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Late rally falls short for ice-cold Lady Blue Devils at Mo Valley

Bellwood-Antis traveled to Moshannon Valley on Monday night through the snow and cold. Then they played like they stayed on the bus until the fourth quarter until deciding to start playing basketball.
Moshannon Valley with all of nine girls on the Lady Damsel roster, walked their way to leads of 10-2 and 19-8 at the end of the first two quarters. There was no junior varsity game, with the shortage of Moshannon Valley players, but the Mo Valley girls showed up about three quarters ahead of the Lady Blue Devils, who still almost pulled off the unlikeliest of victories.
After trailing throughout the game, most of it by 10 points or more, Bellwood-Antis rallied to pull to within 35-34 when Liz Erickson put in a layup with six seconds to play. Bellwood-Antis immediately fouled the first Moshannon Valley who got the inbound pass. In this case, it was Stacie Godin, who then proceeded to sink one of two free throws. Down 36-34, Erickson grabbed the rebound on Godin’s second shot and quickly dribbled down the court, letting the ball go just inside the three-point circle. The shot rebounded off the rim and fell harmlessly to the floor as the buzzer sounded.
“It was a case of too little, too late,” explained Bellwood-Antis coach Ali Stodart, who is a graduate and former ladies basketball player at Moshannon Valley. “We came out really flat in the first half. Scoring only two points in the first quarter really hurt us. It kind of gave them the momentum even going into halftime.
“Until the fourth quarter, I didn’t think we played the kind of aggressive defense that we can. Starting in the fourth quarter I think we played a lot better. We scored 16 points in the fourth quarter and only eight the entire first half. I think it was kind of a tale of two halves. We made a great comeback at the end, but came up a little bit short.”
A basket by Victoria Lombardo off an assist from Liz Erickson broke an otherwise all-Mo Valley first quarter, with the Lady Damsels outscoring the Bellwood-Antis girls, 10-2.
Shalee Hunter hit one of two free throws, and Amanda Ingram nailed a three-pointer to cut the Mo Valley lead to 10-6 at the beginning of the second quarter, but the Lady Blue Devils went as cold as the weather outside again, scoring just a bucket close in by Erickson, off an assist from Lombardo.
Moshannon Valley finished the quarter on a 9-2 run to lead 19-8 at halftime.
The third quarter began with the two teams trading buckets and free throws, with Erickson putting in a short jumper on an assist from Ashley Lechner, and Brittany Webb hitting two of three foul shots after getting fouled while shooting a trey. Bellwood-Antis showed signs of breaking out of their terrible shooting slump midway through the period. Lombardo stole the ball and drove down the court for a layup, Erickson hit a basket from inside and Hunter added a putback to close to seven points 25-18, but Kierstin Elder took the wind out of the Lady Blue Devils sails by nailing a long trey from the corner as time ran out to push the Mo Valley lead back to double figures, 28-18.
Two foul shots and a basket at the start of the fourth quarter, built the B-A deficit further to 32-18 for the biggest Moshannon Valley lead of the game. The Lady Blue Devils began their rally at that point. Ashley Lechner buried a trey, Erickson added one of two from the charity stripe and Lechner hit a two-pointer. First, Chelsea Young, and then Lombardo hit three-pointers to narrow the score to 35-32 and set up the mad finish that fell just short.
Erickson led the Lady Blue Devils with nine points and 13 rebounds. Lombardo added seven points for the B-A girls, who as a team shot just 13 of 69 for a miserable 18.8 percent for the game, a figure that was even lower for the first three quarters.
Shawna Greslick paced the Lady Damsels with 12 points.
Moshannon Valley 36 Bellwood-Antis 34
Bellwood-Antis – Ingram 1 0-0 3, Webb 0 2-3 2, Young 1 0-0 3, Lombardo 3 0-0 7, Lechner 2 0-0 5, E. Derr 0 0-0 0, Hunter 2 1-2 5, Erickson 4 1-5 9, Jones 0 0-0 0, Hippo 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 13 4-12 34.
Moshannon Valley – Rowley 2 0-2 4, Murarik 1 2-3 4; Greslick 6 0-2 12, Godin 2 3-7 7, Tomasko 2 2-4 6, Elder 1 0-0 3. TOTALS 14 7-18 36.
Bellwood-Antis 2 6 10 16 – 34
Moshannon Valley 10 9 9 8 – 36
Three-point goals: Bellwood-Antis- 4 (Ingram, Young, Lechner, Lombardo).
Moshannon Valley- 1 (Elder).