Lady Dragons hold off Claysburg-Kimmel

CLAYSBURG – The Central girls basketball team has had to wait patiently for its chance to play a game.

“Our kids were tired of practicing, ready to play,” Central coach Rob Mock said. “They were actually getting edgy at practice. It was time for us to take it to the floor.”

The Lady Dragons had to deal with some early foul trouble, and a Claysburg-Kimmel rally, before grabbing a 46-40 victory Monday night at Claysburg-Kimmel High School.

Central had five fouls in the opening quarter, three of which were picked up by junior Hannah Johnston, who ended the night with 10 points. Sophomore Cassie Mock led all Lady Dragon scorers with 12 points.

“When I do have someone that gets in trouble, I know there’s kids on the floor who aren’t afraid to step up and take those shots,” Rob Mock said. “I feel confident with my bench, and luckily it worked.”

Both teams endured an early back-and-forth defensive affair starting with Cassie Mock’s layup off a turnover early in the first.

“We had 12 turnovers in the first half for us,” Claysburg-Kimmel coach Jess Veverka said. “Our offense just struggled in the second half big time. We were right there with them in the first half, our offense just didn’t come out (and score).”

Central was set up to blow the game open halfway through the first, but that chance was stymied by Paige Burk for the Lady Bulldogs with a block as both teams were tied at 19 at the break.

The second half proved to be more of the same, and Central’s offense found another resource in Darby Boyles as she scored all six of her points, including a pair of jumpers.

Claysburg trailed by as much as seven points, but in the fourth, freshman Emily Claar scored seven of her game-high 23 points to the deficit down to two.

“Emily is really stepping it up as a freshman and it’s helping us out, but we need everyone to contribute as well,” Veverka said.

Cassie Mock, though, grabbed a turnover and drained a layup while Johnston capped the game off on a floater with under 30 seconds to play.

“We tried to change up our defenses a couple of times just to show them some different looks,” Rob Mock said. “Towards the end we started to spread them out a little bit, and we were able to start to get some penetration.”

Central returns to the floor Wednesday at Bald Eagle Area, while Claysburg-Kimmel hosts Glendale.

CENTRAL (46): Johnston 3 4-6 10, Long 1 0-0 3, Boyles 2 2-2 6, Mock 5 2-5 12, Kensinger 1 0-0 2, Negley 2 0-0 4, Fernandes 2 5-6 9, O. Smith 0 0-0 0. Totals – 16 13-19 46.

CLAYSBURG-KIMMEL (40): Burk 3 0-0 8, Weiland 1 5-10 7, O. Locke 0 0-0 0, A. Locke 0 0-0 0, Claar 9 4-5 23, Kennedy 1 0-0 2. Totals – 14 9-15 40.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Central13 6 16 11 – 46

Claysburg-Kimmel10 9 11 10 – 40

3-point field goals: Central 1 (Long); Claysburg-Kimmel 3 (Burk 2, E. Claar).

Records: Central (2-0); Claysburg-Kimmel (2-1).

Referees: Stan Risser, Denny Detwiler, Don McClure

JV: Central 49-13. High scorers – Metzler, Ce, 14; Musselman, CK, 5.