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Young Blue Devils take big step forward in road win against Williamsburg boys

Thursday night, the Williamsburg Blue Pirates seemed like they were expecting to play the Bellwood-Antis team that managed only 38 points in a home loss to Southern Huntingdon on Tuesday. What they got was a hot-shooting quick team that ran a fast paced offense, and did not let up until they decided to shut themselves down offensively by draining the clock with long possessions in the final quarter.
The Blue Devils started off hot, hitting five of their season high 10 3-pointers in the first quarter, while building a lead they would never relinquish. Bellwood-Antis\’ only other offensive explosion of the year also came on the road, at Moshannon Valley.
“Our shooting was great. I told the kids jokingly at halftime that I was going to tell Coach Hayes to schedule all of our games on the road next year. I mean we are a completely different shooting team on the road; we couldn\’t throw it in the ocean from the beach against Southern Huntingdon at home, but at Moshannon Valley we shot well, and we come down here and shoot well. I don\’t know what it is, maybe a mental block that we have to get over at home,” Bellwood-Antis Head Coach Tim Keech said.
Blaze Winterstein, who hit two of the five 3-pointers in the first quarter, didn\’t seem to be at the top of his game as Williamsburg took a 4-0 early lead.
“I took Blaze right out, about 1:30 or so into the game; I just didn\’t feel like he was mentally ready to play the game. I told him to let me know when he was ready, and he took longer than I thought he would, but then he looked at me and said he was ready. From that point on, he was a superstar,” Keech said.
The offensive explosion stunned what was a loud hometown crowd in the early going. Williamsburg, starting four seniors and standing at 3-1 in the Juniata Valley League, were the clear favorites heading into the contest, but no one told Bellwood-Antis, starting no seniors for the first time this season.
“L.J. Seidel (Bellwood-Antis\’ usual starting senior) was feeling under the weather, and he missed practice yesterday when we put a few new things in. We did get L.J. in the game for awhile, but his strep throat started to get to him, and we just sat him down to watch,” Keech said.
Eric McCrum, making his first start of his high school career in place of Seidel, scored the final two points of the first quarter to give the Blue Devils a 21-13 lead.
Alan Wertz, who was held scoreless in the first quarter, got things going in the paint for Bellwood-Antis in the second quarter. His six points, spread out over the quarter, didn\’t allow Williamsburg to make a run and get back into the game.
Despite three first-half 3-pointers by senior Nate Graham, the Blue Pirates trailed 40-26 at the half.
The Blue Devils thwarted any Williamsburg thoughts of a comeback quickly in the second half by starting off just as hot as they were in the first quarter. Winterstein and Paul Christner began the half with 3-pointers to put Bellwood-Antis ahead by 20.
Shortly thereafter, Williamsburg turned to a full court press in a last ditch effort to crawl back into the game, but sophomore point guard Ben Hatch found Christner under the basket for an easy layup to give the Blue Devils a 54-33 advantage.
Leading by 20 going into the final quarter, Bellwood-Antis proved they can be successful playing a slow-paced game as well as the fast-paced performance they exhibited early in the contest. The Blue Devils held Williamsburg scoreless for nearly half of the eight minute quarter and allowed only three points in total.
“I really like that we can play both styles. I think there are times we can take advantage of teams because of our quickness, but there are times, because we are young, sometimes they get into that flow, and even if we aren\’t scoring, they continue to put up those shots. I like the fact that we were able to take time off the clock and play that style too,” Keech said.
Christner made his fourth 3-pointer of the game with 6:00 left to play to give Bellwood-Antis a 59-36 lead and seal the eventual 63-39 victory.
“This game is a feather in these kids hats, this is a big win against a team that was ahead of us in the Juniata Valley League standings. To come to their home floor and play like that; it\’s the best performance of the year,” Keech said.
Bellwood-Antis\’ next game will be in the County Seat Tournament held at Bishop Carroll starting Monday.
Junior Varsity
Tyler Elvey made a 3-pointer with 47 seconds remaining to give Bellwood-Antis a 28-26 lead in the junior varsity game, but Jacob Harker responded with a layup in the final seconds to send the game into overtime. Bruno DeGol and Dustin Deterline added the only baskets of the overtime to force double overtime, and leading scorer Jordan Greaser made six of his 16 points in the second overtime to secure a 38-32 win for the Blue Pirates.
Bellwood-Antis 63 Williamsburg 39
BELLWOOD-ANTIS – Hatch 5 0-2 11, Winterstein 7 1-2 19, Christner 5 0-0 14, McCrum 1 0-0 2, Wertz 5 2-2 12, Seidel 0 0-0 0, Elvey 1 0-0 2, Boone 1 0-2 3, DeGol 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 25 3-8 63.
WILLIAMSBURG – Chamberlain 1 0-0 2, Graham 4 2-2 13, Corbucci 2 0-0 4, Martin 3 0-1 7, Harker 2 3-4 7, Greaser 1 0-0 2, Yeager 2 0-0 4. TOTALS 15 5-7 39.
Score by Quarters
Bellwood-Antis 21 19 16 7 – 63
Williamsburg 13 13 10 3 – 39
Three-point goals: Bellwood-Antis 10 (Winterstein 4, Christner 4, Hatch 1, Boone 1).
Williamsburg 3 (Graham 3).