WILLIAMSBURG - As January melts into February, most area high school basketball teams are seeking depth, balance and versatility.
Bellwood-Antis boys basketball coach Brent Gerwert liked what he saw of his team in all three departments Tuesday night.
Bellwood placed four players in double figures, and did an excellent job of mixing the inside and outside games on offense, while rolling to a 68-47 Inter-County Conference North Division victory over Williamsburg at the Williamsburg Area High School gymnasium.
With 6-foot-6 junior Noah Davis and 6-3 senior David Wolfe providing the Blue Devils with a presence in the paint, and senior guards Alex Dionis and Josh Steffen keeping Williamsburg's defense honest with their outside shooting, Bellwood broke open a relatively close game at halftime by carrying the second half, 34-23.
Davis scored 14 points before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a hand injury, while Steffen added 13, Wolfe 12 and Dionis 11 for Bellwood, which improved to 15-2 overall and 11-0 in the ICC North.
"We had very good balance tonight,'' Gerwert said. "Josh Steffen and Nick Dionis stepped up and hit some big shots for us, and everybody was passing the ball well. Now that we're getting into February, we need to gel as a team and continue to play like we played tonight.''
Bellwood gained some separation in the second quarter, bolstering a six-point (27-21) lead to 11 (32-21) when Steffen drove the length of the court for a layup and Davis fired in a 3-pointer from the top of the circle.
Leading, 34-24 at the break, Bellwood carried the third quarter, 15-8, to win going away. Steffen's 3-pointer, a jump shot by Dionis, and senior Zach Sinisi's inside bucket put B-A ahead by 16 points, 49-32, en route to a 49-32 lead at the three-quarter mark.
Williamsburg (12-5 overall, 9-4 in the division) hung with the Blue Devils in the first half, but Blue Pirates coach Mike Farrell believes that his team needs to get more production from its bench.
"Right now, we're going six or seven deep, and when we get in an up-tempo game like we did tonight, our bench has got to be able to step in and be ready to spell the starters,'' Farrell said.
Senior Dalton Price was ready and raring to go after coming off the bench early for Williamsburg. He produced a game-high 19 points.
"Dalton is a very talented player who can create a lot of things off the dribble, and hit the open outside shot as well,'' Farrell said. "[Bellwood] plays very quick, in-your-face defense, and as a team, we've got to be able to move without the ball against that type of defense.''
Sophomore Caleb Morrisey added 12 points for Williamsburg, which made just 19 of 62 floor shots.
"I don't think we shot the ball very well tonight,'' Farrell said. "We've just got to keep hustling, keep after it, and keep working.''
Gerwert was happy with the play of his squad, which outrebounded the Blue Pirates, 43-28.
"We were executing plays and taking what they gave us,'' he said. "We played really well as a team both offensively and defensively.''
Game notes: Gerwert was unsure of Davis' health status after the game. "It's a hand injury, and hopefully, he'll be able to play in our next game,'' Gerwert said ... The Blue Devils visit Mount Union Friday night, when Williamsburg travels to Glendale.
BELLWOOD-ANTIS (68): Davis 5 3-4 14, Dionis 4 0-0 11, Steffen 5 2-2 13, Wolfe 6 0-1 12, Sinisi 2 3-5 7, S. Worthing 2 0-0 4, C. Worthing 0 0-0 0, Hollen 1 0-0 2, Bartlett 0 0-0 0, Wyland 1 1-2 3, Sisto 1 0-0 2. Totals - 27 9-14 68.
WILLIAMSBURG (47): McCall 2 0-0 4, Price 8 2-5 19, Dishong 2 1-4 7, C. Morrisey 5 2-4 12, J. Morrisey 0 0-0 0, Fay 1 0-0 3, Biddle 1 0-0 2, Palmer 0 0-1 0, McMonagle 0 0-0 0, Appleman 0 0-0 0. Totals - 19 5-14 47.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bellwood-Antis13 21 15 19 - 68
Williamsburg11 13 8 15 - 47
3-point goals: Bellwood-Antis 5 (Dionis 3, Davis, Steffen); Williamsburg 4 (Price 3, Dishong, Fay).
Records: Bellwood-Antis (15-2 overall, 11-0 in the Inter-County Conference, North Division); Williamsburg (12-5 overall, 9-4 in the ICC North Division).
Officials: Jim Klausman, Clark Adelman, Jack McDougal
JV: Bellwood-Antis, 49-36. High scorers-Bartlett and S. Worthing, BA, 12 apiece; Palmer, W, 14.