Hollen leads Lady Devils to ICC title
CLAYSBURG – While Southern Fulton senior Macey Hollenshead has proven herself as a second-team all-state point guard, Bellwood-Antis coach Jim Swaney would choose no one over his own floor general, Ana Hollen.
Hollen led all scorers with 17 points and surpassed the 1,000-point mark for her career as Bellwood pulled away in the second half to defeat Southern Fulton, 54-37, and capture the Inter-County Conference championship at Claysburg-Kimmel High School.
“I’ve been telling everyone for a couple days that if you’re a fan of basketball with lead guards, it’s a nice game to come to,” Swaney said. “Macey Hollenshead is a very good player and a very nice kid that plays hard all the time. Ana Hollen, I wouldn’t trade her for anyone. I’m biased, but I think she’s the best.”
With Bellwood leading 39-36 near the end of the third quarter, Hollen drove to the basket and made a layup to move past 1,000 points.
Hollen added an assist on the next play when Karson Swogger made a layup of her own to increase the Bellwood lead to seven points after three quarters.
“I wanted to win first and foremost,” Hollen said. “But 1,000 [points] is icing on the cake. My teammates and family have been really supportive.”
Karson Swogger added 14 points for Bellwood, and Anna Lynn chipped in eight.
“Everyone for Bellwood is a legitimate threat,” Southern Fulton coach Terry Bard said. “I thought last year they were really good and this year they’re even better. They’re a really good team, well-coached, and they were the better team tonight.”
The first half featured seven ties and six lead changes, as Bellwood took a 29-27 lead into halftime when Swogger hit a short jump shot created by a tremendous ball fake.
The second half was a different story, as Bellwood never surrendered its halftime lead.
The Lady Blue Devils held the ICC-South champion Lady Indians to just 10 points in the half, including just a single free throw in the fourth quarter.
Hollenshead led Southern with 15 points, but was held to just three in the second half with Bailey Swogger tracking her for most of the game.
“People say we’re an offensive team,” Swaney said. “I think we can score, but we earn our money on the defensive end. We dig in and play. Bailey Swogger did a great job on Hollenshead in the second half containing her.”
The Lady Blue Devils will start the District 6 Class AA playoffs on Tuesday against Mount Union.
“I hope we get a lot of momentum [from tonight’s win],” Swaney said. “We’re a relatively young team, but we hope for a lot. We’re a little disappointed being the fifth seed [in the District 6 playoffs]. I think we’re a little better than that and we’re going to make an effort to prove that.”
SOUTHERN FULTON (37): Hollenshead 7 1-2 15, Mellott 0 1-2 1, Roman 3 4-6 10, Spade 0 0-0 0, Merchant 0 0-0 0, Smartt 0 0-0 0, Mottern 5 0-0 11. Totals – 15 6-10 37.
BELLWOOD-ANTIS (54): K. Swogger 5 1-2 14, B. Swogger 2 0-0 4, Hollen 7 2-4 17, Leamer 2 1-2 6, Damiano 1 0-0 2, Lynn 3 2-2 8, Carles 0 1-2 1. Totals – 21 7-12 54.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Southern Fulton15 12 9 1 – 37
Bellwood-Antis18 11 14 11 – 54
3-point goals: Southern Fulton 5 (K. Swogger 3, Hollen, Leamer); Bellwood-Antis 1 (Mottern).
Records: Southern Fulton (20-3); Bellwood-Antis (20-2).