Red Raiders save best for last
Late Bellefonte run too much for Tigers
COCOLAMUS — One quarter made all the difference as East Juniata dropped its season-opener at home against Bellefonte, 49-40, in a non-league girls’ basketball contest on Friday night.
“I’m disappointed in the defense,” Tigers’ coach Travis Quici said. “We prided ourselves on defense and we just didn’t play defense and that third quarter got us again. It’s kinda been our Achilles heel the last couple years.”
“Bellefonte is a heck of a basketball team — a well coached team,” Quici continued. “Marcus has done a phenomenal job with them. We knew it was going to be a battle. We didn’t execute what we wanted to, they went on that run in the third quarter and we just ran out of gas.”
Right from the opening tipoff the clash of styles between both teams was evident. The Tigers looked to create their offense through their defense, immediately getting on the attack with a run-and-gun offense. Early on in the first quarter East Juniata’s up-tempo attack quickly pulled the Tigers ahead.
The Red Raiders eventually managed to the slow the game down forcing East Juniata to play more half-court style of play, taking advantage of their size and length to keep the Tigers from scoring.
It was much the same in the second quarter with East Juniata running up and down the court pulling away from Bellefonte until the Red Raiders were able to dictate the tempo, forcing the Tigers into a half-court game to chip at the East Juniata lead. The Tigers held a 26-23 advantage at the half.
“The goal was to get down in transition, we tried something a little bit different tonight but I don’t know how long we will stick with it,” Quici said. “Again our bread and butter is our defense, everybody that plays us know that. Tonight, it didn’t show up.”
The major reason the Tigers had the lead going into halftime was in large part thanks to the efforts of Alyssa Robinson, who went off scoring 10 of her 14 points in the second quarter.
Bellefonte learned from its mistakes in the first half and came up with some big adjustments at the start of the third, completely taking away the Tigers’ offense. East Juniata was held to just two points in the quarter, scored on a basket by Robinson.
On the other side, the Red Raiders were led by Mia Johnson and Madison Steiner scoring 14 of the team’s 17 points in the quarter.
“Their transition got us, we weren’t getting back in transition defense, we weren’t defending any half court shots,” Quici said. “I think they had a 12-0 run at one point. We just couldn’t stop the bleeding, I called two timeouts and it didn’t matter. We didn’t stop the bleeding.”
East Juniata starts the year (0-1) and will look to rebound today as the Tigers host Southern Huntingdon.
Quici expects his team to put this game behind them and gear up for the next one.
“I know the girls were disappointed,” Quici said. “We’re not giving up on them. They’re a tough bunch of kids, they understand what’s expected of them. Fully expect them to bounce back tomorrow.”
East Juniata won the JV game 32-17. The top scorer for the Tigers was Amara Brubaker with 14 points.
Bellefonte 49, East Juniata 40
Paris Feltman 3 1-2 7, Clarye Guyer 4 2-4 11, Thea Neimond 3 0-2 6, Leah Sankey 1 0-0 2, Alyssa Robinson 6 0-2 14. Totals: 17 3-10 40.
3-point goals: Guyer, Robinson 2
Did not score: Cypress Feltman
Madison Steiner 7 2-4 16, Mallorie Smith 1 0-1 2, Mia Johnson 4 3-3 11, Maddie Tice 3 1-2 9, Sara DeHaas 3 0-0 6, Taylor Kerr 1 1-4 3, Hanna Luck 1 0-0 2. Totals: 20 7-14 49.
3-point goals: Tice 2
Did not score: Lily Gardner
Score By Quarters
Bellefonte 11-12-17-9 — 49
East Juniata 10-16-2-12 — 40