Juniata defeated in double overtime
Four Indians score in double digits
MIFFLINTOWN — The Juniata Indians played host to rival Halifax in Tri-Valley League girls basketball action Thursday night. The Indians fell short in a double overtime loss to the Wildcats by the final score of 61-54.
“I thought we had it in the end,” Indians coach Mike Smith said. “Give Halifax a lot of credit, they have improved throughout the year.”
The Indians held onto a slim 33-31 lead going into the fourth quarter of the game. The teams went back and forth, showing great intensity both on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
Halifax was about to pull away late in the frame. But Olivia Clark refused to allow her team to fall behind, drawing the foul and nailing both free throws to even the score. The Wildcats responded as Montana Paul got the lead back with a pair of free throws of her own. This forced Juniata into calling a timeout with 12 seconds left in regulation.
The Indians came out of the timeout looking to find the open shot and force this game into overtime. They did just that as Mackenzie Bennett stepped up in a big way, getting the ball at mid-range, turning, firing and nailing the buzzer-beater to force overtime.
“Montana had four fouls, we were trying to get her fifth one there,” Smith said. “They switched her off and then we knew whoever she was covering, we could take it to the hoop with.”
In the first overtime is when things got heated. Juniata managed to take a three-point lead late in the frame, but that was when things turned south for Juniata. The Indians missed some key free throws on top of multiple disagreements with officiating as Halifax looked to draw even. Juniata believed that Halifax set an illegal screen, but the call was not made, allowing Paul to take the ball to the three point line and drain a three to force a second overtime.
In the second over time, Paul made her presence felt again scoring seven of the Wildcats’ 13 points in the quarter, leading the way to a Halifax victory. Paul had a game high of 31 points for the Wildcats.
“Montana Paul was on fire,” Smith said.
The Indians had four players: Clark, Rowe Shepps, Bennett and Malin Kint all score in double digits, with Clark having the team high of 16 points.
“Malin is a hustler and she just gets it done inside, just if we could feed her a little better,” Smith said. “(I) saw that our passes were a little errant going in. Olivia is just an all-around offensive and defensive threat.”
The Indians also lost in the JV game by the final of 31-23, with Lorena Rivera being the high scorer with nine points.
Juniata falls to (8-5, 4-2) and will look to recover on Monday as the Indians will host Millersburg in another TVL matchup.
“The girls played their hearts out,” Smith praised. “I’m not upset with them at all.”
Halifax 61, Juniata 54 (2OT)
Rowe Shepps 2 6-8 10, Mackenzie Bennett 3 6-6 12, Talon Walton 1 0-3 2, Olivia Clark 5 6-11 16, Malin Kint 7 0-0 14. Totals: 18 18-28 54
Did not score: Makenzi Beward, Lorena Montoya
Alyza Steinhauer 1 1-2 3, Lauren Schumber 1 0-0 2, Caitlynn Wells 3 2-5 11, Hannah Roland 0 2-2 2, Samantha Manion 2 0-0 4, Montana Paul 11 7-10 31, Kearstin Manion 3 2-5 8. Totals: 21 14-24 61
3-point goals: Wells 3, Paul 2
Score by quarters
Halifax 11-7-13-8-11-13 — 61
Juniata 10-10-13-6-9-6 — 54