Punxsy wins in full-team effort

PUNXSUTAWNEY — All 12 of the players who saw time for the Lady Chucks basketball team Monday night scored at least two points, and Punxsy cruised to a 70-16 victory over the Lady Owls of Harmony in Punxsutawney.

Despite the large number on the scoreboard for the Punxsy, it was a balanced attack, as Emily Horner and Taylor Newcome were the only two Punxsy players to reach double-digits, with 14 and 10 points respectively.

The Lady Chucks scored 46 of their 70 points in the first half and held the Lady Owls to just nine over the first two quarters.

Overall, Punxsy head coach Randy Reitz was pleased with the positives he saw out of his team in the lopsided contest.

"I thought we did some things really well," he said. "We ran the floor pretty well and got into the lanes on our breaks. The guards were out, and the bigs ran down the center, and we were able to get some points that way. That'll help us as we near the end of the season here."

For a team that had been timid to shoot earlier in the season, the Lady Chucks shot early and often Monday night, putting up 26 in the first quarter alone.

"Offensively, I thought it helped our confidence," Reitz said. "We got some good looks, and we moved it well. Hopefully, that'll continue Thursday night against a tough DuBois team."

Punxsy senior Alex Magill started the scoring for the game, quickly hitting a long two to give the Lady Chucks the early lead.

But Harmony's freshman guard Stephanie Maseto answered back for the Lady Owls with a three, giving them their only lead of the game at 3-2.

Horner followed with a quick two, and Ashley Reitz hit a three to move the Lady Chucks ahead by four.

Punxsy went on to pour on the next 14 points, and the rout was on.

After one Harmony basket with two minutes remaining in the first, Punxsy scored the final six points of the first quarter and the first 11 of the second before Santana Woodley stopped the run for the Owls.

Horner led the way for the Lady Chucks in the scoring department in the first half, racking up 13 of her 14 points in the first two stanzas.

After holding the Lady Owls to four points in the second quarter and single digits in the first half, Punxsy's defense, paired with its confidently-shooting offense, gave Punxsy a 46-9 lead at the half.

Despite the fact his team dominated on the scoreboard, coach Reitz did admit there were areas he would have liked his team to play better.

"We still don't rebound well enough," he said. "We missed some checkouts from the guards to the bigs, and we can't afford to do that when we get back into our league games. We're also working on continuity on our offense. Defensively, we talk and rotate well, but we're still working on that offensive continuity."

The second half opened with Newcome hitting a three-pointer from the corner, and with the Lady Chucks leading by 40 points, the running clock rule took effect.

Due to the running clock and a number of missed shots, Punxsy's scoring was down in the third quarter, as they scored just eight points. But their defense stymied the Lady Owls again, holding them to just three points in the third.

Although Punxsy managed only eight points in the quarter, Newcome scored six of them on two threes.

Punxsy found its flow again in the fourth quarter, led by freshman Shaina Painter, who scored eight of Punxsy's 16 in the quarter.

Jensen Constantino added a pair of baskets, and Alyssa Reitz hit a three to become the 12th player to score for the Lady Chucks.

After the game, coach Reitz spoke of the value that comes from being able to play so many of his players at the varsity level.

"Any time you can put the girls in the varsity game, I think it helps their confidence," he said. "They're the ones who'll be playing next year, or maybe, you'll even need them this season. You never know. So any time you can get them in, that really helps."

Coming off the one-sided victory, the Lady Chucks will have two days of practice before heading to DuBois for a difficult league game on the road.

Reitz said the two days of practice should prevent Punxsy from coming out flat after the pace of the game changed in the second half Monday.

"I hope we don't come out flat," he said. "We're going to try to pick it up in practice starting (tonight), because when we go to DuBois, they'll be ready to play. We've had some good ball games with them over the past few years, and I don't expect anything different Thursday."

After a close 29-26 loss to the Lady Owls of Bradford Friday, Punxsy's JV squad fared much better against Harmony's Lady Owls.

Anna Horner scored 17, the only Punxsy player over 10, to lead the Lady Chucks to a 52-17 win in another game that saw the running clock rule applied in the second half.

Punxsy scored the first 11 points and never trailed en route to the win, and a late basket by Harmony's Amanda Royer was the only thing that prevented a shutout in the first quarter.

Punxsy's most convincing quarter was the third, as the Lady Chucks came out of halftime already leading 22-7 and scored 16 unanswered to put the game away for good.

After Horner's 17, a pair of Lady Chucks — Ivy Phillips and Amber Ward — followed with eight each.

Point guard Emily Reitz scored six points for the Lady Chucks, and freshman Brooke Stello added four.

Painter scored three in the JV contest to go with her eight in the varsity game, and three Punxsy freshmen — Ashley Whitesell, Hope Weaver and Lexxi Cielo — wrapped up the scoring with two apiece.

With the victory, Punxsy's JV squad improved to 8-5 this season.