The Sunbury Christian Eagles soared above the Juniata Mennonite Lions on Saturday afternoon, to win the ACAA championship 33-21
The first quarter of play was especially tough for the Juniata Mennonite, only scoring two points on two successful free throws by Molly Arnold. The Eagles were not far off and only lead the game by 5 points, off of 3 free throws and 2 field goals, to give them the lead at the end of the first.
JMS ran into a lot of trouble in the second quarter, as well as the rest of the game, with missing a good amount of their lay-ups and field goal attempts. Defensively, they also put themselves into foul trouble.
"We missed a lot of shots, certainly missed a lot of makeable ones," Lions head coach Andy Meiser said after the game, "We had a rough first half and pretty much a rough second half too. We had some girls in foul trouble early and that really hurt us, we had to sit some key players. But give them credit, they hit some shots, their second level players really stepped up and it wasn't our night."
The fouls that the Lions took gave the Eagles was a huge advantage. Sunbury made 12-of-19 free throws, with six of those coming in the second quarter.
The third quarter seemed to have brought new life to the Juniata Mennonite team as they made more shots and scored more points this quarter than in previously in the game. This was thanks to great offensive efforts by senior Lauren Breon and junior Alexis Hahn-Kline, each scoring a pair of field goals.
This push for the Lions, however, would not stop the Eagles. Sunbury's defense shut down the JMS offense to secure the 12-point win and the Sunbury championship.
"That doesn't diminish anything these girls have done," Meiser said. They are a special group of girls and they've been a blessing to me. I could not be more pleased with them, they were great. It was a good season. I'm really sorry to see Molly, Bethany [Saner], and Lauren go; they were a credit to the program and did a super job for us. We've got some players returning, so were going to try to get back here next year."