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Juniata boys wins thriller over Greenwood


MIFFLINTOWN – It went down to the wire and in the biggest moment of the game, the littlest guy on the court made the difference as late heroics from Caleb Smith sealed the deal for Juniata as the Indians defeated rival Greenwood Wildcats by the final score of 30-29 in Tri-Valley League boys basketball action Monday evening.

The fourth quarter was pretty much a slugfest between the Indians and the Wildcats with both teams traded blows and taking control of the lead.

But then with 29 seconds remaining, Greenwood had possession of the ball and found Tyler Sherman open who then managed to fire off a mid-range jumper that went in to give the Wildcats a 29-28 lead with just 13 seconds left to play forcing Juniata to call a timeout.

After the timeout, the Indians had a long way to go and Greenwood was not going to make it easy for them to get across the line.

But GG Ortiz managed to fight his way across and found an open Max Lauver who then turned and fired a shot from the three point line that smacked off the rim. At first, it appeared as though Austin Derr was going to come up with the ball and then within a flash, Smith came flying into the paint and snagged the ball in mid-air and hurled the ball back up.

As the ball traveled back up it bounced off the rim a little bit before sinking in as time expired and Smith was mobbed by his teammates.

In fact, Smith scored all five of his points in the fourth and final period for Juniata.

Coming into the game, Greenwood was ranked first in the TVL for team defense while the Indians were in second place in the league in team defense. Both teams keep opponents under 40 points a game and it certainly was on display throughout the game.

The score was 12-7 after a quarter when both defenses put the clamps down on each other’s respective offenses.

Both teams looked to attack the inside but neither team managed to muscle its way into the paint. But it was Greenwood who was able to take advantage as the Wildcats powered their way back and eventually overtaking Juniata taking a 19-18 lead after three quarters of play.

Max Lauver led the Indians with a team high of eight points whileJacob Condo added another seven points. For Greenwood, Sherman led with a game high of 12 points.

The Indians were also victorious over Greenwood in the JV game with the score of 28-20.

Juniata is now (13-7) overall and (10-4) in the league and will look to keep the winning ways going on Thursday as the Indians travel to face cross county rival East Juniata Tigers.

Juniata 30, Greenwood 29
Jacob Condo 3 0-0 7, GG Ortiz 3 0-0 6, Evan Leach 1 0-2 2, Austin Derr 1 0-3 2, Max Lauver 3 0-0 8, Caleb Smith 2 0-0 5. Totals: 13 0-5 30
3-point goals: Condo, Lauver 2, Smith
Sam Myers 3 2-3 8, Bryce Wagner 1 0-0 3, Logan Seiber 0 0-3 0, Kyle Corkle 2 1-2 6, Tyler Sherman 4 3-4 12, Lawrence Tsuseb 0 0-0 0. Totals: 10 6-12 29
3-point goals: Wagner, Corkle, Sherman
Score by quarters
GW 7-3-9-10 – 29
J 12-2-4-12 – 30

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