Easier ‘W’ this time for B-A
BELLWOOD — Earlier in the season, the Bellwood-Antis girls basketball team had to rally from 12 points down in the fourth quarter to squeeze out a two-point win over Claysburg-Kimmel.
There was no need for a late rally Thursday night.
Bellwood built a 14-point halftime lead over Claysburg this time around and went on to an 84-60 victory, clinching its eighth straight Inter-County Conference North title in the process.
Junior Alli Campbell poured in 35 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the senior night win that capped an 18-3 regular season campaign for the Lady Devils.
Bellwood took the early lead when Campbell and Riley D’Angelo knocked down 3-pointers on two of the team’s first three possessions, but Claysburg tied the game 13-13 when Megan Hartman went coast-to-coast with a defensive rebound at the 2:15 mark of the opening quarter.
Bellwood regained the lead seconds later on a Sakeria Haralson bucket and did not relinquish it the rest of the way.
“We talked about how we didn’t think they could score with us,” B-A coach Jim Swaney said. “They’re a very good basketball team, and they have a lot of shooters on that team. You have to stay down. You have to stay disciplined. You’ve got to be ready to help at all times, get your hands high and in the shooter’s face.”
Campbell’s bucket on the fast break off a Claysburg turnover put Bellwood up 19-15 at the close of the first quarter, and the Lady Devils scored seven of the first 10 points in the second quarter to open up a double-digit lead.
Haralson, playing in her second game after being out injured, spent most of the second quarter on the bench with three fouls, but Bellwood didn’t miss a beat, extending the lead to 14 by halftime.
“Liv Musselman gave us some great minutes,” Swaney said. “It really stunk going five, six games without Sakeria. The silver lining in all of that was that Liv Musselman got a lot more minutes, and she developed her game a little more than she would have otherwise.”
Haralson scored 11 of her 17 points in the second half and finished with nine rebounds.
Hartman opened the second half with a 3-pointer, and Rebekah Claar followed with a fast-break bucket that trimmed the Bellwood to nine, but Campbell scored eight straight points to quickly put the Lady Devils back up by 17.
After a layup off a pass from Haralson, Campbell hit a trey then made a layup off a steal near midcourt that turned into a 3-point play.
“We weren’t in the right spots on defense, and Alli got some open opportunities,” C-K coach Jess Veverka said. “We missed some opportunities. We had some turnovers, missed some layups and gave them some open shots on defense.”
Haralson’s 3-point play later in the quarter put Bellwood up 20, and the Lady Devils closed out the win with a 22-point fourth quarter.
D’Angelo finished with 13 points, and Emilie Leidig added 11 points.
Rebekah Claar and Olivia Locke finished with 13 points apiece to lead Claysburg. Emily Claar scored 12 points, and Hartman had 10.
Bellwood and Juniata Valley finished tied for first place in the ICC North at 13-1. They split their two meetings this year. The Lady Devils larger margin of victory in its win gives them the tiebreaker.
Bellwood plays Everett for the fifth straight year in the ICC championship a week from Saturday at Claysburg-Kimmel High School. Everett clinched the ICC South Thursday with a 69-42 win over Tussey Mountain.
Bellwood defeated the Lady Warriors 80-53 earlier this season, and the Lady Devils have downed Everett in three of the previous four championship games. Prior to that, Bellwood played Southern Fulton in the title game three straight years, winning twice
Claysburg fell to 13-4 on the season, 7-4 in ICC North play. The Lady Bulldogs still have four regular season games to play prior to the District 6 2A playoffs.
CLAYSBURG-KIMMEL (60): Hartman 3 2-3 10, Kennedy 0 0-0 0, Locke 5 3-4 13, R. Claar 4 5-6 13, E. Claar 4 3-4 12, Garver 3 3-6 9, Carson 1 1-3 3. Totals — 20 17-26 60.
BELLWOOD-ANTIS (84): D’Angelo 4 3-4 13, Shuke 2 0-0 4, Leidig 4 0-0 11, Campbell 12 7-7 35, Haralson 7 3-6 17, Decker 0 0-0 0, Musselman 1 2-2 4. Totals — 30 15-18 84.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Claysburg-Kimmel 15 9 19 17 — 60
Bellwood-Antis 19 19 24 22 — 84
3-point goals: Claysburg-Kimmel 3 (Hartman 2, E. Claar); Bellwood-Antis 9 (D’Angelo 2, Leidig 3, Campbell 4).
Records: Claysburg-Kimmel (13-4, 7-4 ICC North); Bellwood-Antis (18-3, 13-1 ICC North).
JV: No game.