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East Juniata girls hold off late rally by rival Juniata

By Kenny Varner

MIFFLINTOWN – A rivalry renewed.

For the first time this season. the Juniata and East Juniata girls basketball teams met on the hardwood.

Like most meetings with the two, the game  would come down to the final minutes of the ball game.

It would be the Lady Tigers that would leave the Juniata’s gym with the 43-40 victory.

Leading the offensive charge for East Juniata was Alyssa Robinson who netted four 3-pointers en route to a 14-point effort. She also also pulled down five rebounds.

Marrissa Coudriet chipped in with nine while teammate Leah Sankey finished with eight.

It would be a 15-point third quarter that would give them a 7-point advantage going into the final stanza.

“I told them we needed more of an effort. Mike (Smith) had them (Juniata) coached up and that’s a good young basket ball team and they are going to be a team to be rejoined with in the next couple years,” said East Juniata coach Travis Quicci.

And in the third tied 20-20, the Lady Tigers did just that.

However, Juniata came out with the first bucket on MacKenzie Benner, giving them a 23-20 lead.

But the East Juniata offense started to heat up, outscoring Juniata 15-8.

Going into the final stanza, East Juniata held a 35-28 advantage.

Leading the way offensively was Robinson with five and Coudriet with four.

Juniata got five from freshman Ava Sheader and Benner, helping keeping their team within striking distance.

Shearer was a sheer force to be reckoned with down under as she posted a game high 16-points and pulled down 16 rebounds and six blocks en route to a double-double.

“It was quite a momentum change at that point. We had Talon Walton in foul trouble and we had to take her out,” said Juniata coach Mike Smith. “They ( East Juniata) did a nice job shutting Ava down down low, double teaming her. They knew what they had in there. If a couple of shots hit here or there it could have been a different ball game.

Despite the 7-point lead, the fourth started out slowly and worked  to a frenzy at the end.

Neither team would not manage a basket for the first four minutes of the period.

Shearer cut the game to a 35-30 game on an offensive board and put back.

Juniata went into fouling the Tigers to send them to the line hoping for a miss.

Leah Sankey hit 1-of-2 to up the lead to six with 2:46.

The lady Tigers held Juniata on the following possession and got the ball down court. Coudriet went strait to the basket and picked up the shot and the foul. She hit the free throw, upping the lead to 39-30.

There were now quit in the Indians and Carra Musser blazed her way down the court and hit a jumper.

Sankey added another point in the team’s next possession hitting 1-of-2, making it a 40-32 lead.

Under pressure Lorena Rivera stood calmly behind the 3-point line and hit nothing but net, cutting it to a 41-35 deficit.

Juniata’s defense fouled Sankey once again as she hit 1-of-2, keeping the Indians with some life with six.

Shearer made it just a 4-point game with an inside shot in traffic, with 8.3 ticks left on the clock.

It would finally be two free throws from Cypress Feltman that would seal the deal.

However, at the buzzer Juniata’s Benner hit a triple, making it just a 3-point victory at 43-40.

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