Tide (1-1) get a break before they are back in action as they will have their home opener on Wednesday, December 15, as they will host Mount Union. There will be no junior varsity contest on this night, so the varsity contest will tip off at 6 p.m. inside Patton Hall.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Curwensville 3 9 8 5 – 25
Philipsburg-Osceola 16 2 4 5 – 27
Curwensville – 25
Alyssa Bakaysa 0 6-8 6, Joslynne Freyer 2 1-2 5, Austyn Guiher 0 1-3 1, Skylar Pentz 3 0-0 7, Karleigh Freyer 0 0-0 0, Kyra Henry 3 0-2 6, Jaiden Weber 0 0-0 0, Savannah Carfley 0 0-0 0, Desaray Cossar 0 0-0 0, Janelle Passmore 0 0-0 0, Brooklyn Price 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 8 11-16 25.
Philipsburg-Osceola – 27
Lily Warlow 4 5-6 16, Khendyl Sharrer 2 0-4 4, Camden Potter 2 0-0 5, Reagan Thorp 1 0-0 2, Ivy Reed 0 0-0 0, Cass Butterworth 0 0-0 0, Bella Minarchick 0 0-0 0, Maddy Malinich 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 9 5-10 27.