PUNXSUTAWNEY — Following two close defeats, the Punxsy seventh-grade boys' hoops squad found the win column Monday afternoon against Brookville.
The Chucks held a comfortable 28-9 advantage after three periods before taking away the 34-25 final over the Raiders.
"I was very pleased with the seventh-grade boys performance and improvement tonight. A different team showed up to play at home than did against the same team in Brookville," noted Punxsy head coach Darren Sherry. "In our previous game with Brookville on their court, it was a close game the entire way, with us behind most of the first three quarters compared to us being up 28-9 after three quarters. I was very pleased with the overall team performance as well as individual gains."
Holding a four-point lead, the seventh-grade Chucks shut out the Raiders, 8-0, in the second quarter to lead 16-4. The home advantage increased with a 12-5 third frame to open the 28-9 margin.
"We shot 70-percent form the free throw line versus 25-percent in our previous outing against Brookville," added Sherry. "We had very balanced scoring with Tyler Richardson, Kevin Constant and Matthew Werhle doing a nice job taking the ball to the hoop and creating scoring opportunities through their scoring or passing. Big men Matt Blose, Brandon McGee and Jesse Burkett also made their presence known underneath."
Richardson netted a game-best 11 points to pace the winning Chucks. Blose and Contstant had solid offensive affairs with nine and eight points, respectively.
Wehrle and Burkett rounded out the scoring with four and two points, respectively.
"Defensively, we were very effective in shutting down their offense. Their main scorer had 12 points in the previous game compared to being held to zero this one," noted Sherry. "Everyone who came into the game contributed and played well, and, more importantly grew as individuals and as a team as a whole."
Last Friday, the seventh-grade squad saw its first-half lead evaporate before falling 27-22 on the road at Bradford.
The Chucks won the first frame, 6-3. The visitors took a 13-10 lead to the intermission after Richardson passed to Wehrle on the last possession of the opening half. The hoop came off stopping a Bradford drive on defense.
"The team played an excellent first half, and with the exception of a few mistakes, executed well offense. I was very pleased in the fist half, especially after telling the players the final possession was key, and not only did they stop a Bradford drive but they caused a turnover and converted it into two points," said the Punxsy coach.
The Owls came out strong in the third frame. The home team won the period, 12-3, before taking away the 27-22 win.
"Unfortunately, a different Chucks team showed up in the second half and did not play well. They caused turnovers, and we didn't play with the fundamentals and lost," commented Sherry. "The team learned there are two halves to a game, and had we played with the same intensity as we did in the first half, we would have won easily."
Richardson and Constant were the top scorers with six and five points. Wehrle had four to his credit. Blose put in three tallies, with McGee having a basket.
Even with a late charge, Punxsy was unable to overtake St. Marys in the end as it dropped a 41-33 home contest last Tuesday, Jan. 15.
The Dutch ran out to a 16-5 lead to start the contest. The Chucks came back in the second, 11-8, but trailed 24-16 at half.
St. Marys doubled up Punxsy in the third period, 10-5. The home squad came back to within six points but did not have enough to complete the comeback.
"We had a better effort and balanced scoring but only played three out of four quarters well," said Sherry.
Blose and Richardson garnered the high points with eight and seven, respectively. Wehrle hit for six points. McGee and Constant rounded the production with four and two points.
Punxsy plays at Altoona-Maroon today at 3:30 p.m.