Lady Knights fall in a tough contest, drop to 5-5

Smiling man with blue dress shirt and tie knot showing

By Paul Miller

Knightly News Co-Adviser

The Central Penn College Lady Knights fell to the Centenary (NJ) Cyclones on Thursday by a score of 76-57 in a USCAA contest from East Pennsboro High School.

In a game that was much closer than the final score, the Lady Knights played their most competitive game of the season on their home floor, keeping the contest close in the first half.

While the Cyclones started the scoring early in the first quarter, including a layup from center Vatijah Davis, the Knights hung tough behind Allison Yoder’s 6 points. Yoder was clutch in the first quarter to keep the game competitive, adding 4 rebounds in the frame.

Later in the first quarter, point guard Ashante Amos hit a contested 3-point basket to put the Knights up by five points early. The Knights extended their lead to six in the first, with Sidney Green hitting a bucket to send the Knights to a 15-9 lead.

The tide shifted in the second part of the first quarter, with the Cyclones going on a 12-0 run, capped off by a Kayla Sampong 3-pointer to shift the momentum in Centenary (NJ)’s favor.

The score stayed relatively close until midway through the second quarter when the Lady Knights made a 6-0 run of their own, highlighted by a key Carla Thomas 3-point basket, pulling the score to 28-23 in favor of Centenary (NJ).

Even with a fantastic layup by Syndey Bubb in the waning moments of the first half, the Knights went to the locker room down by 10, 38-28, but were still in the game and felt some momentum swinging their way.

In a memorable halftime show, the Knightly News sponsored a “Halftime Half-Court” shot contest, allowing members of the crowd to attempt a half-court shot to win a $25 Pizza Corner gift card. Central Penn College student Tracy Fontes hit the shot and took home free pizza for his efforts.

The Knights came out strong in the second half, closing the gap to as little as six halfway through the third quarter. Ahnae Robinson was key in the third quarter, scoring four of her 11 points to keep the score close.

But it was Davis for the Cyclones who helped Centenary (NJ) pull away in this contest, as she had 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 crucial steals in the third quarter. The Knights could not disrupt the shot of Davis, who was a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor in the third. With Davis’s efforts, the Cyclones went on a 19-6 run to end the third, adding cushion to their lead.

To their credit, the Knights never gave up. Playing 39 of a possible 40 minutes, Bubb shined in the final quarter, contributing 7 points to the comeback effort. In the final frame, Yoder added 6 points and grabbed 3 rebounds.

Even with the efforts of the Lady Knights, Centenary (NJ) saw contributions from bench players Kayla Sampong and Tanya Elsbree, both adding 5 points to the fourth-quarter effort. With the play of their bench, Centenary pulled away and ultimately took the victory with a final score of 76-57.

The story for the Lady Knights was missed opportunity, shooting under 30% from the field and missing several opportunities in the paint throughout the contest. Central Penn did play a much cleaner game, though, with three fewer turnovers than their opponents.

Yoder was named the Knightly News Player of the Game with 14 points and a season-high 16 rebounds. Bubb added 11 points and 4 rebounds in the game.

For the Cyclones, who improved to 8-2, Davis was the star, tallying 20 points and 14 boards. Sampong added 14 points in only 17 minutes off of the bench.

The Lady Knights, who fell to 5-5 on the season, have yet to win a game on their home floor. They have gone a perfect 5-0 on the road, including a victory in the Scranton Tip-Off Tournament in November.

While the Lady Knights have two more contests before the holiday break, they will not return home until Jan. 9, 2024, when they take on Trinity Washington.