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 BY JEFF FALK

 PALMYRA – Olivia Richardson was the accelerant. But Amelia Baldo was the spark.

 It’s fairly safe to say that the Palmyra girls are a better basketball team when Baldo is on the court.

 On Tuesday night, seniors Richardson and Baldo were the catalysts behind an epic Cougar comeback, as Palmyra rallied past Mechanicsburg for a 40-37 Mid-Penn Keystone Division victory. Down 32-21 early in the the final quarter, Palmyra outscored the Wildcats 19-5 over the last 6:43 of play.

 Baldo, who had sat out the entire first half with a brace on her left wrist, entered the game 3:29 into the second half, with the Cougars trailing 28-19. Although the point guard played the rest of the way, she netted only a single bucket.

 But Richardson tallied 15 of her game-high 26 points when Baldo was in the game, including 13 during the decisive fourth-period run.

 The triumph lifted Palmyra to 7-4 overall and 3-3 in the Keystone Division. Mechanicsburg slipped to 8-3 on the season and 3-3 in the circuit.

 The win also improved the Cougars’ eighth-place standing in the fluid District Three Class AAAAA power rankings.

 “We all played as a team,” said Richardson. “It took everyone to come back, and great coaching. We’ve been practicing our end-of-game situations.

 “We just kind of all came together,” added Richardson. “People just stepped up. It was such a team effort.”

  It was a three-pointer by Richardson and a couple of free throws, and Baldo’s driving lay-up, that added up to the 7-0 run that Palmyra opened the final period with. That pulled the Cougars to within 32-28 of the Wildcats.

 But it was a subsequent 10-0 run – one that featured six more Richardson points, a huge Katelyn Becker three-pointer and a Zoe Smith foul shot – that gave the Cougars a 38-35 lead, with 55 seconds left. Palmyra iced the comeback by forcing a turnover and  by getting a pair of charity tosses from Richardson, with seven ticks remaining.

 “It’s definitely different when she’s not out there,” said Richardson of Baldo. “She’s a large part of our offense. But Zoe stepped up huge tonight. Everyone kind of made up for it. But Amelia’s energy from the bench was amazing.

 “I do feel a little more pressure when she’s not in there,” Richardson added. “But we have enough good players that I don’t have to consume all the pressure.”

 Things certainly didn’t look good for the home side in the third quarter. Down double digits, the Cougars were struggling with turnovers, match-ups and identifying secondary scoring.

 A jumper from Smith 56 seconds into the second half pulled Palmyra to within 21-19 of the lead. But the Cougars managed just two points over the rest of the third period and fell into that 11-point hole.

 “She was super proud of us,” said Richardson of Palmyra head coach Mary Manlove. “We’ve been winning as a team, as a family.”

 Richardson accumulated her 26 points on four deuces, a pair of treys and a perfect 12-for-12 free throwing. As a team, the Cougars made 16 of their 20 free throw attempts and outscored the Wildcats by 11 points at ‘the stripe.’

 Richardson is shooting foul shots at an eye-popping 88 percent clip this season, and as a team, the Cougars are making 68 percent of their free throws.

 “The ‘threes’ killed us at the beginning of the game,” said Richardson. “But we made adjustments. We definitely came back with good, fundamental team defense.”

 Mechanicsburg netted seven of the contest’s first ten points and led by four late in the first quarter. But on the strength of five points from Richardson and a Smith three-ball, Palmyra pieced together an 8-0 spurt and took an 11-7 advantage early in the second stanza.

 But with the Cougars’ turnovers mounting, the Wildcats took an 18-15 margin to the break, thanks in part to Megan Schrass’ three-pointer with three seconds left in the second quarter.

 “All of our losses have been to good teams,” said Richardson. “And in none of the losses have we played really bad. We’re right there with everyone. We’ve just got to finish games.

 “Coming off of last year, we were thinking there were only going to be two or three key players,” continued Richardson. “But we’ve noticed that there are more kids who can step up.”

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2018-19 Palmyra Girls’ Basketball Schedule

Date Opponent Result
12/75:00p (W) 52 – 29
12/86:45p (W) 43 – 25
12/117:30p
Location: Palmyra High School
(W) 44 – 37
12/147:30p
Location: Palmyra High School
(L) 47 – 44
12/177:30p
Location: Palmyra High School
(W) 46 – 24
12/217:30p
Location: Hershey High School
(L) 34 – 26
12/227:30p
Location: Palmyra High School
(W) 43 – 26
12/27TBA (L) 45 – 36
12/28TBA (W) 47 – 29
12/2912:30a
Location: Palmyra High School
 
