Bellwood-Antis survives comeback to top Moshannon Valley

During their six games in an 11-day stretch, the Bellwood-Antis Blue Devils haven\’t had anything come easy. Friday night, it looked like they finally might get to relax, leading 19-2 after the first quarter, but Moshannon Valley, at times playing four freshmen on the floor at once, never gave up and made the Blue Devils earn a hard fought victory.
Although the Black Knights played well in getting back into the game, they couldn\’t have done much worse to begin it.
L.J. Seidel scored six points in the first quarter, and Tyler Elvey capped off a quarter-long run with a 3-pointer in the final seconds to give the Blue Devils a 17 point advantage.
Chris Wulderk, who scored Moshannon Valley\’s only first quarter basket, began the second quarter on fire, igniting the Black Knights to an 11-0 run. Wulderk got things started with a jumper, and then Tom Rowley made the first of his three 3-pointers on the night.
Wulderk then cashed in on two straight 3-pointers to slice the deficit to 19-13.
“We relaxed a little bit, but you have to give Moshannon Valley credit there. They stepped up their level of play, and I think Wulderk got hot, and I think he causes some problems when he gets hot. When he can hit a couple in a row, he\’s going to continue to score,” Bellwood-Antis Head Coach Tim Keech said.
Blaze Winterstein ended the Blue Devils\’ scoring drought with a 3-pointer, the second of his four on the night, but Wulderk answered with his third 3-pointer of the quarter.
Late in the quarter, Ben Hatch made two free throws to extend the lead back to double digits, but Rowley and Wulderk each made a basket before the half to cut the once 17 point lead to six at the break.
Bellwood-Antis used the long shot to hold off the Black Knights for awhile longer with Winterstein and Paul Christner nailing 3-pointers early in the third quarter to make the score 36-26.
However the tandem of Rowley and Wulderk, who combined for 45 of Moshannon Valley\’s 47 points, struck back. Each of them made a 3-pointer, and with 41 seconds in the quarter, Rowley brought the Black Knights to within two with a layup.
On their first possession of the final quarter, Moshannon Valley completed their comeback with a 3-pointer from Wulderk that gave the Black Knights a 40-39 lead.
“It would have been real easy after jumping out to that big lead, and letting them come back and take the lead for us to go through the motions, but I really think we picked up the intensity from that point on,” Keech said.
That intensity was obvious on the Blue Devils next possession when Seidel fought through a slew of Moshannon Valley defenders to score a layup while being fouled. He sunk the free throw to begin an 8-0 Blue Devil run, and the Black Knights never held the lead again.
Wulderk made his sixth and final 3-pointer of the night to bring Moshannon Valley within four, but Hatch, who was a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line, nailed two more, and Alan Wertz scored two of his 14 points on a jump shot to make the score 51-43.
The Blue Devils bested their free throw feat of seven straight in their last game against Claysburg-Kimmel by making eight straight against the Black Knights, and shooting a perfect 10-10 in the second half on their way to the 61-47 win.
“We have been working really hard on our free throw shooting routines; we\’re shooting a lot of one-and-ones in practice, and I think it\’s starting to pay off, but nothing is as important as coming out and making those shots in games, because you can\’t simulate that in practice,” Keech said.
The Blue Devils completed their sixth game in 11-day stretch by going 4-2, and will take a well-deserved rest before traveling to Southern Huntingdon Tuesday.
Keech believes to be successful against Southern Huntingdon and star big men like Garrett Speck, Alan Wertz must play well.
“Going down to Southern Huntingdon we\’re really going to need him, and he can\’t be worried, because the guys are big; he\’s got to come out and play with confidence and play the way he can play,” Keech said.
The junior varsity game will begin at 6 p.m.
Junior Varsity
Bellwood-Antis turned a close game into a blowout by making a 14-0 run to end the junior varsity game and give them a 15-point victory, 45-30. Alan Wertz and Justin Miller both scored 16 points, with 12 of Miller\’s points coming from beyond the arc. Brandon Marroni scored eight points in a losing effort.
Moshannon Valley 47 Bellwood-Antis 61
MOSHANNON VALLEY – Neff 0 0-0 0, Rowley 9 0-0 21, Wulderk 9 0-0 24, Gates 0 0-0 0, Holenchik 1 0-0 2, Marroni 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 19 0-0 47.
BELLWOOD-ANTIS – Hatch 0 6-6 6, Winterstein 5 0-0 14, Christner 6 1-1 15, Seidel 4 1-3 9, Wertz 5 4-6 14, Elvey 1 0-0 3, Miller 0 0-0 0, McCrum 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 21 12-16 61.
Score by Quarters
Moshannon Valley 2 20 15 10 47
Bellwood-Antis 19 9 11 22 61
Three-point goals: Moshannon Valley 9 (Wulderk 6, Rowley 3). Bellwood-Antis 7 (Winterstein 4, Christner 2, Elvey).