Lady Blue Devils open JVL play by scalping West Branch

The Bellwood-Antis Lady Blue Devils made short work of the West Branch Lady warriors at Bellwood on Wednesday night. Using a distinct height advantage, the Bellwood-Antis girls ran off a 10-0 spurt to begin the game on the way to a 65-23 triumph to improve to 2-0 on the 2003-04 season. The win also got B-A out to a successful Juniata Valley League start as well in their first JVL encounter.
West Branch, in addition to a lack of height, had just eight girls in uniform. The Lady Warriors attempted a comeback midway through the opening period, managing to close to within five points 16-11 with 4:30 left to play in the first half.
“They (West Branch) didn’t have as much height as we do, but they still came out and played pretty hard” said Bellwood-Antis coach Nick Lovrich. “It’s tough with only eight kids. Their coach told me before the game, that’s all the girls they have at practice. That sort of makes it tough for them.
Bellwood-Antis coach chose that time to call a timeout and when the Lady Blue Devils came back out on the B-A Senior High School court, they put to rest any questions about who the victor of this game would be. B-A went on a 12-0 run and increased their lead at the half to 33-13.
“I thought our kids came out real well in the first quarter,” said Lovrich. “We said that we wanted to come out strong, but then we went into a little lull. We didn’t put the intensity up and there was a point where it was only 16-11. We called a timeout and told the kids they needed to pick the intensity up and they did. We outscored them 17-2 from that point until halftime.”
A pressure defense started to kick in forcing numerous West Branch errors and turnovers. Stephanie Hatch blocked four shots and Trista Sprankle and Katie Gardner had one block each. Gardner and Hatch pulled down seven rebounds each and Susan Ridgeway added six rebounds. Ashley Edevane had four steals and Hatch, who added three steals to 11 points had a complete all-around game.
Bellwood-Antis turned the game into a route with a 21-4 scoring advantage in the third quarter and the Lady Blue Devils reserves saw a lot of action over the final two quarters.
“Without a Jayvee game, it’s tough,” explained Lovrich. “Those kids practice hard every day, they make us who we are at the varsity level. Those kids deserve some playing time. I just wanted to make sure that they got in there a little bit.”
A total of 16 girls saw action with 10 getting into the score book with points. Katie Gardner led the squad with 13 points, followed by Hatch with 11, Rachel Meredith with nine and Edevane and Samantha Erickson following with six points each.
Janelle Orwick led West Branch with eight points and Valerie Amick and Olivia Beveridge each scored five points.
There was no junior varsity contest.
Next up for the Lady Blue Devils is a big Juniata Valley League confrontation with the Southern Huntingdon Lady Rockets on Friday, Dec. 5 at Bellwood. The junior varsity game will begin at 6 p.m. with the varsity to follow at 7:30.
Bellwood-Antis 65 West Branch 23
WEST BRANCH – Amick 2 0-0 5, Fenush 1 0-2 2, Beveridge 2 1-2 5, Howe 0 0-2 0, Graham 1 1-2 3, Orwick 4 0-4 8 Lawrence 0 0-0 0, Cantolina 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 10 2-10 23.
BELLWOOD-ANTIS – Gardner 5 3-4 13, Hatch 5 0-0 11, Edevane 3 0-0 6, Meredith 3 3-3 9, Sprankle 1 1-1 3, Erickson 3 0-0 6, Swanson 0 0-2 0, Ridgeway 2 0-2 4, Claar, 1 0-0 2, Smith 2 0-0 5, Ralston 0 0-0 0, Sinisi 1 0-0 2, Palmer 0 0-0 0, Parson 1 0-2 2, Riley 0 0-0 0, Decker 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 27 9-14 65.
Score by Quarters
West Branch 7 6 4 6 – 23
Bellwood-Antis 16 17 21 11 – 65
Three point goals: West Branch 1 (Amick).
Bellwood-Antis 2 (Hatch 1, Smith 1).