Late run lifts Clymer past Westfield, 40-37

Photo by Cody Crandall Westfield’s Kiara Booker (30) drives to the basket while Clymer defenders look on during Monday’s CCAA West 2 girls high school basketball game.

CLYMER — For the better part of three quarters Monday night, Clymer struggled to find any type of consistent rhythm against CCAA West 2 foe Westfield.

In fact, the Lady Pirates trailed 29-23 toward the latter end of the third stanza and were in need of a momentum shift.

And that’s exactly what Clymer got.

The Lady Pirates ended the third and began the fourth quarter on a combined 11-0 run thanks, in part, to big 3-pointers from Jenna Covey and Ashley Beckwith, Covey poured in a game-high 14 points and hit crucial free throws in the game’s closing seconds and Clymer held off a relentless Lady Wolverines team in a hard-fought 40-37 win.

“We started playing faster,” Clymer (5-4, 1-1) coach Scott Neckers said when asked about his team’s key second-half spurt. “We really played slow (early in the game). I don’t know (if it was due) to our first Monday game of the year, but usually these girls play a lot faster. Toward the (end of) the third quarter they started playing faster and doing the things we usually do and that really helped.”

Two free throws from Covey with under 10 seconds left in regulation gave Clymer a 3-point advantage. Westfield (2-4, 0-1) had a final chance to tie the game but came up just short on its last possession.

“I really feel we can play with them,” Westfield coach Dave Mathews explained. “I think we’re fairly evenly matched. …(Clymer) hit a couple 3s (in the third quarter to take the lead). That really made the difference.”

Despite the tough loss, Westfield played well for the most part throughout much of the contest. Sound play on defense and production on offense from the likes of Maddison Knapp (12 points), Sophia Demarco (7 points), Sydnee Abele (6 points) and Kiara Booker (6 points) had the Lady Wolverines in the lead at halftime, 18-15, and in position down the stretch to possibly pick up an impressive league win on the road.

The Lady Wolverines will look to bounce back Thursday in another Division 2 West matchup at home against Frewsburg.

“It’s huge for us to come here and not lay an egg,” Mathews emphasized. “It really is. Obviously, you want to win. But I’m very happy with they way they played. I felt like we were in the game the whole game and it’s a lot more fun to play a game like that. When we fallen behind (this season), we’ve struggled to catch up. And I felt like we got back in this and I think they realized we had a chance to win right up to the last second. We ran a play to get a shot that would’ve tied it up.”

To go along with the 14 points from Covey, Clymer’s Lauren Dunnewold and Erica Gustafson contributed 8 points each and Nashia Duryee had 6 points. Gustafson hauled in 11 rebounds while Dunnewold and Covey grabbed 10 each.

“What’s nice about this team is that somebody different steps up every night,” Neckers stressed. “We’ve probably played seven or eight games and I think we’ve had (around) five different scoring leaders. … They complement each other really well.”

Clymer will look to build on Monday’s win Thursday on the road in a league game against Sherman.

“This is a great win for us,” Neckers stated. “(Westfield) is a (Class) C school, so we get a little extra points for that in the power-point (playoff) ranking. And they’re a tough school, but it’s good to get your first league win. … I think these girls can play (even) better ball than they played tonight. We usually shoot a lot better. … It’s something we can definitely build on.”

NOTES: Knapp and Katie Bodenmiller had six rebounds each in defeat for Westfield. Clymer came away with a tight contested 33-30 win the jayvee matchup. … Alexis Wassink had the game-winning three-point play with time running down on the clock for the Lady Pirates while Katie Honey had 10 points … Westfield’s jayvee team was paced by 10 points each from Cheyanna Rivera and Laura Johnston.