Indians take care of business
MIFFLINTOWN — Despite struggles with turnovers in a rough first half, Juniata rebounded nicely in the third quarter to come back and pulled away from for a 55-35 win over Line Mountain in a Tri-Valley League girls basketball game Tuesday night.
“The story of the game is the third quarter where we had 22 points at the half. We doubled that so we had 22 in the third quarter on,” Indians coach Kevin Kodish said. “(We) outscored them 22-2 and we win by 20 points. It took us a long time to get rolling but, once we did we really got going.”
The Indians were down 25-22 coming out of halftime when Mya Rush strung into action. Rush may be physically small but she certainly came up big from the three-point line as well as from mid-range. Rush scored all 10 of her points in the quarter. Mackenzie Bennett was also sniping shots from the outside, scoring five in the quarter and also had 10 for the game.
“Mya Rush went bang, bang from the three-point line to break the game open,” Kodish said. “Mya can be a streak shooter. She gets in a groove, we can ride the wave for a while. She hit a couple of big threes that really opened up the game. Mackenzie hit a three in that sequence. You have people who hit three three balls in a short amount of time it is very deflating.”
The defense came up big for Juniata as well in the second half as the Indians kept the Eagles grounded. In the third quarter Juniata held Line Mountain to just two points while holding the Eagles to just eight points in the fourth.
It was completely different for the Indians in the first half as they struggled to get going offensively — mainly because of turnovers. Anytime Juniata had the ball, Line Mountain jumped right on the Indians, forcing turnovers and not allowing them to get a chance to set up shop.
“Just struggling to get into the offense. Line Mountain plays very aggressively,” Kodish said. “We weren’t real sharp. We were a little rough around the edges sometimes.”
It was much the same in the second quarter as Juniata again struggled to get going offensively. Though, this time it was the defense that was one of the biggest reasons the Indians kept the game close going into half. A big part of that defense came from bench players Makenzie Beward, Ashlyn Pannebaker and Talon Walton made their presence felt in the game.
“We were spotty I mean overall performance the first eight we turned the ball over in the first three, four possessions of the ball game,” Kodish said. “Defense was excellent at times. Sometimes, we let them drive into the paint so we were lacking at times. You got to get that consistency at both ends.
“Fortunately for us we played some young kids in there like Talon Walton, Makenzi Beward off the bench and did a good job. Ashlyn Pannebaker did a good job all the young girls there gave them some varsity time and see if they can help us defensively and I think they did a good job.”
Another major reason that Juniata were able to keep the game close came in the form of Malin Kint. Kint was dominant in the paint for the Indians scoring 14 points in the first half. Kint had 18 for the game.
“Oh definitely, if Malin doesn’t do that for us in the first half we could be buried,” Kodish said. “She scored 14 of her 18 points in the first half that kept us in the same area code.”
The Indians also won the JV game, 40-31, with Walton being the team’s highest scorer with 17.
Juniata (7-5, 4-2) hopes to keep the winning ways going as the Indians travel to Halifax Friday.
Juniata 55, Line Mountain 35
Rowe Shepps 1 0-2 2, Mackenzie Bennett 3 3-5 10, Mya Rush 4 0-0 10, Chloe Zendt 3 2-4 9, Laney Dowling 1 0-0 2, Talon Walton 1 2-4 4, Malin Kint 8 2-2 18. Totals: 21 9-17 55.
3-point goals: Bennett, Rush 2, Zendt.
Did not score: Makenzi Beward, Katey Martin, Ashlyn Pannebaker.
Lilliana Feliciano 1 0-0 2, Amber Hackenberg 4 0-0 8. Delaney Klinger 3 0-0 7, Kasey Boyer 1 0-0 2, Emily Bingaman 1 0-0 2, Katie Mace 1 1-7 3, Katie Shaffer 1 0-2 2, Liberty Downs 2 4-4 8. Kalina Pechart 0 0-1 0. Totals: 14 5-14 35.
3-point goals: Klinger.
Did not score: Sarah Canepa, Emily Gonsar, Kylie Klinger.
Score by quarters
Line Mountain 15-10-2-8 — 35
Juniata 11-11-22-11 — 55