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Punxsy scores at will during final home win

February 15, 2011

Dan Walk/The Punxsutawney Spirit Punxsy senior Parris Kernich (right) dribbles past Penn Cambria freshman Megan Wheeler during the first quarter Tuesday night. Dan Walk/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsy girls' basketball team saved its best for last.

The Lady Chucks scored their most points this season in the final home game of the year while dispatching Penn Cambria Tuesday night, 65-55.

Punxsy (6-15) won its second game in as many days after laboring through a six-game losing streak that led head coach Randy Reitz to not enter the girls into the playoffs for the first time during his 10-year tenure at the helm. Since that game, Punxsy has played its best basketball to date, suffering a six-point loss Friday at DuBois before winning Monday in A-C Valley and Tuesday versus Penn Cambria.

"It wasn't from the lack of effort, because these kids hustled all winter," Reitz said, explaining Punxsy's inability to reach the playoffs this year. "We struggled with the execution at times. Now, for some reason, it's comes together, and hopefully, it'll stay together for one more game."

The Lady Chucks will conclude their season Friday at Bradford. The Lady Owls (12-9) — who will meet St. Marys in the District IX Class AAA title game in a few weeks — lost at Punxsy Jan. 21, 48-43.

One of Punxsy's best one-quarter performances this season came Tuesday night, as the Lady Chucks turned a 13-11 first-quarter advantage into a 36-30 halftime lead thanks to a 23-point second frame. Jenna Reitz recorded half of her 10 assists during the second quarter, and the senior point guard finished with a game-high 20 points and five rebounds.

"We attacked the gaps, and Jenna moved the ball very well. She got us into our offense, and the other kids got into the open areas," coach Reitz said. "I was nice to see that continuity throughout the game tonight. That's what we've been looking for throughout the season. "

Senior Shawnna Crago added 18 points and eight rebounds, junior Alex Magill tallied 10 points, and senior Parris Kernich scored eight points to go with 10 rebounds. Also scoring for Punxsy were Taylor Newcome (five points) and Johnna Depp (four).

The Lady Panthers' two leading scorers were Brianna Mulhearn (20 points) and Brianna Kearney (19).

After such a successful first half on offense, Punxsy still couldn't create much separation, as Penn Cambria came within four points at 46-42 entering the fourth quarter.

Once the Lady Panthers cut the deficit to 48-46 early in the fourth quarter, the Lady Chucks took off on offense once again, finishing the game with a 17-9 surge.

"The kids moved well, they took the ball to the hoop, and they finished. That gave them a lot of confidence," coach Reitz said. "Hopefully, that can continue Friday night, because Bradford is a rough place to play on the offensive end."

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