Juniata Valley bounced back from a loss to Bellwood-Antis with a very good game against West Branch Thursday. Quinn Zinobile did a lot of good things, scoring 27 points as the Hornets topped the Warriors 83-63.
Zinobile was one point away from his career high, and the four three-pointers he made tied his personal best. Cameron Collins put in 14 points in the second half to finish with 23. Jaxson Rand had 13 and Devin Deihl scored 11 for the Hornets (7-4, 5-1 ICC).
The two teams set a fast pace in the first quarter and traded points most of the way to start the game. Juniata Valley forged a lead by the end of the frame and never let the Warriors back into it.
“The ball went in the hoop tonight. We played well. They stuck to the game plan which worked and got us a win. We capitalized when we needed to,” Juniata Valley head coach TJ Anderson said.
Part of the game plan was to slow down outside shooter Larry Cowder. The Hornets did that, not letting him have any good looks at the basket. He made two threes and finished with 13 points. Point guard David Guerra led the Warriors with 23 points.
West Branch led for most of the opening period. Cowder and Deihl traded treys as the scoring went back and forth. The Hornets used a 15-4 run the last 4:03 of the stanza to take a 24-15 lead.
Zinobile scored 11 points in the first. He ended the frame with a three-pointer.
Collins started the second quarter with a pair of threes. West Branch quickly got back within 10, but Rand scored five points and sished to Zinobile on the fast break to go ahead 37-20.
A three from Zinobile made the score 42-22. The Warriors scored to end the half down 44-27.
Every time West Branch started to get close, within 12-13 points, the Hornets were able to push the lead back to around 20. A 7-0 run by the Warriors made the score 55-40. The Hornets were up 61-45 heading to the fourth.
Deihl and Collins sank threes in the fourth to stay up by 20 at 69-49. The Warriors were unable to cut into the deficit the rest of the way.
“We wanted to be consistent tonight and put a full game together. That’s what they did. I’m really proud of them. The measure of a great team is how you respond after a tough loss. They responded well,” noted Anderson.
Zinobile commented, “We pushed the floor well. Played defense well. We scored a lot in transition and I think that really helped us. We’re competing for the top spot in the ICC so we had to win this one.”
The Hornets scored late to win the junior varsity (6-1) game 65-60. Garry Beck had 17 points.
Juniata Valley plays at Moshannon Valley Monday.