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Ligonier Valley looks to bounce back from loss

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Bill Pribisco | for the Ligonier Echo This photo was taken by Bill Pribisco on 1/18/2013 at the Ligonier High School
Ligoniers Patrick Waugh (10) takes a long shot at the hoop in a hard fought game with Homer Center Friday.
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By Peter Turcik
Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Ligonier Valley High School boys basketball team lost to Homer-Center High School last Friday after beating Blairsville and Purchase Line convincingly, all at home.

The 68-55 loss to Homer-Center broke a five-game win streak in the Heritage Six Conference.

“It's a tough loss,” Head Coach John Berger said. “We were excited coming into this game, but we couldn't handle the pressure. They jumped out to a quick lead and we responded; we were up by 10 at the half and I just don't know what happened.”

Ligonier ran into foul trouble, getting into the foul bonus by the beginning of the second quarter and committing 19 total fouls. Rams also turned the ball over 29 times, giving Homer-Center many easy opportunities at points.

“We committed a lot of fouls and we didn't handle the pressure well,” Berger said. “They lobbed the passes, which we preach not to throw. We have to forget about it, get back to practice and be ready for the next game. We never quit.”

Junior Scott Fennell led scoring with 13 points, followed by junior Alec Bloom with 12. Seniors Zack Yeskey and Micah Tennant each scored ten points, sophomore Jordan Jones scored eight, and sophomore Justin Hugo scored two.

Leading up to Homer-Center, Rams won 57-41 against Blairsville and 74-28 against Purchase Line. Against Blairsville, Bloom led scoring with 27, followed by Tennant with seven. Yeskey, Jones, and Tutino each scored six points, Waugh scored three and Fennell scored two.

The Rams played a full-court press the entire game, putting the pressure on Blairsville and limiting their offensive opportunities.

“I think the press caused them a lot of problems,” Berger said. “They were close to getting some ten-second calls, and it took them out of their offense. That's the way I like to play; I like to be aggressive.”

In the win against Purchase Line, Ligonier got out to an early lead and never let up, scoring 24 points before giving up any. Yeskey led scoring with 21, followed by Jones with 16, Bloom with 11, Fennell with 10, senior Patrick Waugh with six, Tennant with five, junior Alex Tutino with three, and sophomore Calin Gropp scored two.

“I was worried about tonight, because I knew my guys were looking toward Friday. I told them before the game in the locker room Friday's a moot point if we don't take care of business tonight. We made a statement early on and we put it to rest quick. We played them into the fourth quarter, because we want to keep our momentum going.”

Peter Turcik is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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