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IMG_0561BY JEFF FALK

PALMYRA – Quietly, without much fanfare and quite under the radar, the Palmyra girls’ basketball team is beginning to pile up wins.

So how have the Cougars done it? One at a time.

Is there any other way?

On Friday night at Palmyra High School, the Cougars again went 1-0, as their stay-in-moment, live-in-the-moment approach netted a 42-28 triumph over rival Hershey. While it performed well all night, Palmyra was at its best during a second quarter in which it outscored the Trojans 12-2.

IMG_0578The victory lifted Palmyra to 10-3 on the year and 4-2 in the Keystone Division of the Mid-Penn Conference. For the Cougars, who were seated seventh in the latest District Three Class AAAAA power rankings, the result kept them in the thick of the division race.

Hershey fell to 4-6 overall and 2-5 in the Keystone.

“We’re thrilled to be in double digits,” said Palmyra head coach Mary Manlove of her team’s win column. “But we still have some serious teams coming up. No, we’re not thinking about the division or districts, just Lower Dauphin. That’s our next one.

“We didn’t really have expectations at the beginning of the season or talk about what we wanted to do,” continued Manlove. “We wanted to increase our focus and reach our potential. That’s a piece we have this year that we didn’t have last year.”

Palmyra broke out of the blocks slowly. After Amelia Baldo’s driving lay-up tied the game at seven, the Cougars went up a deuce on a bucket by freshman Katelyn Becker.

IMG_0478“I thought the first quarter was definitely evenly matched,” said Manlove. “Both teams were trying to figure each other out. But in the second quarter, I thought we started figuring them out. And Olivia Richardson was phenomenal on the boards.

“But I was really pleased with their (her players’) defense,” Manlove continued. “We’ve been trying to recognize changing defenses. We’ve been watching a lot of film and breaking film down. I thought that paid off tonight.”

The Cougars held Hershey without a point for the first 5:11 of the second quarter, during which they opened an 18-9 lead. The nine straight points were well distributed, between Allie Stovall, Hannah McLucas, Richardson and Baldo.

Annabelle Copeland’s three-pointer gave Palmyra a 21-11 margin at the break.

“They always get excited for games,” said Manlove of her charges. “Their favorite time to play together and compete is when they have a stage. I didn’t sense any huge Palmyra-Hershey rivalry. But they were focused on what they had to do.

“We have to take care of the basketball,” added Manlove. “That’s an area we need to clean up.”

With 16 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks, Richardson enjoyed one of her finest games of the season, to date. As a team, the Cougars went nine-for-11 at the charity stripe.

“On any given night, someone can have a great night,” said Manlove. “Whether it’s Olivia, Amelia, Copes or Becker. We’re athletic. We’re deep.

“She’s (Richardson) definitely a leader,” Manlove added. “She’s our pillar of strength. Her ability to rebound and defend the post have really improved. She’s developed more strength, and has a nose for the ball.”

IMG_0543Two free throws from Richardson a minute into the second half pushed the Palmyra advantage to 25-13, and when Becker nailed a trifecta four minutes later, the Cougars’ advantage expanded to 14 points. Palmyra enjoyed a different 14-point lead, at 30-16, on a couple of charity tosses from Becker.

“We just let up a little bit on the defensive mode,” said Manlove of a mild Trojan run in the fourth quarter. “When that happens passes are just a little low. The whole game is a pendulum swing of momentum.”

Specifically, that Hershey run was a 6-2 spurt that pulled it within 34-26, with 5:07 to go. But the Trojans would score only once more the rest of the way, as Becker, Richardson, Copeland and Baldo were responding in kind.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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 2017-18 Palmyra Girls’ Basketball Schedule

 

DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
12/08
@Littlestown
5:00 PM W 64-19
12/09
@Northern Lebanon
6:45 PM W 38-35
12/12 *
Mechanicsburg
7:30 PM W 41-28
12/13
@Hempfield
7:30 PM W 50-18
12/15 *
Susquehanna Twp.
7:30 PM W 33-30
12/16
@Milton Hershey
2:30 PM W 43-26
12/18 *
@Cedar Cliff
7:30 PM L 48-53
12/20 *
@Bishop McDevitt
7:30 PM L 29-39
12/22
Cocalico
7:30 PM W 60-26
12/27
@Manheim Twp.
4:00 PM L 51-56
12/28
@Red Lion
4:00 PM W 57-17
01/02 *
@Red Land
6:30 PM W 44-20
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
01/05 *
Hershey
7:30 PM Palmyra High School
01/09 *
@Lower Dauphin
7:30 PM Lower Dauphin High School
01/12 *
@Mechanicsburg
7:30 PM Mechanicsburg High School
01/16 *
@Susquehanna Twp.
7:30 PM Susquehanna Twp. High School
01/19 *
Cedar Cliff
7:30 PM Palmyra High School
01/20
@Cedar Crest
7:30 PM Cedar Crest High School
01/23 *
Bishop McDevitt
7:30 PM Palmyra High School
01/26 *
Red Land
7:00 PM Palmyra High School
01/30 *
@Hershey
7:30 PM Hershey High School
02/02 *
Lower Dauphin
7:30 PM Palmyra High School

