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Carlynton girls basketball playing scrimmage in Cleveland

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Randy Jarosz | for the Signal Item
Conor Richardson scored 25 poins in Carlynton's 63-61 loss to Greensburg Central Catholic in the WPIAL Class AA second round.

Every girls basketball team in the WPIAL is going to play scrimmages to prepare for the season.

Only two are going to play a scrimmage in Cleveland.

Carlynton and Montour face off at the Quicken Loans Arena, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers, on Nov. 29. Tipoff is set for 3:45 p.m. The multi-purpose arena in downtown Cleveland seats 20,562 for basketball games.

The Cougars got the chance to play in the NBA arena due to a connection athletic director Nate Milsom had within the organization.

“My college roommate works for the Cavaliers,” Milsom said. “They have different high school teams do this but we are the only teams from outside of Ohio to do it.

“We were offered to do for the last couple of years but this felt like the right time with LeBron James coming back to Cleveland.”

The Cougars decided playing the scrimmage would work out better over a regular-season game due to travel and other obstacles.

“We didn’t want to sacrifice a regular-season home game,” Carlynton coach Tim Bonner said. “It should be a great bonding experience before the season for the girls.”

To get the chance to play on the Cavaliers home court, the Cougars and Spartans have to sell 200 tickets for the game between Cleveland and the Indiana Pacers set for later that day at 7:30.

Tickets were being sold for $50.

The Cougars are coming off a 19-4 season that saw the team capture the Section 6-AA title and reached the WPIAL Class AA quarterfinals.

The team returns several talented players, including Duquesne recruit Connor Richardson.

“We felt we had our season ended prematurely last year,” Bonner said. “We feel we have a good team. A lot can happen with injuries and sickness but if we can avoid that and pay attention to the X and Os, we think we could be a really good team.”

Carlynton opens the season on Dec. 5 at the Abridge Tip-Off tournament with an 8 p.m. game against Bishop Canevin.

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at [email protected] or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.

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