CURWENSVILLE — Starting the season at the .500-mark has given a spark to the Curwensville Lady Tide, but the part that has ignited this year’s squad even more is having such a competitive start to the season. Despite falling short in the P-O tournament finals on Saturday, the Lady Tide were all ready to go for their next contest. That would come Wednesday night inside Patton Hall for an early tip off in their home opener against the Lady Trojans of Mount Union.
From the start, it was clear that the energy and pace Curwensville had on Saturday was still there. Despite a game that got sloppy on both sides of the ball at certain times, the Lady Tide took an early lead and never looked back, securing a 37-13 win in front of the home crowd.
Head coach Bob Desmett certainly felt that the fast start made the difference, especially since it’s something he and the staff have been waiting for.
“We have been trying to have that for the last, maybe three years. And now, it’s starting to come together, and we executed so well,” he said.
Curwensville’s fast start not only was big on offense, but the difference was the defensive play when Mount Union had the ball. In the first quarter, the visitors had more opportunities at the basket than Curwensville. A lot of those shots were good looks, but nothing found the net. Mount Union had 18 shots in the quarter, but were held scoreless. On the opposite end, thanks to defensive rebounds and strong passes, Curwensville put up a baker’s dozen to take the lead.
Desmett could see the intensity his team was showing, feeling that they left some on the court against P-O and were using that as motivation.
“I felt that two-point loss absolutely fueled us. That was still in the back of their minds, and they didn’t want that to happen again,” he said.
After the first quarter, and for a majority of the second half, the game got a bit tight, and at certain points a bit dicey. Both coaching staffs were seeing it, but the officials were letting the teams play. What it ultimately led to was a turnover-filled game through about 20 minutes of play. Combined, Mount Union and Curwensville would have 65 turnovers, but Curwensville was the one with more (38), and Desmett was the first to admit that the way the game played out was not ideal, but they had to adapt.
“They were tough, and played physical. I just kept telling the kids that we couldn’t shy away, we in essence had to play that way, but also do so in a smart way,” Desmett admitted.
Curwensville was paced by Alyssa Bakaysa, pulling in a double-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds, plus five blocks. Skylar Pentz added in another 11 points along with seven rebounds.
Once the game was over, Desmett admitted that the physical play turned into sloppy play on both sides of the ball, and either side could have benefitted from changing the turnover amount, and ratio.
“You look at how the game played out, there were over 60 turnovers. If we cut ours in half, we probably could have scored 50 points. But, at the same time, Mount Union cuts back on theirs, they put up more points,” he said. “That makes it a completely different game. It did get sloppy, yes, however it did not define the game.”
Curwensville (2-1) has a bit of a break before getting back on the court on Friday, when they travel to face Moshannon Valley, a team that the Lady Tide had already seen as they were one of the four teams at the season-opening tournament. At the same time, Desmett knew to not overlook just because of how that weekend played out.
“We have to make sure that the team we are facing is not the same one that played in that tournament,” he said. “We need to play good ball, and treat them as a new opponent.”
There will be a junior varsity contest to start the evening at 6 p.m. Varsity will follow at approximately 7:30 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Mount Union 0 3 6 4 – 13
Curwensville 13 7 12 5 – 37
Mount Union – 13
Minerva Sheeder 0 1-2 1, Sophie Smith 2 0-0 4, Kendra Gardner 1 0-2 2, Chelsea Williams 2 0-0 4, Patyn Crisswell 0 0-0 0, Syneira Cox 1 0-0 2, Maddie Dimoff 0 0-0 0, Cailyn Skopic 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 6 1-4 13.
Curwensville – 37
Alyssa Bakaysa 6 0-0 12, Kyra Henry 1 0-0 2, Austyn Guiher 3 1-4 7, Joslynne Freyer 2 0-0 4, Skylar Pentz 5 1-3 11, Karleigh Freyer 0 0-0 0, Jaiden Weber 0 0-0 0, Savannah Carfley 0 1-2 1, Desaray Cossar 0 0-0 0, Janelle Passmore 0 0-0 0, Brooklyn Price 0 0-0 0, Addison Butler 0 0-0 0, Rachelle Anderson 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 17 3-9 37.