Eagles Rise Above Catholic, Sweep Season Series

Morgan Instone notched her sixth double-double of the season as she led the team in scoring and rebounding against Catholic.
Morgan Instone notched her sixth double-double of the season as she led the team in scoring and rebounding against Catholic.

Huntingdon, Pa.- The Juniata women's basketball team won a physical contest against Catholic, 59-42, Saturday afternoon at Memorial Gymnasium to sweep the season series.

Morgan Instone (Johnstown, Pa./Bishop McCourt) tallied 17 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Dani Atkinson (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Catholic) amassed 13 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Bethany Spencer (York, Pa./York Suburban) had 11 points while Carmella Bickel (Elysburg, Pa./Lourdes Regional) added eight points and four rebounds off the bench.

Instone scored the first six points of the game, off assists from Rachael Anstine (York, Pa./Dallastown), Atkinson and two free throws as JC led 6-0 in the first three minutes. The Cardinals pulled within one, before back to back Gracie Stauffer (Loysville, Pa./West Perry) assists, a three by Bickel and a layup by Haley Myers (Huntingdon, Pa./Juniata Valley), made it 11-5 with just under three minutes to go in the first stanza. Anstine scored again right before the buzzer sounded as the Eagles led 18-9 after one.

The opening five minutes saw the Eagles struggle to score on the Catholic defense, with a Spencer three providing the only points for JC as the Cardinals pulled within three, 21-18. Atkinson made a jumper and two free throws to push the lead back to seven. In the final 31 seconds, with the Eagles ahead 26-19, Anstine found Instone in the post who scored while being fouled. Her made free throw was the final point of the quarter as the Eagles went into the locker room ahead 29-19.

The Catholic defense continued to cause problems for the Eagles, and midway through the third the Cardinals narrowed the deficit to four. After trading free throws, an Instone layup off an assist from Atkinson followed by her jumper off a pass from Stauffer made it 39-32. Instone found Spencer for a jumper from the wing as the Eagles led 41-32 after three. 

Instone converted two layups on the first possessions of the fourth to push the Eagle lead to 13. The Cardinals scored inside but JC countered with a Spencer three to make it 48-34. Juniata's lead never dropped into single digits as they closed out Catholic.

The Eagles held Catholic to 29.8% shooting from the field and held a 44-26 edge on the glass as Juniata led wire to wire.

The Eagles travel to Susquehanna on Wednesday. Tipoff is at 7:00.