Lumberjills Hold Off Knights 43-39
PINE GROVE — It wasn’t pretty, but it was exciting, as both the Silver Knights and the home-standing Valley Lumberjills fought off the rust from the Christmas break, and put on an exciting 43-39 Valley victory, Dec. 27.
The Silver Knights’ Josey Jones tallied the first points of the game with a jumper in the paint, while the Lumberjills’ Rachel Baker countered with a basket from the top of the key to knot things up at two.
Valley scored five straight points, before Jones grabbed a rebound and went coast-to-coast for a a two-pointer to stop the bleeding. Aleah Black and Peyton Kocher each sank a pair of charity tosses to close the gap to 8-7 Valley.
The Knights took their second lead of the night with a pair of Black free throws, while the Lumberjills Sophie Palmer quickly launched a deep a successful three to retake the lead at 11-9.
Black tallied the front-end of a pair of free throws, while Jones picked pocketed a ‘Jill player off the rebound, and put it back in to give the Knights the lead once more.
Palmer ripped the cords from the corner to retake the lead, but the Knights JoLee Walton swished a pair of freebies, to take it back. However, the Lumberjills Underwood sank her second triple of the quarter to end an exciting, 16-14 lead that saw the Silver Knights score 8-9 free throws, and Valley sank a trio of three pointers in the period.
Baker started the second stanza with a deuce, while teammate Emma Ueltschy knocked one in off the glass to give the home team a 20-14 advantage.
The Silver Knights countered with a pair of free throws and a nifty runner by Amanda Reynolds to close the gap. However, Ueltschy knocked down a jumper, before Tyler Consolidated made 5-6 free throws to take back the lead at 23-22 a little over the half-way through the second period.
Palmer sank one off the glass, but the Knights’ Miranda Weekley quickly answered with her only basket of the night.
Thomas knocked down a basket inside, while Palmer connected from downtown as the buzzer sounded to give Valley a 29-25 lead at intermission.
At the break, Jones scored 13 of the Knights 25 points, including 7-7 from the free throw line, with Tyler sinking 7-8 charity tosses in the second period. Meanwhile, Palmer tallied five points in the period, including a triple, while Ueltschy sank a pair of two-pointers for the Lumberjills.
In the third quarter, only 13 points was scored by both teams, with Walton leading the charge with two baskets and Kocher with a charity toss for Tyler Consolidated. Meanwhile, Baker sank a pair of two-pointers, while Palmer added a deuce, and Thomas a pair of freebies from the free-throw line, with Valley on top, 37-30.
In the final eight minutes of play, there were 17 turnovers and 15 foul shots shot by both teams. Palmer, sank 5-7 in the period, while Underwood made on of four for Valley.
In the final eight minutes of play, Tyler Consolidated scored six straight points, before Underwood scored a free throw with 2:23 left in regulation. Palmer added three more free throws, before Jones swished 1-2 free throws with 1:15 showing on the clock, with Valley on top, 41-37.
The Knights fouled Palmer to set up a one-in-one, but she missed the front end, while Kocher sank both her tries to close the gap to 41-39.
The Knights stole the end-bounds ball twice, but missed a pair of jumpers aided by rejections from Baker and Thomas, while Palmer sealed the deal with two free throws to end the game.
The Knights, who shot the lights out in the first half at the free throw line with 15-17, only shot six in the second half, made half of them.
Jones paced the Silver Knights with 16 points, that included 8-9 from the free throw line, while Kocher followed with seven points. Black and Walton each tallied six points, while Black hauled in a game-high 12 rebounds.
In addition, Reynolds and Weekley each sank a deuce, while Reynolds made eight steals, and Jones six, and a block.
Palmer led all scorers with 17 markers, including a pair of three pointers, and sank 6-7 from the charity line. She also added six rebounds, three blocks and two steals for a nice all around performance.
Baker followed with 10 points, six rebounds and three blocks, while Underwood contributed seven markers, that included two from beyond the arch. She also hauled in six rebounds, five steals and one block, while Thomas posted five points, six rebounds, six steals and blocked a shot. Ueltschy tallied two baskets, and made two steals, while Jenna Dallison recorded a block and grabbed a rebound for the Valley Lumberjills.
The win pushed their record to 5-1, will entertain the Paden City Wildcats Thursday, while opened the new year at Clay-Battelle on Jan. 2, while the Knights will look to rebound against Magnolia Thursday, and will open the 2017 on the road against Ritchie County Jan. 3.