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East Juniata boys take down Halifax


COCOLAMUS – East Juniata took advantage of its size, strength and length over Halifax and used to carry itself to a 74-51 victory on Monday in its final Tri-Valley League boys basketball game.

The Tigers came out the gate with authority on both sides of the ball as they overpowered the Wildcats inside the paint due to the efforts of Rowen Smith.

But then East Juniata began to showcase its balanced attack as once Halifax tried to cut the Tigers off inside, they immediately switched to a more outside attack behind the shooting of Tanner Barth and Owen Dressler.

On the other side, the East Juniata defense did not allow many chances to put the ball in the basket. The Tigers forced Halifax to become one dimensional as seven of the nine total points scored for the Wildcats was from Waid Gainer.

East Juniata started the period off with a 22-9 lead over Halifax.

But then in the second quarter, things began to change a little bit as the Wildcats began to spread the ball around the court after the Tigers tried to zero in on Gainer who started to find the open teammates.

The three ball was good for the Wildcats as Gage Sturm, Laim Himmelberger and Gainer were hitting some deep shots.

In fact, Halifax had outscored East Juniata 17-16 for the frame and gave the Tigers a 38-26 lead at halftime.

The shots from beyond the arc continued though for the Wildcats in the early part of the third quarter as they managed to cut the lead down to single digits. As a team, Halifax dropped six three pointers for the evening.

But as the quarter drew to a close, the East Juniata defense was wearing down the Halifax offense and the Tigers then responded on offense and began to pull away late in the period scoring 20 points while holding the Wildcats to just 13.

Then by the fourth and final quarter of the evening, the Tigers showed that they were not going to be denied a victory as they turned up the intensity along with both Barth and Brackbill bringing the heat in the lanes.

The East Juniata offense had not one, not two, not three, but four different players to have scored in double digits for the evening.

Smith was second on the team in scoring with 16 points while Brackbill was a close third with 15 points and Dressler added 12 more points all of which were exclusively from the three point line.

But the team leader in scoring belonged to senior Barth who along with Halifax’s Gainer led with a total of 21 points for the night.

After the game the Tigers celebrated by cutting down the nets to symbolize their Tri-Valley League championship victory from last week against cross county rival Juniata.

The Tigers were also winners during the JV game as well with the final being 33-28.

East Juniata is now (15-5, 13-3) and will look to end the regular season on a high note Wednesday as the Tigers will host the Selinsgrove Seals.

East Juniata 74, Halifax 51
Jake Brackbill 7 1-4 15, Tanner Barth 8 3-4 21, Caden Geedy 0 0-0 0, Owen Dressler 4 0-0 12, Rowen Smith 8 0-1 16, Brady Roe 0 0-0 0, Nate Freed 0 0-0 0, Clark Ritzman 1 0-0 2, Donte Martin 0 0-0 0, Dylan Wagner 2 3-4 7, Jack Hoffman 0 0-0 0, Ben Losch 0 0-0 0, Walker Stutts 0 1-2 1. Totals: 30 8-15 74
3-point goals: Barth 2, Dressler 4
Gage Sturm 1 0-0 3, Liam Himmelberger 4 0-1 10, Eric Stoneroad 2 0-0 5, Waid Gainer 8 3-7 21, Justin Zahurak 4 0-1 8, Jacob Penman 1 0-0 2, Gavin Shoop 1 0-0 2. Totals: 21 3-9 51
3-point goals: Sturm, Himmelberger 2, Stoneroad, Gainer 2
Score by quarters
H 9-17-13-12 – 51
EJ 22-16-20-16 – 74

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