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8th grade holds own against Altoona in GBB

September 21, 2012

Punxsy eighth-grade basketball player Morgan VanLeer cuts past an Altoona defender during action Thursday afternoon in Punxsy. Despite falling to a tough Altoona squad, VanLeer had six points for the Lady Chucks. (Photo by Chris Myers of The Punxsutawney Spirit)

By Chris Myers
Of The Spirit

PUNXSUTAWNEY - The Punxsy 8th-grade girls' basketball team held its own Thursday afternoon but Altoona played a consistent game to win, 37-21.

"The girls played as well as they have all season for about two and a half quarters," said Punxsy coach Mike Carlson. "To beat a team that good we need to put all four quarters together."

Alli Lunger paced the Punxsy (3-3) effort with seven points including three of four free throws. Point guard Morgan VanLeer added three buckets for six points.

Tessa Winebark hit for two baskets and four points while Alli Ishman and Devon Dubensky each added two tallies.

Both teams came out scoring for a combined 23 points. Altoona scored 15 of those 23 points to lead 15-8 before seeing a much tighter second frame which it won, 7-4, for a 22-12 intermission tally.

Punxsy played even with Altoona in the third quarter, 6-6, before Altoona finished strong, 9-3, for the 37-21 final score.

"The determination was there tonight. They played smarter and more under control," finished Carlson.

Punxsy will next play at DuBois Monday starting at 5:15 p.m.

• 7th-grade GBB: Altoona 28, Punxsy 14

Many times it takes a top notch opponent to end a win streak and this was the case Thursday for the 7th-grade Punxsy girls' basketball squad. This tough opponent turned out to be the Altoona White team which doubled up Punxsy, 28-14, for the home team's first loss in six games.

"For the better part of a quarter and a half, the girls were holding their own against Altoona," pointed out Lady Chucks coach Darrin Kriebel. "However, the visitors definitely used their size advantage and really opened the game up from that point."

Kaitlyn Doverspike accounted for three of the Punxsy seven buckets for six points. The home team received one basket apiece form Elyse White, Alyse Whitman, Jordyn Powell and Kally Graham.

The Lady Lions took an early, 9-2 advantage in the first quarter. The Lady Chucks battled back to pull to within, 11-8, as they played toe-to-toe.

Altoona reasserted itself to take a 16-8 lead into the intermission.

The Lady Lions equaled the first quarter for the third period, 9-2, before the Lady Chucks edged out a 4-3 final stanza small victory only to see the final tally read 28-14 for Altoona.

"The kids played hard from start to finish," said Kriebel. "Altoona just proved to be a difficult match-up for us. A match-up that will only serve to make this group stronger (against our competitors) as the season progresses."

Punxsy will look to return to the win column on Monday afternoon at DuBois starting at 4 p.m.

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