BUFFALO – The Altoona-Midway High School boys came up just one point short in their attempt to make it a clean sweep for the host school as the Milburn G. Apt Memorial Tournament got underway here Tuesday.
Earlier in the evening, the girls won their tournament opener with an impressive 37-28 win over Liberty Homeschool Alliance. But in Tuesday’s tournament finale at Milo Peterson Gymnasium, the host Jets dropped a heartbreaking 50-49 decision.
In other action Tuesday, Tyro Christian School picked up victories over Chetopa in both boys and girls’ action.
Coaches talk about a “total team victory” all the time. The Jets did exactly that in picking up their second win of the season with an impressive 37-28 triumph over Liberty Homeschool Alliance.
The Jets (2-7) suited up just six players for the contest, and all six of them found their way into the scoring column.
“The girls played a great game last night,” said an elated Altoona head coach Jessica Porter. “We had a bunch of fast breaks, and when we had to set up in the half court, we actually slowed down and ran our offensive plays. It was very impressive.
Altoona led 7-4 at the quarter, and then scorched the nets for 17 points in the second period to go up 24-8 at halftime. The Lady led 36-12 entering the final period and coasted to victory.
Emmalynn Pupanek led the balanced scoring attack with 11 points. Summer Raymond finished with nine points, Ava Tindle fired in seven points, Chantal Morales chipped in five, Ava Hufford added three and Eryn Tiger had the final two.
Pupanek and Raymond led the Jets on the board with 11 and eight. Pupanek and Hufford grabbed five steals apiece and Morales swiped four. Hufford also dished out five assists, while Raymond finished with three assists and three blocks.
Lexie Riebel led Liberty with 11 points, while Katie Spaulding and Bella Spaulding tallied seven each.
Altoona (5-4) dropped a nip-and-tuck contest against Liberty in the nightcap, falling 50-49.
“This game was a battle right from the beginning. The game went back-and-forth the entire evening,” Altoona head coach Dave Vance said. “Neither team was ahead more than two or three points until Liberty went up by four in the final seconds.”
The Arrows needed every bit of that narrow-yet-largest margin of the night, as sophomore Kieran Foster drained a long three-pointer to cut the deficit to one at the final buzzer.
“We did a good job on the boards with 37 rebounds and 17 of those on the offensive end,” Vance said. “The problem we had was following the rebound we would put up more of a ‘panic’ shot instead of gathering ourselves and going up strong or kicking it to an open shooter.
“We only had 4 assists for the game, so we need a much stronger emphasis on setting up our teammates instead of setting up ourselves,” he noted.
Vance also pointed out the Jets were called for 19 fouls to just 11 whistles against LHA.
“We definitely need to work on keeping our hands off and not swinging down when attempting to block a shot,” Vance said. “Turnovers were also a problem. We need that number back under 10.”
Foster finished the night as the Jets’ leading scorer, firing in 17 points, including 14 in the second half. That picked up a scoring void created when Chase Nalley, who rang up eight points in a quarter and a half, injured his back shortly before halftime and was unable to return to action.
Jacob Meigs also finished the night with eight points, while Andy Tiger netted seven points and William Stackhouse chipped in six. Rounding out scoring for the Jets were Brandon Johnson with two and Harley Lopeman with one.
Stackhouse and Tiger led AMHS in rebounding with nine and seven, while Meigs collected six, Johnson and Blaine Collins had five each, and Nalley grabbed four prior to his injury.
Jesse Stockebrand led the Arrows with 16 points, while Noah Gleue and Josiah Stockebrand each finished with 13.
Second-round play in the round-robin format took place Thursday. Chetopa took on Liberty in the first two games, before Tyro squared off against Altoona. Doubleheaders today pit Tyro versus Liberty and Chetopa against Altoona.