From staff reports
NEWPORT - Juniata took full advantage of its opportunities at the free-throw line Monday night in Newport as the team shot an impressive 69 percent from the charity stripe on its way to a 68-52 win over the Tri-Valley League foe.
The season-high scoring effort by the Indians came from the sharp-shooting skills of Zack Graybill, Scott Sneath and Logan Knepp who scored 19, 16 and 15 respectively.
"Those guys played well tonight," Juniata coach Nate Geibel said. "It was a real team effort."
With the game tied and still in doubt heading to the fourth, the Indians utilized a swift press break that enabled them to net some easy buckets and go on a run.
The Buffaloes fought their way back in the fourth thanks to some timely 3-pointers, but the Indians remained resilient on their way to victory.
"Every time they came up with a big play, we had an answer," Geibel said.
Juniata (4-17, 3-12) hosts TVL foe Upper Dauphin today.
Juniata Mennonite 34,
Sunbury Christian 19
PORT ROYAL - Juniata Mennonite set the tone early in its matchup with Allegheny Christian Athletic Association foe Sunbury Christian Monday night, blanking the visitors 12-0 in the first quarter en route to a 34-19 victory.
To say the Lions were stout on defense would be an understatement.
The Eagles were shut out, scoring 0 points, in two of the game's four quarters. The defensive effort focused on protecting the paint.
"All year we've been struggling with cutters in the paint," Juniata Mennonite coach Dennis Zimmerman said. "Tonight, we took away the cutter in all four quarters."
Jesse Watts led the way offensively for the Lions, netting 16 points while going 2-2 from the free-throw line.
"Jesse has come a long way for us," Zimmerman said. "He has become a force."
The Lions (11-6, 8-5) hosts Meadowbrook Christian today.
East Juniata 53, Millersburg 47
MILLERSBURG - It would take a strong defensive performance and a few well-timed free throws Monday night for the East Juniata boys to take a win over Millersburg, and that's exactly what the Tigers delivered.
In the 53-47 Tri-Valley League contest, it took two free throws from Jake Sankey with less then 30 second left on the clock to take the game out of reach for Millersburg at 52-47.
From there Nick Lorenz - who hit 23 of his team's 31 in the first half - hit a free throw to finish off the scoring at 53-47.
"Second half we went to a little full-court pressure, and that allowed us to cut down on some of their scoring that they got in the first half," East Juniata coach Brock Anders said, explaining how the Tigers' defense was important to the victory.
In JV action, Millersburg took the victory dropping East Juniata, 56-36. Anthony Finkbiner had 11 for the Tigers.
East Juniata (17-4, 12-3) plays its last regular season game of the year today at home against Newport.
Midd-West 72, Warrior Run 55
TURBOTVILLE - Wins have been few and far between for the Midd-West boys basketball team this year, but Monday the Mustangs got to put one in the win column as they topped non-league opponent Warrior Run, 72-55.
Led by Colton Keister, who finished with a game-high 26 points, the Mustangs outscored Warrior Run in every quarter but the fourth.
The Mustangs also took the JV game as they defeated Warrior Run, 56-35.
Midd-West (4-17) hosts Mifflinburg Wednesday.
Juniata 55, Halifax 44
MIFFLINTOWN - Juniata girls basketball coach Meghan Geedey described Monday's Tri-Valley League game against Halifax as a great, whole team effort, and this was certainly true as four Indians finished in double-digits to take the 55-44 victory.
Leading the way for the Indians was pointguard Janelle Swartz, who hit a clutch 3-pointer in the fourth, went 4-for-4 down the stretch and held Halifax lead scorer Morgan Cox to two points as part of her great-whole game performance.
"All season long she has been huge for us. She's not necessarily the leading scorer that much, but she just handles the ball so well, and makes the passes and runs the offense - just a great point guard," Geedey said of Swartz.
Also crucial for Juniata was Joelle Winey, who put up a game-high 17 points to team up with Swartz in leading the team to the win.
Other double-digit scorers were Victoria Varner and Maddie Zendt.
Kristen Pray, who had been injured much of the season, also got some quality minutes on the floor, helping Swartz run the offense.
Juniata (19-2, 15-0) closes out its season Friday night when it hosts Upper Dauphin.
East Juniata 23, Greenwood 18
COCOLAMUS - East Juniata's Megan Graybill has been hitting some big shots lately, and this couldn't have been more true than on Monday night, when her 3-pointer in the fourth quarter put her team up by five over Greenwood for the eventual 23-18 Tri-Valley League win.
"She's done that the last couple games - she's hit big shots when we need them," East Juniata coach Travis Quici said.
Greenwood's Mallory Fortenbaugh and Emily Fisher led their team in scoring with seven points. East Juniata's Lauren Maguire had a game-high eight points.
In JV action, the Tigers took a big 41-18 win over the Wildcats.
East Juniata (12-9, 9-6) takes its last regular-season game at home against Newport on Wednesday.
Sunbury Christian 47, Juniata Mennonite 22
PORT ROYAL - Following a long lay off due to postponements, Juniata Mennonite played host to Sunbury Christian in a significant Allegheny Christian Athletic Association game Monday. The Eagles were too much for the home town Lions, who fell 47-22.
Trailing by just eight at the half, Juniata Mennonite was poised to make a second-half run but the Eagles came screaming out of the locker room and held the Lions to a dismal two points in the third quarter, crushing their hopes for an upset victory.
"We didn't play too bad," Juniata Mennonite coach Andy Meiser said. "We just fell apart in the third quarter."
Mistakes and a lack of effort were not contributing factors to the loss, Meiser said.
Molly Arnold and Valerie Meiser led the way for the Lions, contributing nine and eight points respectively.
Despite the loss, Meiser's Lions (7-8, 5-6) are not out of the playoff race. With a win tomorrow at home against Meadowbrook Christian, Juniata Mennonite has an opportunity to earn a play-in game for the ACAA playoffs.
A loss doesn't spell disaster, though, as a series of different scenarios could land the Lions in the ACAA playoffs as well.
Shikellamy 32, Midd-West 22
MIDDLEBURG - It was all about shooting for the Midd-West girls when they hosted Heartland Conference opponent Shikellamy Feb. 9, but unfortunately for the Mustangs, it was about the shots they missed.
Midd-West struggled to put the ball through the hoop, scoring only seven points the second half of the game, and this played a major role in the 32-22 loss.
Midd-West coach Dave Fadale said the girls followed their defensive plan - successfully holding Shikellamy's best scorers to just a few buckets - but shooting was their downfall.
Leading the way for the Mustangs was Mikayla Beiler with eight points.
In JV action the Mustangs were more successful, taking Shikellamy 39-24. Chloe Wagner led Midd-West with 18 points.
Midd-West (7-12) travels to Danville today.
8th grade: Mifflin County 48, Our Lady of Victory 26. High scorer Caleb Vega 15 points
7th grade: Mifflin County 46, Our Lady of Victory 14. High scorer Cade Shoemaker 10 points
Mifflin County Junior High will host Park Forest today.