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Bellefonte girls top East Juniata in girls hoops opener

By Kenny Varner

MIFFLINTOWN – In a post season like atmosphere, the East Juniata girls basketball team met up against Bellefonte again in their home opener.

It was a back and forth affair throughout.

However, the difference was a 17-2 third quarter by Bellefonte that helped the Lady Raiders to its first win under new coach Marcus Toomer.

“We ended last season 9-14 and we had all of the girls back this year and they are very motivated and they wanted to show everybody how good they really are. We’ve been working hard these first few weeks of practice and it definitely showed here,” said Toomer. “We are a defensive team. We can get after it and get out on the break. We are still working on the half court offense but it’s coming. We are making those shots and that’s great to see.”

Leading the way for Bellefonte in the 49-40 victory was Maddie Steiner who netted 16 and teammate Mia Johnson’s 11 points.

East Juniata’s Alyssa Johnson has the hot hand early as she finished with 14 points. Rounding out the double-digit scorers was Clayre Guyer with 11.

“We are disappointed in our defense. We pride ourselves on our defense,” said East Juniata coach Travis Quici. “We just didn’t play defense tonight and that third quarter got us.”

Going into the third quarter, East Juniata held a 26-23 advantage.

The Bellefonte offense got hot early thanks to two quick buckets by Steiner, giving the Red Raiders a 27-26 advantage.

Robinson hit her team’s line bucket of the period, putting the Tigers back ahead 28-27.

From there it was all Bellefonte as it went on a 15-0 run. In the scoring spree Johnson netted seven and Steiner had four to put their team up  40-28 going into the final stanza.

In the fourth, East Juniata was able to outscore Bellefonte 10-9 but it wouldn’t be enough as the Lady Raiders would pick up the win.

The first quarter proved to be a tightly played one as the Red Raiders took a 1-point lead to go into the second, leading 11-10.

But Johnson went off from long distance in the second scoring a 10-point quarter to give her team a 3-point lead.

Bellefonte will be back in action Saturday as it heads to Juniata to play the Indians while the Tigers will go head-to-head against Southern Huntingdon.

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