PUNXSUTAWNEY — The season of growth came to a head as the seventh-grade Punxsy boys’ hoops team concluded its season.
Trailing by 11 points at the half, the Chucks stormed back for a dominate second two periods and a 41-35 comeback victory over the Owls of Bradford on Friday afternoon in Punxsutawney.
Bradford stormed out to a 20-8 advantage after the first quarter and enjoyed a cushion of 16 points during the first half.
The visitors led 23-12 at intermission.
The Punxsy second half saw the home team outscore Bradford by a 29-12 margin. The Chucks pulled to within two points, 28-26, following a 14-5 frame.
The comeback continued into the fourth period. Punxsy won the final quarter of the season, 15-7, to take away the six-point win.
“I was so pleased with the second-half effort of the team. This was the exact opposite of the when we played them at Bradford, where we had a great first half and a bad second half,” said Punxsy coach Darren Sherry. “After being down 16 at one point in the first half, we collected our composure and played fundamentally more solidly than we have all year long. This is the team I always knew existed.”
Tyler Richardson produced the high-point total for Punxsy. Richardson netted six buckets for 12 points.
Brandon Matthews chipped in nine points, while Kevin Constant had eight.
Matt Blose and Matthew Wehrle rounded out the scoring with six points apiece.
“I was pleased with the consistent play for Blose and Richardson underneath, who hustled and grabbed rebounds. Blose also took an offensive charge at a key turning point in the game,” added Sherry.
“Our guards — Matthews has shown leadership and poise while Wehrle and
Constant have continued to work on and improve their fundamental skills which are so key at this level.”
Sherry continued, “I have also watched Chase Loreli, Jesse Burkett and Brandon McGee continue work on their individual (game) and team progress and give good minutes at key times coming into the game.
After being down in the first half, I have never seen a team work so hard and adjust so well and execute both offensively and defensively to turn around a game, which any other team would have folded. I expect great things from these young players.”
Last Monday, the seventh-graders used a strong second quarter to propel them to a 29-16 victory over Brockway.
Behind by three points, Punxsy posted a 13-3 second period to move in front, 17-10 at half. The host Chucks claimed the second half 12-6 for the win.
“The team has continued to make progress and work individually, as well as team skills. I was quite pleased with the seventh-grade boys team, in particular their improvement and putting together a full game,” noted Sherry.
“Every player contributed to the win, all giving good minutes.”
Constant finished with a team-high seven points on the afternoon for Punxsy.
Matthews and Richardson chipped in six points apiece.
Wehrle added four points, and Blose had two to finish the scoring.