PLEASANTON – For the second night in a row, the Altoona-Midway High School boys held the lead entering the final quarter.
For the second night in a row, the Jets couldn’t hold on.
Marmaton Valley outscored Altoona-Midway 20-14 in the final eight minutes to post an exciting 58-53 victory in the seventh place game of the Pleasanton Tournament here Friday night.
In other final-day action of the Pleasanton Tournament, the Lady Jets had a terrible first period and never recovered as they fell, 48-23, also to Marmaton Valley and also in a seventh-place contest.
MVHS boys 58, Altoona-Midway 53
Marmaton Valley jumped out to a 14-7 first-quarter lead, but the Jets rallied to take a 27-24 lead into halftime. Altoona-Midway still held a narrow 39-38 advantage entering the final stanza.
“The last quarter really doomed us again tonight,” said AMHS head coach Jeff Almond. “We have to be more disciplined and stay out of foul trouble. We need to learn to play to win instead of playing not to lose. I am confident that we can overcome this and play better as we continue to improve.
“But, we got off to a sluggish start tonight and really never recovered from that,” Almond noted. “We played flat the entire game.”
AMHS junior Caden Carter led the Jets with 19 points, while freshman Jackson Ashmore tossed in 16. Clement Huffman also contributed 10 points and hauled down seven rebounds, despite the Jets’ lone senior having to sit out for a while after suffering an eye injury.
“Coach (Lane) Huffman and I have been trying to get Caden more involved in the offense. He is at his best when he drives to the basket. His hard work paid off tonight,” Almond said. “Jackson has had a couple of really nice games in a row for us (18 and 16 points). As a freshman, he is really coming along nicely.”
Rounding out the scoring for the Jets were Dayton Marsh with five points and Dawson Ashmore with three. Griffith scorched the nets for 24 points for the Wildcats.
MVHS girls 48, Altoona-Midway 23
The Lady Wildcats stormed out to a 20-0 lead after the first eight minutes of play. The Lady Jets refused to fold and were outscored just 28-23 the rest of the way, but by that time the damage had been done.
“After a first quarter where we couldn't catch a break, our girls played a good game and played Marmaton Valley within five points,” said AMHS girls’ head coach Ron Rice. “We couldn't take advantage of open shots going 2-for-12 in the paint in the first half and 4-for-26 overall for the half. We did a much better job at being more aggressive and efficient in the 2nd half.” Michala Kinzle had another great night for the Lady Jets, finding the nets for 17 points. Mariah Stackhouse accounted for the other six points for AMHS.
Marmaton Valley got a gigantic offensive performance from Griffith, who finished with 28 points. No one else had more than six for the Lady Wildcats.
“Defensively, we didn't play to our abilities in the first quarter. We weren't hustling back to get into our defense and kept thinking about the misfortunes on the offensive end,” Rice noted. “Once we finally hit a shot and got the pressure off our backs, we picked up our intensity on defense.”
Stackhouse led the Lady Jets on the boards with 11, while Kinzle grabbed eight and Natalie Davis hauled in five.
Both Altoona-Midway teams will have a full week of practice before resuming play Friday, Jan. 25, at Oswego.