It was a tale of two Mustangs teams at Haverling High School in Bath Tuesday night as Penn Yan took on Dansville in the Class B Regional Qualifier. The tale ended sadly for Penn Yan, whose 17-8 season comes to a close with a 63-43 loss, while Dansville moves on to the Far West Regional at Rush-Henrietta High School over the weekend.
Dansville 63 Penn Yan 43
There was not an empty bleacher on either side of the court in Haverling High School with supporters of both teams boisterously waiting for the game to begin. Massive cheers and applause reverberated through the packed gym as the teams were announced and squared off in the center of the court. Penn Yan quickly gained control after an out-of-bounds tip-off and the action began in what looked to be a tight game with both teams answering basket for basket.
However, the 5-4 lead Penn Yan took with a well-placed 3-pointer from Jenna Curbeau was short-lived and would be the last of the points Penn Yan would take in the first quarter. Consistently missed shots and a lack of rebound recoveries dogged Penn Yan through the first two quarters as Dansville outpaced the Mustangs in both offense and defense. Penn Yan was able to take only a single point in the second as Dansville dominated the first half of the game, the score standing at a one-sided 38-6 going into halftime.
Far from being dejected from the beating they took in the first half, Penn Yan returned from the break with a tenacity they hadn't shown previously, digging in and fighting hard through the rest of the game. As Penn Yan's performance improved and the momentum began to shift, the frustration was evident in Dansville's players and aggression mounted in the ranks of both teams. Penn Yan slowly began digging themselves out of their hole, outscoring Dansville 37-35 in the second half, but in the end it wasn't enough to overcome the massive deficit of the first half and the Lady Mustangs found themselves defeated at the end of four quarters.
After the game, Penn Yan's Head Coach Katrina Davenport said, "I'm proud of their effort and that they didn't give up. The girls worked really hard in the second half, but we were just in too deep of a hole in the the first."
While Penn Yan's hopes of extending their season have come to an end, the season was one of the best Penn Yan has had in recent memory with the Class B2 title they claimed last weekend the first sectional title the school has taken in over two decades. While this marks the end of the high school careers of two valuable seniors —Jenna Curbeau and Ashley Sisson — the Mustangs, their coach and their fans are all eagerly awaiting next season as the team promises to be force to be reckoned with next year.