Season ends for B-A girls in first round
PLUM – In the postseason, extra chances equal elimination.
The young Bellwood-Antis girls basketball team learned that lesson Friday night.
Burrell took advantage of bonus opportunities to post a 65-46 win over the Lady Blue Devils in a PIAA Class AA first-round game at Plum High School.
“They killed us on the glass. We had them down for over 40 second-chance points. That’s just too many,” Bellwood-Antis coach Jim Swaney said. “Between the second-chance points and we committed six turnovers above the foul line, which led to easy layups, that’s 45 or 46 that you’re handing them. In a game like this, it’ll kill you and it killed us tonight.”
The Lady Buccaneers (23-3) take on Sharpsville, a 38-32 winner over Brookville, in Tuesday’s second round at a time and site to be determined by the PIAA.
“It’s always nice to have the opportunity to keep playing,” Burrell coach Meighan Ziemianski said. “After that last loss (55-19 to Bishop Canevin in District 7 semifinals), we had a bad taste in our mouths. We definitely didn’t want to end on that note, for sure.”
Bellwood Antis (24-3) struggled to find its offensive rhythm in the first quarter, but only trailed 10-6.
“We took a lot of first shots off the pass and things we haven’t done all year, but we did tonight,” Swaney said. “They are kids. Their effort is there; we are still very young and we’ll learn from it and get better.”
The Lady Blue Devils’ defense provided a spark as their full-court press wreaked havoc and created some easy baskets off turnovers. That jolt fueled Bellwood-Antis to a 16-14 lead when Bailey Swogger completed her three-point play with 5:07 left in the first half.
Burrell forced a 19-all tie and used its defense to close the half on an 8-0 run to post a 27-19 halftime lead. The Lady Buccaneers forced five turnovers and turned four into baskets.
Bellwood-Antis won the third quarter, 15-14, to trim its deficit to 41-36 at the buzzer.
In the frame, the Lady Blue Devils got within three points, 38-35, on a Lindsey Mercer hoop, but Erika Finn answered with a trey to push the margin to five.
The game remained close, 44-40, early in the fourth quarter, but the Burrell offense came alive and closed the stanza with a 21-6 run.
Lady Buccaneers sophomore point guard Sydney Bordonaro led all scorers with 27 points.
“She was killing us. She is a very good player. She was hurting us with her penetration,” Swaney said. “She probably also had six or seven assists to go with that point total. She certainly broke us down defensively and hurt us with her shot and her passing ability.”
Katy Leamer paced Bellwood-Antis with 16 points. Ana Hollen added 12, while Swogger finished with nine.
“We have great kids and they play hard. It just wasn’t meant to be tonight. We’ll bounce back from that. We’re young,” Swaney said. “We’re going to miss our seniors, Lindsey Mercer and Katy Leamer, immensely. They are great seniors and leaders. With some seniors, when they leave your program, you worry about them. With those two, I don’t have to worry about them. They are solid kids and even better people than they are players.
“We have a lot of good talent coming in and we think we can make some noise. It was a learning experience tonight and, hopefully, we’ll learn from it and get better.”
BELLWOOD-ANTIS (46): Hollen 2 7-8 12, Ka. Leamer 7 1-2 16, Swogger 3 3-3 9, Ke. Leamer 1 0-0 3, Damiano 2 0-0 4, Mercer 1 0-2 2, Finn 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 11-15 46.
BURRELL (65): Manga 2 0-0 4, Cercone 1 1-1 3, Bordonaro 11 4-4 27, Oddis 3 0-0 6, Myers 6 4-8 16, Finn 3 2-4 9. Totals 26 11-17 65.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bellwood-Antis 6 15 15 10 – 46
Burrell 10 17 14 24 – 65
3-pointers: Bellwood-Antis 3 (Hollen, Ka. Leamer, Ke. Leamer). Burrell 2 (Bordonaro, Finn)
Records: Bellwood-Antis (24-3); Burrell (23-3).
Officials: Bunny Fadgrski, George Malinoski, Dana Withers.