Juniata Valley entered Saturday's game against Bishop Guilfoyle with a 14-2 record and a desire to prove itself in a measuring stick game for District 6 Class A. Instead it was the Marauders that again proved themselves to be among the area's elite teams, posting a dominating 76-46 win over the visiting Green Hornets.
In the first quarter the teams appeared evenly matched, trading baskets for much of the action. Gordon Gable and Caleb Taylor drained back-to-back 3-pointers to spark the Green Hornets to an early 12-11 lead. Bishop Guilfoyle responded with a 5-0 run to close the first quarter and took a 16-12 lead. It would never trail again.
"I was really encouraged by our play in the first quarter and really the whole first half. I thought we played hard and I think we can take a lot of good things away from our start," Juniata Valley coach Ron Anders said.
Bishop Guilfoyle began to pull away in the second quarter as junior guard Sam McCloskey caught fire and the Marauder bench chipped in with some big plays. After failing to score in the first quarter, McCloskey put up 10 of his game-high 16 points in the second quarter including two three-pointers. The Marauders went into the half up 10 points.
"We have a lot of depth and I thought maybe some of our bench guys gave us some life in the second quarter. We lost C.J. [Fulare] with foul trouble early but Sam [McCloskey] handled the point and got us going in the second," Bishop Guilfoyle coach Chris Drenning said.
"I was just trying to be patient because everyone on our team can score when I started to get my shots in the second they were falling and that was because my teammates were setting me up," McCloskey said.
The second half was total domination by Guilfoyle as its defense set the tone early, holding the Green Hornets to seven points in the third quarter. Offensively, Brandon Chadbourn, Damon Rickens and McCloskey carried the load combining for 17 points in the third.
"The kids were so excited for the game and then once we got down double figures we kind of got deflated and then we really just quit defending and it snowballed from there. I don't think we are 30 points worse than this team," said Anders.
The Marauder bench was a key in helping extend the lead to 30 points.
"Guys like Gormley, Kasun and Brumbaugh were all great tonight. Those guys really got after it on the boards and all three put some points on the board tonight. Our depth was really a key for us," Drenning said.
Drenning was also pleased with the ball movement and team play.
"I think this was the best we've looked all season in moving the ball and moving without the ball. We were unselfish tonight and it paid off," Drenning said.
The 30-point win sent a message to the rest of Class A, but it was also important for potential seeding for the upcoming district playoffs. Both teams are vying for position behind Bishop Carroll, but both coaches weren't worried about that afterwards.
"I like trying to play different teams, teams outside our conference. We set this up last year when their coach called and we knew they would be good. But we aren't worried about seeds, we just want to get better every day and play against good teams. Seeding will take care of itself," Drenning said.
JUNIATA VALLEY (46): Maysonet 0 0-2 0, Taylor 6 1-1 14, Collins 5 2-2 12, Shawver 3 0-0 6, Gable 2 2-2 8, Grove 1 0-0 3, Grissinger 0 1-2 1, Gildea 1 0-0 2, Barton 0 0-0 0. Totals - 18 6-9, 46
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (76): Fulare 2 2-2 6, Rickens 2 8-9 13, McCloskey 7 0-0 16, Chadbourn 5 2-2 12, Wolf 1 0-0 2, Brumbaugh 1 2-2 4, Kasun 2 0-0 4, Fiore 3 0-0 6, Kitt 0 0-0 0, Gormley 4 0-1 9, Livoti 2 0-0 4, Kibler 0 0-0 0, Luther 0 0-0 0, Miller 0 0-0 0. Totals - 29 14-15 76.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Juniata Valley12 12 7 15 - 46
Bishop Guilfoyle16 18 24 18 - 76
3-point goals: Juniata Valley (Taylor, Gable 2, Grove); Bishop Guilfoyle (Rickens, McCloskey 2, Gormley).
Records: Juniata Valley (14-3), Bishop Guilfoyle (13-2)
JV: Bishop Guilfoyle 47-41. High scorers-Barton, JV, 15; Keating, BG, 11.