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Juniata tops Bellefonte

By Kenny Varner

BELLEFONTE – Saturday night at the Bellefonte gym, the Juniata boys basketball team faced Juniata in the rematch of the recent holiday Ram Jam championship game.
In that contest, the Indians came out victorious.
On this night, both teams proved why they were both worthy of being in the previous title game as they battled back and forth with Juniata winning once again, outlasting the Red Raiders 58-48.
An early scoring run proved to be what the Indians need to go out and later protect the lead for th victory.
In the win, Juniata finished the game with three players ending in double digits.
Ben Lauver had the hot hand on the night, hitting from everywhere, from long distance, the free throw line and inside for a 19-point effort. He also posted the highest point total in the game.
Following a close second was Tyler Clark as he finished with a 15-point effort. In the game, Clark was hot from beyond the three-point line hitting three.
Rounding out the double digit Indian scorer was the underneath play of Josh Parson. Besides pulling down some late clutch rebounds, Parson finished with 11-points.
“The kids played hard and we played well in spurts. We just have to learn to continue to stay poised when the other team is really coming at you,” Juniata coach Al Ream said. “But they (Bellefonte) have a good team. I’m not gonna take anything away from there a good team and we were able to prevail with the victory tonight.”
Despite the loss, Bellefonte finished with two double-digit scorers of its own.
Ben McCartney seemed to be a force in transition scoring 13 points most of which came in quick shots in the lane.
In the second half, Nate Nadolsky came in off the bench and scored 10 points.
The Red Raiders had three players finished with eight, they were Tyler Kreger, Nate Tice and Cade Fortney.
“I thought we had a good second half in terms are our effort defensively. In hindsight, I wish I would’ve approached the game a little differently. This one falls on my shoulders. This was tough we should’ve came out just in a different look. I think that would’ve given us a better chance against a really good basketball team,” Bellefonte coach Kris Glunt said. “But I was real pleased with the effort of the guys tonight in the second half. ”
In the final stanza, Juniata found itself holding onto a 14-point advantage.
Opening up the quarter, Bellefonte got into a scoring battle with the Indians battling back and forth for the first three minutes, trailing 51-37.
But the momentum started to turn Bellefonte’s way as the Red Raiders were able to cut the Juniata lead to eight 55-47 with just over two minutes left. The result was a 10-5 run.
But much like the previous three quarters, the Indians had an answer for the Red Raiders run, resulting with them holding on the rest of the way for the 3-1 scoring total to end the game.
In the first quarter, Juniata got the hot hand to start by posting a 22-12 scoring run to end the first quarter.
But both teams defenses strapped their opponents offense in the second as the Indians managed just seven points while the Red Raiders managed just two free throws.
Going into the intermission, the Indians held a 29-14 lead.
Bellefonte got its scoring going in the third as it out scored the Indians 15-14.
But it wouldn’t be enough as Juniata went onto the victory for the second time against the Red Raiders.

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