Rhule keys Pirates to tourney crown

FLINTON – Williamsburg senior Haley Rhule envisions herself as a steady influence and a player who sets the table for others more so than a scorer.

That doesn’t mean she can’t put the ball in the hoop, though.

Averaging slightly more than 4 points per game this season, Rhule, Williamsburg’s 5-foot-3 point guard, scored 12 of her team-high 13 points in the first half as the Lady Pirates forged a 15-point lead then held off Moshannon Valley 47-38 in the championship game of the truncated Glendale Lady Viking Tip-off Tournament on Saturday at Kitko Gymnasium.

The tourney couldn’t be completed the opening weekend of the season because of the weather. In the consolation game, Haley Myers’ 25 points powered Juniata Valley over Glendale, 57-29.

“Haley Rhule played really, really well. She got the [tournament] outstanding player [award]. It was because of tonight,” first-year Williamsburg coach Jeremy Ebersole said. “She’s aggressive and she’ll pick up some fouls, but not tonight. She moved her feet, and she knocked down some big shots.”

Williamsburg trailed 5-4 in the early going, but Rhule surpassed her previous season scoring high of 10 over the next 13 minutes with five field goals – including a pair of 3-pointers – as the Lady Pirates built a lead of 25-10 and took a 28-15 advantage into the locker room.

“The first shot I took felt good,” Rhule said. “I just saw the score and thought I could help out the team more.”

Beaten by Williamsburg by 28 points in mid-December, Moshannon Valley tried to hang around. The Damsels snuck to within seven on Hannah Kitko’s 3-pointer in the first minute of the fourth quarter and cutting its deficit to eight on Sam Matchock’s conventional three-point play in the final minute but couldn’t get any closer.

Kitko led all scorers with 16 points, but the Damsels were victimized by 17 first-half turnovers, seven of which were a direct result of Williamsburg full-court pressure.

“I think that was the key. We turned over the ball too much during that spree,” Damsels coach Mary Jo Kitko said. “I didn’t expect that to be a big factor in the game, but it took us a half to settle in.”

In her first year coaching Mo Valley, Kitko has the Damsels, who’ve struggled for a few years, at 3-6.

“We’re moving in the right directions. The girls play with a lot of heart. They’re really motivated to do a good job. They’re coming along as a team,” Kitko said.

Williamsburg, meanwhile, improved to 6-3 after going 10-13 last year under distinquished coach Don Appleman.

“We lost a really close game to West Branch early in the year. We actually were down by 16 and pulled ahead by three late in the game and just let it slip through our fingers. Then we went up to Penns Manor and lost by a couple of points. So we went into [Friday night] against Bellwood a couple of possessions from being 8-0,” Ebersole said. “But we’re really happy where we’re at at 6-3. The girls are playing really well.”

Three Lady Pirates scored in double figures against Mo Valley: Forward Madison Detwiler scored the team’s first six points on her way to a 12-point outing, while Alyssa Detwiler kept Mo Valley at bay with eight of her 11 points coming in the second half.

Randilyn Peck, who was averaging almost 17 points entering the Bellwood game, was held to five Saturday, but scored 21 in the first round of the tournament and was coming off games of 23 and 25 points at Williamsburg’s own holiday tourney.

“We communicated more and put in a lot of effort,” Rhule said of what she felt was the key to the Lady Pirates’ win. “When we play well, we communicate a lot. There’s a couple of shooters that are pretty good, and the size we have get a lot of rebounds and score. I feel good about [our start] with a new coach and all.”

In the consolation, Myers scored 21 points in the middle quarters as Juniata Valley ran away to raise its record to 4-3. She joined Rhule, Peck, Kitko, Mo Valley’s Ally Kronenwetter and Glendale’s Shannon Ricketts on the all-tourney team – Ricketts netted 19 in the consy.

Williamsburg’s Camryn Bookhammer was named the defensive player of the tournament, and Mo Valley’s Emily Smith won the sportsmanship award.


WILLIAMSBURG (47): Rhule 5 1-2 13, A. Detwiler 4 0-5 11, Kennedy 1 1-2 3, Peck 1 3-8 5, M. Detwiler 6 0-1 12, Bookhammer 1 1-2 3. Totals – 18 6-20 47.

MOSHANNON VALLEY (38): H. Kitko 6 0-0 16, Kolesar 3 0-1 7, Smith 1 0-0 2, Kronenwetter 4 0-4 8, Stodart 0 0-0 0, M. Kitko 0 2-3 2, Matchock 1 1-1 3. Totals – 15 3-9 38.


Williamsburg14 14 8 11 – 47

Moshannon Valley 7 8 10 13 – 38

3-point goals: Williamsburg 5 (A. Detwiler 3, Rhule 2); Moshannon Valley 5 (H. Kitko 4, Kolesar).

Records: Williamsburg (6-3); Moshannon Valley (3-6).

Officials: Eugene Parker, Frank Swalga, Jerry Seidel.


JUNIATA VALLEY (57): Leri 4 0-0 8, Myers 10 5-5 25, Johnson 1 0-0 2, Young 3 0-0 8, Leidy 4 0-2 9, Smith 0 0-0 0, Miller 1 0-0 2, Payne 0 0-0 0, Johnson 1 1-3 3. Totals – 21 6-10 57.

GLENDALE (29): McMurray 2 1-2 5, McMillen 0 0-0 0, Fowler 0 0-2 0, Matier 0 1-2 1, Ricketts 8 2-4 19, Johnston 2 0-2 4, Plummer 0 0-0 0, Glass 0 0-0 0, Krepps 0 0-0 0. Totals – 12 4-12 29.


Juniata Valley12 15 24 6 – 57

Glendale 4 9 7 9 – 29

3-point goals: Juniata Valley 3 (Young 2, Leidy); Glendale 1 (Ricketts).

Records: Juniata Valley (4-3); Glendale (1-7).