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Bennett, Indians roll by Newport in TVL rout

Sentinel photo by MIKE GOSS
Juniata’s Mackenzie Bennett drives to the hoop over Newport’s Lillian Plank in a Tri-Valley League girls basketball contest on Tuesday night in Mifflintown. Bennett scored a game-high 12 points while Reagan Lowrey added 11 points. Ava Shearer also scored in double figures for Juniata.

MIFFLINTOWN — Tough and aggressive defense carried Juniata past rival Newport in a 49-11 Tri-Valley League girls basketball game Tuesday evening.

“Pretty good, we kinda took charge from the very beginning and didn’t really look back,” Indians coach Mike Smith said.

The Indians were using their defense to create absolute havoc on Newport forcing the Buffaloes to be one dimensional on the offensive side of the ball. Newport only scored five points in the frame with Claire Weidenhammer scoring all five of those points for the Buffaloes.

Also in the first quarter, the Juniata offense was in full swing as the Indians were on the attack from multiple areas on the court as well as getting many contributors as Juniata had four different players who scored at least a basket during the period. The tag team of Mackenzie Bennett and Ava Shearer combined for 11 of the 15 total points scored by the Indians in the frame.

But Juniata did not stop there as the Indians continued to apply pressure on Newport forcing the Buffaloes into committing multiple turnovers. Juniata pressured Newport so much that even when the Indians didn’t go onto the attack, the Buffaloes still committed turnovers even unforced. Newport was held scoreless for the quarter.

On the flip side, Juniata continued to attack on the offensive side of the ball as well during the second period. This time, the Indians had five different scorers in the frame and took a 30-5 lead heading into halftime.

Then in the third quarter of the match, it appeared as though Newport was going to be held scoreless yet again but late in the period, Claire Weidenhammer fought her way to the basket and scored a late bucket. It was the only basket made in the period for the Buffaloes.

Juniata was out hustling Newport on the boards as well with everyone going after bounces and loose balls. The Indians also got contributions from their bench as well as Ima Mercado, Autumn Clark, Mariska Beward and Anna Mae O’Brien all took advantage of the minutes they were given as they were big contributors on grabbing rebounds.

“Our man to man, we haven’t done a lot of man to man lately so the last two games we’ve been working on that,” Smith said. “I feel like its pretty good, I’d like to see a little more pressure, a little more pressure in the passing lanes. But I think overall we are playing great defense.”

“The biggest thing with us is we’re grabbing rebounds now,” Smith continued. “Everyone on the team is going after them. Beginning of the season we weren’t doing that, at this point of the season they’re going hard after them so that makes me feel good.”

Overall Juniata nearly had all of its players on the roster to score a basket. The Indians also had three players to score in double digits with Bennett scoring a game high of 12 points. Regan Lowrey added another 11 points for the evening while Shearer scored 10 points.

“Fantastic, we were getting the looks we wanted,” Smith said. “We knew with dribble penetration that was going to open up a lot of stuff. There were just so many opportunities to shoot and we got a lot of kids that can get it done close to the basket or outside.”

With this victory, Juniata moves to (7-4) overall and (5-2) in the TVL and will look to keep the winning ways going on Thursday as the Indians will host Susquenita.

Juniata 49, Newport 11

JUNIATA

Haley Mummah 1 0-0 2, Autumn Clark 0 0-0 0, Mackenzie Bennett 5 1-2 12, Shalelyn Armstrong 1 0-0 2, Regan Lowrey 4 2-2 11, Mariska Beward 0 0-0 0, Talon Walton 3 0-1 6, Ava Shearer 2 6-9 10, Ima Mercado 0 4-4 4, Anna Mae O’Brien 1 0-0 2. Totals: 17 13-18 49.

3-point goals: Bennett, Lowrey

NEWPORT

Claire Weidenhammer 2 2-2 7, Emily Mayersky 0 0-0 0, Lillian Otstott 0 0-0 0, Bailey Kuhn 0 0-0 0, Lillian Plank 0 0-2 0, Ella Weidenhammer 1 0-0 2, Jessica Fleisher 0 0-0 0, Jordan Knouse 1 0-0 2. Totals: 4 2-4 11.

3-point goals: C. Weidenhammer

Score by quarters

N 5-0-2-4 – 11

J 15-15-11-8 – 49

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