Green Hornets clinch ICC North Division

ALEXANDRIA – A lot was on the line in the game between Williamsburg and Juniata Valley on Monday night.

The Green Hornets wanted the Inter-County Conference North Division title, and they went out and got it with a 68-45 win over the Blue Pirates.

Caleb Taylor led the Hornets (17-5, 11-3 ICC North) with 16 points. Kordell Collins scored 14 points with Gordon Gable and Jason Shawver adding 11 and 10 points, respectively.

It was another good game between the teams, but this time the pestering defense of Juniata Valley, that never lets up, forced 23 turnovers from the Pirates (11-9, 8-5 ICC North). In the previous meeting, Juniata Valley came away with a 51-50 win on Jan. 17.

“It feels really good,” Juniata Valley coach Ron Anders said of winning the division title. “We haven’t won one of these in a while. It’s special. It’s hard to do. We had a nice cushion there and then had to battle right to the end. That’s the way I thought the league would be all year. It’s a nice accomplishment.”

Williamsburg coach Michael Farrell said, “We could have helped ourselves as far as winning a division, and we knew that coming in. We played a little tentative and back on our heels while they played aggressive.”

Bryce Young paced the Pirates with 13 points.

The Hornets will face either Northern Bedford or Southern Fulton in the ICC championship game Saturday at a site to be determined. The Black Panthers and the Indians go at it in Loysburg tonight to see who will win the ICC South division title.

Both teams seemed fine with playing an up tempo pace that went pretty much from start to finish. The first half was back and forth with the lead changing hands. An 8-0 run by the Pirates gave them a 12-8 lead, the Hornets were up 15-14 after one.

Williamsburg turned the ball over nine times in the second quarter. A short 6-0 run put the Pirates up 24-19. Juniata Valley finished the last four minutes of the half on a 12-2 run. Three-pointers by Aaron Maysonet and Gordon Gable closed out the half with the Hornets leading 31-26.

“At the end of the first half our last four or five possessions were turnovers and that cost us at least a tie game,” Farrell said. “Give credit to them. They picked up their intensity on defense and kept it up in the second half.”

The Hornets took control of the game in the third quarter. A pair of buckets by Cody Palmer pulled the Pirates within three at 33-30. Juniata Valley then went on a 10-0 run. Collins hit two treys in that span. After Williamsburg stopped the run, the Hornets then ended the period on an 8-2 run to take a 51-34 advantage into the final stanza.

The Pirates weren’t able to fight their way back into the game during the fourth quarter. When the game was over the Hornets celebrated by cutting down the nets.

“I thought our pressure was great. We played like we wanted something,” Anders said. “We’re not done though. We have to get ready for a game Saturday.”

WILLIAMSBURG (45): Biddle 1 0-0 2; Shaw 1 0-1 3; McMonagle 3 0-0 6; Ross 3 0-0 6; Young 5 3-4 13; Palmer 4 0-0 8; Brown 3 1-2 7. Totals: 20 4-7 45.

JUNIATA VALLEY (68): Maysonet 2 0-0 6; Taylor 8 0-0 16; Collins 5 2-5 14; Shawver 5 0-0 10; Gable 5 0-0 11; Grove 0 0-0 0; Grissinger 1 3-4 5; Gildea 0 0-0 0; Barton 1 0-0 3; Pilch 1 0-0 3; Claar 0 0-0 0; Thatcher 0 0-0 0; Miklos 0 0-0 0. Totals: 28 5-9 68.

Score by Quarters

Williamsburg14 12 8 11 – 45

Juniata Valley15 16 20 17 – 68

3-point goals: Williamsburg 1 (Shaw); Juniata Valley 7 (Maysonet 2, Collins 2, Gable, Barton, Pilch).

JV: Juniata Valley, 54-49.