Bellwood-Antis girls let one get away against undefeated Mount Union

Improvement has its benefits, but when the improvement isn’t yet complete, but only part way along the journey, the results can be agonizing. The Bellwood-Antis girls basketball team battled against their second undefeated foe in two nights and once again came away scratching their heads for want of a win.
After giving undefeated Everett all the Lady Warriors could have wanted for two and a half quarters on Wednesday night, the Lady Blue Devils had the lead over undefeated Mount Union until Toyia Price tied the game for Mount Union, with just 1:35 left in the fourth quarter. Mount Union went on to add a pair of baskets and one of two free throws to nail the come-from-behind win 45-41 and keep their perfect record intact at 4-0. The win enabled the Lady Trojans to continue their best start since they won eight in a row at the beginning of the 1982 season.
“Definitely we made an improvement, even over last night,” said first-year Bellwood-Antis coach Ali Stodart. “We actually just talked about that with the girls in the locker room. We have to find a way to win these close ones. It is going to come with experience, we understand that, but at the same time that one got away from us. That was one that should have been ours. No question about it, we let it get away.”
After the two teams traded baskets in the early going, Mount Union’s price nailed a trey to give her team a 7-4 lead at the end of one quarter. After Mount Union scored, first Victoria Lombardo and then Liz Erickson sunk baskets to tie the score.
Mount Union controlled the first part of the second period, building their lead up to nine points 15-6, before the Lady Blue Devils began their comeback. Ashley Lechner fired in a trey from well beyond the three-point line, Erickson stole the ball and converted it into a driving layup, before Crixella Jones grabbed a rebound and scored on the putback. Erickson added one of two free throws to slice the Trojan advantage to a single point, 15-14. After Mount Union upped their lead to 17-14, Erickson scored on a putback of her own and Lauren Lender just beat the buzzer to give Bellwood-Antis an 18-17 lead at the half.
Mount union scored twice to grab the lead back, but Erickson poured in a three-pointer to push the Blue Devils back into a 23-21 lead. With the B-A girls sporting their largest lead of the night, 27-23, Mount Union tallied the final three buckets of the quarter, including a trey and a two-point field goal by Price, who led the Lady Trojans with 15 points, to take a 30-27 advantage after three quarters of play.
Again Bellwood-Antis took a lead 34-30 on a basket by Shalee Hunter, Lechner’s second three-pointer and another two-pointer by Erickson, who led all scorers with 25 points.
However after the two schools traded field goals over a space of the next three minutes, Price buried her trey and Mount Union pulled out their fourth straight triumph.
Erickson and Lombardo each had 11 rebounds for the Lady Blue Devils and Hunter added six boards, while Lombardo also had six assists.
Martina Kurtz backed up Price with 12 points and Stana Stewart used her considerable body to score nine points in the paint and pull down 15 rebounds for Mount Union.
Junior Varsity: The Lady Blue Devil junior varsity won their second straight game to raise their record to 2-1, with a 23-22 win over Mount Union. A pair of key layups by Laura Cherry contributed to the victory. After Mount Union scored the first seven points of the game, Bellwood-Antis came back to tie the score at 8-8 on Cherry’s drive and layup with 2:38 left in the first half. Then the B-A Jayvees outscored Mount Union 6-0 in the fourth quarter. With 1:19 to play, Cherry connected on the second layup and the score stayed just like that.
Alycia Hippo tallied seven points for the B-A girls, while Katrina Woods scored 13 points for Mount Union.
Bellwood-Antis (0-3) after opening the season with three games in four days, will rest until Tuesday, when they travel to Claysburg to play Claysburg-Kimmel. The junior varsity game will start at 6 p.m. and the varsity at 7 :30.
Mount Union 45 Bellwood-Antis 41
Bellwood-Antis 4 14 9 14 – 41
Mount Union 9 10 13 15 – 45
Bellwood-Antis – Ingram 0 0-0 0, Webb 0 0-0 0, Young 1 0-0 2, Lombardo 1 0-0 2, Lechner 2 0-0 6, Lender 1 1-2 3, Hunter 1 0-1 2, Erickson 10 3-10 24, Jones 1 0-0 2, Hippo 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 17 4-13 41.
Mount Union – Price 6 0-0 15, Stewart 2 5-8 9, Walters 3 0-0 6, Atherton 0 1-3 1, House 0 0-0 0, Kurtz 5 2-4 12, Bookwalter 1 0-0 2, Inch 0 0-0 0, Woods 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 17 8-15 45.
Three point goals: Bellwood-Antis 2 (Erickson, Lechner).
Mount Union 3 (Price 3).