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Penns Valley offense too strong for Lady Eagles

By Kenny Varner
WINGATE – Coming into Friday night’s game against the Penns Valley girls basketball team, the Bald Eagle girls knew they were going to have a tough battle on their hands.
Sporting one of the top teams in State, the Lady Rams were looking to post another in the win column.
For the first quarter, the Eagles held their own holding Penns Valley to only 14 while it was able to keep it close at 14-9.
However, the Rams got tougher and stronger as the game went on, taking the contest 59-19 in the Eagles Home gym.
Hannah Montminy has things going offensively from the outside, inside and on the fast break, finishing with a game high of 22 points, she had numerous steals and three rebounds in the victory.
Teammate Jordan Andrus had it flying from beyond the three-point line, posting five triples in an 18-point night from the floor. She also collected a triple-double on the night as she ripped down 13 rebounds.
Rounding out the double-digit scorers for the Lady Rams was Bella Culver as she finished with a hard fought 10-point performance.
Leading the way for the young Eagles’ squad were Lacee Barnhart and Rachel Veneziano who both finished with six point apiece.
“They (Penns Valley) really took to the offensive glass tonight. I think it was 14-10 and they got three offensive rebounds right in a row where we had easy block outs but we didn’t block out that led to eight points,” Bald Eagle Area coach Darin Hazel said. “Tonight for us the challenge was the same one we had all year we get defeated and our sails go down a little bit. We just need to keep working. We emphasize you just got to keep playing. There are times we have been playing very well for about a 12-to14-minute span. But unfortunately a game is 32 minutes. So we just got to try to get longer stretches where we are playing better.”
In the opening period, Penns Valley got the game started on a jumper by Montminy 2-0.
On its first possession, Bald Eagle quickly tied the contest on an inside drive by Morgan Chambers.
Penns Valley quickly took back the lead seconds later on a lay up in transition by Culver.
Forcing a turn over on the next Eagle possession, the Lady Rams extended the lead to on a shot by Emma Butler, making it 6-2.
But the Eagles would battle back and cut the Penns Valley lead to one as Barnhart launched a long range shot beyond the arc for the triple, trailing only 6-5 with 5:10 left.
Making the most of a steal opportunity, Penns Valley got the ball to Montminy in transition and she took it strong to the hoop, upping it to an 8-5 advantage which led to the Eagles to call a time out.
With a chance to plan their strategy, Bald Eagle took the ball and pushed it inside to Mariah Veneziano who hit a leaner in traffic to cut the Rams lead to two.
However, Penns Valley kept feeding the rock to Montminy. With 2:20 left in the opening period, Montminy hit a triple to extend the Rams’ lead once again, 11-7.
The Eagles seemed unphased as they went right back to work on the following possession and cut it back to a 2-point deficit, thanks to a set shot by Rachel Veneziano to make it a 11-9 contest.
But the Lady Rams would have the last day in the scoring department when they got the ball to their sharp shooter Andrus who hit her first of five triple, making it a 14-9 advantage as the period ended.
Despite putting on a strong full court press in the first, the Rams didn’t seem to effect the Eagles’ offense.
But that wouldn’t be the case as the teams went into the second quarter.
The press helped the Rams to their first points of the quarter as Culver got the ball off of a steal and went in for the lay-in bucket.
On the next possession, Bald Eagle was able to get the ball to Barnhart once again and she was fouled in the process of shooting, sending her to the line. She hit one-of-two keeping her team within striking distance at 16-10.
Unfortunately for Bald Eagle, that would be the only point that it would get in the period.
The Lady Rams, though it wasn’t always pretty, was able to muscle their way to a 12-0 run the rest of the half, taking a commanding 28-10 advantage into the intermission.
Penns Valley never let it foot off the excellerator in the third as they continued to roll offensively, outscoring BEA 19-7 in the period and a 47-17 lead into the final stanza.
Though the Eagles defense was able to shut the Rams’ offense to only a 12-point period but its offense was limited as well to just a bucket.
“We got to take the process and get better tommorrow. That’s the thing. The kids from Penns Valley play year round and you can see the skill level,” Hazel said. “Penns Valley has tremendous group of kids and have one of the better teams in the state. I think for 12 minutes we played really good ball. We just to try to push it out a little longer.”

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