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Southern Huntingdon ends Lady Blue Devils season

Southern Huntingdon came into Wednesday night’s District VI AA girls playoff game against Bellwood-Antis fully knowing that B-A was without two starters. If the Lady Rockets thought this meant an easy victory, they should have thought again. It wasn’t until late in the second half that the Lady Rockets finally were able to pull ahead for good and top the Lady Devils by a score of 58-46.
Most of the first half belonged to Southern Huntingdon. The Lady Rockets outscored the Bellwood-Antis girls 15-10 after one quarter of play, and at one point in the second quarter they held a lead of 22-12. Southern would eventually go into the locker room leading by a score of 27-19 over the Lady Devils.
The only proven scorer on the floor for Bellwood was junior post player Katie Gardner. However, Southern got her in foul trouble for most of the first half which forced her to the bench. Without junior point guard Ashley Edevane playing, B-A was forced to move senior guard Emily Worthing to the point guard position. This was the first time Worthing had been at the point this season. Southern decided to use a full court press that resulted in 13 Bellwood turnovers.
BA has been a club that has relied heavily on the trio of Gardner, Edevane and Steph Hatch, who was out with mononucleosis. With only one of these three girls playing, B-A coach Nick Lovrich knew he needed to have other players step up. Although it wasn’t enough to pick up a victory, Lovrich was very pleased with what he saw from senior Ashley Smith, junior Trista Sprankle, and junior Rachel Meredith.
“We have been looking for depth the whole season,” noted Lovrich. “We have been looking to our bench to give us a contribution, and tonight, with some of our starters out, our normal bench players were forced to step in and contribute. I couldn’t be prouder of how they all played.”
Katie Gardner led the Blue Devils with 12 points, Ashley Smith netted 11 points, Trista Sprankle tallied 10 points, and Rachel Meredith chipped in with nine. Kern and Shope had13 points each to lead Southern.
The second half saw the courageous Lady Blue Devils make a huge comeback. Ashley Smith netted nine of her 11 points in the first five minutes of the second half, and Bellwood tied the game at 34 with 2:25 left in the third quarter. However, Southern used a 20-9 advantage in the fourth quarter to wear down the Lady Devils and come away with the 58-46 victory.
“We just couldn’t get over the hump tonight,” said Lovrich. “We made a great comeback to get back in the game, but we just couldn’t grab the lead and hang on. Credit Southern Huntingdon. They really stepped it up in the fourth quarter.”
Southern Huntingdon moves on to face the number one seeded Penns Valley Lady Rams. The Lady Blue Devils closed the books on a 14-11 season. Bellwood-Antis loses only two seniors, Emily Worthing and Ashley Smith, and returns a majority of this year’s squad back next year.
“It was a fun season for us,” added Lovrich. “These girls have done everything we have asked them, and they’ve played with huge hearts every game this year. It would have been easy for us to just lay down and quit when we lost those kids to injury. But these girls never quit. That is a testament to the kind of kids they really are.”.
Southern Huntingdon 58 Bellwood-Antis 46
BELLWOOD: (46) Worthing 0 2-4 2, Sprankle 4 0-2 10, Smith 5 0-0 11, Meredith 4 1-2 9, Gardner 4 4-4 12, Erickson 1 0-0 2, Swanson 0 0-0 0, Carter 0 0-0 0, Ridgway 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 18 7-12 46.
SOUTHERN HUNTINGDON: (58) Kern 2 8-8 13, Streightiff 3 2-2 8, Benson 3 1-3 8, Brown 2 2-2 6, Shope 4 4-5 13, Clark 0 4-8 4, Houck 1 1-2 4, Robinson 1 0-0 2. TOTALS 16 22-30 58
Bellwood-Antis 10 9 18 9 – 46
Southern Huntingdon 15 12 11 20 – 58
Three-point goals: Bellwood-Antis 3 (Sprankle 2, Smith 1); Southern Hintingdon 4 (Kern 1, Shope 1, Benson 1, Houck 1)