1/512:30a
Location: Palmyra High School
 
1/9TBA
Location: Palmyra High School
 
1/1212:30a
Location: Palmyra High School
 
1/1612:30a
Location: Cedar Cliff High School
 
1/187:30p
Location: Bishop McDevitt High School
 
1/216:00p
Location: Wilson High School
 
1/217:30p
Game Details: WILSON HIGH SCHOOL, Gym
 
1/2212:30a
Location: Wilson High School
 
1/227:30p
Location: Red Land High School
 
1/257:30p
Location: Palmyra High School
 
1/3012:30a
Location: Lower Dauphin High School
 
2/212:30a
Location: Mechanicsburg High School
 
2/3TBA
Location: Susquehannock High School
 
2/612:30a
Location: Susquehanna Township High School
 
2/912:30a
Location: Palmyra High School
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  PIAA District Three

 Class AAAAA Power Rankings

AAAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Lampeter Strasburg 9- 1- 0  0.780665  0.913636  0.618144  10.1  149.9  1.0  92.6
2 Lower Dauphin 8- 1- 0  0.777094  0.908213  0.616837  9.4  135.6  1.0  84.2
3 Gettysburg Area 11- 1- 0  0.754949  0.935606  0.534145  12.4  122.8  0.9  107.1
4 Twin Valley 7- 2- 0  0.725987  0.830688  0.598020  7.9  120.8  1.6  81.2
5 Susquehannock 8- 3- 0  0.712062  0.775330  0.634734  8.8  154.1  2.6  88.7
6 Mechanicsburg Area Senior 8- 2- 0  0.696211  0.834862  0.526749  9.1  115.2  1.8  103.5
7 South Western 9- 3- 0  0.688102  0.788889  0.564918  10.7  127.1  2.9  97.9
8 Palmyra Area 6- 4- 0  0.671905  0.676190  0.666667  7.1  153.7  3.4  76.9
9 Spring Grove Area 6- 3- 0  0.670526  0.748663  0.575026  7.0  139.3  2.4  103.0
10 Solanco 8- 4- 0  0.662155  0.730769  0.578293  9.5  134.8  3.5  98.3
11 Berks Catholic School 5- 3- 0  0.637378  0.694805  0.567190  5.4  113.8  2.4  86.8
12 Donegal 7- 4- 0  0.626201  0.703057  0.532265  8.1  119.6  3.4  105.1
13 Greencastle Antrim 8- 3- 0  0.613796  0.755365  0.440768  8.8  82.6  2.9  104.8
14 Hershey 5- 5- 0  0.610187  0.580808  0.646095  5.8  144.0  4.2  78.9
15 Shippensburg 5- 3- 0  0.606585  0.676829  0.520730  5.6  115.6  2.7  106.4
16 Elizabethtown Area 6- 4- 0  0.596064  0.692308  0.478432  7.2  109.3  3.2  119.1
17 Cocalico 5- 5- 0  0.557980  0.557143  0.559004  5.9  132.4  4.7  104.5
18 New Oxford 4- 7- 0  0.522449  0.443350  0.619126  4.5  150.2  5.7  92.4
19 West York Area 4- 7- 0  0.518334  0.442396  0.611146  4.8  147.5  6.1  93.9
20 York Suburban 3- 6- 0  0.492193  0.389831  0.617302  3.5  149.9  5.4  92.9
21 Garden Spot 4- 7- 0  0.471183  0.433180  0.517632  4.7  121.1  6.2  112.9
22 Red Land 2- 8- 0  0.454199  0.260417  0.691044  2.5  157.8  7.1  70.6
23 Northeastern 3- 8- 0  0.449815  0.320574  0.607777  3.4  135.2  7.1  87.3
24 Conrad Weiser 3- 8- 0  0.415350  0.323383  0.527753  3.3  118.9  6.8  106.4
25 Dover 2- 8- 0  0.405100  0.247312  0.597953  2.3  146.1  7.0  98.2
26 Daniel Boone 4- 7- 0  0.387821  0.360976  0.420631  3.7  84.0  6.6  115.7
27 Northern York 2- 6- 0  0.371608  0.302632  0.455913  2.3  97.0  5.3  115.7
28 Milton Hershey 1- 5- 0  0.362820  0.188525  0.575848  1.2  106.1  5.0  78.2
29 Manheim Central 1- 10- 0  0.344132  0.115578  0.623475  1.2  148.2  8.8  89.5
30 Muhlenberg 1- 9- 0  0.318577  0.104396  0.580355  1.0  129.1  8.2  93.4
31 Waynesboro Area 0- 12- 0  0.292448  0.000000  0.649885  0.0  141.4  10.7  76.2
32 East Pennsboro Area 0- 9- 0  0.250589  0.000000  0.556865  0.0  115.8  8.3  92.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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