A return to good feelings is what happened Friday night, Jan. 25 following the games between Potter County and Sunshine Bible Academy. There were only three games played since Sunshine Bible Academy did not have enough boys to field a junior varsity squad. Regardless of Potter County sweeping the three contests, I do not believe that is the only thing that contributed to the good feelings that emanated from this night.
It started during the girls junior varsity game and you would not know that from the score alone because Potter County obliterated the young Crusaders, 31 to 3. Yes, it was awesome for our young girls to cruise to such an easy win to instill confidence, enjoy a pressure free victory, and give all 15 girls who dressed out for the red and white an opportunity to perform in front of their parents and hometown fans. But what happened about halfway through the fourth quarter was indeed a great moment for all those who were there because it was heartfelt when everyone cheered Sunshine Bible Academy Crusaders sophomore Evelyn Jones for making the first two points of the game for the visiting team. It was not that these young Crusaders were doing or trying their best, but they were simply overmatched. So when SBC finally sank this bucket there was a unified cheer and applauding from the hometown fans to show they supported all the girls, no matter what colors they wore on their chests.
The girls varsity game was clearly the only competitive game of the night because Potter County won, 56 to 48. The girls had an overall record of 4 and 8 and ranked seventh in the conference at the start of the game, whereas the Crusaders possessed a record of 3 and 9 and ranked last.
Nevertheless, the ladies had to work hard and it was Jenna Robbennolt scoring 17 points and Abbie Larson stepping up to contribute 8 points to lead the way. In addition, Jenna and Abbie shut down the Crusaders frontline to ensure the victory. Again the Lady Crusaders put up a good fight, and it was their junior guard Lindsay Wilken who basically carried her team single-handedly because she scored the game high of 30 points and none of the Battlers could really prevent her from bringing the ball down the court or impede her from getting her shots off.
The special moment that involved something more in this game happened when there was 54.2 seconds left to play in the first half. There was a hard collision at the division line between a Crusader and Lady Battler Autumn Wieseler that drew no whistle but left Autumn on the floor in agony and clearly suffering. When play was finally stopped so Autumn could receive attention there was a hush throughout the gym and even the visitors clearly and openly displayed their concern. But when this Battler finally stood up, the Crusaders and their fans also applauded as Autumn retreated to the bench under her own power.
Before the final contest commenced, it was Parents Night for the varsity boys. This recognition is always a great moment to publicly thank each parent for supporting their sons being involved in a game that teaches every child something more than just winning and losing. So it is always fun to see who has the biggest the smile – the parent or player.
The Potter County varsity boys totally dismantled their opponents, 71 to 38. Cole Nafzinger, Kolten Kirby, and Cooper Logan all scored in double figures. Kolten Kirby, Taylor Frost, Hunter Eide, and Cooper Logan all netted 3-pointers, too. But no doubt every Battler put on the floor by Coach Bryce Hall hustled their derrieres off to shut down the Crusaders defensively.
Again, as in the girls varsity game, the Crusaders only had one really strong player and that was 6’ 7” tall junior Jade Burma. This Crusader scored 16 points but most were from outside the paint or on fast breaks because when he tried to post-up. Shad Sharp, Dylan Drew, and Dawson Simon gave him no quarter to shoot uncontested shots. And what else needs to be pointed out is that this star from the visiting team never shot one free-throw, meaning the Battlers’ frontline shut this player down most emphatically and with precision.
My final comment is when each game ended the Battlers joined the Crusaders at center court to join hands by making a circle of alternating players to share a moment of appreciation, respect, and most of all, to demonstrate being kid strong. In this time when there is so much divisiveness and hatred plaguing our country, it just seemed special that these young adversaries can show all us what really matters. So I left the gym feeling better, like I am sure most other fans felt, because I witnessed so much more than just a game being played.
Potter County 56
Sunshine Bible Academy 48
Non-conference at Gettysburg
SBA 14 5 9 20 — 48
PC 8 16 15 17 — 56
SBA: Abby Haun 5, Lindsey Wilken 30, Shariah Brockel 5, aria Roghair 4, Jakki Burma 4. Totals 20 3-8 48.
PC: Emilie Larson 1, Jenna Robbennolt 17, Autumn Wieseler 7, Kayla Sautner 6, Makaivry Schatz 7, Haylie Ahlemeier 2, Abbie Larson 8, Kirstie Lake 2, Tyler Simon 6. Totals 19 13-16 56.
3pt FG — SBA 5 (Wilken 3); PC 5 (Simon 2). Fouls — SBA 17; PC 12. Fouled out — SBA Konechne. Rebounds — SBA 36 (Wilken 10); PC 43 (Robbennolt 11). Assists — SBA 1 (Brockel); PC 9 (Robbennolt 9). Turnovers — SBA 10; PC 12. Steals — SBA 5 (Wilken 5); PC 7 (Larson 2, Wieseler 2, Larson 2).
Potter County 71
Sunshine Bible 38
Non-conference at Gettysburg
Sunshine Bible 11 16 5 6 — 38
Potter County 30 14 19 8 — 71
SUNSHINE BIBLE: EJ Big Eagle 4, Jade Burma 16, Travis Hass 6, Dylan Hass 3, Hunter Bradley 7, Titus Deal 2.
POTTER COUNTY: Cole Nafziger 13, Kirby Kolten 12, Taylor Frost 7, Shad Sharp 8, Dawson Simon 7, Dylan Drew 6, Hunter Eide 3, Cooper Logan 13.
3-PT FG — SBA 1 (Bradley); PC 9 (Kirby 4, Logan 3, Frost 1, Eide 1). Rebounds — SBA 40 (Burma 19); PC 26 (Sharp 6). Fouls — SBA 9; PC 13.