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Big first half defense sets up Lady Blue Devil win over Claysburg

Bellwood-Antis traveled to Claysburg on Friday night to battle the Lady Bulldogs. Though both teams started slowly, the Lady Blue Devils got a roaring fire going with the help of a stiff defense to post 11-1 and 14-5 margins over the first two quarters to take a comfortable 25-6 lead into the lockerroom at halftime.
Post players Katie Gardner and Stephanie Hatch each pulled down seven rebounds in that first half and Gardner blocked two shots and added seven points and Rachael Meredith had a hot hand in leading B-A with eight first-half points.
“The kids came out strong tonight,” said B-A coach Nick Lovrich. “It started out a little slow, but then after about a minute and a half, we got warmed up and we were ready to play.”
Claysburg-Kimmel was able to sink just one basket in the first half, converting a bucket in the final minute after going over 15 minutes with nothing but four free throws for their trouble.
The Lady Bulldogs came back to take the third period 13-11, but Gardner scored six points and Ashley Smith banged in a three-pointer to keep Bellwood-Antis in front by a 36-19 margin at the end of three quarters.
Lovrich was able to clear the bench for most of the final quarter. Emily Worthing contributed a fine game defensively and on offense found several teammates for open looks that were converted into points.
Gardner led the Lady Blue Devils with a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds. Stephanie Hatch pulled down eight boards and Ashley Edevane grabbed six rebounds.
Heather Miller led Claysburg-Kimmel with nine points on three treys.
“I think it will be important for us going down the stretch,” said Lovrich in reference to getting everybody in. “If we would happen get in foul trouble, then these girls have varsity experience. They are going to be ready to step in and contribute for us.”
The Lady Blue Devils junior varsity also defeated their Claysburg-Kimmel counterparts 49-28.
Lauren Carter led B-A with 17 points, including a dozen in the first quarter as the Lady Blue Devil Jayvees jumped out to a big start and coasted to the victory.
With the win, the Lady Blue Devils improve to 13-7 overall and 5-1 in the second cyucle of the Juniata Valley League.
Bellwood-Antis is at home for two games next week, Tuesday, Feb. 4, against Southern Huntingdon and Friday, Feb. 7, against Glendale.
Bellwood-Antis 42 Claysburg-Kimmel 29
BELLWOOD-ANTIS – Worthing 2 0-0 5, Edevane 0 1-2 1, Hatch 1 0-0 2, Meredith 5 0-0 10, Gardner 7 3-8 17, L. Claar 0 0-0 0, Swanson 0 0-0 0, Sprankle 1 0-0 2, Ralston 0 0-0 0, Sinisi 0 0-0 0 A. Smith 2 0-0 5, J. Smith 0 0-0 0, Erickson 0 0-0 0, Carter 0 0-0 0, Ridgeway 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 18 4-10 42
CLAYSBURG-KIMMEL – D. Claar 1 2-2 4, Miller 3 0-0 9, Hileman 1 3-4 6, Musselman 2 1-2 5, Ickes 2 1-1 5, Tehley 0 0-0 0, Paris 0 0-0 0, Woods 0 0-1 0, Mauro 0 0-0 0, Myers 0 0-0 0, Harshberger 0 0-0 0, B. Claar 0 0-0 0, Walter 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 9 7-10 29.
Score By Quarters
Bellwood-Antis 11 14 11 6 – 42
Claysburg-Kimmel 1 5 13 10 – 29
Three-point goals: Bellwood-Antis 2 (Worthing 1, A. Smith 1); Claysburg-Kimmel 4 (Miller 3, Hileman 1)