Mustangs have no answer for Tigers’ defense

MIDDLEBURG – East Juniata used a 22-0 run spanning from late in the first quarter until a minute and a half into the third to suffocate Midd-West and win their non-league boys basketball game Wednesday, 73-34.

“Obviously, our defensive intensity picked up,” East Juniata coach Brock Anders said. “We were able to limit their opportunities at the basket and defensive rebound really well. That allowed us to get down and set our offense up and get to some spots in the zone and get some easy looks.”

Nick Lorenz had a major part in that run, scoring 13 his 26 points on the night during the 9:39 span.

Bailey Coder scored 26 points and pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds and blocked four shots to supplement Lorenz’ effort.

“Nick and Bailey are some great players,” Anders said. “They’ve spent a lot of time developing their skills and honing them to be as good as they are right now. To have two leaders like that on the floor all the time that work and click so well together, makes it easy for me as a coach.”

East Juniata started the game with an 8-0 run during the game’s first five minutes.

Dyllan Folk got Midd-West on the board with a leaning 3-pointer with 3:19 to go in the quarter, making it 8-3 East Juniata.

The teams traded baskets before Folk’s jumper followed by Zach Schrader’s jumper made it 10-9 Tigers with five seconds left in the opening stanza.

That’s when East Juniata’s onslaught began.

Coder scored twice, then Lorenz added three consecutive baskets to make it 20-9 Tigers with 4:25 left in the quarter.

The last of Lorenz’ buckets came after Coder blocked a shot into Jake Sankey’s hands; he found Lorenz for one of his two assists, in transition, for the basket.

“Jake has steadily improved since the beginning of the season as a floor general,” Anders said. “He’s leading the team from a point guard perspective and giving us an opportunity to do some things.

“Our role players have really started playing well,” Anders continued. “They’re giving us the opportunity to do a lot of different things on the floor.”

Lorenz added two more baskets and Coder capped the 17-0 quarter with a basket.

Lorenz dial long distance for his second of three trifecta’s on the night and Coder made a layup to complete the run and put the Tigers up 32-9 with just over 6:30 left in the third quarter.

Folk’s runner finally snapped the run with 6:26 left in the third.

Schrader’s jumper with 2:16 left in the third cut the East Juniata lead to 18, but Midd-West would get no closer the rest of the way.

East Juniata closed the game with a 28-point final quarter.

Clayton Erhard made two of his three 3-point attempts in the final three minutes for East Juniata.

“We have a lot of league games on the road that we’re going to have to solidify,” Anders said. “We’re trying to evolve as a team. We’re trying to get better on both ends of the floor and develop a little bit of depth as we go.”

Schrader had a team-high 10 points for Midd-West.

Midd-West won the junior varsity game 48-35.

Midd-West (3-8, 0-5 HAC) will be back in action Saturday night when the Mustangs travel to Shikellamy.

East Juniata (14-0, 10-0 TVL) faces a critical Tri-Valley League test Saturday night when the Tigers host Greenwood.

“We have some tough games on our schedule yet,” Anders said. “We have a big one on Saturday. We know they’re going to be prepared. We need to be prepared.”