2011-03-12 / Sports

Falcon girls to face Aliquippa


D. J. Cowburn stops in the backcourt and looks underneath during Saturday’s District 9 championship game at Clarion. Coudersport edged Union for its 13th district title and now takes on Aliquippa in the first round of state playoffs. The potent Quips are seeded fourth from the rugged WPIAL/District 7. Paul Burdick Sports Images D. J. Cowburn stops in the backcourt and looks underneath during Saturday’s District 9 championship game at Clarion. Coudersport edged Union for its 13th district title and now takes on Aliquippa in the first round of state playoffs. The potent Quips are seeded fourth from the rugged WPIAL/District 7. Paul Burdick Sports Images PIAA District 9 girls’ basketball champion Coudersport is going to have its hands full during Saturday afternoon’s opening round of the 32-team state Class A playoffs.

The Quips of Aliquippa come to St. Marys High School gym to meet the Falcons as the fourth-seeded team from PIAA District 7. However, Aliquippa has posted a 21-3 overall record against rugged competition, so that seeding is deceptive.

Coach Brian Green hopes that his quick, aggressive defense will be able offset some of Aliquippa’s advantages. The Falcons would like to contain 5-foot-11 junior Nakira Emerson, who averages more than 14 points and 11 rebounds per game. Another Quip, Lashonna Owens, is also 5-11 and averages 2.5 blocks per game.

Completing Aliquippa’s frontcourt trifecta is 5-9 junior Jacyln Watkins, who averages 12 points and 10 rebounds per outing.

They’re complemented by a very quick sophomore guard, Thai-Jenelle Smith, who averages upwards of four steals per game, and senior shooting guard Danyia Perry, who’s scoring at a clip of 12.5.

Any wins from this point forward are icing on the cake for a Falcon team (24-1) that’s riding a 23- game win streak and wearing the District 9 crown for the 13th time in the past quarter century.

Coudersport pulled out a 47-45 victory over Union in the title game Saturday night at Clarion. Jenna

Matzinger stole the ball in the closing seconds, fed it inside to Hannah Fink, and the latter sank a short jumper.

Jenna Gabreski intercepted a pass to prevent the

Golden Damsels from getting off a potential tying shot at the buzzer.

Coudersport overcame first-half foul trouble and some cold shooting to pull out the win. Trailing by six points early, the Falcon erupted to take a 20-10 lead early in the second quarter. Then the momentum shifted to Union and the Damsels trailed by just 26-24 at the break.

Nobody could pull away in the second half. D. J. Cowburn swished a pair of foul shots to put Coudersport up 45-43 at the 1:03 mark. After a Falcon turnover, Union netted the score at 0:13.

Cowburn launched a jump shot that missed and Matzinger alertly lifted the ball from a Damsel after a scramble and found Fink in the paint. A few hours later, the D9 champions were welcomed back to Coudersport with sirens and whistles escorting the team bus to the school.

“Hannah got the ball in position where she practices every day and she buried it,” Green said. “I’m very happy for her. She’s worked her tail off.”

Fink and Tori Brown scored 12 points each; Cowburn tallied 11. Matzinger scored seven points and grabbed eight rebounds.

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