Strong first half powers Johnstown to win over Mayfield

Johnstown’s Abby VandeWalker, left, defends Mayfield’s Kelsey Meca (12) during Thursday’s Fulton County League girls basketball game at Mayfield High School. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)


The Leader-Herald

MAYFIELD — Simply taking the court was a victory for the Mayfield and Johnstown girls basketball teams.

After their seasons very much in doubt until the Fulton County Department of Health granted approval for high-risk sports late last week, the Lady Bills and Panthers took the floor for their first Fulton County League contest at Mayfield High School on Thursday.

“I’m so happy for these kids,” Johnstown coach Tim Derwin said. “Getting to play any games is great. It was very satisfying to play, win or lose.”

His Mayfield counterpart, Brian Moore, agreed.

“I’m beyond excited and thankful for the opportunity to get on the court,” he said.

Johnstown used a strong first half to open up a 34-7 halftime lead on its way to a 60-32 season-opening win.

Jaden Wilson (13 points), Anna Lee (12) and Sarah Pratt (11) all scored in double figures for the Lady Bills, while Jaidyn Chest added nine points.

“It certainly wasn’t perfect, but I thought the kids did a good job,” Derwin said. “We’ve only had about eight practices, so I was pleased with our effort.”

Cloey Dopp paced Mayfield with a game-high 20 points, including four 3-pointers. Kelsey Meca (8 points) and Adrianna Yuret (4 points) were the only other players to score for the Lady Panthers.

“We knew it would be a tough game, but I was hoping that we would improve through the game,” Moore said. “It’s hard because we haven’t played a full 5-on-5 game in a full year, but I was pleased with how we played as the game went on.”

Both teams struggled from the floor early, going a combined 4-for-26 in the first quarter.

Despite shooting just 3-for-14 in the first eight minutes, Johnstown emerged with a 10-2 first-quarter lead. Lee scored eight points in the frame for the Lady Bills.

In the second quarter, Johnstown used pressure defense to generate turnovers, which turned into transition layups. As a result, the Lady Bills opened the quarter with a 19-0 run to open up a 29-2 lead. Mayfield managed to score five points in the final 1:38 of the first half to trail 34-7 at the half.

“We made some adjustments in the second and third quarter and got ourselves going,” Derwin said.

After the break, the game was closer, with the Lady Bills outscoring the Panthers by a 26-25 margin to emerge with a 60-32 victory.

“We’re just glad to have a season,” Moore said. “We’re going to keep improving and make the most of it.”

Mayfield (0-1 overall) is scheduled to host Gloversville on Saturday at 12:30 p.m., while Johnstown (1-0 overall) is slated to host Gloversville on Monday at 6:30 p.m.

Johnstown 60, Mayfield 32

Johnstown 10 24 15 11 — 60

Mayfield 2 5 16 9 — 32


Wilson 5-3-13, Pratt 5-1-11, Lee 4-3-12, A. Sasaki 1-0-2, VandeWalker 2-0-4, Mraz 1-0-3, J. Chest 3-2-9, A. Chest 2-2-6. Totals 23-11-60


Yuret 1-2-4, Dopp 7-2-20, Meca 2-4-8. Totals 10-8-32.

3-point goals: Johnstown 3 (J. Chest, Mraz, Lee); Mayfield 4 (Dopp 4).

By Paul Wager