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IMG_0556PIAA District Three

 Class AAAAA Power Rankings

AAAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Lower Dauphin 8- 1- 0  0.784925  0.909091  0.633167  9.5  120.7  1.0  69.9
2 Harrisburg 8- 2- 0  0.760613  0.861111  0.637782  9.3  96.1  1.5  54.6
3 Susquehannock 7- 1- 0  0.746600  0.897849  0.561740  8.4  108.5  1.0  84.7
4 Lampeter Strasburg 8- 1- 0  0.744643  0.906404  0.546936  9.2  112.5  1.0  93.2
5 Twin Valley 7- 1- 0  0.740393  0.903409  0.541151  8.0  100.6  0.9  85.3
6 Spring Grove 9- 1- 0  0.729147  0.917391  0.499070  10.6  93.9  1.0  94.3
7 Palmyra 9- 3- 0  0.712362  0.807087  0.596588  10.3  118.9  2.5  80.4
8 Solanco 7- 3- 0  0.679947  0.776190  0.562316  8.2  114.6  2.4  89.2
9 West York 6- 3- 0  0.659405  0.737968  0.563384  6.9  105.6  2.5  81.8
10 South Western 6- 3- 0  0.644563  0.715026  0.558442  6.9  103.2  2.8  81.6
11 Big Spring 6- 2- 0  0.607672  0.779070  0.398186  6.7  72.5  1.9  109.5
12 Mechanicsburg 5- 5- 0  0.588775  0.589109  0.588367  6.0  117.9  4.2  82.5
13 Fleetwood 4- 4- 0  0.568389  0.587500  0.545032  4.7  93.8  3.3  78.3
14 Hershey 4- 5- 0  0.562278  0.520231  0.613669  4.5  126.6  4.2  79.7
15 Donegal 5- 4- 0  0.556062  0.588571  0.516329  5.2  104.4  3.6  97.8
16 Dover 4- 5- 0  0.545079  0.514970  0.581879  4.3  113.4  4.1  81.5
17 Garden Spot 4- 6- 0  0.532745  0.484536  0.591667  4.7  120.7  5.0  83.3
18 Greencastle Antrim 4- 4- 0  0.530774  0.565789  0.487977  4.3  83.2  3.3  87.3
19 New Oxford 3- 5- 0  0.526721  0.455128  0.614223  3.6  111.9  4.3  70.3
20 Shippensburg 4- 4- 0  0.509216  0.537500  0.474647  4.3  85.7  3.7  94.8
21 Muhlenberg 4- 4- 0  0.501318  0.533333  0.462187  4.0  82.2  3.5  95.7
22 Daniel Boone 4- 6- 0  0.499730  0.430108  0.584825  4.0  109.5  5.3  77.7
23 Gettysburg 4- 5- 0  0.499626  0.491429  0.509645  4.3  97.8  4.5  94.1
24 Northern York 4- 4- 0  0.496861  0.578947  0.396533  4.4  73.2  3.2  111.4
25 Manheim Central 3- 6- 0  0.476336  0.389222  0.582809  3.3  120.4  5.1  86.2
26 Red Land 2- 7- 0  0.429301  0.251497  0.646617  2.1  133.3  6.3  72.9
27 Cocalico 2- 8- 0  0.415337  0.263736  0.600626  2.4  124.8  6.7  83.0
28 Conrad Weiser 1- 7- 0  0.355708  0.176056  0.575282  1.3  104.5  5.9  77.2
29 Milton Hershey 1- 7- 0  0.331916  0.131250  0.577174  1.1  106.2  7.0  77.8
30 Northeastern 0- 10- 0  0.285839  0.000000  0.635198  0.0  123.8  8.9  71.1
31 Lebanon 0- 8- 0  0.247780  0.000000  0.550622  0.0  108.5  6.6  88.6

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IMG_0476Mid-Penn Conference

 Keystone Division Standings

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

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