Lions’ offense stymied

Altoona Area High School boys basketball coach Jarrod Klausman couldn’t have been happier with how his team played defensively Friday night.

“Defensively, to hold them to 43 points — they scored 60 last time,” Klausman said. “We can’t do anything more defensively to play better than what we’re doing.”

The Mountain Lions, though, struggled offensively for much of the night as State College’s defense proved to be too much as it beat the Mountain Lions, 43-31, in a Mid-Penn Conference Commonwealth Division matchup at the Altoona Junior High School Fieldhouse.

State High, after a 10-5 lead to start the game, went on a 7-0 run, thanks to four of Carson Frank’s nine points and a 3-pointer from Lake Black to make it 17-5.

Altoona, though, answered with an 8-0 run of its own with buckets from Ashton Bardell and Kyle Pheasant as the Mountain Lions cut the deficit down to four, making it 17-13 at the break.

“Even when we had that run in the second quarter, even before half, there was that one or two more possessions, even in the first quarter there were shots that I liked,” Klausman said. “Those little gaps there got us again.”

It took well into the third before State College took control on a bucket from Franks, and Jaden Mitchell buried a 3-pointer on his way to a game-high 13 points for a 31-19 advantage after three.

“We were all a little bit disappointed about how the first half ended,” State College coach Brian Scholly said. “The whole message all week has been get rid of the stuff that gets you beat. Winning is so hard in this league, and if you compound it with mental errors and mental focus errors, it’s really hard to win.

“You don’t get extra wins for winning pretty. Credit to coach Klausman. He does an awesome job, and they compete really hard.”

State High outscored Altoona, 14-6, in the third frame.

“It doesn’t show up on the scoreboard because of some of the teams we’re playing,” Scholly said. “For stretches I thought we’ve played really good basketball, and have just come up short in a couple of games.”

The Mountain Lions’ offensive troubles continued into the fourth as they went on a 4-minute drought that was broken by Bardell, who scored eight of his points, registering a pair of 3-pointers.

Bardell and Cornelius scored 10 points apiece for the Mountain Lions.

Klausman believes it’s a matter of controlling the basics for his squad.

“We’ve had some games where our shooting percentage isn’t where it needs to be,” he said. “We got to control the controllables and keep trying to get good shots and believe that they’re eventually going to fall.”

Altoona will now go on the road to Chambersburg on Tuesday.

STATE COLLEGE (43): Mitchell 5 0-2 13, Franks 4 1-4 9, Abbey 2 0-0 4, Oyler 1 4-5 6, Orndorf 2 0-1 6, Edwards 0 0-0 0, Black 2 0-0 4, Price 0 0-0 0, Martin 0 0-0 0. Totals — 14 5-11 43.

ALTOONA (31): Cornelius 2 4-5 10, Pheasant 1 0-0 2, Muffie 1 0-0 2, Corso 1 2-2 4, Bardell 3 2-2 10, Lear 0 0-0 0, Petucci 0 0-0 0, Lestochi 1 1-2 5, Neely 0 0-0 0. Totals — 9 9-11 31.


State College 10 7 14 12 – 43

Altoona 5 8 6 12 – 31

3-point goals: State College 4 (Mitchell 3, Black); Altoona 4 (Cornelius 2, Bardell 2).

Records: State College (2-8), Altoona (1-13).

Officials: Dave Heim, Bill Pfeffer, Tim Hite.

JV: State College, 36-28. High scorers–McKenna, SC, 11, Neely, A, 10.


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