BELLWOOD - With Noah Davis, one of the best players in the area, out until at least the state playoffs, the Bellwood-Antis High School boys basketball team will have to find other ways to win if the Blue Devils want to return to the PIAA playoffs.
Friday night, Bellwood turned to Davis' younger brother Nathan - four times.
Nathan Davis, a freshman for the Blue Devils, missed three straight open 3-pointers with the score tied at 52. That didn't deter B-A coach Brent Gerwert to go right back to him, and Davis didn't disappoint, hitting the go-ahead trey with 58 seconds left in a 59-52 Bellwood victory.
"I was a little disappointed, because I had missed three straight from my bread and butter spot," Nathan Davis said. "But my teammates told me to keep believing in myself and that the shots would start falling, so that made me feel better about it."
One of those teammates was his brother, Noah, who is out with a wrist injury but sat on the bench with his fellow Blue Devils.
"I loved playing with my brother the first half of the season," Noah Davis said. "He missed three in a row, but I told him to just keep on shooting and just keep on shooting. That's why we go to the [recreation] center and shoot 100 shots a day. That's what you got to do, and he came through for us."
Nathan Davis' 3-pointer capped a big Blue Devil comeback to keep B-A undefeated (10-0) in the Inter-County Conference's North Division. Bellwood improved to 16-1 overall.
The Blue Devils led by five at halftime before falling behind at the end of the third quarter.
Williamsburg took advantage of several second-chance points and six 3-pointers to take a 46-38 lead.
"We started catching the ball down under and making baskets in close," Williamsburg coach Mike Farrell said. "Even if we didn't make the basket, we were getting to the foul line so that's what I was looking for us to keep doing."
Instead, the Blue Pirates went cold, and Bellwood-Antis started playing like an inspired team.
With his team sitting on the bench just before the fourth quarter, Gerwert pleaded with the Blue Devils to get back into the game.
"This game isn't over," Gerwert screamed. "You have to start playing basketball. This is just ridiculous."
With just more than six minutes to play, Bryce Young connected on a hook shot to give Williamsburg a 50-45 lead, but Bellwood held the Pirates without a field goal the rest of the way.
"The kids started to believe they could win and upped their pressure," Gerwert said. "They got hands in their faces, boxed out and got rebounds when they had to."
Eli Fay made 2-of-4 free throws on back-to-back possessions for Williamsburg to make the score 52-49 with 4:12 left but the Blue Pirates did not score again.
Bellwood finally caught Williamsburg when Kyle Bartlett made a free throw with 1:35 left, and the Blue Devils scored the final 10 points of the game.
Nathan Davis led all scorers with 16 points, and Steffen Wyland added 10 points. The Blue Devils were 18-of-23 from the foul line including Dominic Sisto's 8-for-8 performance.
"We're going to have to really come together as a team [to do well in the playoffs]," Gerwert said. "That's what we did tonight, and we have to limit teams to one shot."
Williamsburg (10-6, 7-3 in ICC North) got 14 points from Jed Dishong, 12 from Fay and 10 from Josh Morrissey.
"I think we're a quality team, and this game will help us," Farrell said. "It was a high pressure, high intensity game that we can learn from."
WILLIAMSBURG (52): Biddle 2 0-0 6, Fay 4 3-6 12, Morrissey 2 5-6 10, Dishong 6 0-2 14, Palmer 4 0-0 8, Young 1 0-1 2, Ross 0 0-0 0, Appleman 0 0-0 0. Totals - 19 8-15 52.
BELLWOOD-ANTIS (59): K. Bartlett 3 3-6 9, Sisto 0 8-8 8, Wyland 3 4-5 10, C. Worthing 3 2-2 8, S. Worthing 4 0-0 8, Na. Davis 6 1-2 16, Burget 0 0-0 0, Wilson 0 0-0 0, Burch 0 0-0 0. Totals - 19 18-23 59.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Williamsburg8 17 21 6 - 52
Bellwood-Antis10 20 8 21 - 59
3-point goals: Williamsburg 6 (Dishong 2, Biddle 2, Fay, Morrissey); Bellwood-Antis 3 (Na. Davis 3).
Officials: Mike Andrews, Tom Fountaine, Dave Reimer
Records: Williamsburg (10-6, 7-3 in ICC North); Bellwood-Antis (16-1, 10-0 in ICC North).
JV: Williamsburg, 49-34. High scorers-Owen Worthing, BA, 12; Bryce Young, W, 18.