Bellwood-Antis boys find that third time is not the charm

You know there are just times when you have to look at a loss and say, “Hey, we did the best we could and maybe they were just a little bit better than us.” That would be the perfect way in which to finalize last evening’s basketball game between Bellwood-Antis and Penns Valley. Penns Valley would win the game 45-34, but the Blue Devils can hold their heads high. Bellwood finishes the season with a very good record of 19-6. A thought that was echoed by Bellwood head coach Tim Keech after the game, “The seniors won nineteen games and nobody can take that away from them. It hurts now, but I hope they can soon see through it and realize what an outstanding basketball season they have accomplished.”
Both teams came out tight last night to start the game. The first score of the game from either side was not until the 5:42 mark of the period when Blaze Winterstein hit Alan Wertz with a perfect feed for a 2-0 Bellwood lead. Then it would be tight defense, turnovers and missed shots by both teams. When the horn sounded to end the first period Bellwood would lead this one 6-5.
Penns Valley then started the second period by going on a five-point run to go up 11-6 at the 6:34 mark of the second. Penns Valley continued to step up the pressure defense and soon the five-point run had turned into a 10-2 Penns Valley run at 5:02 of the period. Penns Valley was now up 15-8. Both teams traded baskets and Bellwood would hit their only three point shot of the first half with just 0:58 seconds remaining to start a five point Bellwood run that would enable the Blue Devils to pull within six at the close of the first half. The teams would go to half showing Penns Valley up 21-15.
Bellwood-Antis would shot 33 percent from the floor in the first half while the Rams shot fifty-two percent. The Rams percentage was enhanced with some lay-ups from under the basket.
Both teams came out after the half and were really playing tough defense. The Blue Devils were the first team to crack the scoreboard in the second half and that did not happen until the 4:30 mark of the third quarter. Penns Valley was held scoreless by the Blue Devils until the 3:48 mark of the period when a jumper found the mark.
Bellwood-Antis played with heart and kept coming back and finally tied the game at 23-23 on a driving lay up by Ben Hatch. The tie was short lived, as on the Penns Valley very next possession, Jesse Deloof hit a three-point shot for the Rams and Penns Valley was back up by three at 26-23. That is how the third period would come to an end.
The fourth quarter opened with a twisting lay up by Blaze Winterstein, and Bellwood-Antis had again pulled within one at 26-25. Then came a two-minute stretch that may have very well been the key to the basketball game. Penns Valley would turn the ball over three consecutive times and each time the Blue Devils were unable to convert. “I thought the key point of the game tonight is when we could not score when they were turning the ball over during the beginning of the fourth quarter,” said coach Keech.
Penns Valley would hang in there and then go on a five point run of their own to go back up by six at 31-25 with 5:56 left in the game. Penns Valley took control of the game and had built the lead to ten at 39-29 with just 3:06 left in the game. The game would play out and Bellwood would see a great season come to an end as the final horn sounded with Penns Valley on top 45-34.
Game notes: I would like to take a minute to thank Coach Keech and Coach Stinson for working with me throughout this season. I am sure that they were as surprised as I was when Daily Herald Sports Editor Bob Miller assigned a Tyrone football coach to cover Bellwood basketball. It was a great experience and I really enjoyed meeting the Bellwood players. I want to thank Coach Hayes for his kind words at the Hershey Football clinic regarding the manner in which I was reporting the games. That was very nice. I really need to thank the most important people I met all year. Without their help in the beginning I would have been hard pressed to know who the Bellwood players were. So thank you very much Andrea, Brittney, Tara and Lauren the Bellwood statisticians. Thank you ladies. To the players, may your futures be bright and thank you for a great year. You represented your high school well on and off the floor.
Penns Valley 45 Bellwood-Antis 34
Penns Valley: Wiest 5 2-4 12, Brown 3 2-5 8, Wingard 4 0-0 8, DeLoof 6 3-4 17 Totals: 18 7-14 45
Bellwood-Antis: Christner 1 0-1 2, Winterstein 6 0-1 14, Hatch 2 2-2 6, Wertz 3 1-3 7, Elvey 1 1-2 3, B. DeGol 1 0-0 2. Totals: 14 4-9 34
Penns Valley 5 16 5 19 – 45
Bellwood-Antis 6 9 8 11 – 34
Here point shots: Penns Valley: 2 (DeLoof 2)
Bellwood-Antis: 2 (Winterstein 2)