Lady Warriors Fall to Curwensville on Senior Night

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Image/Graphics by Trinity Prestash

The two West Branch Girls Basketball seniors: Sarah Betts and Ella Miller.

ALLPORT – The Lady Warrior Basketball Team started off their season on Friday, January 22nd, falling to the Lady Tide 32-25. Before the varsity game started, West Branch held their senior night to commemorate the hard work over the years that was demonstrated by this year’s seniors. The two seniors this year were Sarah Betts and Ella Miller. 

Betts has been playing with the varsity basketball team for four years and has also earned a letter each year she played. She has put in many minutes in each game throughout her career. Head Coach Justin Koleno said, “I have had the good fortune to coach Sarah Betts for four years now. She has started since her first game of 9th grade. She has been a gritty, scrappy player her whole career and transitioned into a leadership role very well last season. It has been fun to watch her grow as a player. I hope to see her continue playing at the next level.” Miller joined basketball her junior year, but was a tremendous help in last year’s season and will be looking to gain more minutes this year. Coach Koleno also spoke highly of Miller and said, “Ella Miller came out for us after last season already began. She had a great attitude from the start, but she seems to have a new hunger to learn this year. I think her success in volleyball seems to have brought her confidence on the basketball court too. We are very happy to have her again this season.” Both of these girls have demonstrated leadership and have been valuable players for the Lady Warriors and will surely be missed next year.

The game started out in favor of the Lady Warriors, with Tory Kalke getting the first points on the board. However, the rest of the quarter was back and forth, with neither team being able to get a run going, and both teams were going into the second quarter with the game tied at 8-8. The Lady Tide got to an early lead in the second quarter scoring 6 unanswered points, but it was West Branch’s Betts who was able to hit a pair of free throws to end the run and cut the lead to 4 points. But unfortunately for the Lady Warriors, Curwensville was able to get those points right back on the next drive keeping the lead at 6 points. Both teams went on to score another basket and the score was now 18-12 in favor of the Lady Tide going into half-time. 

The Lady Warriors were able to start off the third quarter strong, with Emily Parks scoring early. Then, the Lady Warriors were able to force a turnover on the next drive. The Lady Warriors continued to press on offense and were able to capitalize on breakaways, taking the lead 22-20 with less than four minutes left in the half. West Branch was down by one when they got the ball back with 10 seconds left in the quarter. Jenna Mertz was able to drive the ball up the court to find a wide-open Miller, who took the shot off balance and hit the 3-pointer putting the Lady Warriors up 25-23 going into the 4th. All momentum was swinging towards West Branch, but unfortunately, the shots were not falling, and the Lady Tide was able to put up 9 unanswered to close out the game 32-25. The seniors for West Branch put up some stats, with Betts scoring 10 points and Miller scoring the only three-pointer of the game. 

The Lady Warriors will be back in action on Monday night, traveling to face the Lady Damsels of Moshannon Valley.