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C-K girls battle, but season ends

CLYMER — Claysburg-Kimmel hung with Penns Manor for most of the first three quarters before it dropped a 62-40 decision to the second-seeded Lady Comets in a District 6 Class 2A girls basketball playoff game at Penns Manor High School on Wednesday night.

“We had a pretty good season overall,” Claysburg-Kimmel coach Jess Veverka said. “We’ve had some tough games we lost that we could have had within reach. We should have won some of them. But overall our season (went) well. It wasn’t the way wanted it to end tonight. But, hopefully, we can work harder and get there next year.”

Veverka agreed the team had a respectable season but added the Lady Bulldogs need to do more in order to compete with the likes of Bellwood-Antis, Juniata Valley and Penns Manor. Injuries most notably dogged starters Rebecca Claar and Kailei Carson and challenged a bench that lacks depth.

“We need to push ourselves and build our endurance,” Veverka said, “and hope for no injuries because we’ve been fighting injuries all season long.”

The Lady Bulldogs pared a 13-point halftime deficit to nine points after three periods. An 11-1 rally pushed the Penns Manor lead back to double figures, however, and Claysburg-Kimmel never again seriously threatened in a game highlighted by physical play.

“(Penns Manor is) a very physical team, and honestly, that’s what hurt us,” Veverka said. “We couldn’t match up with their physicality.”

“I thought we did a better job of getting back on defense,” Penns Manor coach Jason Miloser said. “When we started getting stops on defense, we limited them to one shot.”

Penns Manor used a 13-0 run to start the second quarter to assume a 28-15 lead.

“I thought in the first half there were times when Claysburg was able to knock the ball out of our hands, whether it be on a rebound or us bringing the ball down the floor,” Miloser said. “And then in the second half (Penns Manor) did a much better job of being strong, coming to passes and doing all the little things you need to do in playoff basketball.”

The Lady Bulldogs pulled within nine entering the final quarter, however.

“Claysburg is a very good team. They’re very well-coached, and they play with great effort,” Miloser said. “I think that’s probably the most effort we’ve seen out of an opposing team all season long.

“It’s playoff basketball now. You have got to make sure you come out and play with that intensity for four quarters.”

The Lady Comets, who have assured themselves one of four berths in the state playoffs, take on Bishop McCort in a semifinal game on Monday at a site and time to be determined. Bishop McCort upset Juniata Valley, 62-52.

“We knew we were going to play a great team, whether it was Juniata Valley or Bishop McCort,” Miloser said. “We’ll have to have a couple of good days of practice to get prepared for a great McCort team.”

Alycia Zayachak scored a game-high 18 points for the two-time Heritage Conference champion Lady Comets. Kassady Smith added 16 points, followed by Megan Dumm (13 points) and Laura Dumm (10). Penns Manor forced 19 turnovers while committing 10. Laura Dumm and Lauren Bagley grabbed six rebounds apiece.

Rebecca Claar led Claysburg-Kimmel with 14 points and eight rebounds. Megan Hartman added eight points, despite playing with an injured right wrist that she appeared to favor even after Veverka sent her back in the game.

“She wanted to play; it was her senior year,” Veverka said.

Claysburg-Kimmel (40): Hartman 2 4-7 8, Claar 5 4-8 14, Garver 3 1-2 8, Carson 1 0-0 3, Haney 1 0-0 3, Helsel 2 0-0 4, Rininger 0 0-0 0. Totals — 14 9-17 40.

Penns Manor (62): L. Dumm 4 1-2 10, Bagley 2 1-3 5, Smith 5 6-9 16, M. Dumm 3 5-613, Zayachak 8 1-4 18, Peterman 0 0-2 0, Sleppy 0 0-0 0, Orr 0 0-0 0, Gillo 0 0-0 0. Totals — 22 14-28 62.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Claysburg-Kimmel 11 4 14 11 — 40

Penns Manor 13 15 10 22 — 62

3-point goals: Claysburg-Kimmel 3 (Carson, Garver, Haney); Penns Manor 4 (M. Dumm 2, L. Dumm, Zayachak).

Officials: Tony Sottile, Fred Glasser, Todd McGee.

Records: Claysburg-Kimmel (14-9), Penns Manor (22-2).

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