PAHS basketball roundup: 2/12/09

Boys:
Last week’s North Tier League schedule brought mixed results for the Gator basketball team, but despite suffering their first loss since the beginning of January, Port remained in second place at the end of the week.

On Tuesday, the Gators traveled to Smethport to take on a suddenly-hot Hubbers team that had won four of its last five games. Port could never quite pull away from the Hubs (9-11, 7-5 NTL), but managed to come home with a 49-41 victory to sweep the season series. Bryce Healy scored a game-high 14 points and Lucas Kline added 13 in the win.

“Smethport’s been playing well – they knocked off Oswayo the other night,” Gators coach Bob Raudenbush pointed out. “It was good for us to have a tight game; we really hadn’t had a tight game other than Cameron County. It was good to feel that pressure – and we definitely felt some pressure over there.”

The veteran Port mentor got all the pressure he could have asked for and then some in his team’s next game, a road trip to Coudersport. Coming out of a halftime tie, the Falcons (9-10, 6-6 NTL) forged a nine-point lead in the third quarter, then withstood a furious comeback to snap the Gators’ eight-game winning streak with a 44-42 victory despite double-figure scoring efforts from Healy (13 points), Josh Guerrero (12, including a game-tying 3-pointer in the final minute), and Greg Gustin (10).

“Coudy just played an excellent game against us,” Raudenbush said. “They forced us into 20 turnovers. We still battled back and had a good shot at the end, but that was a tough one – it kind of took the wind out of our sails.”

A non-league makeup game against Ridgway on Saturday offered the Gators a chance to quickly bounce back from the Coudersport loss, and they took advantage of the opportunity with a 63-40 win to improve their record to 13-6 overall, 9-3 in the NTL.

“Actually, that score is a little deceiving,” Raudenbush said. “We’d go up by maybe 12, then they’d cut it to seven. It was a game until midway through the fourth quarter, when we were finally able to take that 10-12 point lead and extend it to 18-20. We had to play four quarters, which is good. We need tough games to get us ready for districts.”

Guerrero notched a double-double in the win, scoring 10 points and adding 10 rebounds and seven steals against the Elkers (3-16). Healy led the team with 14 points, and Kline (12) and Denzel Middleton (10) also contributed to a balanced Port offense.

The Gators play their final league games this week before the District 9 playoffs begin, hosting Otto-Eldred for Senior Night on Tuesday before wrapping up the regular season at Northern Potter on Thursday. Gustin, Healy, Guerrero, Terry Gleason, and Chris Fabish will all step onto their home court for the last time against the Terrors.

“The district standings are really tight, so every game is crucial right now,” Raudenbush said before adding, “Hopefully we’ll keep it going and get back on another roll. I told the kids, ‘Let’s start another streak.’”

At Smethport, 2/3:
Port Allegany (49)
Middleton 0 0-0 0, Gustin 1 3-3 5, Gleason 2 0-0 4, Healy 6 2-5 14, Parana 2 0-1 4, Kline 4 3-4 13, Guerrero 3 3-8 9. Totals: 18 11-21 49.
Smethport (41)
Doutt 3 5-6 14, Keech 4 0-0 10, VanGor 1 0-0 2, Alfieri 3 0-0 6, Cooney 2 1-1 5, Corbitt 0 0-2 0, Lord 1 0-0 2, Okerlund 1 0-0 2. Totals: 15 6-9 41.
PA 8 21 33 49
S 4 15 25 41
Three-point goals: Port 2 (Kline 2), Smethport 5 (Doutt 3, Keech 2). Total fouls: Port 11, Smethport 22. Fouled out: Alfieri.
JV: Smethport, 34-32.

At Coudersport, 2/5:
Port Allegany (42)
Middleton 2-1-2 5, Gustin 4 2-4 10, Healy 5 3-4 13, Kline 1 0-0 2, Guerrero 2 6-8 12. Totals: 14 12-20 42.
Coudersport (44)
Mickle 3 2-4 8, Wolfinger 2 2-3 7, Babcock 1 2-2 5, Minor 3 1-2 7, McCusker 5 0-0 11, Dupont 2 0-0 4, Gerhart 1 0-0 2. Totals: 17 7-11 44.
PA 11 19 26 42
C 7 19 35 44
Three-point goals: Port 2 (Guerrero 2), Coudy 3 (Wolfinger, McCusker, Babcock). Total fouls: Port 18, Coudy 14. Fouled out: none.
JV: Port Allegany won.

