No Place Like Home
Greenwood advances to TVL title game
MILLERSTOWN–On Tuesday night, Greenwood put on an all-around impressive display of basketball, showing exactly why they earned the top seed in a competitive Tri-Valley League. Hosting a semifinal game of the TVL Tournament, Greenwood protected its home gym, defeating the No. 4 seed East Juniata Tigers, 49-22.
The Tigers, whose zone defense had shut down some high-powered offenses in the regular season, had no answers for a Wildcat team that had too many weapons to cover. Alli Walton, Alli Crockett and Kenedy Stroup all scored in double-digits, with Walton’s 17 leading the way.
“We’re always concerned about their zone and the way we played last week, we were really concerned about it,” Greenwood coach Jeff Deitz said about East Juniata’s defense. “The ball moved so well in the first half. And not only did the ball move well, but we moved well… all of those little things you have to do against a good zone like EJ, we did.”
Greenwood hit the ground running, opening the game on an 8-0 run and putting the Tigers in a hole almost immediately. The Wildcats’ defense applied pressure on East Juniata creating turnovers on the first few possessions. Greenwood capitalized on these turnovers, using them to gain instant momentum.
East Juniata’s Alyssa Robinson ended the Wildcats’ early run, burying a 3-pointer. In the remainder of the quarter, East Juniata would only net one more basket, as Greenwood used its height and athleticism to force the Tigers into taking difficult shots.
“It was the lack of execution–the total lack of everything,” East Juniata coach Travis Quici said. “Greenwood is a good basketball team and Jeff (Deitz) does a phenomenal job with those girls. We knew it was going to be a struggle coming in, but we didn’t think it was going to be that much of a struggle. When you don’t execute, that’s what happens.”
Greenwood held a 15-5 lead after the first quarter and extended its lead with another dominant display of basketball.
East Juniata got some much-needed offense, but it could not keep up with Greenwood who’s offense was in a groove. Stroup and Crockett combined for nine points in the second quarter as Greenwood took a 28-13 lead into the half.
The Wildcats kept their momentum through the half as they looked to put away East Juniata for good. Greenwood went on an 11-0 run to expand their lead to 26 as again, the Tigers offense continued to struggle. They couldn’t finish their layups and their open shots didn’t fall, leading to just two points being scored in the quarter.
With a 43-22 lead entering the final quarter of the game, both teams took the time to substitute in players from the bench as Greenwood closed out the victory.
“I’m extremely proud of them. We struggled last week… so I am really proud of the way these girls took ownership of that and really worked their tails off ,” Deitz said. “When we say ‘team win’ we mean it was a team win. From the girls you saw on the floor, to the girls who were on the floor at practice helping us great ready for tonight. A-plus effort for all 12 of those girls.”
Greenwood will take on Susquenita for the TVL championship on Thursday in Newport.
Despite being eliminated from the TVL tournament, East Juniata still secured a spot in the District 4 Class A playoffs. Coming off of two straight disappointing losses, Quici knows his team needs to take the next few days to really focus and regroup before attempting to make a run in districts.
“‘We’re back in the gym tomorrow and that’s all you can do–get back at it,” Quici said. “Focus on the things (we) need to do to get better, and that’s it.”
Greenwood 49, East Juniata 22
Alyssa Robinson 4 1-1 10, Thea Neimond 3 0-0 6, Leah Sankey 1 0-0 2, Cypress Feltman 1 0-0 2, Isabel Naylor 1 0-0 2. Totals: 10 1-1 22.
3-point goals: Robinson.
Did not score: Clarye Guyer, Paris Feltman, Amara Brubaker, Marissa Coudriet.
Alli Walton 8 1-1 17, Alli Crockett 5 4-4 14, Kenedy Stroup 4 3-3 12, Abby Taylor 2 0-0 4, Mercedees McNaughton 1 0-0 2. Totals: 20 8-8 49.
3-point goals: Stroup.
Did not score: Ella Brummer, Jordan Stroup, Emilie Brisner, Sarah Penney, Ella Seiber, Madison Howell, Nyssa Yoder.
Score by quarters:
East Juniata 5-8-2-7 22
Greenwood 15-13-15-6 49