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IMG_9950BY JEFF FALK

PALMYRA – The Palmyra girls’ basketball team does not have to succeed. But the Cougars absolutely, positively must try.

On Friday night at home, Palmyra’s effort was there, but the execution was off, as it dropped a 58-50 overtime decision to Cedar Cliff. The 10-0 run that the Colts ended the game on represented the largest of the contest by either side, as did the Colts’ final lead of the evening.

After the Cougars’ man-to-man defense had held Cedar Cliff without a point over the final 30 seconds of regulation to force overtime, Palmyra notched the four-minute extra session’s first bucket on a lay-in from Hayley Shultz. But the Colts notched the game’s last ten points, on back-to-back drives to the bucket by Lexa Dugan and Becca Reilly and six straight free throws from Reilly and Ashley Hoagland.

IMG_9983“We played a typical game for us,” said Palmyra head coach Ron Berman. “Taketh and giveth. The effort from these kids is what we expect from these kids. We just don’t have a spark player. We don’t have anything that energizes. We have to grind out every possession.

“I’m loving the season, the coaching, the teaching,” Berman continued. “Coaching is always about moving a team from Point A. We moved this team a long way. To be 6-6, I don’t think it’s bad as far as wins and losses. But a couple of individuals have not moved to the level they can. If they moved individually, maybe the team will go to another level. It will be interesting to see if we come back and get a win.”

The Mid-Penn Keystone Division clash was between a couple of 6-5, 3-3 squads sitting 17th and 18th in the District Three Class AAAA power rankings. Palmyra is now 6-6 overall and 3-4 in the division, while the Colts jumped to 7-5 and 4-3.

IMG_0047“Overtime is about possessions,” said Berman. “W scored, and if we could’ve gotten a stop, maybe it would’ve gone the other way. But they (the Colts) hit a big shot.

“She’s (Reilly) a Division Two player,” Berman added. “She’s a really good shooter. She put up big numbers. Give her all the credit in the world.”

Palmyra posted its biggest lead of the game at 42-36, on a pair of Molly Gundermann foul shots and an inside maneuver by Josie Stovall to start the fourth quarter. But the Colts tallied 12 of the next 16 points to open a 48-46 edge, before two more free throws from Gundermann, with 1:49 left in fourth period, ultimately sent the affair to ‘bonus basketball’.

“We’re sitting at .500,” said Berman. “We lost five of our top six players (from last season). We’ve had six games that either went to overtime or were decided in the last five minutes, and we won four of them. We’re good enough to compete. But not good enough to win. We just don’t have enough offensive weapons. We can’t turn the ball over. The kids are doing OK. We’re a competitive team.

IMG_0062“I don’t think we lost it,” added Berman. “They (the Colts) made plays. You’ve heard me say that athletes make you a better coach.”

Trailing 27-22 early in the second half, Palmyra ripped off eight straight points, on a Gundermann three-pointer, a couple of charity tosses from Stovall and a Shannon Carmo trey that gave it a 30-27 lead. Three minutes later, Kailey Werkheiser drained a three-point field goal that gave the Cougars a 38-33 advantage.

“We’re the defending Keystone champions, but that is not a possibility any more,” said Berman. “We won four of the last five, and everyone is trying to beat us for past losses. We’re still trying to get into districts. We’ve got to get 12 wins. I can’t look at our schedule and say we can win any particular game. I’m not sure where we’re going to get those wins. Any one you get is crucial.”

IMG_9993Despite first-half foul difficulties, Gunderman registered a team-high 15 points, while Stovall struck for ten. Palmyra made 13 of its 14 free throw attempts, while Cedar Cliff went ten-for-11 at the stripe.

Reilly poured in 25 points on five deuces, three treys and six-for-six free throwing.

“We’re definitely getting better,” said Berman. “We’re playing better defense. We’re playing better defensively as a group than I expected. This was our second leading point game, but I thought it would be a higher scoring game. Our offensive execution was better tonight than it’s been. And we had some better bench contributions.”

With Gundermann on the bench with two fouls, Cedar Cliff enjoyed second-quarter leads of 17-11 and 19-13. But behind four points from Stovall and a three-pointer by Werkheiser, the Cougars pulled to within 21-20 of the lead, 1:42 before the break.

IMG_0055“That was more of a message than anything else,” said Berman of Gundermann’s second-quarter time on the pine. “It was two poor fouls. To her credit, she bounced back and played a good third quarter. She loses focus sometimes. She’s my best player, but this isn’t life and death. It’s basketball. If I’m teaching lessons, then I’m doing my job. It’s about getting them to meet challenges.

“Molly is a very capable scorer,” Berman added. “When she’s open, she’s an excellent shooter. She’s our leading offensive player. She’s definitely our most experienced player. If someone can make a play, she can.”

