MORAN – After a four-game home stand, the Altoona-Midway basketball teams finally hit the road again, but the results were not as desired as the host Marmaton Valley Wildcats swept a Three Rivers League doubleheader here Friday night.
When you only have a roster of six players to begin with, adding foul trouble or injuries to that mix makes the task nearly insurmountable. Unfortunately, the Jets have had all of those struggles in recent games, including Friday, which resulted in a lopsided 56-10 victory for Marmaton Valley.
“We immediately got into foul trouble in the first quarter, and Ava Hufford hurt the same arm that had been hurt earlier in the season. Also, Chantal (Morales) hurt her ankle in the second half of the game and never went back in,” Altoona head coach Jessica Porter said. “To make matters worse, Summer (Raymond) wasn’t feeling good last night. Emmalynn’s (Pupanek) thumb is still hurt too, but at the very end of the game she hit a three-pointer, which she had never done before in a game.
“Under all the circumstances, the girls did the best they could,” Porter said.
Altoona (3-14) trailed 20-0 after the first eight minutes and 35-3 at halftime. The score was 49-7 after three periods, and Pupanek’s trey made the final 56-10.
Raymond led the Jets with five points, while Hufford hit two free throws to round out the scoring.
Marmaton Valley saw 10 different players reach the scoring column, led by Janae Granere with 17 points and Petyon Scharff with 10.
Altoona (7-10) was competitive for the first six minutes of the game, after which the Wildcats took over with some hot shooting and a full court press that completely took the Jets out of their game.
“Once again we were very, very cold from 3-point range managing only 10 percent,” Altoona head coach Dave Vance said. “When we did manage to break the press and get the ball inside, we hit 50 percent of those shots.
“Their pressure defense caused us to commit 19 turnovers,” Vance added. “The boys did make some nice assists when they did beat the press — we had a total of 11 assists — but that turnover-assist ratio needs to be reversed.”
Marmaton Valley led just 16-10 at the quarter, but stretched its advantage to 33-19 at halftime and 56-33 after three periods. The Wildcats continued to pressure in the final period, winning the stanza 20-11 to build the final margin. Marmaton Valley starters accounted for 16 of the team’s 20 points in the fourth quarter.
“Their pressure was relentless for the full four quarters. It really suffocated our offense,” Vance said. “Marmaton Valley had a well-balanced attack and were hitting on all cylinders tonight.”
Andy Tiger scored 12 points and Harley Lopeman finished with 10 to lead the Jets offense. William Stackhouse and Kieran Foster managed seven points apiece, while Jacob Meigs and Blaine Collins rounded out the scoring with four points each.
Marmaton Valley placed four players in double figures. Drake led the way with 18, Lord tallied 16, Lawson 13, and Smith netted 12.
The Jets go from the frying pan into the fire in facing Cherokee-Southeast on Monday evening, as Southeast defeated Marmaton Valley 76-31 earlier this season.
There’s no rest for the weary, as the Altoona squads are slated for three more games in the upcoming week to wrap up the regular season. Monday night at Milo Peterson Gymnasium, the Jets will play host to Southeast in a game originally postponed from Jan. 24. After a road trip to Yates Center on Tuesday, Altoona will close out regular-season play Friday, hosting Jayhawk-Linn for Parent’s Night.
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