Indians roll past visiting Newport
MIFFLINTOWN — Tough physical defensive play and an offensive surge in the second half carried Juniata over Newport, 57-33 in a Tri-Valley League boys basketball game Thursday night at Juniata High School.
“We came out and we played hard, Newport is a tough team, they played well, and we were able to take care of business in the second half, finishing shots that we didn’t finish in the first half. In the second half we finished them,” Indians coach Al Ream said.
It was a clash of styles as both teams showed different ways of attacking the basket. The Indians took advantage of their size and strength and muscled their way down into the paint to Emmanuel O’Donell and Jace White. O’Donell scored half of the team’s 15 total points in the opening frame with eight points.
On the flip side of things, the Buffaloes decided that the best way to keep up with Juniata was to attack from the beyond the arc. Daniel Bellis, Ethan Stutts and Tyler Sanders were the weapons of choice when it came to the three ball. At the end of the first quarter, the Indians had a 15-13 lead.
It was the only time that the Buffaloes were able to score in double digits as from the second quarter on, the Juniata defense took note of that and refused to allow any easy shots from beyond the arc. In the second quarter, the Indians did not allow a three ball to drop in the frame.
Then in the third and fourth quarters, the Juniata defense only allowed one three in each quarter. Frustration was also showing for Newport as the pressure from the Indians defensively caused the Buffaloes into unforced errors on the floor.
“It became the emphasis because I knew Bellis, Stutts and Sanders could shoot the three and they’re pretty good at it,” Ream said. “We had to get out there and take care of it. Manny really helped out covering Sanders with that long reach and long arms on him but the kids played well defensively second half especially.”
Throughout the second half of the game, Juniata’s size really became a major factor as well, as the Indians crashed the boards and boxed out Newport, keeping the Buffaloes away from the ball, as Juniata powered through, getting the rebounds from Newport and getting back into its respective offense.
“We wanted to get the defensive rebounds as much as we could and as quickly as we could,” Ream said. “We wanted to get the ball inside tonight and work it, and we’ve been working hard at practice on that. I was really pleased with their efforts defensively.”
O’Donell led the charge for Juniata nearly scoring more points than Newport did as a team with 31 points. O’Donell also collected 10 rebounds for a double-double with six offensive rebounds. Yaniel Ortiz also scored in double digits for the Indians with 14 points on the night.
“He played inspired tonight, he played hard, played well, got into position when he needed to be,” Ream said. “So he is beginning to develop into the player we needed him to develop into. So we’re pleased with his efforts. It’s a team game and everyone got the ball to him because he had a hot hand tonight.”
With all that is surrounding with the COVID-19 pandemic, Juniata was able to celebrate its seniors in White, O’Donell, Christian Ortiz and Hunter McClintock. The Indians as well as Ream feel extremely grateful for their contributions to the program and are thankful that these seniors were able to play.
Also in show of great sportsmanship, the Indians also showcased the seven seniors on the Newport roster.
Tyler Sanders led the Buffaloes with 11 points.
“It’s great for them to come out here and play games,” Ream said. “We don’t know how long the season will last but its good that we can come out here, and get in the gym and play. We have a few people who can come and watch them and just to enjoy that moment.”
The Indians also won the JV game by the score of 30-20.
With this win, Juniata moves to (2-0, 2-0) and will look to keep the winning ways going as the Indians will host West Perry on Saturday for a non-conference basketball matchup.
Juniata 57, Newport 33
Yaniel Ortiz 4 4-7 14, Jace White 3 2-2 8, Emmanuel O’Donell 13 5-7 31, Logan Kehler 1 0-0 2, Austin Derr 1 0-0 2. Totals: 25 11-16 57.
3-point goals: Y.Ortiz 2
Did not score: Cristian Ortiz, Evan Leach, Max Lauver, Hunter McClintock,
Daniel Bellis 4 0-0 9, Nicholas Coletta 2 0-0 4, Ethan Stutts 1 0-0 3, Joshua Bellis 1 0-0 2, Tyler Sanders 4 0-0 11, Matthew Bates 2 0-0 4. Totals: 14 0-0 33.
3-point goals: D.Bellis, Stutts, Sanders 3.
Did not score: Tyreece Harrison, Hunter Goerman
Score by quarters
Newport 13-6-9-5 — 33
Juniata 15-9-13-20 — 57