By Tom Robinson
MANHEIM – Mid Penn Motion 2021 has won its other three games in the first two days of the Blue Chip USA Invitational.
The Motion, however, never had a lead at any point in Sunday’s first game when JB Hoops Rose used a strong defensive effort to post a 51-37 victory at Spooky Nook Sports.
The game was only tied once after Rachel McDonald opened the scoring for JB Hoops 20 seconds in.
Maria Belardi made four steals, Trinity Johnson blocked three shots and Kayla Rose pulled down five of her seven rebounds on the defensive end to lead the effort that held the Motion 16.3 points below its average at the event.
Mid Penn missed its first five shots while McDonald was sandwiching foul-line jumpers around Claire Dougherty’s basket in transition for a 6-0 lead.
Ava Stevenson hit consecutive 3-pointers for the Motion for the only tie at 6-6, but Mid Penn went 18 minutes and nine misses before hitting from long range again.
JB Hoops held Mid Penn to 23.9 percent shooting (11-for-46) from the floor and 21.1 percent (4-for-19) on 3-pointers while forcing 20 turnovers and committing just 8.
Rose put JB Hoops ahead to stay with a three-point play off a drive after a McDonald steal.
When Mid Penn closed the half with an 8-2 run, it cut the JB Hoops lead to 18-16.
McDonald then scored 10 of her 14 points in the second half to help JB Hoops pull away. Her 3-pointer with 13:40 left started a streak of eight points for a 31-18 lead.
Belardi, who finished with 12 points, and McDonald each hit four straight free throws in one-and-one situations during an 8-1 run a 49-35 lead with 1:18 left.
The Motion had nine offensive rebounds and a 25-14 advantage on the boards in the first half, but did not get its first offensive rebound of the second half until there were just 45 seconds remaining.
Rose finished with eight points. Marion chipped in a team-high three assists along with five rebounds and two steals.
MORE TO COME: Return to the JB Hoops Blog for reports on Sunday’s other games.