Tiger town is title town
COCOLAMUS – Bailey Coder celebrated a historic night at East Juniata by scoring 22 points, pulling down 13 rebounds and blocking nine shots in a 67-46 victory.
It marked a personal achievement for Coder, who became the second East Juniata player this year to break 1,000 points for his career.
The win over Newport clinched another first for the school – the Tri-Valley League boys basketball title.
“Obviously (it means) everything to my coaching staff, coach (Brian) Dressler, coach (Steve) Madden, and all the players that I currently have and even the ones previous in my six years,” East Juniata coach Brock Anders said. “Obviously, to this community, its something that hasn’t happened in 60 years. We’re going to take this as something that’s a tribute to our hard work and dedication to this program.”
Coder took an inbound pass and drove the baseline, making an up-and-under layup with 6:20 to go in the third quarter to crack the 1,000-point barrier, making him just the seventh player in East Juniata’s history to do so.
He credited his teammates for his achievement.
“It means I have of guards around me that distribute the ball really well,” Coder said.
“Obviously, Bailey’s worked very hard from a freshman up to his senior year. I would say I was probably one of the hardest guys on him early on in his career,” Anders said. “I wanted him to work hard to develop a lot of skills that he could do. I think tonight he showed what kind of all-around player he has become.”
“(The night) was pretty impressive,” said Nick Lorenz, who broke the school record for scoring and was honored for that feat before the game. “It was great to see one of my best friends and co-captain get his 1,000th. It’s great to make some new history here.”
Coder’s milestone basket started a tear for him where he scored eight straight points, grabbed three rebounds and blocked two shots over a two-minute span, extending the Tigers’ lead to 47-23.
The win pushed the Tigers to 18-0 on the season, which tied last year’s record for most regular-season wins.
Coder started things off strong, scoring five of the Tigers first seven points, capping it off with a drive and the foul, sinking the free throw to give East Juniata a 7-6 lead.
Bryant McHenry answered for Newport with his only basket of the game to give the Buffaloes their final lead of the night at 8-7.
East Juniata then ripped off a 22-3 run over the following seven minutes of game time, sparked by Lorenz, who scored 11 of his game-high 24 points over that stretch.
Trevan Dorman stopped the bleeding for Newport with 4:45 left in the second quarter when he made a layup.
Coder’s pass found Lorenz with 25 seconds left in the half to give East Juniata a 39-17 lead going into the half.
Lorenz jumpstarted and finished another 7-0 run to give East Juniata its largest lead of the night at 65-34.
Coder blocked his final shot of the night with four minutes left and came out for good to a huge ovation.
Lorenz’ biggest thrill of the night came when he found out his teammate narrowly missed the triple-double.
Coder laughed it off.
“It’s kind of a bummer coming up short of the triple-double, but it’s what you hope for,” Coder said. “Just numbers across the board.”
Lorenz was recognized for breaking Charles Sieber’s all-time scoring record of 1,360 points. That happened Jan. 27 when Lorenz scored 29 points.
“I don’t know what to say,” Sieber said. “I’m glad he did it. I really like the way he plays basketball and how he conducts himself as a young man. Nick’s great.”
Newport took the junior varsity game by a 48-37 final.
East Juniata (18-0, 14-0) looks to continue its perfect season when it welcomes Line Mountain for senior night Monday.
“I’ve been here several times over the last three years,” Sieber said. “It’s always good to see a basketball game. To see your own high school undefeated, it’s something special.”
The Tigers will close the regular season with four games next week.