EMPORIUM — The District 9 title defense is off to a strong start at Coudersport.
In their season debut on Tuesday night, the Lady Falcons led wire-to-wire in a 48-24 demolition of Cameron County and showcased the fact that they’re capable of another run at the D9 crown.
“We have a lot to put in and still have to get better at everything, but I’m pleased with what we did tonight,” Coudy coach Bob Tingley said.
The teams got off to a slow start, as turnovers plagued both squads. Coudy took a 3-2 lead midway through the first quarter, and then began ramping up its tempo, parlaying Cameron County (1-1) turnovers into fast-break opportunities.
The move paid off, as Coudy took a 14-3 lead after one quarter and a commanding 32-7 advantage into halftime.
“We’ve got a lot of quickness, and the guards can get the ball out and down the court. That will be one of our strong points,” Tingley said. “But we won’t be able to do that against everybody, so we have to execute better in the half court.”
When the Lady Falcons did work in the halfcourt, they mostly relied on the reliable forward duo of Sarah Chambers and Rosalyn Page. The pair led Coudy in scoring with 14 and 12 points, respectively, while guard Belle Porterfield chipped in 10.
“(Their size and length) are very beneficial,” Tingley said of his forwards. “They get rebounds and get it out of there, and then we have two or three kids that can run out in transition.”
And that’s a welcome sight for Tingley, who was tasked with replacing Mikayla Gunn and Lauren Stimaker from last year’s backcourt.
In their place, Liz Frame (7 points) now runs the point guard position while Porterfield and Emma Chambers (5 points) operate on the wings.
“I think we probably have more quickness this year,” Tingley said.
He added of Porterfield’s debut, “This was her first varsity game. I think she’ll be one of those kids that can cause problems when she’s guarding on defense. She scored more than I expected tonight, too.”
For Cameron County, meanwhile, the early turnovers and slow start were simply too much to overcome. The Lady Raiders committed 25 giveaways, and never managed to dig back out of their early deficit.
Coach Dave Sullivan says that while Tuesday night’s contest is just one game, there will need to be some adjustments moving forward for his squad.
“Coudersport’s defense is tough, but I don’t think we particularly played well in the first quarter. We were doing a lot of standing and our turnovers count, I’m afraid to look,” he said afterward. “We were definitely not ready for that kind of (defensive pressure), even though I have a senior-laden team that’s been there before. We did a poor job of handling it, so we’ll have to get back to the whiteboard before our next trip over there.”
When the Lady Raiders were able to get looks, they frequently ran into trouble against Chambers’ and Page’s length, as many shots were blocked.
“We just need to play under control and try not to do too much,” Sullivan said. “I think there was a lot of 1-on-1 and 2-on-2 tonight, especially in that first half. As a team, we’re better than that one-on-one and two-one-two stuff.”
Cameron County managed to keep pace with Coudy through the second half, however. Hailey Hilfiger led the Lady Raiders with nine points, while Kaelee Bresslin scored eight.
“In the second half, we switched defenses and that helped us,” Sullivan said.
Both teams have quick turnarounds and are back in action tonight. Coudy hosts Otto-Eldred in a rematch of last year’s District 9 Class A semifinals, while Cameron County heads to Ulysses for a matchup with Northern Potter.
Sarah Chambers 6 2-2 14, Rosalyn Page 5 2-2 12, Belle Porterfield 4 1-2 10, Frame 3 1-2 7, E. Chambers 2 1-2 5. Totals: 20 7-10 48
Cameron County (24)
Hailey Hilfiger 4 1-2 9, Breslin 3 1-2 8, McKimm 1 0-2 3, M. Lorenzo 2 0-0 4. Totals: 10 2-6 24
Coudersport 14 32 41 48
Cameron Co. 3 7 14 24
Three-point goals: Coudy 1 (Porterfield), CC 2 (Bresslin 1, McKimm 1); Total fouls: Coudy 10, CC 10; fouled out: None.
JV: Coudersport won.