Bellwood-Antis girls triumph over Hornets

A hot night at the line for Bellwood-Antis senior Jamie Smith and the usual performance by high-scoring Lauren Carter led Bellwood-Antis to a solid 66-59 triumph over Juniata Valley at Alexandria on Thursday night.
Smith cashed in 12 of 15 shots from the foul line and added a pair of baskets for 17 points, and Carter, averaging 20.8 points per game through the Lady Blue Devils first part of the season, pumped in 27 points.
“Lauren had her usual big game, you almost take it for granted that she will score big and pull down a ton of rebounds,” said Bellwood-Antis coach Nick Lovrich. She has been so steady for us, averaging over 20 points and 14 rebounds a game. You just know she is going to get her points and boards. Tonight was a total team effort, all the other girls came through as well. Hopefully now, we can build on this performance.”
The Lady Blue Devils chipped in 25 of 38 shots from the foul line, by far the B-A girls biggest production at the line.
“We have been struggling at the foul line, and have been working hard on that in practices this week,” explained Lovrish.
The Bellwood-Antis girls jumped out to a 19-7 advantage in the first quarter for what would prove to be the winning margin.
Juniata Valley was forced to play catch-up for the rest of the game and wasn’t able to get there.
“The kids really played well on defense,” explained Lovrich. “They moved their feet on defense and kept the ball from their big girls.”
The Lady Hornets outscored Bellwood-Antis 17-11 in the second quarter and then 25-22 in the fourth quarter, when that was too little, too late.
Bellwood-Antis took a 20-24 lead into the locker room at halftime and then outscored the Lady Hornets 14-10 in the third stanza to stretch the margin to 44-34 after three quarters.
Juniata Valley attempted a comeback in the fourth quarter, but the B-A defense and a sizzling 10-for-12 from Smith from the foul line cut that short.
“A point guard has to want the ball with the game on the line,” said Lovrich, “ and at the end of a game. When fouled, the point guard has to step in and close the door and tonight that was exactly what Jamie Smith did for us.”
Bellwood-Antis was aided by a well-balanced scoring attack that included Liz Erickson with nine points and Shalee Hunter with eight.
“Liz did a great job when she was in the game, scoring a couple nice baskets and pulling down rebounds. She got into foul trouble however. Shalee Hunter was really aggressive out there tonight taking Liz’s place when she went to the bench with foul trouble. She really matured tonight. She only started playing basketball last year and tonight she put it all together.”
Brittany Borst led the Juniata Valley girls with 15 and Maddy Gildea added 11.
The Lady Blue Devils, who improve to 4-4 in the Juniata Valley League and 5-6 overall, will host West Branch in a JVL encounter on Monday, Jan. 9, and then visit Everett on Wednesday and Penns Valley on Friday.
Bellwood-Antis 66 Juniata Valley 59
Bellwood-Antis – Webb 0 0-0 0, Lechner 1 1-2 3, Carter 12 3-5 27, Erickson 2 5-6 9, Smith 2 12-15 17, Lombardo 0 2-6 2, Hunter 3 2-4 8, Parson 0 0-0 0, Riley 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 20 25-38 66.
Juniata Valley – Lane 2 2-4 6, Borst 5 2-2 15, J. Feagley 2 2-4 6, Gildea 3 5-10 11, Reed 1 6-6 8, Keller 0 1-3 1, Boyd 2 2-2 8, Howe 0 0-0 0, Boone 0 0-0 0, C. Feagley 2 0-0 4. TOTALS 17 20-31 59.
Score by Quarters
Bellwood-Antis 19 11 14 22 – 66
Juniata Valley 7 17 10 25 – 59
Three-point goals: Bellwood-Antis 1 (Smith).
Juniata Valley 5 (Borst 3, Boyd).