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Blue Pirates use precision at the charity stripe to subdue Bellwood-Antis girls

Wednesday night Bellwood-Antis took the phrase, \”the season of giving\” a little bit too literally. The Lady Blue Devils sent Williamsburg to the charity stripe 34 times, and the Lady Pirates cashed in on 25 of those attempts to account for more than half their offense in a 49-46 victory.
Trailing 30-29 going into the fourth quarter, Williamsburg missed their first two attempts from the free throw line before making 16 of their final 18 chances while shooting 80 percent in the quarter.
While the Lady Pirates excelled from the free throw line, the Blue Devils converted only 22 percent of their free throws in the first half.
“That\’s a big thing, you need to step up to the line when you get that free chance, and you need to make those,” Bellwood-Antis Head Coach Nick Lovrich said.
The Williamsburg victory spoiled another fine performance from Bellwood-Antis star Lauren Carter who tallied 23 points. Carter scored eight points, including a layup with three seconds to go, in the first quarter to help the Lady Blue Devils build a 15-10 lead after one quarter of play.
A strong full-court press slowed Bellwood-Antis\’ offense in the second quarter. Carter managed two baskets, and Shalee Hunter converted a free throw to account for the Lady Blue Devils only points of the quarter.
“There in the second quarter we had a few turnovers in the press, but that\’s to be expected. I think overall we did a much better job against it than we did Monday night in our loss to Southern Huntingdon; I saw improvement, and that is important,” Lovrich said.
Despite scoring only five points in the second quarter, the Lady Blue Devils held onto the lead at halftime thanks to an aggressive defense that allowed only seven Lady Pirate points.
In the third quarter, Williamsburg made its first run of the game, taking a 25-23 lead when Danielle Peck scored consecutive layups on the same inbounds play. Ashley Lechner answered for the Lady Blue Devils by hitting the only 3-pointer of the game to give Bellwood-Antis a one-point lead and bring the crowd to their feet.
Free throws allowed Williamsburg to recapture the lead momentarily before Carter put Bellwood-Antis ahead by one with the layup in the final seconds.
The aggressive style of defense Bellwood-Antis was playing the entire game caught up with them early in the fourth quarter. Freshman Liz Erickson picked up a questionable foul early in the quarter that gave the Lady Blue Devils seven in the second half and sent the Lady Pirates to the foul line.
The call seemed to affect Erickson\’s play the rest of the game, as she was called for two bad fouls later in the game and put up several tough shots while being held to only two points in the quarter.
“Last year she played about eight junior high games and got hurt, so really she hasn\’t had that many games in two years, and that\’s just inexperience, but she\’ll get better and stronger. She\’s a freshman, and she\’s just going to get better every game,” Lovrich said.
While Williamsburg was sinking their free throws, Bellwood-Antis found themselves struggling to get the ball inside to Carter, but senior point guard Jamie Smith stepped up and provided six points to keep the Lady Blue Devils close in the final quarter. When Smith fouled out with 38 seconds remaining, Bellwood-Antis trailed 44-42.
“Jamie did a good job. She stepped up and made a couple baskets for us which we really needed, and that\’s what you expect out of your seniors,” Lovrich said.
Carter scored only her second basket of the fourth quarter with 11 seconds remaining to cut the Williamsburg lead to 48-46, but she missed a free throw on an attempt to complete a three-point play.
Kara Yeager made her ninth free throw of the game on the other side of the court, but missed her second attempt, giving the Lady Blue Devils a chance at a final heave to tie the game.
Lechner received a pass just over half court with one second remaining, but her 3-point shot glanced off the glass and fell to the floor.
“We improved from the last game, and with a young team that\’s what you need to make sure you keep doing. The kids came out and worked really hard at practice, and you can see that. We played one of the better teams in the league, and every game if we can keep doing that, we can surprise some teams in the second half of the season,” Lovrich said.
Bellwood-Antis\’ next action will come Tuesday at 7:30 when they host the Lady Blue Devil Classic.
Junior Varsity
Trailing 34-32 with 17 seconds left, Amanda Ingram drove to the basket and passed the ball to Shalee Hunter who banked in a jump shot for Bellwood-Antis to send the junior varsity game into overtime. Ingram, who led all scorers with 16 points, scored the only basket of the overtime with 1:13 left to give the Lady Blue Devils their second win of the season 36-34. Lyndsay Speacht led Williamsburg with 10 points.
Williamsburg 49 Bellwood-Antis 46
WILLIAMSBURG – Yeager 3 9-14 15, Peck 5 1-4 11, Wyland 0 4-4 4, Zimmerman 1 8-8 10, Mingle 0 3-4 3, L. Speacht 3 0-0 6, Rhodes 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 12 25-34 49.
BELLWOOD-ANTIS – Smith 3 3-4 9, Webb 0 2-2 2, Lechner 2 0-0 5, Erickson 1 2-8 4, Carter 10 3-6 23, Ingram 0 0-0 0, Lombardo 1 0-0 2, Riley 0 0-0 0, Parson 0 0-0 0, Hunter 0 1-2 1. TOTALS 17 11-22 46.
Score by Quarters
Williamsburg 10 7 12 20 – 49
Bellwood-Antis 15 5 10 16 – 46
Three-point goals: Williamsburg: None.
Bellwood-Antis 1 (Lechner).
Junior Varsity
Williamsburg 34 Bellwood-Antis 36
WILLIAMSBURG – A. Speacht 1 0-0 2, Rhodes 2 3-4 8, L. Speacht 4 2-4 10, Harker 4 0-1 8, Saylor 0 2-2 2, Mo. Saltsgiver 1 0-0 2, Fay 1 0-2 2, Me. Saltsgiver 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 13 7-13 34.
BELLWOOD-ANTIS – Ingram 5 4-6 16, Young 1 0-0 2, Lender 1 0-0 2, Lombardo 3 0-3 6, Hunter 4 0-0 8, Whiteman 1 0-0 2, Wilt 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 15 4-9 36.
Score by Quarters
Williamsburg 13 7 8 6 0 – 34
Bellwood-Antis 13 9 4 8 2 – 36
Three-point goals: Williamsburg 1 (Rhodes).
Bellwood-Antis 2 (Ingram 2).