COCOLAMUS - Buckets were at a high premium Thursday when the East Juniata girls took on Belleville Mennonite in the final contest on the first day of the Juniata County Christmas Tournament, and neither team seemed ready to buy.
Although the Trojans struggled to score the entire game, even the Tigers had their slow periods in the 47-10 East Juniata win.
In the first two quarters, the two teams combined to score 27 points, but 23 of those points belonged to the Tigers in the first quarter alone, as the host bolted out to a wide advantage.
Sentinel photo by BUFFIE?BOYER
East Juniata’s Lauren Maguire, right, passes in front of Bellville Mennonite’s Meredith Spicher Thursday at East Juniata.
East Juniata came out very strong, outscoring Belleville Mennonnite 23-0 in the first quarter, but in the second quarter the offensive production nearly came to a standstill, with the Tigers outdoing the Trojans by only a 3-1 margin in the second quarter.
"You look at a score that says 47-10 and you think 'Wow, they must have done a lot of things right,'" East Juniata coach Travis Quici said. "It's frustrating coming away from the game where you win by 37 and there are a lot of things we see as a coaching staff that we need to work on."
Quici pointed to his team's scoring slump in the second quarter as a prime example of an area in which the Tigers needs to improve.
IF YOU GO
* The Juniata County Christmas Tournament concludes today. Consolation games are at 2:30 (boys)?and 4 p.m. (girls); championships games are at 5:30 (boys) and 7 p.m. (girls)
"We had three points in the second quarter, and it starts with our leadership. We go through these funks, and it happened there in that second quarter," he said.
East Juniata scored 13 and 8 points to Belleville Mennonite's 5 and 4 in the third and fourth quarters, respectively, meaning that although East Juniata's offense was hot and cold, the big first quarter, coupled with the padding added in the third and fourth, gave the Tigers an impressive victory, at least according to the final score.
And despite some of the Tigers' offensive frustrations, the flip side is that they had a great night on defense. In fact, Belleville Mennonite coach Ally Zook credited East Juniata's defense with the lopsided score.
"I think (East Juniata) knew that our strength was inside, and then that killed us when we couldn't get it in there," Zook said.
Belleville Mennonite, which didn't score its first point until there was 3:48 left in the second quarter, did start working against East Juniata's defense by taking more perimeter shots toward the end of the game, but as the score indicates, those shots were not to much effect.
The Trojans (1-5) were led in scoring by Becky Kauffman with five points. Today they will take on on Midd-West in the consolation round of the tournament at 4 p.m.
East Juniata (5-2), which was lead by Lauren Maguire's 13 point effort 11 of which were scored in the first quarter will face Juniata in today's championship round at 7 p.m.
Quici said he knows that when his team takes on a team like Juniata, the girls won't be able to get away with slow quarters like they had on Thursday.
"We know when we play Juniata, and teams like that, we can't go eight minutes and score three points," he said.