Devils earn 17th victory, knocking off Titans

BELLWOOD – The Bellwood-Antis boys basketball team has enjoyed quite a turnaround in the 2014-15 season.

It ended the regular season 17-5 following Thursday night’s 62-48 victory over Tussey Mountain at Bellwood-Antis High School.

Last year, the Blue Devils finished the regular season 5-17, and the team set 10-12 wins as its goal for the season.

That all changed when they reached the ceiling.

“After we hit that 12-game plateau, we put our goals a little bit higher,” Bellwood-Antis coach Brent Gerwert said. “Going from 5-17 to 17-5 is a tribute to these kids buying into what we have to do to win games.”

The second quarter was a back-and-forth affair as Tussey at one point led by two possessions with just less than one minute to play. Parker Cornelius led the charge with eight of his team-high 19 points to put the Titans ahead 28-24.

“We were standing, and we weren’t moving offensively (in the second),” Gerwert said. “We have a good group of six, seven guys that can shoot the ball, and we have to trust each other and continue to do it.”

Bellwood, though, got the final five points of the opening half, capped off by a buzzer-beater from just inside the arc by Trent Walker. That gave the Devils a 29-28 halftime lead.

“We come back and took the lead, but then we don’t finish,” Tussey Mountain coach Dave Bailey said. “We were up four with a minute to go. They scored five points in the last minute to go up one at the half.”

The Blue Devils pulled away in the third powered by two three-point plays by Ethan McGee at the 5:37 mark and Nathan Davis with 38 seconds to go.

Davis scored nine points in the third and led all scorers for Bellwood with 31 points. Jake Burch grabbed 11 rebounds, and Noah D’Angelo chipped in with 10.

“We shot the ball well, but then we also limited them to one shot,” Gerwert said. “This is the first time we rebounded well as a team the whole year.”

The Blue Devils also outshot Tussey 26-17 from the field, despite allowing 10 3-pointers by the Titans.

While Cornelius struggled in the third, Mitchell hit two of his five 3-pointers. Tussey, though, trailed 51-41 at the end of the quarter.

“They’re dead-on shooters,” Gerwert said. “We had hands in their face, and they were hitting some tough shots, some deep shots.

“This was a good team to go against going into the ICC championship game (Saturday against Southern Fulton at Claysburg-Kimmel High School) and the playoffs.”

Bellwood held Tussey big man Andrew Bithell to just three points and nine rebounds.

“Up until the middle of the third quarter we played well,” Bailey said. “(Bithell) couldn’t get it in the hole.”

TUSSEY MOUNTAIN (48): Mitchell 6 1-2 17, Bithell 1 1-2 3, Cornelius 7 1-2 19, Leonard 2 0-0 4, Black 1 0-0 3, Sitch 0 2-2 2. Totals – 17 5-8 48.

BELLWOOD-ANTIS (62): Davis 13 1-1 31, Burch 2 1-2 5, McGee 2 1-1 5, Taneyhill 1 0-0 2, Padula 4 0-0 9, D’Angelo 3 0-0 8, Walker 1 0-0 2, Setzer 0 0-0 0, Schultz 0 0-0 0, Wood 0 0-0 0, Zheng 0 0-0 0, Worthing 0 0-0 0. Totals – 26 3-4 62.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Tussey Mountain12 16 13 6 – 48

Bellwood-Antis17 12 22 11 – 62

3-point goals: Tussey Mountain 10 (Mitchell 5, Cornelius 4, Black); Bellwood-Antis 7 (Davis 4, Padula, D’Angelo 2).

Records: Tussey Mountain (14-8); Bellwood-Antis (17-5).

JV: No game.