At Port Allegany, 2/7:
Ridgway (40)
Sheasley 0 2-4 2, Renaud 4 1-2 12, Jaques 3 2-2 9, Aiello 2 0-0 6, Lundin 2 2-3 6, Schutz 0 0-2 0, Lundgren 1 1-2 3, Oknefski 0 2-2 2. Totals: 12 10-17 40.
Port Allegany (63)
Middleton 5 0-1 10, Gustin 4 1-2 9, Gleason 2 1-2 5, Healy 5 4-5 14, Kline 5 1-5 12, Bricker 0 2-2 2, Guerrero 4 1-6 10. Totals: 25 10-23 63.
R 10 17 32 40
PA 13 28 42 63
Three-point goals: Ridgway 6 (Renaud 3, Aiello 2, Jaques), Port 3 (Kline 2, Guerrero). Total fouls: Ridgway 16, Port 20. Fouled out: none.
JV: Ridgway, 48-27

Girls:
The Lady Gators also split a pair of North Tier League games last week, trouncing Smethport 63-29 Monday night before falling to league-leading Coudersport 61-46 on Thursday. (The Port-Smethport box score appeared in last week’s Reporter Argus.)

“I thought the Smethport game would be a good boost, give us some confidence going into tonight,” coach Kristina Francis said following the Coudy game. “We played really well as a team, passed and shot well, and the girls had fun. It’s nice to see them having fun playing basketball, because ultimately, that’s what it’s all about.”

Despite continuing to battle what Francis called a “tender knee,” Shanel Halle led all scorers with 16 points, and fellow junior Kaitlyn Kio chipped in 15 to help the Lady Gators defeat their archrivals for the third time this season.

On Thursday, Coudersport served up more evidence that they remain the top team in the league, pushing their NTL record to a perfect 12-0 (18-2 overall). Port didn’t make it easy for the Lady Falcons, fighting back from a 29-16 second-quarter deficit to cut the lead to 31-22 at the half, but the Coudy fast break eventually proved too much to handle.

“Their ball-handling skills and their ability to see the court are superior to ours,” Francis admitted. “They’re off to the races every time they touch the ball, and we’re just a step behind.”

“The kids played hard,” said Falcons coach Brian Green. “But it’s a rivalry game, and Port’s girls stepped up and played hard, which they did the last time and I expected this time. We don’t normally play well over here, so I’m happy we’re going home with the win.”

Super sophomore Jenna Matzinger poured in 20 points for Coudy to lead all scorers, while Amarae Reinard paced the Lady Gators with 14.

“Amarae has really stepped up her game the last half of the season, just working hard and making some things happen,” Francis said.

Entering the week with an 8-11 record (5-7 NTL), Port won’t be competing in the District 9 playoffs, so their season ends with a trip to Otto-Eldred on Monday before the Senior Night finale against Northern Potter on Wednesday.

Francis explained, “We’re young, but at the same time, I think we need to work on some things before we can show up and be competitive for a district title.”
Two seniors, co-captains Kari Drabert and Jenn Anderson, will be honored before the Northern Potter game.

At Port Allegany, 2/5:
Coudersport (61)
Bohn 1 0-0 2, McCusker 5 4-5 14, Brown 4 1-2 9, Matzinger 8 3-3 20, Kelley 4 0-0 8, Fink 3 0-0 6, Cowburn 1 0-0 2. Totals: 26 8-10 61.
Port Allegany (46)
B. Drabert 0 0-0 0, Reinard 6 2-3 14, Kio 1 1-2 3, Halle 3 1-2 7, Anderson 1 0-0 2, Middleton 4 0-0 9, Bova 4 0-0 8, Mickle 1 1-3 3. Totals: 20 5-10 46.
C 21 31 50 61
PA 8 22 34 46
Three-point goals: Coudy 1 (Matzinger), Port 1 (Middleton). Total fouls: Coudy 12, Port 13. Fouled out: Kio.
JV: Coudy, 57-41.

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