COCOLAMUS - The cross-county boys basketball rivalry between Juniata and East Juniata County did not live up to its normal billing Wednesday as the Indians ran into a rock solid defense and an opportunistic offense.
In the end, the Tigers took the first game of the series as overwhelming 55-22 victors.
"The game was a little ragged at times and we never really got into a true rhythm and I don't think we brought a lot of energy at times to the floor," East Juniata coach Brock Anders said. "Obviously anytime our guys go against their cross-county rivals it's a good win. We know we have areas to work on but I was pleased defensively with the way we approached some of their scorers, especially in first half by taking them out of their game."
Sentinel photo by BRADLEY KREIZER
East Juniata’s Nick Lorenz (3) attempts a layup over Juniata’s Zach Graybill (20 ) Wednesday in McAlisterville.
Defensively, East Juniata refused to allow Juniata to score in double digits in any of the four quarters of play. Their best quarter came in the second when the Tigers allowed only two foul shots by Logan Aurand.
Even in the fourth quarter when Anders went deep into his bench, the defense continued to clamp down on the Juniata offense allowing just six points in securing the 33-point victory.
East Juniata was led offensively by the man in the middle, center Bailey Coder. Coder went for a 15-point effort while pulling down 17 boards, picking up four blocks and three steals to cap the night. He also was 3-for-4 from the free throw line.
IF YOU GO
East Juniata hosts Halifax on Saturday.
Juniata hosts Line Mountain on Saturday
Coder got good support from Nick Lorenz and David Brantley. Lorenz worked the ball around the court looking for assists than points and had a strong effort on the boards pulling down seven and scoring eight.
Brantley finished his night with a 7-point effort.
Logan Knepp and Justin Mingle led the scoring for the Indians, both posting 5-point efforts.
Juniata tried to hang tough in the first quarter, keeping the Tiger offense to 17 points while it posted a game high seven.
Leading the way for East Juniata was Coder with six while Juniata got three from Dustin Holderman. Holderman's points came from beyond the arc on a triple.
However, the game took a turn for the worse in the second for Juniata as it was held to just two free throws while the East Juniata offense started to get into rhythm when it needed to, scoring eight.
When the third quarter got underway, East Juniata was in total control, leading 25-9.
"Right now we look like we are the first day of practice. We are not running any plays. Most of our offense runs off continuity. We need to run it through and through and through and we're not doing it," Juniata coach Nate Geibel said. "We're not playing as a team and we're not going to win any games if we play like this."
Offensively, the Tigers got back on track of sorts putting up a 13-point effort on the hands of Lorenz and Cole Snyder, who both finished the period with four apiece.
Juniata recovered a little from its subpar second quarter, placing seven points on the board.
But trailing 38-16 going into the final stanza was too much of a mountain to climb for the comeback. When the buzzer sounded, East Juniata notched the first of the two meetings.