WILLIAMSBURG - As a junior, Williamsburg's Josh Morrissey made a note of the bad feeling following last year's senior night loss and wanted to make sure his senior night turned out the differently.
The Blue Pirates point guard consistently put his teammates in good spots to score time and time again Monday against Juniata Valley. Morrissey dished out 11 assists to help lead Williamsburg past the Hornets, 56-40.
"It feels real good to beat our rivals twice in the same season," he said. "I remember how bad it felt when we lost on senior night last year."
Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec
Juniata Valley’s Jason Shawver shoots over Zach Appleman and Jed Dishong (24).
Cody Palmer was Morrissey's primary target. The junior center scored a game-high 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for a double-double.
"We fed the paint really well. Josh feeding Cody the ball was the key to our offense," Williamsburg coach Mike Farrell said. "That's the best game Cody's played all year. He did a good job posting up, using his drop step and getting good looks. He was really strong under the basket."
Seniors Eli Fay and Jed Dishong scored in double digits as well with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Farrell credited the team's defensive play with "sparking" the offense.
"We played really well defensively. We did a good job against their ball-handlers. That set the tone," he said.
Williamsburg, which also knocked off Juniata Valley last month, moved past the Hornets into second place in the Inter-County Conference North division with the win.
The Blue Pirates improved to 10-3 in ICC North play, 14-6 overall. Juniata Valley fell to 10-4 in the ICC North, 13-7 overall.
Williamsburg took the early led when Dishong scored the Blue Pirates first three baskets for a 7-2 lead. Williamsburg maintained a slight advantage until late in the second quarter.
A 12-2 run to close out the first half put the Blue Pirates ahead 33-20 at the break. After Palmer scored down low on three straight possessions, Fay drained a pair of 3-pointers.
"It went from a six-point game to 13 points at halftime. The finished the second quarter strong, and then we quit a little in the third," Juniata Valley coach Ron Anders said.
A six-point spurt in the middle of the third quarter put the Blue Pirates ahead by 21 points when Anders called timeout and pulled four starters for the final 2:25 of the period.
"The younger guys went in and did a good job," he said. "The starters competed harder when they got back in there, but by then, it was too late. It was a great job by them, not so much by us."
Juniata Valley was particularly bad from the free throw line, converting just 2-of-17 foul shots.
"Our offense has been inconsistent all year. You're not going to get away with that against a good opponent," Anders said.
JUNIATA VALLEY (40): B. Grissinger 4 0-4 9, Gable 1 1-5 3, Taylor 5 0-2 14, Collins 0 0-0 0, Shawver 3 0-2 6, Norris 0 0-0 0, Maysonet 0 0-0 0, Grove 0 0-0 0, T. Grissinger 1 0-2 2, Pilch 2 0-0 5, Barton 0 0-0 0. Totals - 16 2-17 40.
WILLIAMSBURG (56): Biddle 0 4-5 4, Fay 5 0-0 13, Morrissey 0 2-3 2, Dishong 5 0-0 12, Appleman 0 0-0 0, Palmer 10 2-4 22, Biddle 0 4-5 4, Ross 0 0-0 0, Young 1 1-4 3, Shaw 0 0-2 0, King 0 0-0 0. Totals - 21 9-18 56.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Juniata Valley8 12 8 12 - 40
Williamsburg12 21 15 8 - 56
3-point goals: Juniata Valley 6 (Taylor 4, B. Grissinger, Pilch); Williamsburg 5 (Fay 3, Dishong 2).
Records: Juniata Valley (10-4 ICC North, 13-7 overall); Williamsburg (10-3 ICC North, 14-6 overall).
JV: 41-28, Williamsburg. High scorers-Barton, Grove 7 (JV); Young 15 (W).