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Southern Huntingdon girls turn back Bellwood-Antis 46-38

Trailing by five after the first quarter and three heading into the final stanza, Southern Huntingdon was able to work the ball inside to freshman forward Hillary Shope for nine points in the last eight minutes. Her play down the stretch propelled the Rockets past visiting Bellwood-Antis for a crucial 46-38 Juniata Valley League victory.
The win kept Southern Huntingdon (8-3, 6-1 JVL) atop the circuit’s first-cycle standings, tied with Penns Valley, with just two games remaining on the first-round card. The Rockets travel to Juniata Valley Wednesday, then face a possible first-cycle showdown at Penns Valley Friday. Bellwood-Antis travels to Glendale on Wednesday and then hosts Juniata Valley on Friday for another important Juniata Valley League showdown.
Bellwood-Antis fell to 6-5 overall and 5-2 in the league, losing its share of the top spot.
The Blue Devils came out and started lobbing the ball inside to Katie Gardner, who posted six of her game-high 13 points in the opening period to help B-A out to a 13-8 lead.
“We were getting the shots we wanted, but couldn’t finish them off,” commented Rocket coach Phil Speck. “Bellwood lobbed passes into Gardner for lay-ups and we were coming back down and rushing our shots. Towards the end of the first quarter, we changed from man defense to zone and our girls just seemed to play with more energy and hustle. Our people off the bench gave us a spark.”
The balanced scoring effort enabled Southern Huntingdon to bounce back and take a 26-23 advantage into the intermission.
Shooting woes again plagued the Rockets in the third period as Miranda Benson posted all five Southern Huntingdon points in the period. Sophomore post player Stephanie Hatch, who sat out the biggest part of the first half in foul trouble, registered all four of her points in the quarter to help push the Devils ahead, 33-31 at the period’s end.
Shope became a big part of the Rockets’ comeback in the final eight minutes as Southern converted seven of 11 attempts at the foul line en route to outscoring Bellwood 15-5 in the stanza.
“We knew we’d get Bellwood’s best effort tonight, but everyone we put in the game gave us a good effort as well, whether it be defense, rebounding or scoring,” concluded Speck.
Shope finished with 11 points, while Kristi Streightiff pulled down 15 rebounds. Molly Brown posted eight markers and grabbed seven boards to help the Rockets to a 36-21 advantage off the glass. Rachel Meredith had nine points for the Devils.
Emily Wible scored nine points to lead the Southern Huntingdon junior varsity (10-1) to a 34-14 victory.
Southern Huntingdon 46 Bellwood-Antis 38
BELLWOOD-ANTIS (38) Edevane 2 0-0 5; Hatch 2 0-0 4; Gardner 5 3-7 13; Meredith 4 1-2 9; Carter 1 0-0 2; Worthing 0 0-0 0; Erickson 1 0-0 3; Ridgeway 0 0-0 0; Sprankle 0 0-0 0; Swanson 0 0-0 0; A. Smith 1 0-0 2. Totals: 16 4-9 38.
SOUTHERN HUNTINGDON (46) Benson 2 1-2 6; Brown 3 2-2 8; Streightiff 2 0-0 4; Kern 1 2-2 4; Shope 4 3-4 11; Hockenberry 0 0-0 0; Robinson 3 0-0 6; Clark 2 1-5 5; Houck 1 0-0 2. Totals: 18 9-15 46.
3-Point Goals
Bellwood-Antis: Edevane, Erickson.
So. Huntingdon: Benson.
Score by Quarters
Bellwood-Antis 13 10 10 5 — 38
So. Huntingdon 8 18 5 15 — 46
J.V. Score: Southern Huntingdon 34, Bellwood-Antis 14