BELLWOOD - The Bellwood-Antis girls basketball team literally stole Monday's game away from Everett.
Bailey Swogger led the Lady Devils' defensive charge with seven of her team's 20 steals to help Bellwood defeat Everett 63-44 and remain undefeated at 9-0.
"I've been working extra hard on my defense," Swogger said. "Coach [Jim Swaney] keeps saying I need to get better at it. That's been a big motivator."
The junior guard turned several of those steals into easy layups on her way to a team-high 16 points. Katy Leamer scored in double digits as well with 15 points, and Ana Hollen finished with 14.
Hollen also had four steals, and Ellen Crook added three steals in her first game back from a knee injury sustained in the season opener.
"If was unfortunate when we lost her. She's our point guard. She's our leader. It's nice to have her back," Swaney said. "She's the catalyst for what we want to do on defense, and our catalyst on offense in terms of getting the ball to the right people."
The Lady Devils seemed to feed off having Crook back in the lineup, using their full-court press to take an early 14-4 lead.
Everett got back in the game with a 8-0 run. Freshman Kadie Morral, who scored a game-high 18 points, started the run with a layup that came off one of her 18 rebounds.
"She's going to be a good one," Everett coach Keith Moyer said. "We have a lot of young kids at the varsity level that have been stepping up."
Aubrea Phipps scored back-to-back buckets to close out the first quarter. The senior forward finished with a double-double as well with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Phipps then opened the second quarter with another basket to make it a 14-12 game. Later in the quarter, Everett trailed 26-22 before Bellwood scored the final four points of the half to double its lead at the break, 30-22.
The Lady Devils broke the game open with a big third quarter. Already leading 32-27 early in the third, Bellwood outscored Everett 15-2 the rest of the quarter to take an 18-point lead.
Once again, Bellwood used its pressure defense to create easy scoring chances.
"We defended them well in the halfcourt, but they got a lot of easy buckets in transition," Moyer said. "You just can't turn it over like that. That's the bottom line."
Swogger started and ended the run with layups coming off steals. In between, Katy Leamer scored a bucket down low, Hollen converted on the fast break and Kelly Leamer sank her second of two 3-pointers on the night.
"We're a pretty athletic team," Swaney said. "When we're making things happen with our press, we're pretty effective."
Bellwood faces a tough test tonight with a visit to 10-1 Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic. Everett (8-3) hosts Northern Bedford Thursday.
EVERETT (44): B. Morral 3 0-0 7, Au. Phipps 4 3-6 11, DuVall 1 0-0 2, Brallier 0 0-0 0, K. Morral 7 4-6 18, Beegle 0 0-0 0, Snider 1 2-4 4, Al. Phipps 0 0-0 0, Hillenbrand 0 2-4 2, McDonald 0 0-0 0, Rice 0 0-0 0. Totals - 16 11-21 44.
BELLWOOD-ANTIS (63): Crook 1 0-0 2, Hollen 6 2-2 14, Ka. Leamer 6 3-4 15, 7 2-2 16, Damiano 3 0-1 6 Ke. Leamer 3 0-0 8, Finn 1 0-0 2, Showalter 0 0-1 0, Claar 0 0-0 0, Crider 0 0-0 0, Carroll 0 0-0 0. Totals - 27 7-10 63.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Everett10 12 7 15 - 44
Bellwood-Antis14 16 17 16 - 63
3-point goals: Everett 1 (B. Morral); Bellwood-Antis 2 (Ke. Leamer).
Records: Everett (8-3); Bellwood-Antis (9-0).
Officials: Dave Reimer, Jerry Kaufman, Rich Gergley
JV: 33-31 OT, Everett. High scorers-Al. Phipps 9 (E); Carroll 11 (BA).