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Split down the middle: One win, one loss

October 24, 2011

Morgan VanLeer (21) grabs for the ball during a Sept. 14 game in Punxsutawney. VanLeer led both the seventh- and eighth-grade teams, scoring 14 points and helping the seventh-grade girls to a 28-24 victory over Hollidaysburg. (Zak Lantz/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

HOLLIDAYSBURG — The Punxsutawney Lady Chucks' seventh-grade team played a competitive game against Hollidaysburg Monday and came out the victors, 28-24.

The eighth-grade team, on the other hand, was not so lucky and suffered a 33-11 defeat.

For the seventh-grade team, the scoring was led by Morgan VanLeer, who notched an impressive 14 points, accounting for half of her team's offensive power.

The game was a shootout for both teams, and Hollidaysburg was up by just two points after the first quarter, but the Lady Chucks came out strong and were leading 12-11 at halftime.

"This was definitely a back and forth game played by both teams," Punxsy head coach Darrin Kriebel said. "Neither team could pull away from the other until my team did late and picked up another nice road victory."

The Lady Chucks edged Hollidaysburg by three points in the second half and came away with the win.

Kriebel said he was proud of the way the Lady Chucks held their composure under some unfamiliar conditions.

"The girls battled all sorts of adversity all night — foul trouble, turnovers and Hollidayburg's aggressive style of play — and still found a way to win," Kriebel said. "If anything, it shows and proves to this team just how far they've come since mid-August."

Alli Lunger was the second-highest scorer for the seventh-grade squad. She put up seven points.

Devon Dubensky added three points, and Tessa Winebark and Kaitlyn Ray each added two.

The eighth-grade team was not so fortunate as it struggled on offense, only scoring 11 points to Hollidaysburg's 33.

Eighth-grade head coach Mike Carlson said the game was much closer than the final score indicated, as Hollidaysburg put up 18 points in the final quarter.

"It was a six-point game early in the fourth, but their transition game finally wore us out," Carlson said. "They were a very good team that was fun to watch."

Ivy Ferko led the scoring for the eighth-graders. She notched six points. Emma White scored three, and she was followed closely by Hope Bridge, who had two.

Carlson said he thought the Lady Chucks played well through the first three quarters, but the game began to get away from them in the final stanza.

"Unfortunately for us, the things we did well for three quarters fell apart in the fourth, but I am proud of their effort," Carlson said."

Both teams will face Altoona during their final game of the regular season Thursday.

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