Bellwood-Antis boys win 19th game of the year

Bellwood-Antis put number nineteen in the win column last night as the Blue Devils defeated West Branch 59 – 50. Bellwood now advances to 19–3 (16-1 Juniata Valley League.
The first quarter of last night’s game was very different to say the least. Ben Hatch came down and hit a three point shot from deep in the corner to put Bellwood up 3–0 with just fifteen seconds gone in the game. West Branch would come down to tie at –3 and Blaze Winterstein would score Bellwood’s next point on a foul shot to put the Blue Devils up 4–3 with 4:32 left in the first half. From that foul shot to the end of the quarter the fans in attendance could have taken a power nap and not missed anything. As the home crowd brought some life to the gym to end the first quarter Bellwood-Antis was hanging on to a 4–3 lead. Yes, you read right 4–3.
The second quarter would prove to be the quarter that would give the Blue Devils their nineteenth win of the season. Bellwood would go on an eight point run, keyed by some great hustle from Bruno DeGol who came off the bench bringing some life to the listless Blue Devils. In the second quarter DeGol would score six points, grab two offensive rebounds and two defensive rebounds. Although the Blue Devils struggled they were able to go to the half with a 27–18 lead. The Blue Devils were able to outscore the Warriors 23–15 in the second quarter. This would prove to be huge for Bellwood-Antis as West Branch played the Blue Devils even the entire second half, matching them point for point. Both teams would score sixteen points in the third and fourth quarters.
Bellwood-Antis continued their mastery of the three-point shot as they hit nine on the night. West Branch was right there with the Blue Devils all night by hitting eight three- point shots of their own.
Bellwood-Antis was once again led by Ben Hatch, who scored sixteen points on the evening. Paul Christner scored twelve points for Bellwood. Alan Wertz pulled down thirteen rebounds for a game high. Wertz was able to pull down his game high rebounds even though Coach Ketch delegated him to the bench for most of the second quarter.
West Branch played well. They were able to hit tonight and when the three-point shots started to fall for the Warriors they were able to hang in there for the game. Chris Dotts scored a game high 21 points to lead the Warriors offense. Tyler Ferguson would help the West Branch cause by scoring 13. West Branch would fall to 9–12 (8–9 JVL).
Monday evening will be senior night for the Blue Devils. They have an opportunity to pick up a 20-win season with a win over Bald Eagle.
“A win Monday night to give us a 20-win season is a big goal for us,” said Bellwood head coach Tim Keech after last night’s game. “This would be more wins in this season than the seniors were able to win in their tenth and eleventh grade years,” added Keech.
During post game comments I asked coach Keech about the dead-even second half. Coach Keech was quick to respond, “The can shoot the ball and we really did not play with a very good effort tonight. I thought Bruno played very well off the bench. Paul (Christner) is playing well and is really stepping it up for us. (Evan) Hughes came in and made a great lay-up off of a nice double fake. When I call on Evan he is ready to play,” said Keech.
Game notes: Bellwood won the battle of the boards 37–22. West Branch would score ten points from the charity stripe. Bellwood’s Junior Varsity came out on top 37–30. Nate Gray led the Blue Devils with 22 points. The Junior Varsity squad improves their record to 10–8 on the year.
Bellwood-Antis 59 West Branch 50
West Branch: Dotts 8 2–6 21, Ferguson 3 7–10 13, Crowel 3 0–0 9, Lidget 0 0–2 0, Zimmerman 2 1–2 7 Totals: 16 10-20 50.
Bellwood-Antis: Christner 4 1–2 12, Winterstein 2 1–2 5, Hatch 5 3–6 16, Wertz 3 0–0 6, McCrum 2 0–0 4, Elvey 3 0–0 8, B. DeGol 2 1–1 6, Hughes 1 0–0 2, Jenkins 0 0–1 0 Totals: 22 6–12 59.
West Branch 3 15 16 16 – 50
Bellwood-Antis 4 23 16 16 – 59
Three point shots: West Branch 8 (Dotts 3, Crowel 3, Zimmerman 2)
Bellwood-Antis: 9 (Christner 3, Hatch 3, Elvey 2, B. DeGol)