Punxsy comes up short in a pair at Altoona

ALTOONA — Punxsy's seventh- and eighth-grade basketball teams were each on the losing end against Altoona-White Thursday afternoon in Altoona.

In the seventh-grade contest, Punxsy was outscored 20-9 in the second half as Altoona went on to win 40-21, but Punxsy was at a disadvantage from the jump.

"We battled extra hard against a much, much taller Altoona team," Punxsy head coach Darrin Kriebel said. "Even though the final score is no indication, the girls put up a valiant effort against a very good team."

In a loss against such a tough opponent, Kriebel told his girls they had lots of positives to take from the game.

"I told them that even with the loss, the team got better and improved today," he said. "I know they'll be ready to go Monday against DuBois."

Alli Lunger led the scoring for Punxsy with 15 of the team's 21 points. Morgan VanLeer, Devon Dubensky and Tessa Winebark each added two points for the Lady Chucks.

Punxsy's luck was no better in the eighth-grade contest, as the Lady Chucks were outscored 11-4 in the second quarter after hanging with Altoona in the first. Punxsy ended up losing 31-16.

"We were losing 10-8 about two minutes into the second quarter," Punxsy head coach Mike Carlson said. "We made mistakes, and they went up 17-8 by halftime."

Carlson said that although Altoona was a tough team, he felt his team could have handled itself better.

"Altoona is a good team, but we made some mistakes by playing too timid," he said. "The girls missed some lay-ups, and things snowballed."

Ivy Ferko and Emma White led the scoring for the eighth-grade squad, while Hope Bridge added four points.

Both teams will host DuBois Monday with the first tip-off set for 4 p.m.