Bellwood-Antis shoots past top seed PM
EBENSBURG — Top-seeded Penns Manor played its game Monday night against fourth-seeded Bellwood-Antis in the District 6 Class 2A semifinals at Central Cambria High School.
Unfortunately for the Lady Comets, that game usually results in 2-point field goals.
The Lady Blue Devils also played their brand of basketball and drilled seven first-half 3-pointers to take a 10-point lead. Bellwood-Antis controlled the game from that point and moved into the district final with a 63-45 triumph.
“If you looked at stats for both teams, we maybe have made more 3-pointers than they’ve attempted,” Bellwood-Antis coach Jim Swaney said. “We have three kids that are at least pushing 60 3s for the year, so that’s tough to defend.”
Riley D’Angelo connected on three treys, Emilie Leidig and Macy Decker each made two and Alli Campbell hit a 3-pointer on the first possession of the game.
“Bellwood is a great 3-point shooting team, and credit to them, they did a great job,” Penns Manor coach Jason Miloser said. “Defensively, we came out in man, because we wanted to try and limit those 3s, but unfortunately, they are such a great team that they still find the open shooter.”
The victory means Bellwood-Antis will get a third game against Inter-County Conference rival Juniata Valley in the district championship game at Mount Aloysius on Thursday at 6 p.m. The Lady Hornets, who split with B-A in the regular season, defeated second-seeded Blairsville, 48-31.
“It’s a game and an opponent they’re looking forward to,” Swaney said. “We’ll show up and see what happens. It will be a battle. Juniata Valley will give us everything they have. We know them, they know us, so let’s throw it up and see what happens.”
Penns Manor, which nearly met up with Bellwood-Antis in the state championship game last season before losing its PIAA Class 2A semifinal game in overtime, lost to the Lady Blue Devils for the second straight postseason. B-A won the district’s consolation game a year ago.
“We got out to a great start tonight, because we were knocking down our shots,” Campbell said. “They were going in tonight. We’re so excited to play for the district championship, and we’re looking forward to it.”
With all the shots falling, Penns Manor left Sakeria Haralson alone several times in the paint. She finished with 13 points and 14 rebounds.
“When we spread the floor, Sakeria Haralson becomes an absolute terror,” Swaney said. “She gets one-on-one situations in the post. We thought we had an advantage down there. (Penns Manor’s Kassidy) Smith is a good player, but she’s 5-foot-9, and Sakeria is 6-foot-1.”
Haralson had a double-double by the start of the fourth quarter and opened the final period with a pair of putbacks that put Bellwood-Antis up 50-34.
“The second half, we had 20 rebounds, and that was a big difference,” Swaney said.
Campbell finished with a game-high 23 points, but Miloser felt like Lady Comets senior Abby Tomayko made it hard on her.
“We told Abby, ‘you’re a senior, we’re going to depend on you,’ and I thought she played tremendous defense on Campbell,” Miloser said. “Campbell had 23, and 10 of those were at the foul line, and a lot of those were late.”
Tomayko finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Autumn Fennell led the Lady Comets with 12 points.
With Tomayko concentrating on Campbell and the Penns Manor defense collapsing on her when she drove the lane, some outside shooters were left wide open.
“I was very pleased with the minutes we got out of Macy Decker,” Swaney said. “She came in the first half and hit a couple 3s. Teams are taking the approach where they don’t guard our fifth kid. So, we need (Jaydyn) Shuke and Decker to step up and make some shots, and we got that tonight.”
Penns Manor will try to beat Blairsville for a third time this season in the consolation game, however all four semifinalists have qualified for PIAA competition. A year ago, Bellwood-Antis, Blairsville and Penns Manor all made the final four in the state.
BELLWOOD-ANTIS (63): D’Angelo 3 0-0 9, Jay. Shuke 0 2-2 2, Leidig 3 2-3 10, Campbell 6 10-12 23, Haralson 6 1-2 13, Decker 2 0-0 6, Musselman 0 0-2 0. Totals — 20 15-21 63
PENNS MANOR (45): Smith 4 2-4 10, Tomayko 5 1-2 11, Bagley 2 0-0 4, Fennell 5 1-2 12, L. Dumm 1 0-0 2, Zayachak 0 0-0 0, M. Dumm 3 0-0 6, Peterman 0 0-0 0. Totals — 20 4-8 45
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bellwood-Antis 18 17 11 17 — 63
Penns Manor 17 8 9 11 — 45
3-point goals: Bellwood-Antis 8 (D’Angelo 3, Leidig 2, Decker 2, Campbell); Penns Manor 1 (Fennell).
Officials: Tracy Cornelius, Joe Scialabba, Denny Detwiler
Records: Bellwood-Antis (21-3); Penns Manor (21-2).