EBENSBURG - In Thursday night's District 6 Class A consolation game, Juniata Valley had its outside game going.
The Green Hornets hit 13 3-pointers and had three players score in double digits. The Hornets used their outside shooting to stay in the game against Homer Center into the third quarter.
However, Juniata Valley was not able to control the paint and that was its downfall.
Homer Center took control of the game late in the third quarter by taking advantage of second-chance points and free throws. The Wildcats outscored the Hornets by seven points in the second half to end Juniata Valley's season with a 74-62 victory.
"It was a good physical game, up and down and back and forth," Juniata Valley coach Ron Anders said. "It was an exciting game to watch and be part of. I think the rebounding really killed us."
Juniata Valley had the better of the play in the first quarter. It held an 18-15 lead after one quarter, and extended the lead to 23-15 early in the second frame.
However, Homer Center used an 8-0 run to tie the game 23-23 midway through the second quarter. The Wildcats took control of the play late in the half. They closed the half on a 16-8 run to take a 39-34 lead at intermission.
The Hornets got things going offensively in the third quarter.
They hit five 3-pointers in the frame. Gordon Gable hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions, and Caleb Taylor added a basket on the team's next possession. All three baskets cut the Homer-Center lead to three points.
However, Homer-Center took advantage of offensive rebounds to get second-chance points, and it hit five of seven foul shots in the quarter.
Aaron Maysonet hit two 3-pointers later in the quarter. His second 3-pointer cut the Wildcats lead to 53-48. They would get no closer, though. Homer-Center closed the quarter on a 7-3 run to take a 60-51 lead into the final quarter.
Any thoughts of a comeback were squashed early. Kordell Collins was called for a foul on a Wildcats basket. One of the officials then called Gable for a technical foul.
The foul was his fifth, sending him to the bench for the rest of the game. Homer-Center scored four points on the sequence, putting the game out of reach.
The Hornets closed the lead to six points late in the game, but saw their season end with a 74-62 loss.
"Gordon was hitting," Anders said. "He had three threes in the second half, and it was unfortunate for him to foul out in his last game like that. He wasn't even the one who said anything. He got [a technical] when one of the other guys was talking to the referee, but they gave it to Gordon. That was unfortunate for him in his last game."
Juniata Valley finished with a 19-7 record.
"It was a real successful season," Anders said. "We won the league, our division and the ICC. The kids played together all year. As a coach, it has probably been the most enjoyable year that I have had in a very long time. There have never been any issues this year."
Practice was a joy to go to. They are a good group of kids. As a coach, that's all you ask for. You don't always get that, so you love it when you have it."
HOMER CENTER (74): Dellapenna 2 1-4 5, Joh. Capitosti 3 1-2 8, Carr 8 4-6 23, Miller 3 2-2 8, Joe Capitosti 6 8-11 20, Brewer 0 0-0 0, Ireland 1 4-4 6, Citeroni 1 0-0 2, Berezansky 1 0-0 2, Black 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 20-29 74.
JUNIATA VALLEY (62): Maysonet 4 0-0 12, Gable 4 3-3 15, Taylor 3 1-1 8, Collins 5 4-6 18, Shawver 4 1-1 9, Z. Grove 0 0-0 0, Gildea 0 0-0 0, Grissinger 0 0-1 0, Pilch 0 0-0 0,, Barton 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 9-12 62.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Homer Center 15 24 21 14 - 74
Juniata Valley 18 16 17 11 - 62
3-point field goals: Homer Center 4 (Carr 3, Joh. Capitosti); Juniata Valley 13 (Maysonet 4, Gable 4, Collins 4, Taylor).
Records: Homer Center (22-3); Juniata Valley (19-7).