Wertz double-double leads Bellwood-Antis boys over Mo Valley for third straight win

The Bellwood-Antis boys basketball team (3-2) has started to come of age in the 2005-06 season. Playing a lot of underclassmen and getting them some much needed experience by playing most of them in both junior varsity and varsity contests, the young Blue Devils also had to battle a couple of tough foes right off the bat suffering losses to Tyrone and Penns Valley to begin the season.
Now however, in the midst of the Juniata Valley League schedule, the protégés of head coach Tim Keech and assistant Bernie Jubeck stepped up the offense at Amesville on Friday night, to defeat Moshannon Valley, posting their third straight victory 59-45.
Starting fast and then shutting Mo Valley down in the second period, Bellwood-Antis went into the locker room at the half in front 29-14.
B-A junior Paul Christner knocked down a three-pointer to open the scoring, and after a Chris Wulderk basket cut the lead to 3-2, the Blue Devils ran off seven unanswered points to open a 9-2 advantage. Wulderk tried to bring the Black Knights back all by himself, with five more first-quarter points, but B-A grabbed the first period by an 11-7 score. Christner and sophomore Ben hatch, who shared the point position among the two of them, scored five points and four points respectively to get the Blue Devils out in front early and keep them there.
The second quarter belonged to the Blue Devils in general, outscoring Moshannon 15-3, and to Bellwood-Antis sophomore Alan Wertz. One of those previously mentioned playing both games and being asked to stand and deliver, Wertz pulled off his third double-double of the week with a team-high 16 points and 10 rebounds, including seven boards in the first period alone and eight points in the second period.
“I hope someone is watching that,” exclaimed Keech. “There’s a 10th grader, three games this week, all three games he has double-doubles. For a 10th grader to do that when just a year ago he was just four games, maybe five games into a ninth grade year playing junior high basketball. Here he’s doing it playing varsity. Plus he’s playing a lot of the Jayvee game because of injuries. Alan has to pull some double duty and he has done such a great job. I can’t say enough about him right now.”
Both squads heated up in the third quarter, with Bellwood-Antis outscoring the Knights 23-11 to take a 52-25 advantage after three. Hatch fired in two treys and a basket to total eight points in the quarter. Blaze Winterstein pumped in six points and Christner added a trey and a pair of free throws. Two consecutive baskets by Hatch, the second a three-point shot opened up the Blue Devils biggest lead of the game 50-22, before Moshannon closed with two of the final three scores in the period.
“Through the first three quarters, we really played well,” explained Keech. “I told the kids before the game, I don’t think too many teams are going to have success against us this year playing zone. We have an awful lot of people who can shoot from the outside. I think L. J. (Seidel) and Alan (Wertz) do a great job on the boards. I really feel comfortable whenever I see a zone
Wulderk opened the quarter with a pair of foul shots, but the B-A defense shut out Moshannon Valley, going on a 12-0 run until Wulkderk, who finished with a game-best 24 points popped in a bucket with 4:25 left in the period.
The young Blue Devils ran of steam in the fourth quarter, probably somewhat because of the amount of Blue Devils who played a lot of minutes in both the junior varsity and varsity game on the same night for the third time this week, and partially because as Coach Keech observed, it’s hard for younger players to keep up the intensity with a big lead.
Winterstein added a free throw and basket, Wertz hit his final bucket and L. J. Seidel tossed in his only score of the night.
“Obviously we had a letdown in the fourth quarter tonight. I talked about that to the kids. I knew it was coming,” said Keech. “You get that big lead and with a young team like this, even mature teams do it. We just have to do better. I don’t like being outscored 20-7 in the fourth quarter, no matter what the score is.”
Junior Varsity
The Bellwood-Antis junior varsity (3-2) pulled out tpo a 29-13 advantage at halftime and then cruised to their third straight triumph 50-31.
Moshannon Valley attempted several times to get back in the contest, but never were able to get any closer than 11 points. Tyler Elvey led a well balanced attack for the Blue Devils with 14 points, Justin Miller added 12 points and Alan Wertz had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Tyler Neff led Mo Valley with 12 points and Tom Rowley had 10.
Bellwood-Antis 59 Moshannon Valley 45
Bellwood-Antis – Seidel 1 0-0 2, Boone 1 1-2 3, Hatch 7 0-0 16, Christner 5 2-2 10, Winterstein 5 1-2 12, McCrum 0 0-0 0, Wertz 8 0-0 16, DeGol 0 0-0 0, Elvey 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 25 4-6 59.
Moshannon Valley – Gates 1 1-4 3, Baughman 0 0-0 0, Rowley 0 0-0 0, Holencik 1 0-0 2, Wulderk 9 4-4 24, Neff 2 6-8 10, Moyer 1 0-0 2, Morroni 0 0-0 0, Strickland 2 0-1 4. TOTALS 16 11-17 45.
Score by Quarter
Bellwood-Antis 14 15 23 7 – 59
Moshannon Valley 11 3 11 20 – 45
Three-point goals: Bellwood-Antis 5 (Hatch 2, Christner 2, Winterstein 1).
Moshannon Valley 2 (Wulderk 2).