Bellwood-Antis, Bishop McCort prebox
Bellwood-Antis (6-2) vs. Bishop McCort (6-1)
PIAA Class 2A semifinals
Teams: Bishop McCort Lady Crushers (24-4); Bellwood-Antis Lady Blue Devils (25-4).
Site, time: Altoona Area High School Fieldhouse, 6 p.m.
The coaches: Bishop McCort — John Hahn (312-134 in 16 years). Bellwood-Antis — Jim Swaney (157-28 in seven years at Bellwood-Antis; 435-222 in 25 years overall).
Playoff path: Bishop McCort — defeated Claysburg-Kimmel, 63-41, in the District 6 quarterfinals; defeated Blairsville, 37-29, in the District 6 semifinals; defeated Bellwood-Antis, 60-58, in the District 6 championship; defeated California, 60-17, in the PIAA first round; defeated Vincentian, 57-45, in the PIAA second round; defeated Bishop Guilfoyle, 46-42, in the PIAA quarterfinals. Bellwood-Antis — defeated Penns Manor, 73-41, in the District 6 quarterfinals; defeated Bishop Guilfoyle, 50-49, in the District 6 semifinals; lost to Bishop McCort, 60-58, in the District 6 championship; defeated Northern Bedford, 83-37, in the PIAA first round; defeated Chartiers-Houston, 80-66, in the PIAA second round; defeated Our Lady of Sacred Heart, 62-34, in the PIAA semifinals.
Starting lineups: Bishop McCort — G Haley Thomas (15, 5-10 sr., 23.2), G Machala Gibbons (3, 5-6 sr., 9.4), Sierra Widmar (5, 5-7 so., 7.0), G Aunna Yingling (24, 5-4 sr., 6.6), F Clara Wilson (21, 5-10 jr., 4.6). Bellwood-Antis — G Karson Swogger (3, 5-8 sr., 27.0), G Riley D’Angelo (10, 5-6 so., 6.7), G-F Alli Campbell (21, 5-10 fr., 17.8), F Makayla Carles (00, 5-8 sr., 6.5), F Sophie Damiano (11, 5-10 sr., 2.6).
Key reserves: Bishop McCort — G Mikayla Martin (13, 5-3 fr., 4.3), G Isabella Hunt (10, 5-9 fr., 3.8), G Madison Rozich (22, 5-3 so., 1.7). Bellwood-Antis — G Emilie Leidig (20, 5-6 fr., 5.4), G Tina Hollen (23, 5-7 jr., 2.7).
Who they get: The winner will play the winner of the game between Minersville (11-1) and Mahanoy Area (11-2) on Thursday at noon at Hershey’s Giant Center for the PIAA championship.
Notable: This is a rematch of this year’s District 6 final, won by McCort. … The D6 final meeting this year ended with some controversy, as there was no foul call on a Bellwood shot at one end where some believed there was contact, and then Thomas was sent to the line on the other end after one official ruled the ball out of bounds to the Lady Crushers. … The teams also met the third game of the year, with McCort coming away with a 62-55 win at the Jaffa Shrine Tournament. … Several players also saw action when the Lady Crushers topped the Lady Devils, 59-54, in overtime in the 2015 D6-2A championship. Bellwood, though, beat McCort, 66-57, when this year’s seniors were freshmen in the 2014 D6-2A semifinals. … This is just the second time Bellwood has made it to the state final four in its class. In 1990, the Lady Devils won in this round before falling to Nativity B.V.M. in the state final. … Swogger reached the 2,500-point plateau in B-A’s last game and is the all-time leading scorer, boy or girl, in Blair County. She will play her college ball at Saint Francis University with Thomas, who is Bishop McCort’s all-time leading scorer.
— Philip Cmor