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Juniata survives tough contest against Greenwood

By Kenny Varner

MILLERSTOWN – Friday was a tale of two quarters for the Greenwood and Juniata girls’ basketball teams in a thrilling Tri-Valley League contest.

The Wildcats took the first half, while the Indians finished off the second half, capturing the hard fought 40-33 victory.

“In the second, we came up with a different game plan. It really sparked them more on the court . I didn’t give them any “Rudy” speech  but we came up with a plan to try to get our inside girls doing more stuff to open up the outside,” said Juniata coach Mike Smith. “They were so excited to avenge our loss from last night and show everyone we are the real deal.”

One edge the Indians had Friday came in the rebound department where they out rebounded the Wildcats 32- 19.

Olivia Clark finished the game with a double-double posting 13 points and 12 boards to help Juniata in its second half run.

In the rebounding department, Tallon Walton pulled down nine clutch rebounds to go with a lone field goal.

Greenwood has three players that finished with over or at five boards each. They were; Alli Crockett (6), Kenedy Stroup (5) and Abby Taylor (5).

Taylor and Alli Walton both finished with 10 points.

Going into the final stanza, Juniata held a 27-26 advantage after reversing the fortunes from the first half where it trailed 20-13 at the half.

“A lot of credit to them(Juniata). There was a big run there that seemed like they threw up seemed to find the bottom of the net. They got hot there late third quarter and we just couldn’t recover,” said Greenwood coach Jeff Deitz. “I don’t think my team played particularly bad. I just think it’s the game of basketball and they had a heck of a run there and we didn’t recover.”

Clark got the scoring started in the period when she went right to the heart of the defense for the bucket.

After forcing a turnover on the next Greenwood possession, the Indians slowed the pace down and worked the ball to Mya Rush.

Rush sent one from downtown and hit nothing but net, upping the Juniata lead to 32-26.

Greenwood was unsuccessful in the following time down court and the I Diane battled to get the ball back once again.

This time, they got the ball to Rowe Shepps who hit a tough bucket to continue the Indians scoring run.

The bucket forced the Wildcats to call a time out.

When they did, the Indians once again got the ball back and this time Shepps was fouled on her way up for the bucket. She hit 1-of-2 to increase the lead to 35-26 lead.

But Greenwood refused to go away as they shot themselves back into striking distance on buckets by Kenedy Stroup and a triple by Ella Brummer, cutting it to 35-31.

Clark went right back to the rim and she was fouled in the act of shooting. She made 1-of-2, extending the lead to 36-31.

Taylor blasted a clutch shot on the following Wildcat possession, cutting the game to a 36-33 ball game.

However, the Indians were able to turn away the Wildcat offense and was able to hit four foul shots to ice the contest to seal the deal.

Greenwood looked primed and ready for the game as they outscored Juniata 12-6.

Leading the way was Taylor with four points.

The Wildcats continues its momentum as they were able to take a 7-point advantage going into the half. Walton paced the way with six points in the 20-13 advantage.

But Juniata’s defense stood tall as it held the Wildcats to only six while the Indians posted 14 en route to the comeback attempt.

In the Junior Varsity game, Greenwood outlasted Juniata 25-18.

Juniata 40, Greenwood 33

JUN 6   7 14 13 – 40

GRE 8 12   6   7 – 33

Scoring: Juniata – Rowe Shepps 3 7-8 13, Mackenzie Bennett 0 2-5 2, Mya Rush 5 0-0 12, Talon Walton 1 0-0 2, Olivia Clark 4 2-4 11. Totals 13 11-17 40.

Greenwood – Kenedy Stroup 1 6-7 8, Abby Taylor 5 0-0 10, Ella Brummer 1 0-0 3, Alli Crockett 0 2-2 2, Alli Watson 5 0-0 10. Totals 11 8-9 33.

Played but didn’t score: Juniata – Malin Kint 0 0-0 0.

Greenwood – None.

3-point shots: Juniata – Clark, Rush.

Greenwood – Brummer.

JV score – Greenwood 25-18.

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