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B-A girls open season with loss to Lady Rams

The Bellwood-Antis girls basketball team couldn’t have picked a worse night to begin their 2006-07 basketball season. Facing the Penns Valley girls on the home court didn’t help much in the Lady Rams 66-27 victory. Penns Valley was much more experienced than the Lady Blue Devils, who had trouble on offense for the entire evening.
“This was extremely tough,” was the way first-year coach Ali Stodart described her first game as head coach. “We wanted to have a chance to play Tyrone the other night and kind of get the jitters all out. Penns Valley is very tough, they started four sophomores last year, who have played together since junior high. With the chemistry that group has, it was just a tough way to start.”
Although both teams were a bit sluggish at the start. Penns Valley who opened their season on Saturday by defeating Huntingdon 60-46, had the only score of the first two and a half minutes for the early 2-0 lead, but then quickly put six more points on the board to take an 8-0 advantage before B-A junior Victoria Lombardo buried a short bucket from the side to get the Lady Blue Devils on the board. Penns Valley continued building up their margin, until sophomore B-A point guard Ashley Lechner nailed a trey from beyond the top of the key. The Penns Valley girls led 17-5 at the end of the first period.
Sophomore Liz Erickson started the second stanza with one of two foul shots and Lombardo added a bucket to cut the deficit under 10 to 17-8. Penns Valley went on a 14-0 run to run their lead to 31-8. Amanda Ingram and Erickson hit back-to-back baskets, but the Lady Blue Devils trailed 32-12 at the half.
“We just needed to take care of the ball a little better,” said Stodart. “We played good defense in the first half, but they took a lot more shots than we did, because we didn’t take care of the ball.”
Erickson and Shalee Hunter added baskets in the third quarter, but that was all the scoring the inexperienced Blue Devils would get.
Penns Valley scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to stretch their lead to the largest at 53-16, before Erickson threw in a bucket and Ingram fired in a three-pointer. Lechner added two buckets and Lauren Lender scored the final B-A basket of the game.
“We played hard to the very end, we didn’t give up,” explained Stodart. “We had several people make some shots in different situations and with different personnel on the floor. So, we knew it would be a tough game, we came out and gave it our best. Obviously, we are going to get a lot better from now until the end of the season, and that is our goal.”
Erickson led the Lady Blue Devils with eight rebounds and two blocks, and Lombardo, Hunter and freshman Crixella Jones each pulled down five boards for the B-A girls. Lechner came away with several key steals. Erickson and Amanda Ingram led the B-A girls in scoring with seven points each.
Brittany LeVan led Penns Valley with 15 points and Korry McCaffrey and Dana Lee each scored nine points.
JUNIOR VARSITY: Penns Valley jumped out to a 12-1 lead in the junior varsity game and never looked back. Kendyl Paolini led the Ram jayvees with 11 points in a 41-18 Penns Valley win.
Alycia Hippo led Bellwood-Antis with eight points.
Bellwood-Antis (0-1) will host Everett on Wednesday night with the junior varsity game starting at 6 p.m. and the varsity following.
Penns Valley 66 Bellwood-Antis 27
Penns Valley 17 15 14 20 – 66
Bellwood-Antis 5 7 4 11 – 27
Penns Valley – Henry 3 0-0 7, Cloninger 2 0-0 4, Myer 2 0-0 4, Paolini 0 0-0 0, McCaffrey 4 0-0 9, Jordan 1 0-0 2, Myers 1 0-0 3, Darr 0 0-0 0, France 2 0-0 4, Stover 2 1-2 5, Lee, 2 5-8 9, LeVan 7-1-1 15, Packer 1 0-0 2. TOTALS 28 7-11 66.
Bellwood-Antis – Ingram 3 0-0 7, Young 0 0-0 0, Lombardo 1 0-0 2, Lechner 2 0-0 5, Lender 1 0-0 2, Hunter 2 0-0 4, Erickson 3 1-2 7, Jones 0 0-0 0, Cherry 0 0-0 0, Hippo 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 11 1-2 27.
Three-point goals Penns Valley 3 (Henry, McCaffrey, Myers).
Bellwood-Antis 2 (Ingram, Lechner).