After dropping its first ICC North contest of the season Tuesday evening at Bellwood-Antis, Juniata Valley quickly bounced back into the win column Friday evening with a decisive 66-17 road victory against an over-matched West Branch squad.
The Green Hornets, winners in eight of their last nine games, improved to 9-2 overall and 5-1 in the division. The Warriors, who were without two of their better players due to injures, have lost six of their last seven outings, slipping to 4-8 overall and 3-4 in the circuit.
Juniata Valley’s defense limited West Branch to just two points in the first half and only four through the first three quarters, building a commanding 65-4 lead heading into the final period.
Halee Smith led the Hornets with 22 points, while also pulling down eight rebounds. Hayden Taylor followed with 14 points, seven assists and six steals. Avery Taylor added 11 points and Olivia Smith 10. Emily Jefferis grabbed seven caroms to help the Hornets to a 39-21 advantage off the glass, while Emma Musser had five steals.
Julia Herring had seven points for the Warriors and Sarah Betts followed with four.
“This was a game that we wanted to stay focused on our game and work on some other things for down the road,” commented Hornet head coach Rachelle Hopsicker. “We were able to get experience for some of our other players, while sticking to the game plan and work on executing other zone sets correctly. A game like this is all about discipline.”
Juniata Valley shot 41 percent from the field (27-of-66), while limiting West Branch to 21 percent (6-of-29).
Sarah Betts scored 10 points to help the Warrior junior varsity team to a 35-21 victory. Maelyn Payne had 11 points for the Hornets (2-4).
Juniata Valley is home Tuesday for Moshannon Valley.