YORK TWP. — The Cloverleaf and Buckeye girls basketball teams will learn a lot from their annual non-league game.
The Colts realized underestimating an opponent is a bad idea. The Bucks found out the value of playing hard until the final buzzer regardless of score.
More experienced and athletic Cloverleaf emerged 53-46 Monday due in large part to a 25-12 advantage in the middle quarters, but only after Buckeye cut a 17-point deficit to three in a serious hurry.
“I thought it was going to be close because we know a lot of the people on Buckeye,” Colts shooting guard Helaina Limas said. “We wanted to come and play well since it’s our first game. I expected us to be a little jittery and a little nervous first time out.
“I hope next time we come out a little stronger and make less errors, but overall it was a good first game. As a team we did well, but they were a pretty good team.”
Limas scored 12 of her game-high 18 points in the second half and added nine steals on a night in which the teams combined for 66 turnovers.
Cameron Tripp (11 points) sparked the stagnant offense with general playmaking early in the second quarter, while power forward Lisa Wangler contributed six points, a game-high 11 rebounds (8 offensive), two assists and three steals.
Cloverleaf blew open a 23-18 halftime score in the third quarter, when Limas scored eight points on her signature driving finishes and the Bucks added to their ultimate demise by shooting 2-for-15 from the floor.
The lead stretched to 42-25 after a 4-0 personal run by cross country star Jenna Oliver early in the fourth.
“We realized we had to play to our strength, which is to trap and force the game into a higher tempo,” Colts coach John Carmigiano said. “I don’t think we closed the game very well. We had a lot of miscommunication, and when we attack the basket at the end of the game, we have to make sure we’re getting a layup or getting fouled. We just weren’t getting that combination tonight.”
Using a tight six-man rotation, inexperienced Buckeye got 16 points (4-of-9 3-pointers) from shooting guard Tatum Widenmeyer. Forward Madison Ross (13 points, 8 rebounds) scored seven points in the fourth quarter, Gabby Glancy had five assists and five steals and freshman backup Courtney Keeler was huge with two points, four rebounds and three assists during the late comeback bid.
A Ross 3-pointer brought the deficit to 49-41. Then Widenmeyer drilled a three and Ross cashed in both ends of a one-and-one to make it 49-46 with less than a minute remaining.
“What I liked was our hustle and our desire to come back,” said Bucks coach Ron Clady, whose team played harder than the Colts for large stretches, especially early. “We got down 17 and cut it to within three, and that’s what I’m most proud of because we’re a young team.”
Cloverleaf did just enough to hang on, as Brianna Gallagher, Tripp and Limas made 4-of-6 free throws and the Colts grabbed a couple key offensive rebounds — Wangler and center Mckenna Jordan combined for 11 on the night — to help burn clock.
“They were hitting shots and, I don’t know how to describe it, we thought the game was over, to be honest with you,” Limas said. “We were playing really good and lost it a little bit at the end, but luckily we were able to pull out a win.”
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or email@example.com.
Cloverleaf 53, Buckeye 46
CLOVERLEAF 10 13 12 18 — 53
BUCKEYE 11 7 5 23 — 46
Cloverleaf — Brianna Gallagher 0-4-4, Lisa Wangler 1-4-6, Mckenna Jordan 3-2-8, Helaina Limas 8-2-18, Cameron Tripp 4-1-11, Jenna Oliver 2-2-6, Maddie Boltz 0-0-0. TOTALS: 18-15-53.
Buckeye — Madison Ross 3-5-13, Sydney Bell 1-0-2, Grace Allen 1-4-6, Tatum Widenmeyer 6-0-16, Gabby Glancy 2-0-5, Courtney Keeler 2-0-4. TOTALS: 15-9-46.
3-point goals — Tripp 2, Widenmeyer 4, Ross 2, Glancy. Rebounds — Cloverleaf 30 (Wangler 11), Buckeye 24 (Ross 8). Assists — Cloverleaf 6 (Wangler, Tripp 2), Buckeye 11 (Glancy 5). Records — Cloverleaf (1-0), Buckeye (0-2). Junior varsity — Buckeye 19, Cloverleaf 14.