High-scoring Green Hornets stave off Pirates

ALEXANDRIA — Williamsburg played run-and-gun with Juniata Valley on Friday.

The Blue Pirates were able to keep up, but Cameron Collins scored 33 points and the Green Hornets came out on top, 98-87, for their 10th win in a row.

The key points in the game were in the second quarter where, after a technical foul, the Hornets (14-5, 12-0 ICC) made the free throws and then scored to tie the game and go on to lead at halftime. Then a really good third period gave Valley a lead to work with the rest of the way.

“We just came out strong in the third quarter and took a run. We relaxed ourselves, Cam told us to relax,” Hornet Jaxson Rand said. “We’ve been in these situations before.”

Rand came through with 21 points, while Jacob Hensor scored 15, Paul Leri 11 and Quinn Zinobile with 10 for Juniata Valley.

Nick Michelone did everything he could to keep the Pirates (7-10, 6-5 ICC) in the game. He sank five 3s in the fourth quarter and scored 29 points for the game. Rashadd Knorr had 20 and Dylan James 14.

“I thought we shot the ball really well and shared it really well,” Williamsburg coach Brock Anders said. “They battled all the way down to the end. The history of this program is playing hard until the end.”

Juniata Valley coach T.J. Anderson said, “Our kids are starting to learn how to win games like this. A big game, big crowd with a championship possibly on the line. They’re starting to figure it out. They weathered the storm.”

That storm hit as soon as the game started. Both teams ran the floor every chance they got. Valley held the lead through the first quarter and was up 24-19 after one.

Josiah Dowey scored five points in a 7-0 burst by the Pirates to go up 36-32 in the second quarter. A big point in the game came when a technical foul was called on Williamsburg’s Peanut Wansley. Hensor made the two free throws, then Rand scored to tie the game 36-36.

The Pirates scored next, but an 8-0 run gave the Hornets a 44-38 edge. Grant Musser sank a trey before the half to make the score 50-42.

Juniata Valley used the third quarter to stretch the lead. James and Rand traded treys, then Paul Leri scored five points to put the Hornets up 64-49.

“We let them get out to a double-digit lead in the third quarter and then trying to battle back has sort of become an M.O. of this team,” Anders said.

The Hornets were up 73-56, but 3s by Knorr and Michelone kept Williamsburg close at 78-64 heading to the fourth.

The Pirates cut the deficit to nine right away in the fourth, but then Collins scored five points. Michelone didn’t let the Hornets get away and kept hitting from long range to stay in the game.

An 11-2 run had Williamsburg down 89-82 with 4:15 still to play. A 3 by Musser and basket from Collins made the cushion 94-82.

Time ran out on the Pirates, but they never stopped trying to complete the comeback.

Williamsburg took the junior varsity game, 55-51.

The Hornets play at Bellwood-Antis Tuesday, while Williamsburg is at Glendale.

WILLIAMSBURG (87): Knorr 9 0-0 20, Hileman 2 1-3 6, Michelone 11 0-0 29, Wansley 2 0-0 5, Dowey 4 0-0 9, James 6 0-1 14, Butler 2 0-0 4, Bones 0 0-0 0. Totals — 36 1-4 87.

JUNIATA VALLEY (98): Collins 16 1-2 33, Zinobile 5 0-2 10, Hensor 6 2-2 15, Rand 10 0-0 21, Leri 5 1-1 11, Musser 2 0-0 6, Rupert 0 0-0 0, Deihl 0 0-0 0, Reihart 0 0-0 0, Henderson 0 0-0 0. Totals — 44 4-7 98.

Score by Quarters

Williamsburg 19 23 22 23 — 87

Juniata Valley 24 26 28 20 — 98

3-point goals: Williamsburg 14 (Michelone 7, Knorr 2, James 2, Hileman, Wansley, Dowey); Juniata Valley 6 (Collins 2, Musser 2, Hensor, Rand).

Records: Williamsburg (7-10, 6-5 ICC North; Juniata Valley 14-5, 12-0 ICC North).

JV: Williamsburg, 55-51.

COMMENTS