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Northumberland too much for JCS

Lions fall in District 4 quarterfinals

Sentinel photo by JEFF FISHBEIN
Juniata Christian’s Erin Sheaffer (20) scores a bucket during the second quarter in a District 4 Class A playoff game Wednesday in Northumberland. Defending are Kaitlyn Bookwalter (12) and Emily Garvin.

NORTHUMBERLAND– Playing an opponent for the fourth time in the same season is already a difficult task, but when that opponent is ACAA juggernaut Northumberland Christian, that makes it all the more daunting.

Juniata Christian was unable to slay the Warriors in a 56-12 loss to Northumberland Christian in the quarterfinals of the District 4 Class A tournament on Wednesday night.

“The realization of facing the No. 4 team in the state for the fourth time this season had to be mentally draining,” Juniata Christian coach Jim Tusing said. “For a team even competitively mature, it’s a daunting task.”

For how good the Warriors are, Tusing does not believe the lopsided score accurately represents the talent disparity between the teams. The Lions had a tough night and the Warriors played at the top of their game.

“We are not that team you saw tonight,” Tusing explained. “We just came off a tournament where I was really proud of the way the ladies stepped up and played hard.”

The Lions stumbled out of the gate and the Warriors took advantage. Juniata Christian was forced into turnover after turnover, as the Northumberland Christian defense used its size and speed to disrupt any Lions’ offensive plays.

The Warriors opened with a quick 9-0 run in the first two minutes, prompting a Juniata Christian timeout.

Northumberland Christian kept their momentum through the opening minutes and put the game out of reach early on. The Warriors led 25-0 after the first quarter.

“We turned the ball over. We didn’t run an offense,” Tusing said about his team’s woes. “We tried something new defensively that obviously didn’t work. But we tried three or four other things the first three times we played them. (Based on their record) about 18 or 19 other teams weren’t successful either.”

The Lions finally broke through, scoring their first points of the game with 4:15 left in the second. A layup by Erin Sheaffer put Juniata Christian on the board.

As the game continued, both teams rotated in all bench players, giving everyone time on the floor. The Lions’ roster is extremely young–they have no seniors–so this was a taste of what postseason play might be in for the upcoming seasons.

The Warriors’ starting five saw two seniors and three juniors take the floor while the Lions ran out three sophomores and two freshmen.

Tusing expects his team to improve going into next season, but they won’t dwell on Wednesday night’s loss in the process.

“We’re forgetting about this,” Tusing said. “We’re gonna be hitters with this. We’re gonna have short memory. This is water over the dam and we’re going on to something else. In a game like this, it’s difficult to base any of our (opinions) on what we’ve done (during the season).”

The loss ends the Lions’ season and while it’s a bitter ending, Tusing and his team have nothing but respect and admiration for a Northumberland Christian team that has been a league superpower for years.

“Norry is definitely the class of not only the league, but our district, and quite honestly, I think they’re a top five team in the state, if not a little higher,” Tusing said. “They returned almost everyone from last year… They are just an amazing squad.”

Northumberland Christian 56, Juniata Christian 12

JUNIATA CHRISTIAN

Erin Sheaffer 1 1-2 3, Emily Sheaffer 1 1-2 3, Lindsey Glick 1 0-0 2, Annika Martin 1 0-0 2, Olivia Tusing 1 0-0 2, Peyton Burd 0 0-0 0, Rachel Sheaffer 0 0-0 0, Jenna Glick 0 0-0 0, Reanna Hoover 0 0-0 0, Aleshia Stauffer 0 0-0 0, Morgan Hoover 0 0-0 0. Totals: 5 2-4 12.

NORTHUMBERLAND CHRISTIAN

Emily Garvin 6 0-0 12, Rebekah Hayner 5 0-0 10, Anna Ulmer 4 0-0 10, Emma Ulmer 4 0-0 8, Kaitlyn Bookwalter 2 0-0 4, Jenika Krum 1 0-0 3, Emma Treas 1 0-0 2, Eden Treas 1 0-0 2, Emily McCahan 1 0-0 2, Kendra Schoeppner 1 0-0 2, Allison Miller 0 0-0 0, Kara Wilhelm 0 0-0 0, Caryssa Ressler 0 0-0 0. Totals: 26 0-0 56.

3-point goals: A. Ulmer 2, Krum.

SCORE BY QUARTER

JCS: 0-6-4-2 12

NC: 25-16-8-6 56

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