IMG_0011Cedar Cliff closed out the opening period with a 12-6 spurt and carried a 15-9 lead into the second eight minutes of action. The Colts drilled three of their six three-pointers in the first quarter.

To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to www.http://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/gallery-ten/.

 

 

 

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IMG_9958Mid-Penn Conference

 Keystone Division Standings

TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Bishop McDevitt 7-0 10-2
Lower Dauphin 6-1 9-3
Cedar Cliff 4-3 7-5
Mechanicsburg 3-4 8-5
Palmyra 3-4 6-6
Red Land 2-5 5-7
Susquehanna Twp. 2-5 4-8
Hershey 1-6 5-6

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IMG_00672015-16 Palmyra Girls’ Basketball Schedule

DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
12/04 #
Pine Grove
5:00 PM W 63-34
12/05 #
@Northern Lebanon
7:00 PM L 28-39
12/08 *
@Bishop McDevitt
7:30 PM L 47-55
12/09
@Hempfield
7:30 PM L 32-41
12/11 *
Lower Dauphin
7:30 PM L 19-33
12/15 *
Mechanicsburg
7:30 PM W 33-29
12/18 *
@Red Land
7:30 PM W 45-44
12/22 *
Hershey
7:30 PM W 44-31
12/28 #
@McCaskey
4:00 PM W 52-49
12/29 #
@Lampeter-Strasburg
8:00 PM W 31-26
01/05 *
@Susquehanna Twp.
7:30 PM L 41-44
01/08 *
Cedar Cliff
7:30 PM L 50-58
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
01/09
@Muhlenberg
1:30 PM Muhlenberg High School
01/12 *
Bishop McDevitt
7:30 PM Palmyra High School
01/15 *
@Lower Dauphin
7:30 PM Lower Dauphin High School
01/19 *
@Mechanicsburg
7:30 PM Mechanicsburg High School
01/22 *
Red Land
7:30 PM Palmyra High School
01/26 *
@Hershey
7:30 PM Hershey High School
01/27
Cedar Crest
7:30 PM Palmyra High School
01/29 *
Susquehanna Twp.
7:30 PM Palmyra High School
01/30
@Cocalico
2:00 PM Cocalico High School
02/02 *
@Cedar Cliff
7:30 PM Cedar Cliff High School

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IMG_0012PIAA District Three

 Class AAAA Power Rankings

AAAA School  W  L  T  Rating
1 Red Lion 13- 0- 0  0.833411
2 Cumberland Valley 9- 1- 0  0.817241
3 Central Dauphin East 8- 5- 0  0.793037
4 Governor Mifflin 10- 1- 0  0.790060
5 Cedar Crest 10- 1- 0  0.777745
6 Harrisburg 10- 2- 0  0.774587
7 Central York 10- 2- 0  0.770726
8 Cocalico 9- 1- 0  0.761852
9 Central Dauphin 7- 2- 0  0.757600
10 J P McCaskey 8- 3- 0  0.724971
11 Lower Dauphin 8- 3- 0  0.724225
12 Hempfield 9- 4- 0  0.717502
13 Mechanicsburg 8- 4- 0  0.696478
14 William Penn 8- 5- 0  0.686355
15 New Oxford 8- 5- 0  0.681494
16 Manheim Township 7- 5- 0  0.668401
17 Palmyra 6- 5- 0  0.654737
18 Cedar Cliff 6- 5- 0  0.648464
19 South Western 6- 5- 0  0.632705
20 Hershey 5- 5- 0  0.621674
21 Warwick 6- 7- 0  0.613470
22 Wilson 5- 5- 0  0.598782
23 Elizabethtown 6- 6- 0  0.596439
24 Red Land 3- 6- 0  0.591425
25 Muhlenberg 4- 7- 0  0.553107
26 Ephrata 5- 7- 0  0.545522
27 Daniel Boone 4- 6- 0  0.539438
28 Conestoga Valley 5- 7- 0  0.520654
29 Lebanon 4- 8- 0  0.508709
30 Waynesboro 4- 7- 0  0.490268
31 Reading 2- 7- 0  0.483739
32 Shippensburg 3- 7- 0  0.470384
33 Garden Spot 3- 9- 0  0.458674
34 Spring Grove 2- 9- 0  0.455989
35 Solanco 3- 9- 0  0.444498
36 Carlisle 2- 9- 0  0.421351
37 Chambersburg 1- 9- 0  0.399106
38 Exeter Township 1- 7- 0  0.385692
39 Dallastown 1- 10- 0  0.375766
40 Penn Manor 1- 11- 0  0.357634
41 York CDS 3- 6- 0  0.342196

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