Tuesday, December 18, 2007

When the Damsels Streak

I certainly like it when Damsels streak. Probably because they do it so infrequently.

I don't like it when people use apostrophes incorrectly or omit them altogether. I feared the worst after the title, but it could have been worse...This is straight from today's Clarion News.

Bobcats end Damsels streak
By Ryan S. Pugh, Clarion News Sports Editor

RIMERSBURG - In the sport of basketball, when a player makes a shot at a crucial time in the game, that player is known as a clutch player.

It’s possible Clarion found a player it can count on in the clutch.

The Bobcat’s [sic] Chrissy Kriebel nailed a lay-up as time expired to defeat Union 44-42 in overtime on Monday night.

“The last 10 minutes of the game was just fun,” said Clarion coach Roger Walter. “I told the girls ‘enjoy this, this is why we play’.”

The game started quite differently than it ended as neither team scored a point in the first 2:50 of the contest.

However, that dry spell didn’t last long, as Union caught fire and grabbed a 9-3 lead at the end of the first period behind the play of of Tina Lipps and Melissa Shook.

Lipps finished the game with eight points and nine rebounds. Shook added six points and six rebounds in the losing cause.

Clarion was able to climb back into the game by going on an 8-0 run to end the first half. The Bobcat offensive explosion was punctuated by Kaitlin Roth, who nailed a 3-pointer as the half expired to make the score 18-16 in favor of the Damsels.

Roth came off the bench and scored 10 points for the Bobcats.

With :58 seconds left in the third quarter, Union looked as if it might pull away from the Bobcats as Courtney Frederick drained a 3-pointer to give the Damsels an eight-point lead.

But Roth struck again for Clarion burying a 3-point bucket on the Bobcat’s [sic] next possession to keep Clarion within five.

“We couldn’t get back in it,” said Walter. “We’d dig and they would pull out seven or eight more points.”

Clarion did manage to take the lead with 5:25 left in the contest when Kriebel hit a 3-pointer.

The long-distance bucket made the score 32-30 in favor of the Bobcats.

The long-distance score also came immediately after senior Erin Bean fouled out.

Bean, one of the team’s emotional leaders, struggled from the floor all night, and finished with just one point.

Both teams went back and forth right up until the final buzzer.

With :08 seconds left, Kriebel nailed a lay-up to give Clarion 38-36 lead, but Union answered right back when Frederick went end-to-end and nailed a five-foot jumper as the clock struck zeroes to send the game to overtime.

In the overtime period, Kriebel really took off by scoring eight of her team-high 13 points, including the game-winning bucket.

Union ’s Torri Smith tied up the game at 42 with: 14 seconds left by hitting one of two free-throws.

Smith had a game-high 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

“They did a great job defensively on (Smith),” said Union coach Josh Meeker. “They play a sagging defense, and her game is driving to the hoop, so their defense was really effective.”

The win by Clarion snapped a 42-game home winning streak for the Damsels.

“We started off slow in our first three games,” said Walter. “We got a good win against Redbank (Valley), but we knew this could be the game.

“It’s not just beating this team; it’s beating this team in this building, which hasn’t been done in a long time.”

This was also the first loss for Union this year.

“I told my players, ‘now you know how Ford City , Brookville and Karns City players feel,’ ” said Meeker. “Those were all teams that lost to us in the final moments.

“I told them ‘go home and sulk about this game tonight, get mad or whatever, but be back ready to work tomorrow.”

Clarion travels to East Forest , and Union will face North Clarion at home on Friday.


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