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Herrington scores 51 in season opener

by on December 12, 2018 3:19 PM

The 2018-19 Centre County high school girls’ basketball season is upon us and if the pre-season stories are accurate, it should be another wild, unpredictable — and hopefully successful — year for all six teams.

Friday, Dec. 7, marked the first games for four of the six teams, and by Dec. 12, all of the county teams were in action.

As usual, all six will be hoping to get off to fast starts, but that will not be easy for anyone. Here’s how the first week shaped up:
 

PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA

There were big changes in the off-season for the Lady Mounties — most notably the addition of new head coach Robert Sauerwein — but one thing will remain the same for another year. Halle Herrington, in line to become the highest scorer in school history, returns in the backcourt for her senior year in Philipsburg.

The guard will lead a team that is coming off a season in which it did not earn a playoff spot, but a repeat of that is certainly not in the plans for this year. Sauerwein said in a pre-season interview that more integration of Herrington’s teammates in the offense should help the Lady Mounties on both ends of the court.

Herrington, however, will still get hers, and if the team’s first two games are any indication, spreading the ball around might actually net her more points than ever.

In P-O’s opener against Central Mountain on Dec. 7, Herrington poured in 51 points as the Mounties got off to a running start with a 76-54 win. Herrington’s total included 22-of-25 from the foul line and five 3-pointers.|

The Lady Mounties led by 11 after the first quarter and extended that to 37-23 by halftime.

P-O went to 2-0 on Dec. 10 when Herrington scored 35 and Kyleigh Kennedy added 11 as the Lady Mounties held off West Branch 63-47.

The Lady Warriors gave P-O big problems, however, as they led 14-8 at the end of the first quarter and made a total of eight three-point goals on the night.

Herrington sparked the Mounties into the lead at halftime, 27-24, and then P-O was able to hold off West Branch in the second half.
Philipsburg entered Mountain League play with games against Huntingdon on Dec. 11, Bellefonte on Dec. 14 and at Clearfield on Dec. 19.

STATE COLLEGE

The Lady Little Lions are coming off a 13-11 campaign in 2017-18 that included an incredible late-season surge. After an up-and-down regular season, State College upset No. 1 seed Altoona, 42-41, in the District 6 AAAAAA final to take home another district championship.

A week later in the first round of the PIAA championships, SC outlasted District 3’s Dallastown, 55-45, and advanced to the state quarterfinals. The season ended there, unfortunately, but SC came away with valuable lessons learned.

Now, with seven seniors anchoring a very experienced team in 2018-19, SC will be planning a return trip to the PIAA tournament, and that effort has already gotten off to a quick start.

Opening their season in the Forest Hills Tipoff Tournament in Sidman, the Lions raced to the tournament championship with a 61-39 victory over Juniata Valley in the title game on Dec. 8.

SC blasted out 16-5 in the first quarter and by halftime led by 20, 34-14. After another good quarter in the third, 13-9, the score was 47-23 and SC coasted out from there with their second win of the season in as many tries.

Maya Bokunewicz led State College with 21 points and Kelsey Love added 15, including two early three-pointers that lifted SC to an early 12-3 lead.

In all, the Lions had eight players score in the game, and they shot an impressive 15-for-16 from the free-throw line.

State College qualified for the finals a day earlier with a 64-51 opening-game victory over Central Cambria. Bokunewicz led SC in that game as well with 24 points, and she had help from Jessica Lingenfelter, who chipped in with 11. SC finished the game with 11 three-point goals, including three each from Bokunewicz, Lingenfelter and Isabelle Leazier.

Next up for SC will be Mid Penn play against Central Dauphin East, Chambersburg and Cumberland Valley.

BALD EAGLE AREA

To say that the BEA girls’ team had a difficult time last season would be an understatement. The Lady Bald Eagles finished with just two wins and were outmatched many times during the year.

Yet 2018-19 is a new beginning, and with a new head coach in Darin Hazel and a new staff, there will be a changed outlook in Wingate.

Hazel has vast experience coaching in Centre County and his first task will be rebuilding the Lady Eagles, something that will be made harder because the roster includes just two upper-class players — senior Kaleigh Cunningham and junior Lacee Barnhart. That process was to start with home against Clearfield on Dec. 11 and East Juniata on Dec. 12.

BELLEFONTE

The Lady Red Raiders went into the 2017-18 season with high hopes, but a five-game losing streak to begin the season and then another four-gamer put the team in a hole from which it never recovered.

Bellefonte finished with a 5-18 record, but the Lady Raiders closed strong with three wins in their final four games, including a 55-23 blowout of Central Mountain.

Beginning this season, Bellefonte aimed to improve on that start with two games at the Juniata Tip Off Tournament against Juniata and East Juniata on Dec. 7 and 8.

On the 7th against Juniata, the Lady Raiders blanked the Lady Indians in the second quarter and took a 23-15 halftime lead. Juniata came back to make it 34-31 going into the fourth quarter, but Bellefonte held on for a 46-41 win.

Next up, on Dec. 8, was East Juniata, and the Raiders fell, 34-28, in a defensive struggle to the Lady Tigers. Mountain League foe Tyrone was to come to Bellefonte for the conference opener on Dec. 11 and after that, league play will begin in earnest with three more games against P-O, Central and Penns Valley in Week 2.

PENNS VALLEY

After another successful 21-6 season that included a District 6 AAA championship and a trip to the PIAA state quarterfinals, the Penns Valley Lady Rams are back with plans to do it all over again — or better.

With only two seniors on the roster — although important ones in Peyton Homan and Dayna Brown — the Lady Rams seem to have the depth and experience for another run.

Emma Butler, Lydia Collison, Isabella Culver, Page Kubalak and point guard Hannah Montminy all will return this season along with Jordan Andrus, Cassandra Ulmanic and Kennedy Welshans. All are experienced in Penns Valley’s pressure defenses and up-tempo style of play and should be ready to make the transition to the season.

The Lady Rams opened their season — and their new gym — in style on Dec. 8 with a 53-28 shutdown of a very highly regarded Bloomsburg team. Penns Valley was ahead 25-6 by halftime and coasted from there in their first game in the new Ram Dome on the Penns Valley High School campus.

On Dec. 10, it was defense again that sparked PV to another win and a 2-0 record. The Lady Rams held Central to just 23 points going into the fourth quarter and then held on for a 55-41 win. The game, which was played at Penn State Altoona’s Adler Arena, was the Mountain League opener for the Rams.

Next up will be Tyrone before two tournament games and a big showdown at home with Bellefonte on Dec. 21.

ST. JOSEPH’S CATHOLIC ACADEMY

The Lady Wolves were 20-6 in 2017-18 and came home with a MAC championship when they beat Linden Hall, 53-43, for the title on Feb. 17.

After that came a victory over Williamsburg in the District 6 playoffs, but two subsequent losses to Juniata Valley and Portage ended their season just short of a bid to the PIAA Tournament.

Yet with just one senior on that roster — forward Aubrey Weiss — and eight freshmen and sophomores, things are still looking very good for SJCA.

Unfortunately for the Wolves, their season-opening trip to Jersey Shore ended with a 58-52 loss to the Lady Bulldogs. With games coming up against West Branch, Harrisburg Academy, Neumann Academy and at the Trinity Shamrock Showcase, SJCA will be looking to quickly get back into form.

 



Pat Rothdeutsch covers Penn State football for The Centre County Gazette. Email him at [email protected]trecountygazette.com
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