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Penns Valley celebrates senior day with a convincing win over St. Marys

By Kenny Varner

SPRING MILLS – Simply a Super Senior Night delight!!

One night after upsetting Mountain League foe Bellefonte, the Penns Valley boys basketball team was back on the hardwood hosting St. Marys.

The Rams started off hot and never looked back as they defeated the Flying Dutchmen 48-36 in non-league action.

Defensively, Penns Valley played shut down ball when it was called upon.

“It was nice to see guys from top to bottom contribute to the overall win. That’s the way you want to see it,” said Penns Valley coach Rob Irwin. “We take pride in our defense. We talk about believing in ourselves, having pride and communication. We try to build from there.”

Leading the offense on the night was MaClain Welshans, who netted a game-high 16 points.

Logan Crater just missed a double-digit performance with nine. All nine points came via the 3-point variety.

Teammate Zach Braucht finished with eight but added pinpoint passes to his teammates as well as pulling down clutch rebounds and steals.

Penns Valley opened up and went right to the long ball.

Crater opened up the game with a triple to start the game scoring.

The defense started early as the Rams muscled down two consecutive rebounds.

Both times, Welshans was able to get a picture perfect triple.

The Flying Dutchmen was forced to call a time out to regroup.

It paid off as St. Marys went on a 4-0 run.

Highlighting the mini run was Zach Thorwart’s triple, cutting it to a 9-4 contest.

But that run was squashed quickly as the defense again stood tall and allowed its offense to make a run of its own.

With the time running down in the first quarter, Aidan Culver started what would be a 7-0 run as he was a perfect 2-of-2 from the free throw line. Finishing up the quarter for the Rams was Braught’s five point effort.

With 40 seconds left on the clock, Braucht stepped out from beyond the arc, sending it home for the three.

After a turnover by the Dutchmen,  Braucht had the shooter’s touch as he hit a buzzer beater, ending the first quarter with a 16-4 advantage.

The two went toe-to-toe in the second quarter, midway through the quarter St. Mary’s had cut the Penns Valley lead to 21-16 with 1:54 left in the half.

But the Rams would end the period on the right note as it once again padded more points to its lead with a  6-0 run.

At the intermission, Penns Valley found itself holding a 27-16 advantage.

Starting off the third, the Rams came out of the half focused and ready to extend its lead. Threes were flying in the eight minute period as the two teams combined on five trays.

Four of those came from the Rams as they were able to add some breathing room to head into the final stanza.

When the dust settled in the third, Penns Valley extended its lead to 43-21.

Down but not entirely out, the Flying Dutchmen refused to go away without a fight when they were able to chip away at the Rams lead.

With the game running down, St. Marys were able to get it down to a 12-point deficit but it wasn’t enough for the comeback.

Penns Valley’s win moves them one win closer to hitting the .500, which they will be looking for on Friday as they play Bald Eagle Area.

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