By Kenny Varner
SPRING MILLS – Tuesday night the East Juniata girls basketball team played the role of the new kids on the block as they went up against Penns Valley, who was the gristled old veterans.
Posting a squad of 13 very young players, the Tigers battled from beginning to end but wasn’t able to keep up with the fast tempo pressure from the Lady Rams.
In the end, Penns Valley took home the 52-20 victory.
However, the Lady Tigers did some positive things in their debut.
Leading the way for the Tigers was the feisty, aggressive play of Sara Brackbill. Brackbill finished her night posting a double-double with 12 points and 11 boards.
Brackbill was helped in the scoring department by teammates Cadee Becker and Carolyn Dressler who both posted triples.
Rounding out the scoring for East Juniata was Grace Hibbs.
“I have 13 girls on my roster. Seven of those are freshman. So I have two freshman on the court at all times. We’ll get better. We’ll be okay. There’s no to hit the panic button,” said East Juniata coach Travis Quici. “For losing by 30 there was some good things. We saw some good things tonight. We saw some things to work on.”
“Penns Valley, they get out and run on defense. I don’t know if we another team this year that plays pressure man to man like they do.”
In total the Tigers finished with a unofficial tally of 23 rebounds.
Penns Valley finished with two scorers in double-figures.
Ann-Marie McMurtrie lit it up from the field, posting a 20-point effort.
Teammate Julia Emel finished with 10. Two of her buckets came from downtown for three.
In the first, the Tigers defense was able to keep the Rams to just 12 points in the quarter. Eight of those came from McMurtrie.
Penns Valley was just as successful, allowing just a Brackbill bucket to lead 12-2 going into the second.
Even as the teams went into the intermission, both teams defenses continued to lead the way.
East Juniata allowed 14 while Penns Valley gave up seven, keeping the game to a 17-point contest going into the half, 26-9.
Mix in some heavy pressure from the press and some strong perimeter shooting in the third and the Lady Rams started to open up their lead scoring 22 in the period while holding East Juniata to five.
The Maroon and White refused to go down without a fight as they were able to gather six points in the fourth while it’s defense clamped down for only four.
But it wasn’t enough as the Rams went onto the victory.