Blackbirds roll over Delta

By Joe Blystone - For the Expositor

Locked in a 14-14 tie midway through the second quarter against Delta, Pettisville coach Brian Leppelmeier got a big shot of instant offense from Mitchell Avina, and outscored Delta 53-12 over the last two and a half quarters to roll to a 67-26 win Saturday.

Pettisville is now 2-0 on the new season. Friday night they won at Montpelier 52-27.

“The spark was definitely Mitchell Avina off the bench,” exclaimed Leppelmeier. “The energy he had on the defensive end of the floor, the ability to hit shots on the offensive end, he did that all year on the JV level last year. It was good to see him perform and I can’t say enough about his effort.”

The Blackbirds answered Brady Wymer’s game-opening triple with a 9-0 run in the next five minutes of the first quarter.

Detric Yoder’s steal and score initiated the burst.

Two scores inside from Sam Rychener and Graeme Jacoby followed before Yoder’s triple capped the run with 2:39 left in the first stanza.

However, the Panthers didn’t go away as Hunter Tresnan-Reighard scored on a block-to-block look from Seth Burres and Braden Risner’s three-ball brought Delta even, 9-9, early in the second.

Burres gave Delta a 12-11 lead when he split a pair of free throws with 4:40 left in the half.

Logan Rufenacht hit from outside the arc, giving the Birds a 14-12 lead but Risner scored the next Panther trip down to knot the score at 14 with 3:53 to go in the half.

Canidate Vickery broke that tie with a hoop off the offensive glass before Avina went to work the rest of the quarter.

The 5’8” junior drilled a pair from three-point range along with 2 for 2 from the foul line that capped a 12-0 run to end the half and put the Birds up 26-14.

The Blackbirds put the game away, outscoring the Panthers 19-6 in the third to go up 45-20 heading into the final quarter.

Jacoby and Rychener each scored back-to-back buckets inside, Yoder and Vickery each hit a triple and Avina scored on a eye-opening stop and go move to key that explosion as Pettisiville shot a smoking 14 for 21 in the second half.

“Last night against Montpelier we missed a lot of shots,” explained Leppelmeier. “We got some shots inside in the second half and did a better job of finishing around the rim. It seemed as if we knocked down our free throws as well so we’re getting there.”

Yoder led a very balanced attack with 15 points and Avina added 13 for the Blackbirds.

Delta, which was 11 of 30 from the field with 20 turnovers, did not have a double figure scorer.

By Joe Blystone

For the Expositor

Reach Joe Blystone at

Reach Joe Blystone at