TUESDAY, Jan. 31, 2023


         BUFFALO – What a great day to be a Jet!

         All season long, despite a lack of much success on the scoreboard for Altoona-Midway Middle School, both boys’ coach David Batzer and girls’ coach Amanda Odell have extolled the qualities of effort, attitude and improvement displayed by their respective teams.

         Those virtues came to fruition in a big way Monday afternoon, as AMMS claimed a pair of well-deserved victories against Elk Valley Middle School here at Milo Peterson Gymnasium.    

         AMMS won the boys’ game 31-12 and the Lady Jets used a great defensive effort to post an 8-4 triumph.

The sweep wraps up regular season play and gives both Altoona-Midway squads plenty of momentum heading into the Mineral Belt League Tournament, which will be held Thursday at Altamont.

         AMMS Boys

         The Altoona-Midway boys notched their first victory of the season with an impressive 31-12 triumph over Elk Valley.

         The Jets (1-10) enjoyed a tremendous performance by seventh-grader Chance Carter, who poured in 22 points and hauled down 18 rebounds.

         “Chance Carter had a monster game tonight. He had an impact on every aspect of the game,” said AMMS head coach David Batzer. “His teammates did a good job getting him the ball, and Chance did a good job facilitating the offense after that. Chance was dominant on a night where the teams were finally evenly matched in terms of size and experience.”

         It was not a one-man show, however. The Jets also got six points from Zach Good, four points from Caden Sicka, and a free throw from Chance Mustain, who was also a terror on defense.

         “This was definitely a complete team game,” Batzer said. “We were passing the ball, shooting the ball, and playing aggressive defense. We still need to do a better job of blocking out when rebounding, but this was a great way to wrap up the regular season.”

         The Jets led 11-2 at the quarter, 19-11 at halftime, and 27-11 entering the final period.

“Everyone hustled tonight. They all contributed, even though it may not show it on the stat line. Look at Mustain… one point and five boards don't say much, yet his defense was great,” Batzer continued. “And CJ (sixth-grader Cameron Johnson) took his first shot of the year. He didn’t make it, but he took a shot and that’s big for him.

“It’s the little details that you can’t always put a number to that helped us to get the win tonight. Now it’s on to the tournament on Thursday where we’ll try to round out the year with another win.”

In addition to Carter and Mustain’s efforts on the boards, the Jets also got three rebounds each from Caleb Kuhn and Good, two from Sicka and one from Johnson.

         AMMS Girls

         The Lady Jets (2-9) didn’t find much offense, but they didn’t need much as they played lights out defense the entire night.

         AMMS managed a 2-0 lead at the quarter, expanded that advantage to 6-2 at halftime. Each team managed just a single bucket over the final two periods.

         “Although the score doesn’t show a lot of points, my girls brought the defense tonight,” said Altoona-Midway head coach Amanda Odell. “We put up quite a few shots, but just couldn’t get many of them to fall, but I’m just glad they are shooting the ball.

“Brooklynn (Collins) and Bella (Douglas) brought the aggressiveness with 11 steals combined,” Odell added. “The entire team was out for a win and that’s exactly what they got. These girls look like a whole different team compared to our first game. Words cannot express how proud I am of every single one of them.”

         Sandra Morales provided all of the Lady Jets’ offense in the first half, swishing two free throws in the opening quarter and adding a pair of baskets in the second period. Jasa Pankaskie rounded out the AMMS scoring with a third-quarter bucket.

         While Douglas and Collins and paced the Jet defense with six and five steals, respectively, AMMS also got three steals from Morales, two apiece from Ada Hufford, Mika Parsons and Pankaskie, and one from Destiny Raymond.

         Morales also grabbed seven rebounds and Pankaskie notched five.

         Skylynn Beaumont connected on a basket in each half to account for all of Elk Valley’s scoring.

         MBL Tournament

         The Altoona-Midway squads will wrap up this year’s middle school season by participating in the Mineral Belt League Tournament, Thursday at Altamont.

         The AMMS girls are slated to have a rematch with Elk Valley at 5 p.m., and take on Chetopa at 6 p.m. Both games will be held at Altamont Elementary School.

         On the boys’ side, the Jets are scheduled to face Chetopa at 6 p.m. and Elk Valley at 8 p.m., both in Harrison Gymnasium on the LCHS campus.