PALMYRA – Friday night’s hoops action saw the defending Class AAAAA champion Palmyra Lady Cougars host their nextdoor neighbors, the Lady Trojans of Hershey High School. The ‘Cougs’ mounted a furious rally after trailing by six at the half, but the Trojans held them off before exiting Palmyra with a hard-fought 32-28 victory.
Palmyra got off to a fast start in the early going, as senior forward Dyllan Shuey sank a pair of buckets. The Cougars held a three-point lead at the end of the opening period, but Hershey flipped the script in the second quarter. The Trojans outscored Palmyra, 15-6, throughout that eight-minute stretch and closed out the half on a 6-0 run.
Hershey’s first half success was due in large part to the play of sophomore, Mary Cotter, and junior, Zoe Carlson. Cotter hit a pair of second-period threes, including the one that capped the Trojans’ run, while Carlson accounted for all seven of her points during the first 16 minutes.
In fact, Carlson gave Hershey its first lead on a three-point play, which ended up being the game’s turning point. Carlson made the bucket, got the foul and converted the ‘and-one’ to put the Trojans’ ahead by two. Hershey kept its advantage for the remainder of the contest, but the Cougars kept fighting until the end.
When the second half began, Palmyra exploded out of the gate as sophomore forward, Zoe Smith, registered five unanswered points. Smith cut the deficit to one, but the Trojans answered with seven straight points of their own, highlighted by a pair of layups from sophomore, Anna Coulter.
The Cougars responded with a seven-point surge that was keyed by junior guard, Katelyn Becker, who sank a three, with two free throws, but that was the closest Palmyra got to snatching victory. Senior, Olivia Bratton, hit the game-sealing foul shot to increase Hershey’s lead to four with one second remaining, and that was all she wrote.
Cotter finished as the Trojans’ top scorer with 14 points, a performance that included all four of the team’s three-pointers. Meanwhile, Coulter, like Carlson, tallied seven points of her own. Smith led the Cougars with nine points while junior guard, Genieva Martin, went four for six from the charity stripe.
Palmyra had several opportunities to take the lead, but those chances were hampered by missed shots down the stretch. “It’s difficult for any team to score if you give the opposition 20 extra chances to beat you,” said Cougar ead coach Mary Manlove.
It’s a lesson learned for the Cougs, but they also look forward to a fresh start as they prepare for their next meeting, with Cedar Crest, which takes place on Saturday in South Lebanon. The Trojans, on the other hand, take the court again on January 4th, when they travel to Central York.
12/10 @ Cedar Cliff, 7 p.m.
12/13 vs Bishop McDevitt, 7:30 p.m.
12/16 @ Red Land, 7 p.m.
12/20 vs Hershey, 7:30 p.m.
12/21 @ Cedar Crest, 7 p.m.
1/2 @ Lower Dauphin, 7 p.m.
1/7 @ Mechanicsburg, 7 p.m.
1/10 @ Susquehanna Twp., 7 p.m.
1/14 vs Cedar Cliff, 7 p.m.
1/17 @ Bishop McDevitt, 7 p.m.
1/20 vs Wilson, 7 p.m.
1/21 vs Red Land, 7:30 p.m.
1/24 @ Hershey, 7 p.m.
1/25 @ Milton Hershey, 7 p.m.
1/28 vs Lower Dauphin, 7:30 p.m.
1/31 vs Mechanicsburg, 7 p.m.
2/1 vs Susquehannock, 6:30 p.m.
2/4 vs Susquehanna Twp., 7:30 p.m.
|Mechanicsburg Area High School||3-0-0||1.000||3-0-0||1.000|
|Cedar Cliff High School||4-0-0||1.000||6-1-0||0.857|
|Bishop McDevitt High School||3-1-0||0.750||4-2-0||0.667|
|Susquehanna Township High School||2-1-0||0.667||4-1-0||0.800|
|Lower Dauphin High School||1-2-0||0.333||1-3-0||0.250|
|Palmyra Area High School||1-2-0||0.333||2-3-0||0.400|
|Hershey High School||0-3-0||0.000||3-3-0||0.500|
|Red Land High School||0-3-0||0.000||0-3-0||0.000|