Lady Blue Devils get back on track with win over West Branch

Bellwood-Antis needed a victory when they traveled to play West Branch on Tuesday night. The Lady Blue Devils responded with a 65-53 win that improved their overall mark to 9-5 in the first game of the second cycle of the Juniata valley League.
The Lady Blue Devils opened the 2003-04 campaign by winning six of their first seven ballgames. However, B-A then dropped four of their next six contests, including back-to-back games to Juniata Valley and Williamsburg.
On Tuesday, the B-A girls opened up the ballgame with a bang, building up a 21-9 scoring margin in the first quarter and then played the Lady Warriors even over the final three quarters to pick up the win.
Katie Gardner hit two baskets to begin the quarter. Then Ashley Edevane drained a trey and following a steal, Stephanie Hatch grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on the putback. Gardner scored off an inbounds play to complete a seven-point splurge to give the visitors an 11-3 advantage.
Trista Sprankle and Rachel Meredith hit buckets on consecutive trips down the court and Susan Ridgeway hit one of two free throws and then popped in a short jumper. Lauren Carter scored on a give-and-go from Jamie Smith to complete the 21-7 opening quarter.
West Branch refused to roll over and play dead however, coming back to outscore B-A 16-13 in the second period, largely on the play of Angie Fenush. Looking like a little leaguer playing against giants, Fenushplayed like a pro, darting and flying all over the court on both offense, where she scored a game-high 29 points, and defense, where she made several steals and forced Bellwood-Antis to make sure they protected the ball.
“They got through our press a little bit,” explained Bellwood-Antis coach nick Lovrich. “We got a little confused on our assignments and West Branch capitalized. They have gotten a lot better since the beginning of the year. Their program is moving in the right steps. They made their layups and that was a big difference. That’s where they got a lot of their points.”
Stephanie Hatch scored the first five points of the second quarter on a fall-away jumper and three-point bomb. Gardner followed with a deuce to stretch the Lady Blue Devils lead back to 13 points, 28-15. Ridgeway hit a jumper from just inside the foul line and added another bucket each time following a West Branch basket. Gardner’s basket ended the half with Bellwood-Antis in front 34-25.
The Lady Blue Devils built their lead back up to 13 points at the end of the third quarter by outscoring West Branch 14-10 in the quarter.
Meredith opened the quarter with a basket. Hatch grabbed a missed foul shot and put in a basket. Gardner and Edevane each added a basket to jump the lead to 42-28,, with Edevane’s coming off a steal. Gardner stopped a four-point West Branch run, Ridgeway hit a pair of foul shots and Hatch canned a turnaround jumper near the end of the stanza.
West Branch tried to get into the ballgame in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Blue Devils matched them point-for-point. The Lady Warriors did manage to carry the quarter, but only by a point, 18-17.
Gardner grabbed a rebound and scored and converted the foul shot for a three-point play to open up a 51-35 lead, but West Branch and Fenush kept coming back. Sprankle cracked a four-point run with a bucket, Hatch added a basket and Ridgeway converted one of two foul shots. The Lady Warriors cut the deficit to 58-50, but B-A stepped up their game in the final minutes to hold on.
Edevane hit three of four from the charity stripe and Sprankle tossed in a pair of baskets, the first on a steal of her ownand the second following a steal by Lauren Carter to ice the game.
Gardner pumped in 19 points and pulled down a team-high nine rebounds and blocked four shots, to lead the Lady Blue Devils. Hatch had 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Ridgeway added 10 points and eight rebounds. Trista Sprankle had eight points and six steals and Ashley Edevane scored eight points and had five steals.
Except for Fenush, no Lady Warrior had more thn seven points.
Bellwood-Antis 65 West Branch 53
BELLWOOD-ANTIS – Sprankle 4 0-2 8, Edevane 2 3-7 8, Hatch 6 0-0 13, Meredith 2 0-1 4, Gardner 9 103 19, Erickson 0 0-0 0, Carter 1 1-2 3, Smith 0 0-0 0, Ridgeway 3 4-9 10. TOTALS 27 9-22 65.
WEST BRANCH – Fenush 11 6-8 29, Howe 2 0-0 5, Amick 1 2-2 4, Orwick 1 2-6 4, Beveridge 3 1-2 7, Graham 2 0-0 4, Catolina 0 0-0 0, Lawrence 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 20 11-18 53.
Score by Quarters
Bellwood-Antis 21 13 14 17 – 65
West Branch 9 16 10 18 – 53
Three point goals: Bellwood-Antis 2 (Edevane 1, Hatch 1)
West Branch 2 (Fenush 1, Howe 1).