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Unbeaten Heights dominates

PATTON — Cambria Heights has a chance to enter the new year with an unbeaten record after it posted an 80-47 victory against Purchase Line in the first round of the Cambria Heights Holiday Girls Basketball Tournament on Friday night at Cambria Heights High School.

The Lady Highlanders will take a 5-0 record into today’s championship game against improving Johnstown.

All this leads to the inevitable question: Is Cambria Heights as good as the record implies?

“Right now we focus one game at a time. We try to improve every day,” Lady Highlanders coach Amber Fees said. “We have a tough schedule coming up. So we’re going to see how good we really are.”

Cambria Heights senior Chloe Weakland led all scorers with 29 points.

“The Weakland girl, she is so tough, so strong,” Purchase Line coach Kelley Goss said. “She knows how to take it to the hoop, and we had a hard time stopping that.”

Abby Lobick added 19 points for the Lady Highlanders.

The Lady Highlanders, who had not played since Dec. 20 against Bedford, led by as many as 14 points in the first period before Purchase Line whittled the difference to 27-15 at the break. Cambria Heights then ran at will in the third quarter and took a 24-point advantage into the final eight minutes.

“In the first half it looked like we hadn’t played for awhile,” Fees said. “So at halftime we talked about cleaning everything up, defensively especially. I wasn’t too happy with our defensive performance, especially in the first half. In the second half we picked it up and did a much better job.”

“We switched to a man-to-man defense just to put a little more pressure on them,” Goss said. “A lot of us got beat on the man-to-man; kind of a lot of isolation plays.”

Goss covered plenty of topics in a lengthy post-game talk with the team. Chief among them was the collective lack of confidence.

“It’s all a mental game for some of these girls,” she said. “They have the talent. They just can’t show it on the court because they’re too worried about messing up. And they do mess up, their heads hang.

“We’ve been working with this team for the last two years. They’re not used to winning. So last year they had a nice year and we’re trying to carry that into this season.”

Purchase Line will play Heritage Conference rival Northern Cambria in the third-place game. Bethany Smith led Purchase Line with 11 points, followed by Addaleia Beer (10).

PURCHASE LINE (47): Smith 5 1-1 11, Syster 4 0-0 9, Scalese 1 6-8 8, Beer 4 2-2 10, Goss 0 0-0 0, Bingham 0 0-0 0, Ward 0 1-2 1, Zurenko 0 0-0 0, Misko 0 0-0 0, Nichol 1 0-0 2, Weaver 2 0-0 4, Leamer 0 2-2 2, Goncher 0 0-0 0. Totals–17 12-15 47.

CAMBRIA HEIGHTS (80): Jones 0 2-2 2, Lobick 8 1-1 19. C.Weakland 10 8-10 29, Snedden 2 3-6 7, Henry 3 0-0 7, Baker 2 1-1 5, Burkey 2 3-4 7, M.Weakland 1 0-0 2, Bender 0 0-0 0, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Serafin 0 2-2 2,, Rogal 0 0-0 0, Adams 0 0-0 0. Totals–28 20-27 80.

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

Purchase Line 4 19 15 16–47

Cambria Heights 16 11 34 22–80

3-point field goals: Purchase Line 1 (Syster), Cambria Heights 4 (Lobick 2, C.Weakland, Henry).

Officials: Clark Adelman, Sue Kovensky, Jack McDougall.

Records: Purchase Line (3-4), Cambria Heights (5-0).

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