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Chucks hit the glass hard in big win over Raiders

January 22, 2013

The boys' basketball Route 36 Rivalry was renewed Monday night, but saw the same end result as the first meeting in December. With a top-notch glass clearing effort, Punxsy pulled away from Brookville in the third quarter to ease its way to a 60-37 victory in Punxsutawney. In this photo, Punxsy's Zach Minich (40) puts up a shot as Brookville's Braiden Smith (12) defends. (Photo by Chris Myers of The Punxsutawney Spirit)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsy Chucks' strong effort on the glass Monday night led to a big 60-37 win over the rival Brookville Raiders.

After falling 57-49 to Bradford Friday night, Punxsy head coach Dirk Neal was unsure how his players would respond to face Brookville Monday night.

"It was a real concern with players being players. We broke down the Bradford tape yesterday (Sunday), and addressed some issues to get better," said Neal. "We had a good practice and the guys were upbeat. We wanted to give a good effort and forget about last Friday."

Punxsy outrebounded Brookville, 38-16, with 12 of those coming off the offensive glass.

"We did a real nice job, both our big guys and guards. We were able to get to the basket. We talked about getting garbage points on our own, as we had a couple times we tipped to a teammate who scored," said Neal.

The Chucks (11-4/3-2 D-IX) attacked the basket all night and, as a result, got themselves to the free throw line. The Chucks made the Raiders pay once they got to the charity stripe, only missing one shot, hitting 16 of 17 free throws.

Tyler Young led all scores Monday night with 15 points, in addition to five boards and an assist.

Brandon Mancuso was not far behind with 14 points and three assists.

Cory Geer was tough in the low-post all night, scoring 14 points and forcing the Raiders' defense to commit fouls. Geer was nearly automatic from the charity stripe, hitting 10 of 11 free throws. He also grabbed five boards in the winning effort.

Devin Nicholson used his length to score eight points and haul in seven boards. Garrett Zimmerman added two points and tallied a team-high eight rebounds.

Michael Klingensmith scored three points off a corner triple, while Ryan Sloniger added two. Will Curtis also scored two points and tallied four rebounds in the winning effort. Zach Minich pulled in two rebounds on the defensive end.

The Raiders were led by sophomore point guard Tate Canavan, who scored nine points.

Nate Shirts scored eight points, with five points coming from the foul line. Jack Huggins scored six points off two triples, and Shawn Blochberger scored four.

Taite Truman hit a three, while Luke Frank and Conrad Schindler had two apiece.

Both squads came out slow Monday night, and Brookville was able to keep itself in the game for the first half.

Mancuso scored the first points of the night when he stole the ball at the opposing free throw line and went coast-to-coast for the lay in.

The Raiders (2-12/0-6 D-IX) tied the game at 2-2 with 2:50 left in the first stanza when Canavan answered with a layup of his own.

The Chucks then responded with seven straight points, capped off by a nice tip-in by Young to give Punxsy the 9-2 lead.

Brookville fired back with a jumper from Schindler, followed by a base line drive from Canavan to cut the lead to 9-6.

Young struck right back with a triple to push the Chucks' lead back to six to end the first quarter.

Mancuso opened the second quarter for the Chucks with five consecutive points off two made free throws and a triple.

With just over two minutes left in the second quarter, Punxsy had established a 24-14 lead. With 2:02 left on the clock, Brookville's Shirts got bumped on his way to the hoop and hit both free throws.

The Raiders scored the final points of the first half when Truman dished to Blochberger at the low post, who made a quick head-fake, then scored to cut the Chucks' lead to 24-18 before both teams headed into the locker room.

"We talked at the half that we were just standing around (in the first half). We did a much better job screening, taking high-percentage shots and taking care of the ball. Everyone stepped up in the (second) half," said Neal.

The third quarter indeed belonged to Punxsy, as they outscored Brookville, 20-6, with Young, Mancuso, Geer, Klingensmith and Sloniger all contributing.

The Raiders faced a 20-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter, which was too much for them to overcome. The Chucks went on to claim a 60-37 win over the visiting Raiders.

The junior varsity Chucks also bested the Raiders, 45-37, in a come-from-behind win.

Curtis' putback with 5:22 left in the fourth quarter tied the game at 31-31. Then with 4:47 left in the game, Sloniger made a clutch steal and took the ball all the way for the score to give the Chucks a 33-31 lead they would not give up.

Curtis led all JV scores with 18 points.

Sloniger scored 12 points, and Brandon Blose added seven.

John Matthews tallied five points, and Clayton Dale contributed three to help Punxsy seal the victory.

The Raiders saw a more balanced scoring attack with seven players contributing.

Cody Shaffer scored eight points, while Blochberger and Braiden Smith added seven apiece. Schindler tallied six points, Truman scored five, and Bryan Stamler had two points in the Brookville loss.

Punxsy will be off until traveling to face DuBois on Friday night at 6 p.m.

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