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505 wins and counting …

by on February 20, 2020 1:34 PM

SPRING MILLS — For Penns Valley head basketball coach Terry Glunt, it’s 505 and counting.

That’s the number of wins Glunt has amassed coaching high school basketball and cross country in 30 years at Penns Valley.

The total includes 243 wins as boys’ cross country coach, 15 as the girls’ coach and 247 wins in 18 years as the head basketball coach.

Glunt’s cross country teams have won 15 league championships and 13 district championships, and they have six top 10 finishes in the PIAA Team Championships, including the 2017 State Championship. In the 2019, Penns Valley had the two top runners in the PIAA meet — Colton Sands finished first and Brendan Colwell was second.

In basketball, Glunt won a league title in 2010 and the District 6 championship in the same year. The Penns Valley Rams have not had a losing record in basketball for 25 years.

That all said, and as impressive as those numbers are, the coach wouldn’t mind tacking a few more onto that basketball win total before the 2019-20 season ends.

That’s because his team, 14-8 this season, will play as the No. 5 seed in the upcoming District 6, AAA Tournament. Penns Valley will play its first-round game at No. 4 West Shamokin on Friday, Feb. 21 in a game that will not only send the winner into the D6 semifinals, but also into the PIAA tournament. Four teams from the bracket will advance, so the winner of the game will take one of the PIAA slots, while the loser’s season will end.

And with a No. 5 against a No. 4 in a very deep and talented bracket, the night shapes up to be a demanding trial for both teams.

West Shamokin finished 18-4 overall, and, at 11-2, the Wolves were second place in the Heritage Conference behind No. 1 seed and league champion Ligonier Valley.

So the long trip (more than two hours) against a good team on its home floor will be a major challenge for PV, but Glunt has seen his team improve almost nightly this year, especially on defense.

“We’ve been pretty solid,” Glunt said, “and we have some great athletes and great kids. Two all-state football players and Zach Braucht has got to be one of the best players, athletically, that I’ve ever coached. Then we have kids who understand their roles and players like Aiden Brinker, who have been amazing this year coming off the bench and playing any position we ask them to.

“I thought we might have a good shot at making some noise in the districts, and we’ll see how that plays out on Friday.

“Their (West Shamokin’s) gym has a great atmosphere, and they have seating on both sides and on one end so they can really pack them in. It will be a great atmosphere for our kids to play in, and hopefully we can play our best basketball like we have been coming down the stretch.”

It will be another playoff appearance and another big game for PV and Glunt in a sport that he says has been very demanding.

“Basketball is such a challenge,” Glunt said. “It can become all-consuming, and each year it becomes a new challenge. We are the smallest school in our group and that means we always have to take care of the little things and try to put people into the right positions. Fortunately here at Penns Valley, we’ve had 24 straight years of .500 or better. We haven’t had a losing season for 25 years, and that’s quite a legacy.

“In cross country, we’ve had some amazing athletes, and in 2017 and we were determined to win the state championship. In the end, we had the largest winning margin of any of the six winners that day, so it worked out.

“And that was just one of many great moments in the 30 years that I coached cross country. With the 13 district titles, which were always special, there were those years when I was younger and could run with the kids. I can look back over those 30 years and 243 wins with great fondness.

“There was a lot of winning, a lot of championships, a lot of miles and a lot of fun.”

Pat Rothdeutsch covers Penn State football for The Centre County Gazette. Email him at [email protected]
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