Lady Blue Devils cold first half spells loss to Penns Valley girls

For the second straight game, the Bellwood-Antis girls basketball team ran into a tough foe on the road, traveling to Spring Mills to play the Lady Rams of Penns Valley. And for the second straight game, the Lady Blue Devils came out ice cold.
Against Everett on Wednesday night, the B-A girls battled back from 35-18 deficit at halftime to force the contest into two overtimes before the Lady Warriors finally pulled out a two-point victory. On Friday night against Penns Valley, Bellwood-Antis was not quite as fortunate.
Penns Valley ran off a 28-14 lead after two quarters and never allowed the Lady Blue Devils to get any closer than six points in a 42-35 triumph that improved their record to 10-4.
High-scoring Brittany LeVan led the Rams attack with 11 first-half points to nearly outscore the Blue Devils all by herself.
“A lot of the way we started can be contributed to what they (Penns Valley) do,” explained Bellwood-Antis coach Nick Lovrich. “They try to make you play a faster-paced game, and they got us into that in the first half. We had 13 turnovers in that first half and only seven in the second half. We adjusted ourselves, found what our tempo is supposed to be for the game. We wanted to set our team into a half-court offense, we didn’t want to get into a running match. We got into their running match in the first half-in the second half we slowed things down and you could see the results were positive for us.”
Bellwood-Antis rallied late in the opening quarter to knot the score at 10-10 on baskets by Lauren Carter and Ashley Lechner with 3:10 left in the quarter.
From that point, however, Penns Valley went on a 18-4 run to close out the half with a 14-point advantage.
Much the same as at Everett, the Lady Blue Devils, or rather Lauren Carter, ice cold in the first half, started the third quarter out flame-hot to slice the lead to 32-24 at the end of the third stanza.
Carter scored all of the Lady Blue Devils 10 points in the quarter and a tough defense limited LeVan to a single bucket. Near the end of the third quarter, Carter’s free throw (She had four baskets and a pair of fouls shots in the quarter) cut the lead to 30-24. Penns Valley hit a final basket to end the quarter, and then LeVan hit a pair of baskets, sandwiched around a free throw by Jamie Smith to begin the fourth period to jump the Lady Rams lead back up to 36-25.
Shalee Hunter hit a short jumper, Smith tossed in a trey, the Blue Devils only three-pointer of the game, and added a foul shot for a rare four-point play when fouled, and later knocked down a running jumper and Carter connected for the Blue Devils’ final points, but Penns Valley kept pace with Bellwood-Antis dropping the fourth-quarter scoring battle by just an 11-10 margin to secure their win.
Lauren Carter led the Lady Blue Devils with another of her “usual” big nights, scoring 18 points, pulling down 17 rebounds and blocking five of the Penns Valley shot attempts. Jamie Smith added seven points, all in the fourth quarter.
“It’s the same story every game for Lauren,” praised Lovrich. “She’s really been doing a great job. She is a great athlete who puts a lot effort into it. Rebounding takes a lot of effort, she gets beat around a little in there. Lauren toughs it out, she never comes out-she plays the whole 32 minutes. In a fast-paced game that says a lot about her and her heart.”
Bellwood-Antis (6-8) will host Mount Union on Tuesday, with the junior varsity contest tip-off set for 6 p.m.
Junior Varsity
In the junior varsity game, Penns Valley jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, downing the Bellwood-Antis junior varsity 58-22.
Dana Lee scored a game-high 18 points for Penns Valley.
Amanda Ingram led Bellwood-Antis with eight points and Chelsea Young scored seven points.
Penns Valley 42 Bellwood-Antis 35
Bellwood-Antis – Webb 1 0-0 2, Lechner 1 0-0 2, Carter 8 2-5 18, Erickson 1 2-4 4, Smith 2 2-5 7, Ingram 0 0-0 0, Lombardo 0 0-0 0, Hunter 1 0-0 2, Parson 0 0-0 0, Riley 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 14 6-14 35..
Penns Valley – Henry 0 2-5 2, Cloninger 0 0-0 0, Tyson 1 0-0 2, Myer 1 0-0 2, McCaffrey 4 0-0 9 R. Myers 10-0 3, K. Myers 1 1-2 3, Darr 0 0-0 0, Stover 0 0-0 0, Lee 1 0-0 2, LeVan 8 3-7 19. TOTALS 17 6-14 42..
Score by Quarters
Bellwood-Antis 10 4 10 11 – 35
Penns Valley 14 14 4 10 – 42
Three-point goals: Bellwood-Antis 1 (Smith).
Penns Valley 2 (McCaffrey, R. Myers).