Magic ends for Palmerton Warrior Run’s second-half shooting success leads to PIAA victory over Blue Bombers
Palmerton’s Raegan Nemeth (right) looks to spin away from Warrior Run defender Sydney Hoffman. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
WILLIAMSPORT – The Palmerton girls were looking for some type of mystique in the Magic Dome Friday evening.
All it got was a disappointing ending at the hands of Warrior Run in the first round of the PIAA Class 3A State Tournament.
Trying to find answers, all the Bombers found were questions as they fell, 56-41.
Palmerton’s effort was definitely there. But the Bombers’ execution couldn’t quite match it.
“Our shots didn’t fall, and I think they might have shot 60-to-70 percent from all over the place,” was the way Palmerton coach Dan Beck saw it.
Warrior Run was definitely lights out shooting the ball in the second half as it went a scorching 13-for-22 (59 percent) from the field. It seemed like the Defenders weren’t going to miss and when they did, they managed rebounds for more chances on a number of occasions.
“Give them credit, they did catch fire and took advantage of that,” Beck said. “They also did a great job defensively. We didn’t quite have enough answers.”
Save for the start of the second half when the Bombers sprinted in front 27-25 on the wings of Casi Papay, Baylee Guedes and Brianna Moore.
But like Puff the Magic Dragon, fittingly in the Magic Dome, Warrior Run suddenly found its own magic.
The Defenders stirred the pot with an 11-2 run to take a 36-29 lead into the final quarter and never looked back. Riding the wings of 6-0 freshman Emily McKee, and the splendid field general leadership of sophomore Sydney Hoffman they proceeded to outscore Palmerton 14-2 to leave no doubt about the final verdict.
“Our bigs were the story,” said Warrior Run coach Andy Shamburg.
Not lost in the shuffle was Shamburg’s scouting report on the Bombers.
“Our people told us they can shoot lights out from the three-point range,” said Shamburg. “We had to be very cautious of that and I thought our defense did a tremendous job of defending the threes.”
The Defenders, the Heartland Conference D-II champs, were also hell-bent on taking the Bombers drives out of sync.
“We knew that if they didn’t get the open looks, they would look to drive,” said Shamburg. “We told our kids at the half to tighten things up (defensively), which I thought we did.”
Palmerton didn’t have a very good start, as foul trouble forced Moore and Baylee Guedes to the bench in the first quarter.
“Losing them hurt,” said Beck. “Their bigs gave us a lot of trouble and their defense prevented us from dribbling and kicking.”.
Yet the early woes didn’t seem to cause the fire to flame out, and in fact, the Bombers were always within arms length in the first two periods.
Trailing 9-5 after eight minutes, the Bombers (11-14) erupted to take a slim one-point lead, 16-15 late in the second period.
Down 20-18 at halftime, Palmerton grabbed a 27-25 lead in the third as Moore went on a five-point run. But the Bomber frosh got saddled with her third foul with 4:40 on the clock, Warrior Run began to assert itself and pull away for the victory.
“I’m proud of the girls, nobody expected us to be here, they battled and never gave up,” said Beck.
SILENT SNIPPERS… Certainly the youth on Warrior Run’s team never seemed to cause an issue. McKee was outstanding in the post with her ability to use her pivot like a veteran and Hoffman was on fire from the perimeter.
BOWING OUT… The lone senior on the floor for Palmerton was Baylee Guedes who had a solid floor game. Meanwhile, the Bombers should be well-groomed in 2020.
LET US COUNT THE WAYS… Warrior Run held the edge in rebounding, 33-27 getting 12 from McKee. Palmerton rebounding was spread out Cincilla and Kayla Nothstein each with five, the latter came off the bench in a solid outing. Cincilla drained 15 points to lead her side.
Cincilla 5-2-2-15, Moore 3-0-0-8, Nemeth 2-0-0-4, Nothstein 2-0-0-4, Molchan 1-2-3-4, H. Guedes 0-2-2-2, Papay 1-0-4-2, B. Guedes 1-0-0-2, Recker 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 13-6-11-41.
Hoffman 6-2-2-18, McKee 5-3-5-13, Bieber 2-4-4-8, Beachel 2-2-2-7, Coup 3-0-0-6, Hartman 1-0-0-3, Pick 0-1-2-1, Watson 0-0-0-0, Wilkins 0-0-0-0, Majcher 0-0-0-0, Axtman 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 19-12-16-56.
Palmerton 5 13 11 12 – 41
Warrior Run 9 11 16 20 - 56
Three-pointers: P - Cincilla 3, Moore 2. WR - Hoffman 4, Beachel 1, Hartman 1.