Cedar Cliff’s star trio – Sydney Weyant, Olivia Jones, Alexis Buie – powers up Colts third quarter to take down Mechanicsburg 52-25

Sydney Weyant isn’t afraid to break the ice with a solid 3. Olivia Jones gets boards like a boss. And, when in doubt, look to Alexis Buie, who has a reach that outsizes most players on the court.

They are just three of the reasons why Cedar Cliff remains undefeated this season.

The Colts won another contest at home Wednesday against Mechanicsburg 52-25. Both teams play in District 3 and the Mid-Penn Conference. Cedar Cliff is 14-0 and Mechanicsburg is 11-4.

And, despite what the scoreboard read at the end, it was anyone’s game at the half.

“Definitely coming in at halftime and only winning by five, we needed to pick it up,” Sydney said after the game. “I think we definitely did that. O, and Taylor (Ferraro), Lexi and Kate (Sansom), they all got rebounds and that creates open shots.”

Sydney ended the night with 10 points. She scored the first points of the game, which was a 3.

Mechanicsburg was able to earn a one-point short-lived edge twice in the second. Two 3’s – one made by Gracen Nutt and the other Alaina Sweet – tightened the ‘Cats offense. They weren’t wasting shots. Mechanicsburg’s efficiency at the 3-point line forced the Colts, who have won every matchup by more than 20 points, to reveal their game.

It was 13-10 after the first quarter. At the break, it was 23-18.

Cedar Cliff’s rotation clicked in the third, which is when the Colts scored 18. And, Jones decided to unlock her rebound dominance. She ended the night with 13 rebounds and 17 points.

“When my dad played, his job was to rebound,” Jones said. “So, from a young age, he’s always taught me to get the boards. If they’re shooting on the opposite side, get to the opposite side for the rebound. That’s what I’m trying to focus on, is trying to get as many rebounds as I can to try to create as many opportunities for my team as I can.”

The Wildcats won a handful of rebounds, but Jones’ confidence hit an all-time high in the third and fourth quarters. She applied more pressure on Mechanicsburg’s team than was applied to her.

“Occasionally, it gets to me when they’re up in my face,” she said. “From a young age, my parents taught me how to get through pressure and just learn to get through it in a way that I can handle it. Right now, it’s not easy, but it’s easier.”

After Mechanicsburg’s 18-17 lead in the second with 90 second remaining to play, the Colts wouldn’t allow the Wildcats an opportunity to set up shots. Cedar Cliff’s defense held them to 7 points in the second half.

“They do a really good job of pushing the ball, getting their shooters to the 3-point-line,” Cedar Cliff head coach Scott Weyant said. “We missed some shots and hung around a little too long to pressure the ball, and that gave them open looks.”

There were times that both teams were a “little gassed,” but it was Cedar Cliff’s stamina that ended Mechanicsburg’s rush.

“We want to win Mid-Penn, Districts, and try to go in the postseason for as long as we can,” Sydney said.

Hosting the game didn’t hurt either. Cedar Cliff had its elementary night. There were dozens of future high school girls basketball players cheering them on.

“I just really love it,” Jones said. “This community in general is so supportive. And, the little girls, they look up to every single one of us. We know we’re role models, so we have to set a good example.”

The work that the Colts put into the third enabled their second-string players to come off the bench. The time those players spend on the court is valuable to all the Colts, Scott Weyant said.

“Our bench is great, we battle, and our (junior varsity) kids benefit, too,” he said. “They’re playing against a very good team in the state and that just cultivates success. When they get out on the floor, it’s their time to shine, too.”

Mechanicsburg was missing one of its star players, Jayden Eager. In her place, Nutt and Sweet, stepped up to be playmakers, working with a team that’s still trying to smooth a few plays out.

“You build a relationship with these kids over the years,” Mechanicsburg’s head coach Clay McAllister said. “(Eager) played in 55-60 varsity games. She played in the state semifinal last year. We had a heck of a run last year. She’s that kid who shows up every day. For the young kids, they are forced into a different role this year. (Cedar Cliff) wore us down in the second half. We made a good effort and have good stuff to build on there. We’re going to go into practice tomorrow and get ready for (Lower Dauphin). It’s a different animal, but we’re going to do our best.”

Colts: 13-10-18-11 – 52

Jones, 17; Buie, 13; Weyant, 10; Sansom, 6; Ferraro, 3; Hope Joy 2, Kallie Gillen, 1

Wildcats: 10-8-2-5 – 25

Nutt, 8; Dani Klinger, 8; Sweet, 7; Priya Loran, 2

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