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 PALMYRA – They played well in spurts. At other times, not so much.

 But there was way more positives than negatives. And perhaps most importantly, they were able to maximize their gains and minimize their losses.

 In basketball parlance it’s known as ‘runs’.

 On Tuesday night, the Palmyra girls’ basketball team’s ability to manage runs and make them work for it was instrumental in the Cougars’ 44-37 triumph over Cedar Cliff. The opportunistic Cougars jumped out to an early lead, then did enough good things at right times to hold the Colts at bay.

 The contest served as both the home and conference opener for Palmyra. After winning the Northern Lebanon tip-off tournament over the weekend, the result pushed Palmyra to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the Keystone Division of the Mid-Penn Conference.

 Cedar Cliff slid to 2-1 on the year and 0-1 in the division.

 “There’s momentum swings,” said Palmyra head coach Mary Manlove, inadvertently referring to every basketball game ever played. “We just try to handle them by touching base with timeouts. We have great senior leadership, and we have kids who are still feeling their way along. It’s still early.

 “I was very, very happy with the outcome,” continued Manlove. “I see so many things that we can develop. There’s also some really good things we’re improving on. Cedar Cliff is a really tough basketball team. I just think their shots didn’t fall tonight.”

 The first run that the Cougars were able to piece together came early in the opening quarter and it staked them to a lead they would never relinquish.

 Sitting on a modest one-possession edge, Palmyra rattled off the next seven points to open an 11-2 lead. Five of those points came from Katelyn Becker, in the from of a three-pointer and a pair of charity tosses, while senior Amelia Baldo added a driving lay-in.

 “It’s just a game,” said Manlove. “One at a time. We’ll enjoy tonight. We want to focus on the task at hand. We don’t put more emphasis on conference games. We get excited for every game, whoever we’re playing against.”

 Palmyra mustered another run at the start of the second quarter. This one was a 9-3 job – which included five more Becker points and four points by senior Olivia Richardson – that extended the Cougar lead to 20-8.

 But Palmyra didn’t score over the last 5:19 of the first half, during which time Cedar Cliff closed to within five points of the lead.

 “We had a lull,” said Manlove. “We have to develop getting into a rhythm. I felt like we were stuck on 20 for awhile. Cedar Cliff is as tough as they come. Every possession felt like a challenge.

 “But we made a defensive adjustment at halftime,” Manlove added.

 Baldo paced the Palmyra attack with 14 points, while Becker collected 13. Richardson joined them in double figures with ten points.

 Palmyra outscored the Colts 15-6 from beyond the arc, and 11-7 at the free throw line.

 “Huge. Huge,” said Manlove of the importance of Baldo’s and Richardson’s leadership to the team’s overall success. “Amelia Baldo orchestrates everything for us. She knows when to take over and when to get everyone else involved. Olivia Richardson is our pillar. I thought she rebounded her tail off tonight. And when it mattered, she made clutch free throws.”

 The Cougars opened the second half with a 9-2 spurt, to open their advantage to 29-17. Baldo accounted for six of those points, while Becker drained her second trey.

 The third period ended with Palmyra ahead 39-26.

 “Cedar Cliff got their looks,” said Manlove. “Some were really good looks. Some nights they fall, but tonight, some of the shots that they usually make didn’t fall.”

 Despite its double-digit margin, the Cougars couldn’t put the Colts away.

 Palmyra went without a score for the first 3:50 of the final quarter, before the visitors closed to within eight points of the lead. But behind Richardson, Baldo and Jessica St. Clair, the Cougars went five-for-eight at the foul stripe over the game’s final 1:54.

 “End of the game management is something we have to work on,” said Manlove. “We have to put them (her players) in game situations more often.

 “I feel like it’s too early to say (where the Cougars are as a team),” continued Manlove. “We’re going to enjoy tonight and get a lot of sleep. Then we’re going to start thinking about Bishop McDevitt. But we’d love to be playing in March.”







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 2018-19 Palmyra Girls’ Basketball Schedule

Date Opponent Result
12/75:00p (W) 52 – 29
12/86:45p (W) 43 – 25
Location: Palmyra High School
Location: Palmyra High School
Location: Palmyra High School
Location: Hershey High School
Location: Palmyra High School
Location: Palmyra High School
Location: Palmyra High School
Location: Palmyra High School
Location: Cedar Cliff High School
Location: Bishop McDevitt High School
Location: Wilson High School
Location: Wilson High School
Location: Red Land High School
Location: Palmyra High School
Location: Lower Dauphin High School
Location: Mechanicsburg High School
Location: Susquehannock High School
Location: Susquehanna Township High School
Location: Palmyra High School







































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