B-A beats Everett in 2OT

BELLWOOD — After the proverbial game in which both teams deserved to win and neither deserved to lose, Bellwood-Antis High School senior standout Trent Walker summed things up best.

“I love playing games like this,” Walker said. “This is why I love playing basketball.”

Walker scored a game-high 39 points, including 15 over two four-minute overtime periods, to lead the Blue Devils to a heart-stopping 77-76 double-overtime, Inter-County Conference non-section victory over a feisty Everett team Wednesday night at the Bellwood-Antis High School gymnasium.

“This was a big game,” Walker said. “Everett is a really good team, and they didn’t give up. I’m proud of our team for stepping up and doing what we needed to do in clutch situations to win the game. I’m proud of our team for never giving up.”

Bellwood improved to 14-4 by forcing a second overtime period after battling back from a 63-59 deficit during the first overtime to tie the score, 65-65 on Walker’s 3-point shot from the top of the circle and another 3-point Walker field goal with just four seconds left in the first OT period.

“It was an unbelievable game,” Bellwood coach Kevin Conlon said. “There was some unbelievable shot-making on the part of Trent for us, and on the part of (Everett junior guards Jared Colledge and Nathaniel Maxwell) for them.

“It was an unbelievable effort by both teams, and an unbelievable game to be a part of,” Conlon said.

In the second overtime, Bellwood senior Clay Engle drained a jumper to put the Blue Devils ahead, 67-65.

After Maxwell’s driving field goal for Everett tied the game back up at 67-67, Walker responded with a driving field goal of his own to put the Blue Devils back ahead, 69-67.

After Everett was whistled for an offensive foul, Bellwood regained possession and junior T.J. Wyland was fouled and made two of two free throws to put the Devils ahead, 71-67.

Colledge, who led Everett (10-5) with 23 points, rifled in a 3-pointer from the top of the circle to draw the Warriors to within 71-70.

Walker was fouled and made both of two free throws to put B-A ahead, 73-70, and after Bellwood regained possession following a long Everett missed field-goal try, Walker was fouled again and made both free throws again to give the Devils a 75-70 edge.

“I work on free throws every day,” said Walker, who made all seven of his foul shots Wednesday. “It’s a free shot, and you’ve got to make them when you can.”

Never-say-die Everett answered back with a Colledge 3-pointer with 37 seconds left that pulled the Warriors to within 75-73.

After an Everett steal, Colledge — who kept Everett in the game with six 3-pointers — missed a long shot and Engle grabbed the rebound for Bellwood.

Junior post Nathan Wolfe wound up being fouled with 14 seconds left, and made both free throws to give the Devils a 77-73 lead.

Colledge’s 3-pointer from the left corner with only a few seconds left made it 77-76, and that’s how it ended.

“We had a lot of dumb turnovers, but I think we stayed composed,” said Engle, who scored 17 points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds for the Blue Devils. “We pulled it together eventually, and we played well in the clutch.”

Bellwood weathered the absence of two of its front-line guards due to illness and foul disqualification, as senior Colin McCaulley filled the unsung hero’s role running the Devils’ offense.

“We showed great resilience as a team,” Conlon said.

So did Everett, which got 20 points from junior Elijah Treece and 19 from Maxwell to go along with Colledge’s 23.

“It was a great basketball game,” Everett coach Adam Phipps said. “We just came up on the short end of the stick. I thought Trent Walker had an unbelievable game, and both teams played hard, but somebody had to lose.”

Bellwood converted 18 of 21 free throws — a statistic that Phipps thought was extremely relevant.

“They made their foul shots,” Phipps said. “They deserved to win.”

The game was tied, 56-56 after regulation, as Treece had given Everett a 56-54 edge with a field goal with 25 seconds left before Walker’s driving bucket tied the score and forced overtime.

“Trent hit big 3 after big 3 and our kids just never quit,” Conlon said of Waker, who scored eight 3-pointers. “They kept pushing.”

EVERETT (76): Colledge 7 3-4 23, Maxwell 8 0-1 19, Clingerman 2 2-2 8, Treece 7 4-6 20, Grubb 2 0-0 4, Jasper 1 0-0 2, Mills 0 0-0 0, Clites 0 0-0 0. Totals — 27 9-13 76.

BELLWOOD-ANTIS (77): Walker 12 7-7 39, Engle 7 3-4 17, Worthing 1 2-2 4, Wyland 2 3-4 7, Wolfe 2 2-2 6, McCaulley 1 0-0 3, Showalter 0 1-2 1, Frederick 0 0-0 0. Totals — 25 18-21 77.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Everett 17 7 13 19 9 11 — 76

Bellwood-Antis 12 15 13 16 9 12 — 77

3-point goals: Everett 13 (Colledge 6, Maxwell 3, Clingerman 2, Treece 2); Bellwood-Antis 9 (Walker 8, McCaulley).

Records: Everett (10-5); Bellwood-Antis (14-4).

Officials: Frank Garritano, Ab Dettorre, Chris Garritano

JV: Bellwood-Antis, 30-23. High scorers–Hunter Browning, E, 7; Zach Mallon, BA, 13.

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