Juniata 43, East Juniata 40
COCOLAMUS — As expected from a cross county rivalry, it went down to the very last seconds of the game. But it was ultimately Juniata who came out on top defeating East Juniata, 43-40, on Friday.
The Indians headed into the fourth and final period with a slim 30-27 lead. But for the early part of the frame, neither team managed to get a basket.
That was until with 5:30 minutes remaining, Wyatt Stoner of Juniata scored the first points of the period. However, not long after that, Owen Dressler answered with a three point bomb.
From there onward, it was all intensity as both teams were scraping and clawing and fighting for every basket possible. Especially within the final 30 seconds in the game.
Juniata was hanging onto a 41-37 lead when Dressler found himself open from three point line and nailed it to cut the lead down to 41-40.
The Tigers then had possession of the ball with just two seconds remaining and found an opportunity inside to score but could not handle the ball and ended up into the hands of Jasper Shepps who took control and ran the clock out for the win.
Throughout the fourth quarter, Juniata had several chances to close the game out at the free throw line but never were able to close down the Tigers. The Indians were 8-for-18 at the line in the fourth quarter. 10-for-23 for the whole game.
Juniata had also outscored East Juniata 29-19 for the whole second half after the Tigers outscored the Indians in the first half 21-14.
The Juniata defense made it clear that it was going to close down the paint and refused to allow the Tigers to get the ball inside to Dylan Wagner who was held to just eight points for the evening.
But that didn’t stop the hot shooting of Dressler who led the Tigers’ comeback attempt and scored with 14 points for the game. Jake Brackbill added another nine points for the evening.
Juniata was led by Caleb Smith who scored 11 points while Shepps also scored in double digits with 10 points.
The Tigers though came out victorious in the JV game nearly beating the Indians 23-20.
Juniata (6-4, 3-2) hosts Upper Dauphin on Tuesday. East Juniata (7-3, 3-2) will also be playing on Tuesday but will be on the road against Line Mountain.