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Mounts top Pleasant Vy.

The objective of the game of basketball is to put the ball through the rim and score more points than the opponent.

In Thursday night’s 33-26 loss to Stroudsburg, Pleasant Valley struggled the entire 32 minutes to accomplish just that.

“It was an ugly game for sure, but our style is not to play pretty,” said Bears coach Dan Muir. “Tonight, we just missed too many wide open shots, and any time it looked like we might make it close, they hit a three.”

In the first period, the Bears (6-3) scored just one basket on a jumper in the lane by Samantha Merklin. Stroudsburg’s McKayla Strunk opened the scoring with a three-pointer to give her team the lead, which it relinquished only once when the Bears’ Aliyah Williams sank two free throws to give the home team a 7-6 advantage.

In the second period, Pleasant Valley managed two baskets from the floor - one by Merklin and the other by sophomore Aryn Stivala - as Stroudsburg built a 20-11 halftime lead.

McKayla Strunk drained a three-pointer at the 5:20 mark of the third quarter to give Stroudsburg its biggest lead of the game at 25-13. The Bears battled back on a driving layup by Merklin and a baseline jump shot by Stivala. A free throw by Drew Morgan cut the deficit to six points with 2:18 left in the period, but Strunk’s baseline trey increased Stroudsburg’s margin to 28-19 heading to the fourth.

Mountaineers’ coach Matt Field liked his team’s effort, along with the play of Zoe Brown, their sophomore point guard.

“I thought we played good defense, and we got them to turn the ball over,” said Field. “Brown did a good job, especially in the second half. She made good decisions with the ball, and settled us down when they made a run at our lead.”

The fourth period resulted in much of the same as both teams couldn’t generate much offense. In fact, Stroudsburg (3-10) failed to score a basket with all five of their (ITS) points coming by way of the charity stripe.

The Bears looked like they were going to make a run when Stivala scored on a jumper and a left-handed layup in the first minute of the final stanza, slicing the deficit to 28-23, but PV would not score again until she hit a three with only 46 seconds left to play.

“In the second half, we were forced to play almost perfect, and once we got into foul trouble, we took ourselves out of it,” summarized Muir.

Strunk paced Stroudsburg with 13 points. Stivala also scored 13 for Pleasant Valley, and (WHILE) Merklin chipped in with 10.

UNLUCKY 13 ... In the first period, the teams combined for 13 points and 13 turnovers. Only two baskets were scored in the first 4:34 played.

KILLER THREES ... Stroudsburg’s Strunk put away any comeback chances for the Bears by hitting three three-pointers, with two of them coming at key moments of the third period.

UP NEXT ... The Bears host Emmaus on Saturday at noon.


Strunk 4-2-6-13, Brown 2-3-7-7, Card 1-2-3-5, Wallace 2-1-2-5, Kay. Hock 0-2-2-2, Gizzo 0-1-6-1, TOTALS: 9-11-26-33.


Stivala 5-2-2-13, Merklin 4-2-4-10, Williams 0-2-2-2, Morgan 0-1-2-1, Greene 0-0-0-0, Finley 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 9-7-10-26.

Stroudsburg 7 13 8 5 33

Pleasant Valley 6 5 8 7 26

Three-pointers: Stroudsburg - Strunk 3, Card 1. Pleasant Valley - Stivala 1.