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Bellwood-Antis falters late in third quarter during 57-37 loss

Glancing at the final score of Monday\’s game between the Bellwood-Antis Blue Devils and the top seeded team in District VI, the Bald Eagle Area Eagles, one would most likely assume the expected occurred and the Eagles cruised to an easy victory.
Those in attendance Monday saw a far different story. The Blue Devils hung with the Eagles, and even came within one point of tying them with 2:42 remaining in the third quarter before a late quarter collapse doomed Bellwood-Antis.
Bald Eagle Area, a team made up of twelve players, nine of which are seniors, took over the game in the final two minutes of the third quarter and carried the momentum throughout the final quarter as well to post a 57-37 win.
“I think in the last minute of the third period we let the game slip away from us,” Bellwood-Antis Head Coach Tim Keech said. “I think we had a great chance to win, and I\’m disappointed. I told the kids after the game that if they were happy with the result then they are not the basketball team that I think they are.”
After Blaze Winterstein made a 3-pointer to pull the Blue Devils within one point at 29-28, Bald Eagle Area went on a 10-0 run to close out the third quarter and headed into the fourth with a 39-28 lead.
“We had a chance to beat the number one seed in the District VI on their home floor, and in the last minute of the third quarter we let it get away by turning the ball over. We were looking at a two or four point game going into the fourth quarter, but we let them go on that run and the game was basically over,” Keech said.
Prior to the 10-point burst, the contest was evenly matched despite Bald Eagle Area\’s extreme advantage in height. Seniors Cody and Cory Boone stand at 6\’8\” and 6\’7\” respectively, and at 6\’6\” senior Connor McGee isn\’t far behind. Alan Wertz, who is 6\’4\” is the tallest player on the Bellwood-Antis roster.
Despite scoring only four points, Wertz held his own in the rebound department, and helped Bellwood-Antis limit Bald Eagle Area to one shot for most of the first half.
With the game tied at six, Cody Boone, who scored 22 points to lead all scorers, made his first of three slam dunks in the first half to temporarily give the Eagles an 8-6 lead, but Tyler Elvey nailed the first of five Bellwood-Antis 3-pointers on the Blue Devils next possession to give Bellwood a slight advantage.
A 7-0 Bald Eagle Area run followed Elvey\’s shot, but Paul Christner, who tied Winterstein for the team high in points with 11, got hot just before halftime, knocking down a 3-pointer and two jump shots to keep the Blue Devils within four at the half, 25-21.
Winterstein halted Bald Eagle Area\’s run that helped them take control of the game when he made a 3-pointer to begin the fourth quarter, and Christner added a jump shot to bring the Blue Devils within six at 39-33, but Bald Eagle Area turned up their defense and took off on a 8-0 run to seal the game.
“Bald Eagle did a much better job in the second half on man-to-man defense, especially Pat Rougeux,” Keech said. “I thought he really stepped up his defensive pressure and forced Ben (Hatch) into some things he doesn\’t normally do.”
Wertz made a layup to bring Bellwood-Antis within 12 with 2:37 to play, but the Blue Devils scored only two more points while the Eagles enjoyed an offensive explosion and fell 57-37.
The Blue Devils have developed a case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in their recent games, playing well in the second half against Bishop Guilfoyle and the first half against Bald Eagle Area, but faltering in the during the opposite halves.
“I guarantee you that the team that played in the first half tonight and the second half against BG is going to be the team you see in the playoffs,” Keech said. “We\’re not going to be satisfied just going to the playoffs. We are 11-13 right now, and I don\’t think we should be. I think we should be a basketball team above .500, because we let a couple games slip away from us this year, and there\’s nothing we can do about it now; now it\’s lose and go home.”
Bellwood-Antis will play Marion Center at Central Cambria High School next Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
“We are going to come out next Tuesday ready to play,” Keech said. “We going to know what we\’re going to do going into that game, and we\’re going to attack it like it is ours, and they have to beat us.”
Bald Eagle Area 57 Bellwood-Antis 37
BELLWOOD-ANTIS – Hatch 1 2-2 4, Winterstein 4 0-0 11, Christner 4 2-2 11, Seidel 1 0-0 2, Wertz 2 0-2 4, Elvey 1 2-2 5, McCrum 0 0-0 0, Miller 0 0-0 0, DeGol 0 0-0 0, Cook 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 13 6-8 37.
BALD EAGLE AREA – Rougeux 1 0-0 2, Etters 1 0-0 2, Cor. Boone 4 0-1 8, Cod. Boone 11 0-0 22, McGee 5 3-4 13, A. Resto 0 1-2 1, Sehall 0 0-0 0, Wetzel 3 0-0 6, D. Resto 1 0-0 3, Miller 0 0-0 0, May 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 26 4-7 57.
Score by Quarter
Bellwood-Antis 9 12 7 9 – 37
Bald Eagle Area 11 14 14 18 – 57
Three-point goals: Bellwood-Antis 5 (Winterstein 3, Christner, Elvey).
Bald Eagle Area 1 (D. Resto).