Bellefonte blanks Bearcats in 3A semifinals
WINGATE — All season, Bellefonte has relied on the strength of its defense, and Monday night’s District 6 Class 3A semifinal match was no exception.
The Red Raiders’ defense pitched its fifth shutout of the season to drop the Huntingdon Bearcats, 1-0.
“We did what we wanted to do,” Bellefonte coach Scott Martz said. “We wanted to come in, defensively, and play a good game defensively. We wanted to keep them outside of the 18 and we did a good job of that.”
Bellefonte’s Evan Nyquist scored the game’s lone goal in the second half following a throw in. Teammate Seth Johnson threw the ball in and Nyquist headed the ball in past Huntingdon goalkeeper Issac Snare for the score with 19:57 remaining in the game.
Nyquist’s goal was the game-clincher and sends the Red Raiders back to the district 6 championship game this season to face Hollidaysburg on Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. at Mansion Park.
“It feels amazing,” Nyquist said on being able to set his team up in a rematch of the district championship game last season. “I’ve wanted this for a long time to get back to Hollidaysburg for the championship game. It’s going to be great game.”
Bellefonte coach Scott Mart was also impressed by Nyquist’s goal, as well as Seth Johnson’s throw in to set up the score.
“It was great,” Bellefonte coach Scott Martz said of the goal. “Seth Johnson had a great throw.”
A halftime adjustment led to Nyquist’s goal. Martz stressed to his squad they needed to be more aggressive on the throw-ins and the team heeded its coach’s advice.”
“I told these guys at halftime ‘you’ve got to crash that goal in the throw-ins,’ and Evan crashed it and put it in the back of the net for the win for us,” Martz said.
Bellefonte out-shot Huntingdon, 10-3, as the Red Raider offense dictated the tempo for the majority of the game. The game plan for the Red Raiders heading in was to keep the ball on the perimeter to allow their wings to utilize the athleticism and skill to create scoring opportunities.
“Offensively, we wanted to control the middle of the field, and push the ball outside to our wings,” Martz said. “Once we got the ball to the wings we knew we could beat these guys. Every time we got the ball outside, we got a good look and a chip-back inside for shots. We had a couple shots in the first half I thought we should’ve scored on and hit the crossbar a couple of times.”
Bellefonte’s stingy defense regulated Huntingdon to just three shots-on-goal in the game. The low number was a recurring theme for Huntingdon in 2017 as they were held scoreless in seven games this year. Their season-high was just three goals against Tyrone back on Sept. 12.
“We didn’t have possession of the ball very much,” Huntingdon coach Phil Hawkins said on the lack of offensive production. “And we’re not a goal-scoring team,” he added. “We’ve not been a goal-scoring team all year.”
SCORE BY HALVES
Huntingdon 0 0 – 0
Bellefonte 0 1 — 0
Second half: B–Nyquist, 19:57 remaining.
Shots on goal: Huntingdon 3, Bellefonte 10.