Wellsville wins cat-mouse game at Malvern

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CCMCarol McIntire Hornet Whitney Smith (white uniform) takes advantage of an opening between Wellsville defenders Bella Poppelreiter (10) and Myleigh Jackson enroute to the basket during a Dec. 30 contest played at Malvern.

By Carol McIntire


Malvern played a cat and mouse game with Wellsville through two and one-half quarters of a Dec. 30 game.

The Hornets, hosts for the non-league contest, scored first and the Tigers cut the lead to within a couple points. 

The scenario continued over and over throughout the early going. With just over three minutes left in the third quarter, the Tigers got their second wind, took the lead for the first time and outran the Hornets for a 48-39 win.

Coach Natalie Sarbaugh’s young team came out the tip firing. Avery Sprague drove inside the paint for the first basket of the game. Megan Kuba pulled down a defensive rebound, dribbled to the other end of the court and put in an uncontested layup. Whitney Smith repeated Kuba’s actions and the Hornets took an early 6-0 lead. 

Amiyah Powell put Wellsville’s first points of the game on the board at the 4:24 mark of the first period. The visitors cut the gap to 13-8 at the end of the period.

Smith nailed two consecutive 3-point shots from the right side t extend Malvern’s lead to 16-10 before Wellsville again clawed back to within three points, 23-20 at halftime. 

“We had a strong first half, made shots, were patient on offense and played well which put us up by 10  in the second quarter,” Sarbaugh commented.

Bella Poppelreiter, who scored a game-high 23 points, led the Tigers’ rally and gave her team its first lead of the game with a 3-pointer at the 3:18 mark of the third period. She then sank three foul shots to give her team a 36-28 lead heading into the final period. 

Wellsville won the fourth period 12-11 to secure the win.

“Wellsville, to their credit, kept fighting and cut the lead at the half. Wellsville went on a run in the second half and we couldn’t close the gap. We look to improve and learn from the game,” Sarbaugh added.

Smith and Addison Mitchell both scored in double figures- Smith with 20 and Mitchell with 11. Kuba added eight and Sprague four.  Mitchell sank one 3-pointer. 

Tuscarawas Central Catholic (TCC)

The Hornets started the new year off with a 36-30  Inter Valley Conference (IVC) win over TCC Jan. 3 at Malvern. 

The hosts fell behind 7-5 in the first period and trailed 18-14 at intermission. Malvern’s defense held the visitors to a single point in the third period while scoring 10 points to take a 24-19 lead heading into the final stanza.

Smith led the winners with 13 points as five players put points on the board. Mitchell contributed eight, Amber Gray chipped in seven and Sprague and Kuba four apiece. Mitchell and Smith both landed a 3-point shot.

The Saints sank five 3-point shots, led by J. Selinsky with two. 

The Hornets  drew to within one game of .500 with the win at 5-6 and are 4-2 in league action. TCC dropped to 2-7 overall and 1-5 in the IVC.

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