With more than three minutes left in the first half and Penns Valley trailing by 11, Rams coach Terry Glunt sent his starters a message without saying a word.
They took a seat on the bench to watch as five reserves took the floor. Penns Valley’s hardworking mentality and defensive intensity were missing, and the Rams still hadn’t scored in the second quarter against Philipsburg-Osceola.
So Glunt looked to his bench for some energy.
“I know those kids on the bench have it,” Glunt said.
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His starters got the message and his reserves contributed as Penns Valley overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to beat Philipsburg-Osceola 48-43 on Monday night.
Luke Snyder led Penns Valley with 14 points, and his younger brother, Logan Snyder, added 10 points off the bench.
The Rams improved their record to 4-0 this season, while the Mounties fell to 1-3.
“When you lose a game that you handled in the first half, it’s really frustrating,” P-O coach Matt Curtis said. “It’s going to be a tough one to swallow for the next couple days.”
The Mounties stayed patient and executed against the Rams’ zone, finding gaps to set up teammates for open layups and jump shots. Marcus Wisor was on the receiving end of many of those passes and paced Philipsburg-Osceola with 10 points in the first two quarters. The athletic forward also limited Luke Snyder, blocking shots and playing strong in the paint.
With its offense clicking and its defense holding Penns Valley in check, the Mounties started to build a lead in the second quarter. After Noah Jeffries swished a 3-pointer to push P-O ahead 23-12 in the second quarter, Glunt sent his message.
There was 3:21 left in the half.
P-O led 25-12 before the Rams finally scored for the first time in the second quarter on a 3-pointer by Logan Snyder with 27 seconds left.
The Rams went into halftime staring at that 10-point deficit.
“We don’t want to have another first half like we had tonight,” Glunt said. “We played without energy and enthusiasm. Philipsburg just took it to us. I hope these guys don’t think all they have to do is walk onto the court, and it’ll be handed to ‘em. They had to go out and work for it in the second half.”
Penns Valley did that in the second half.
And the Mounties didn’t play with the same patience, resorting to too much one-on-one play.
“We just stopped executing,” Curtis said.
Penns Valley pulled within 34-30 going into the fourth quarter and tied the game on a pair of free throws by Luke Snyder with 7:19 left.
Logan Snyder then drilled a 3-pointer to give the Rams a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
“It’s awesome,” Luke Snyder said of his brother’s performance. “We’ve been playing together for years. We know what we’re going to do together so seeing him make good plays and him seeing me make good plays, it’s all worth it.”
Luke Snyder finished 10 for 12 from the foul line to help carry the load offensively.
“He should get paid time and a half for the work he did tonight,” Glunt said. “I mean he’s got two or three guys hanging on him. He’s been fabulous for us.”
Despite the lackluster first half Monday night, the Rams continued their strong start to the season.