The word is out on the Altoona Mountain Lions: Trap 'em.
"Traps have caused us trouble this year," Altoona coach Paul Hasson said. "Teams who have beaten us have trapped us, so the word is out."
Cumberland Valley obviously got the word. The Eagles' pressure defense helped force the Mountain Lions into 20 turnovers Saturday afternoon and CV carted home a 60-48 win from the AAHS Fieldhouse.
"We work on it, and we've just got to get better at it," Hasson said of the trap.
"Plus, we're not playing four quarters."
Altoona led 13-12 after the first quarter before falling behind 25-23 at the half. However, CV took control in the third quarter with a 10-3 spurt in the first two minutes.
The Eagles outscored the Lions 16-7 in the third to build an 11-point (41-30) advantage, which they were able to protect by outscoring the hosts, 19-18, in the fourth period.
"That's been the story of our season, not playing four quarters," noted Hasson, whose Lions fell to 1-4.
"We got a couple of overplay steals and were able to finish some plays which we didn't do earlier," CV coach Mike Hibbs said of the third-quarter spurt.
"Our other guys, not our main guy, stepped up and made some plays," Hibbs said. "That loosened up everything for everybody."
"Main guy" Matt Tamanosky scored 14 of his game-high 22 points in the first half while the "other guys" - John Peterson and Adam Hawk - combined for nine points in the third. Hawk finished with 13 and Peterson nine.
CV improved to 6-1 with the non-league win.
"This is a good game for us, and I think the feeling is mutual," Hibbs said. "Coach Hasson does a great job with them and they always play hard. When they come down to us, we've had some very good games."
Hasson knows the Lions have room for improvement, but he said there's plenty of season left.
"Our guards have to pick it up," Hasson said. "We're turning the ball over too much and that's guard play, but there's a long way to go."
When reminded the Lions made only 11-of-22 free throws, Hasson quickly added, "that's horrible."
Manny Span scored 16 points for Altoona and three other Lions finished with nine apiece, including Tony Acrie, whose eight rebounds led that category.
"We're going to keep working," Hasson said. "All is not lost. It's a long season, and I think there are a lot of good pieces here.
"Hopefully, we'll look back a couple months from now and say how much we came together."
The Mountain Lions will play in the Altoona Area School District-Jaffa Shrine Holiday Classic Dec. 26-27. They face East Stroudsburg North on Thursday, Dec. 26 at 7 p.m. and play again at 5.30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27.
CUMBERLAND VALLEY (60): Toohey 3 1-4 8, Peterson 3 2-3 9, Schutjer 1 2-4 4, Hawk 5 3-4 13, Tamanosky 9 4-4 22, Stevenson 0 0-0 0, Waggoner 1 0-0 2, Craig 1 0-0 2. Totals - 23 12-19 60.
ALTOONA (48): Span 7 2-4 16, Acrie 3 1-2 9, Givens 4 1-3 9, Samuel 1 6-11 9, Berardinelli 0 0-0 0, Simmons 2 1-1 5, Kerwin 0 0-0 0, Port 0 0-0 0, Corl 0 0-0 0. Totals - 17 11-22 48.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Cumberland Valley12 13 16 19 - 60
Altoona13 10 7 18 - 48
3-point goals: Cumberland Valley 2 (Toohey, Peterson); Altoona 3 (Acrie 2, Samuel).
Officials: Sean Albright, Mike Andrews, Dave Heim.
Records: Cumberland Valley (6-1); Altoona (1-4).
JV: Altoona, 42-31.High scorer-Zac McConnell, A, 8.