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Bellwood-Antis boys fall back in 65-50 loss to Juniata Valley

“I told the team before the game, ‘there’s going to come a time, I don’t know when, where we are actually going to take a step back before we turn around and start to move forward again,’” said Bellwood-Antis boys basketball coach Tim Keech after the 65-50 Juniata Valley win over B-A.
Thursday at Juniata Valley was one of those days for the inexperienced Blue Devils. The Hornets sunk eight three-point shots, far less than the number they usually nailed with departed head coach Mike Fields always came up with in his run-and-shoot offense. Missed layups and short jumpers contributed greatly to the defeat for the Blue Devils, as well as turnovers at critical points in the ballgame even though overall, Keech felt Bellwood-Antis handled the Hornets pressure defense pretty well.
“I thought we handled the pressure fine,” said Keech. “I just think there were times where we had to finish the shots inside. Shooting inside, missing wide-open shots inside killed us. I don’t think we should have been behind by 12 in the first half, four, maybe six at the most, but not 12. And I think we were like three-for-11 at the foul line in the first half. Obviously, that’s not going to get it done.”
Marl DelGrosso hit a pair of layups to give the Blue Devils the early 4-3 lead, but Juniata Valley ran off eight straight points to jump into a 12-4 lead. Bellwood-Antis closed to within one-12-11 with 1:15 to play in the opening quarter, but Mike Blazier’s two free throws were the only scoring B-A could manage after that, while Valley put six more on the board to earn an 18-13 split after one period.
The hornets ran off nine straight points to begin the second quarter until Brandon Boone broke the momentum momentarily with his only basket of the game to give Juniata Valley a 32-15 lead. DelGrosso hit two of four free throws, Paul Greiner added a bucket and Shawn Weiand popped in a trey at the buzzer to bring the Blue Devils back to within 12 at the half 34-22.
In the third period, Weiand, who had been relatively quiet, turned red hot.
After Juniata Valley raised their lead to 39-22, Weiand, a senior hit a layup and the next two times down the court fired in a leaner from the key and a layup on the lead end of a fastbreak. Aaron Bell added a basket and Weiand finished off the quarter with a layup off a drive and another swish from three-point land. In all Weiand, who was the game’s high scorer had 13 points in the quarter.
Greiner started the fourth stanza with a basket and a trey by Weiand closed the Blue Devil deficit to 58-50 with three minutes to play. In the next few minutes, the young Blue Devils self-destructed to take themselves out of the ballgame. A short jumper misfired and two straight turnovers was turned into a trey and easy layup by Juniata Valley and suddenly instead of challenging for the lead, B-A was down 63-50.
“In the second half, we came out and made a run,” explained Keech. “ I think the difference was that Juniata valley had players who could create shots and make them. We created some shots. But it seemed our shots were so quick like we were afraid to get them blocked. They were so quick that they were off. They weren’t bad shots. We did a good job to get to that point. In the fourth quarter when we cut the lead to eight, all we needed was one good stop on defense. We got it. They took a bad shot, we gave up two offensive rebounds. They kick it out and hit a three. Now instead of us having a chance to cut it to six, they’re up 11. Sooner or later, that plays on your psyche. It’s tough to come back from that. Give my kids a lot of credit, they don’t quit. They are in there playing hard until the end. Sooner or later, we are going to see that effort pay off.”
Paul Greiner had seven points to back up Weiand, who scored 27 for the second straight game and has now scored 76 points in three games this week. Marl DelGrosso chipped in six points. Matt Plummer had eight rebounds, Weiand and DelGrosso had sux each and Greiner had five.
Pete McDowell, Valley’s only returning starter for first-year coach Jason Anders, had 15 points and Doug Grissinger and Justin Borst each scored 12 for the Hornets who evened their record at 3-3.
Bellwood-Antis (1-5) hosts Williamsburg on Monday, Dec. 15. Junior varsity tips off at 6 p.m. with the varsity set to go at 7:30.
Junior Varsity
Juniata Valley defeated the Bellwood-Antis junior varsity 49-44.
The Blue Devil Jayvees tried to come back in the second half after falling behind in what was their best played game of the season. B-A jumped into a 41-39 lead midway through the final quarter, but were outscored 10-3 in the final minutes. L. J. Seidel led the Blue Devils with 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals. Mike Blazier added seven points and five rebounds and Chris Edmiston had six rebounds, two assists and three steals.
Justin Borst and Johnny Boyd each tossed in 12 points to lead Juniata Valley’s Jayvees.
Juniata Valley 65 Bellwood-Antis 50
BELLWOOD-ANTIS – Bell 1 0-2 2, McClellan 0 0-0 0, Weiand 10 2-2 27, DelGrosso 2 2-4 6, Greiner 3 1-2 7, Plummer 1 0-0 2, Blazier 0 2-2 2, Edmiston 0 0-0 0, Seidel 0 0-2 0, Brunner 0 0-0 0, Walk 0 0-0 0, Boone 1 0-0 2. TOTALS 19 7-15 50.
JUNIATA VALLEY – Allison 3 1-2 7, McDowell 6 2-3 15, Grissinger 4 2-4 12, Lightner 3 0-0 7, Corbin 2 0-0 4, Borst 4 1-1 12, Bruce 1 0-0 2, Boyd 1 0-0 2, T. Hall 0 0-0 0, A. Hall 1 1-2 3. TOTALS 25 7-12 65.
Score by Quarters
Bellwood-Antis 13 9 17 11 – 50
Juniata Valley 18 16 18 13 – 65
Three point goals: Bellwood-Antis 5 (Weiand 5).
Juniata Valley 8 (Borst 3, Grissinger 2, Lightner 2, McDowell 1)