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Momentum change leads to loss for Lady Blue Devils against Hornets

With Bellwood-Antis and Juniata Valley deadlocked at 36-36 with time running down at the end of the third quarter, Juniata Valley senior Desiree Reed stepped just inside the half-court line and fired up a desperation chuck that banked cleanly through the net to give the Lady Hornets a 39-36 lead at the end of three quarters.
“That changed the momentum completely,” explained Bellwood-Antis coach Ali Stodart in describing Reed’s buzzer-beater. “Then we kind of came out a little bit flat to begin the fourth quarter. Another one of their guards, we had triple-teamed inside and she kicked it out and they (Kristin Keller) knocked down that shot. We kind of put our heads down there a little bit and it took awhile for us to get back into the flow of the game.”
By the time Bellwood-Antis got back into the ballgame, Juniata Valley had opened a five-point lead on the way to a 52-46 decision.
The first quarter lead went back-and-forth with each team attempting to get into a rhythm.
Shalee Hunter, who led all Lady Blue Devils with 12 rebounds, scored on a putback to open the scoring, but Juniata Valley scored the next five points and Bellwood-Antis spent the rest of the quarter fighting to get back on top. Liz Erickson tied the game for the first time at 8-8 with a soft baby hook at the 2:48 mark. Victoria Lombardo sank a pair of free throws to retie the game at 10-10 and Erickson’s basket gave the Lady Blue Devils the temporary 12-11 advantage. Valley scored the final four points of the quarter for a 15-12 first-period margin.
Erickson’s two straight foul shots cut the lead to 15-14 early in the second quarter, but first Reed, and then Maddy Gildea popped in baskets to jump the Valley lead out to 19-14. Erickson bombed in a trey outside the key at the end of the half to draw the Lady Blue Devils into a 26-26 tie. Actually the three-pointer gave Bellwood-Antis a 27-26 lead, but due to a scorer’s error, the scoreboard read 26-26. Consulted in the referee’s room, where they had gone at halftime, the officials ruled if both scorebooks showed the same score, it would stand as a tie to begin the third quarter.
Erickson and Hunter scored a bucket each in the early going of the third period to keep the B-A girls close, but they still trailed 34-30. Erickson, the Blue Devils’ sophomore post player, who also often helps to bring the ball down the court, showed a marksman’s eye by drilling two consecutive treys to give Bellwood-Antis a 36-34 advantage with just over four minutes in the period. Juniata Valley made two of four tries from the charity stripe to set up Reed’s bomb at the end of the quarter.
Bellwood-Antis spent most of the fourth quarter fighting to claw their way back into the contest. Erickson hit a basket and two of four free throws. Hunter added a conventional three-point play, sinking a basket and adding the free throw after being fouled on the shot and Lauren Lender nailed a trey for her only basket of the game.
Brittany Borst, who contributed a dozen points for Juniata Valley, including three treys, scored a pair of baskets and one of two foul shots to lead a Valley charge that kept the Lady Hornets in the lead.
“I thought we came back strong at the end of the fourth quarter, but it was not enough to win,” said Stodart. “Our post players did an excellent job inside, both offensively and defensively, and pretty much neutralized what Reed and Gildea were doing. Borst stepped up tonight however, and did an excellent job in knocking down her shots.
“I know we are 11 games into the season, but our guards are young, even our senior and junior guards are not as experienced as other guards are that we are playing against at the varsity level. But they are getting better as the season progresses and that’s all I can ask. We have to have our guards step up and take some of that scoring from our inside game.”
Hunter scored 12 points and had three steals and a block, while Erickson led all scorers with 24 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks. Victoria Lombardo had eight boards.
Junior Varsity
Juniata Valley took a slim 18-16 lead at halftime. But the Blue Devil junior varsity finally opened a 22-20 lead at the 3:22 mark of the third quarter and then outscored the Hornet jayvees 13-11 from that point to win a 35-31 decision.
Amanda Ingram led the Lady Blue Devils with 12 points, while Kim McAllister scored 15 points to lead Juniata Valley.
Juniata Valley 52 Bellwood-Antis 46
Bellwood-Antis – Ingram 0 0-0 0, Webb 0 0-2 0, Lombardo 0 2-3 2; Lechner 0 0-1 0, Lender 1 0-0 3, Hunter 6 2-5 14, Erickson 9 6-8 24. TOTALS 16 10-21 46.
Juniata Valley – Keller 1 2-3 4, Borst 4 1-2 12, Gildea 4 4-9 12, Reed 5 3-4 13, Boyd 1 2-4 4, McAllister 2 0-0 5, Morgan 1 -0 2, Taylor 0 0-0 0, Corn 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 18 12-22 52.
Bellwood-Antis 12 14 10 10 – 46
Juniata Valley 15 11 13 13 – 52
Three-point goals: Bellwood-Antis 4 (Erickson 3, Lender).
Juniata Valley 4 (Borst 3, McAllister).