HOUTZDALE – The Curwensville Lady Tide basketball team improved their record to 3-1 on Friday night with a 31-27 grind-it-out win over the Moshannon Valley Damsels. The Lady Tide led by as many as nine in the second half and found ways to hold off a late Moshannon Valley comeback attempt to leave Houtzdale as four-point winners.
“They dug down deep,” said Curwensville Head Girls Basketball Coach Bob Desmett when talking about his team’s play. “We did not play the cleanest game and it was pretty sloppy, but they hung in there and didn’t give in.”
The Lady Tide had four players in the scoring column as Skylar Pentz led all scorers in the game with 12. Alyssa Bakaysa was able to chip in eight points, while fellow senior Austyn Guiher added seven for the ball game. Rounding out the scoring for Curwensville was Joslynne Freyer who added four points on two baskets in the first-half.
Moshannon Valley had one double-digit scorer of their own as Riley Wharton led the Damsels with 10 points in the game. The home team had five more scorers in the contest as Sarah McClelland added five, Sophia Demko added four, Madison McCoy and Emily Davis added three each, and Kendra Lewis added two points.
A big key to victory was the Lady Tide shooting 75 percent from the charity stripe for the game as the team sunk 12 of their 16 free throw attempts. Despite some woes with turnovers, including some in the middle of the fourth quarter, a few defensive stops and clutch foul shooting proved to be the difference maker as the Damsels got to the line just four times in the game and could not convert on any of their attempts.
Curwensville (3-1) took an early lead over Moshannon Valley (1-3) six to four after the first quarter. Curwensville’s compact 2-3 zone was a huge part of the slow start by Moshannon Valley as the home team struggled to get into the paint for easy looks. A big part of that was because of the presence of Alyssa Bakaysa in the post.
“Alyssa (Bakaysa) is a team player,” said Desmett. “I do not think she was in double-figures in points, but she was in double-figures with rebounds. When she can rebound that second chance opportunity for us, that’s important. She is a player that is willing to do what it takes to help get a win.”
After a slow start, both teams found more of a rhythm in the second quarter, with the Damsels cutting into the Lady Tide lead. Curwensville took a 16-15 lead heading into halftime.
Curwensville continued to hit free throws in the third quarter as they ended the period eight for 10 at the line and extended their lead to six, 24-18. Senior Alyssa Bakaysa was a difference maker in this one as she swatted away several Moshannon Valley shot attempts and hit the boards hard to help Curwensville take the momentum heading into the final quarter.
The Lady Tide got a nice boost offensively from senior Austyn Guiher in this one as she chipped in seven points, something Coach Desmett was pleased to see from one of his upperclassmen.
“Austyn Guiher really stepped up tonight. They were doubling up on Skylar Pentz and Alyssa (Bakaysa), and Austyn stepped in there and got a couple baskets that slowed them down and helped to pick our team up.”
Curwensville extended their lead to nine in the fourth, but Moshannon Valley showed some grit to cut the lead to just three, 27-24, with a 1:24 left in the game. A four to nothing run helped the Lady Tide to extend the lead back up to seven as Bakaysa and Skylar Pentz each hit two clutch foul shots apiece to give Curwensville a 31-24 advantage with less than a minute to play.
Moshannon Valley would hit a three ball with a few seconds left in the game, but it was too little and too late as the Lady Tide came out on top with a 31-27 final.
In junior-varsity action, the Lady Tide fell to Moshanon Valley, 41-19.
The Lady Tide will be back in action at home on Tuesday, December 21 as they host Glendale. Junior-varsity will tip-off at 6:00 p.m. with the varsity tilt scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
MOSHANNON VALLEY – 27
Sarah McClelland 1 0-0 5, Emily Davis 3 0-0 3, Sophia Demko 3 0-0 4, Riley Wharton 4 0-2 10, Kendra Lewis 1 0-2 2, Madison McCoy 2 0-0 3, Brooke Mihalko 1 0-0 0, TOTALS 15 0-4 27.
CURWENSVILLE – 31
Alyssa Bakaysa 0 4-5 8, Kyra Henry 2 0-0 0, Austyn Guiher 3 2-2 7, Joslynne Freyer 4 0-1 4, Skylar Pentz 2 6-8 12, Karleigh Freyer 0 0-0 0, 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, Addison Butler 0 0-0 0, Rachelle Anderson 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 11 12-16 31.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
MOSHANNON VALLEY 4 11 3 9 27
CURWENSVILLE 6 10 8 7 31
THREE-POINTERS: MOSHANNON VALLEY – 3 McClelland 1, Davis 1, McCoy 1 CURWENSVILLE – 1 Guiher 1