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Sloppy play, turnovers haunt Tigers

Griffiths’ near double-double, boosts Trojans

Sentinel photo MIKE GOSS
East Juniata’s Leah Sankey drives to the basket as Upper Dauphin’s Bryanna Cather defends the shoot.

COCOLAMUS–There was nothing pretty about the East Juniata offense in Thursday night’s 48-28 loss to Upper Dauphin and coach Travis Quici will be the first one to admit that. Two days after beating county rival Juniata, the Tigers put themselves behind the 8-ball early and were unable to dig themselves out of that hole.

“We turned the ball over more times than we scored,” Quici said. “(We missed) wide open layups. (We were) throwing the ball over kids’ heads, dribbling into double and triple teams–that’s junior high stuff and tonight we looked like a junior high basketball team.”

Quici’s frustration with his offense is justified, as they put up 43 points in their win over Juniata. In that game, the Tigers moved the ball well, limited their turnovers and hit the open shots. On Thursday, they did not do any of that.

“Offensively, we gotta get better,” Quici said. “You can’t turn the ball over 27 or 28 times, and I think we were right around there… You can’t turn the ball over more times than points you score. You can’t do it.”

Quici’s estimation on his team’s turnovers might not be an exaggeration. The Trojans recorded nine steals, but the Tigers had an equal number of unforced turnovers, if not more.

In the first quarter, both defenses played well and neither team was able to put together a decent run. Upper Dauphin’s Eileen Nestor scored five points in the quarter to give the Trojans a 11-6 lead.

The second quarter was even more defensive than the first, as the Tigers didn’t score until over four minutes had passed. But the defense hung tough, not allowing the lethal Trojans’ shooters to get into any rhythm.

The Tigers’ defense was the only positive that Quici was able to take away from his team’s performance. They were able to hang tough against a Trojans team that has multiple players who can hit a 3-pointer at any time.

“The good news is, I didn’t think the defense played half-bad at times,” Quici said. “That’s something we don’t really have to worry about.”

The second half, however, belonged to the Trojans. Gracie Griffiths poured in 12 of her 14 points in the final two quarters and Upper Dauphin was able to pull away from the Tigers, despite East Juniata straightening up its offense.

One of the key factors to the improvement was Alyssa Robinson getting open looks from behind the arc. The Tigers did not make a 3-pointer in the first half and only attempted a couple. They focused on passing the ball inside, which is where many of the turnovers occurred.

“That’s a good team, so that put extra pressure on us,” Quici said about Upper Dauphin. “We knew they were a great 3-point shooting team. We knew they were gonna be aggressive on defense and we folded under the pressure.”

With only one day of practice before their next game, East Juniata has to make some major adjustments when it comes to ball security. They play Millersburg on Saturday morning, leaving the team will little time to get everything in order.

Quici knows his team has a lot of work to do, but he expects his team to come back ready to go and focused on improving.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Quici said. “It’s mental mistakes… it’s going back and watching film and having them see their mistakes that they made. We’re not gonna harp on it anymore tonight. Tomorrow we’re gonna get back in here and have a nice, hard practice.”

Upper Dauphin 48, East Juniata 28

UPPER DAUPHIN

Gracie Griffiths 7 0-3 14, Eileen Nestor 5 0-0 12, Sam Bowman 4 0-0 8, Bryonna Cather 3 0-0 8, Kara Rupp 1 0-0 2, Tania Hall 1 0-0 2, Maddin Grow 1 0-0 2. Totals: 22 0-3 48.

3-point goals: Nestor 2, Cather 2.

Did not score: Alexis Maurer.

Rebounds: Griffiths 9, Nestor 6, Bowman 6, Cather 3, Hall 2, Rupp.

Assists: Rupp 5, Nestor 4, Bowman, Griffiths, Cather.

Steals: Nestor 5, Cather 2, Rupp, Griffiths, Hall, Grow.

Blocks: Rupp 3, Nestor, Cather.

EAST JUNIATA

Alyssa Robinson 3 2-2 10, Cypress Feltman 3 2-2 8, Marissa Coudriet 2 0-0 4, Amara Brubaker 1 0-0 2, Sankey 0 2-2 2, Isabel Naylor 1 0-2 2. Totals: 10 6-8 28.

3-point goals: Robinson 2.

Did not score: Tiana Terry, Lexi Stuck, Paige Ritzman, Grace Hibbs.

Rebounds: Feltman 5, Coudriet 4, Sankey 4, Robinson 4, Naylor 2, Brubaker.

Assists: Sankey 4, Coudriet 2, Robinson, Naylor.

Steals: Feltman 4, Sankey 2, Robinson 2.

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

UD 11-10-15-12 48

EJ 6-4-10-8 28

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