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IV Back at .500
Jan. 29, 2011
Warriors end drought
Offense is trouble for Juniata
January 29, 2011 - DREW PELLMAN, Sentinel sports reporter, email@example.com
MIFFLINTOWN - Earlier this season, the Indian Valley girls basketball team got its first victory of the season by holding Juniata to 31 points.
Friday night, it was more of the same. The Indians registered only one more point in the comfy confines of their own gym. The Warriors took control of the contest in the third quarter and never looked back, as they sent a four-game skid to the curb with a 41-32 Nittany Division victory.
"I always try to tell the kids that the season is a marathon and no one game makes or breaks a season, but we did lay it on the line tonight," Indian Valley coach Roger Herto said. "This was a must-win tonight for us. I can think of three or four times in 25 years that I have told varsity teams that, but we had to have this."
And as the old cliche goes, a win is a win.
"It wasn't a work of art, but I think mentally for our kids - we were coming off four losses - so just getting a win back was important confidence wise," Herto said. "I've got to commend Allie Sutton and Brooke Seler, who gave me about six or seven minutes when we had two bigs out with foul trouble. They did a great job for me defensively and running our offensive sets."
Juniata, despite having a solid first half, once again fell victim to not keeping up on the offensive end of the floor.
"I'm really proud of these kids. They played hard and I thought we executed some things better than we have all season - especially in the first half," Indians coach Meghan Geedey said. "When you struggle in your half-court sets, you have to get to the foul line and we haven't done that in some of our games lately. We did tonight. It's just a work in progress offensively."
Juniata scored four of the first five points of the game before Whitney Corbin took over the first quarter for the Warriors. She knocked down three field goals in addition to a free throw to give the visitors a slim 8-6 lead after one period.
It was two other starters who handled the scoring in the second - Sammie Chesnut inside and Dani Treaster around the perimeter. The pairing combined for 11 points in the frame, while Juniata's free throw shooting kept the Indians in the game. In all, they connected on eight of 10 shots at the line before halftime, but Indian Valley still held a 23-18 edge as the teams hit the locker room for the break.
The third quarter was the one that put the game out of Juniata's reach, as Indian Valley opened up its largest lead of 11 before settling for a 10-point margin with eight minutes still to play.
In the fourth, Corbin provided what Geedey called "the daggers" when she knocked down a pair of triples to salt the game away.
Juniata started two freshman - Carly Burns and Maddie Zendt - in addition to the host of youngsters that game off its bench.
"When I look at the practice floor, I always think that I have all these kids back next year," Geedey said. "And it's exciting to see them grow."
Herto once again had kind words to say about Geedey's program, just as he had after his home opener.
"A sign of a good coach, I think, is when your season is not going well, your kids keep playing hard," he said. "I know they haven't won in the league yet, but every other coach I've talked to has said that you're going to have to work (to beat them). That's a credit to coach Geedey that her kids are continuing to play - she's doing a real nice job with them and I know they're going to get one here."
Corbin had a game-high 17 points for the Warriors, while Treaster and Chesnut each entered double figures with 10 apiece. Four players with six points each topped the charts for the Indians - Alyssa Graybill, Riley Zimmerman, Burns and Zendt.
In JV action, Juniata secured a 35-23 victory over the Warriors.
Indian Valley (8-8) travels to Bald Eagle Area on Tuesday while the Indians (1-13) take part in Lewistown's Coaches vs. Cancer event this afternoon against Selinsgrove.
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