Leidig, Bellwood bounce back in second half
HOLLIDAYSBURG — For one half Friday night, Windber was on track to shock the state and knock off the defending PIAA Class 2A champions, Bellwood-Antis.
That didn’t set well with the Lady Blue Devils and Emilie Leidig.
The junior guard drilled six second-half 3-pointers and finished with eight treys and 28 points to help Bellwood-Antis rally from an 11-point deficit for a 70-50 victory in the first round of the PIAA playoffs at Hollidaysburg Area High School.
“The first quarter, we had no energy,” Leidig said. “I said ‘hey, we play better when we’re excited,’ and I know I play better when I’m excited, so I started taking shots, hitting shots and got everybody going.”
The Lady Blue Devils scored the last four points of the first half to go into the locker room down by seven, and then they forced five straight Windber turnovers to begin the third quarter.
Bellwood-Antis quickly used the turnovers to get the packed gymnasium on its side when Macy Decker opened the half with a 3-pointer.
“I told Macy at halftime, if you get it, shoot the ball,” Leidig said. “She hit that shot, I looked at her and stuck my tongue out, and we went from there.”
The Lady Blue Devils scored the next six points to take their first lead of the game, but Windber responded to the first run and eventually reclaimed a 34-33 lead.
That’s when Bellwood-Antis hit four 3-pointers, three by Leidig, in the final four minutes of the third quarter to take a 47-34 lead.
“We talked in the locker room about them coming out with a haymaker,” Windber coach Cory Pavlosky said. “They threw a couple. I haven’t seen shooting like that. (Leidig) went unconscious, and Campbell just picks away with points here and there. That’s hard to defend.”
Bellwood-Antis went ahead by as many as 23 before settling for a 20-point victory, but gave plenty of credit to the Lady Ramblers after the game.
“We were on the edge,” Bellwood-Antis coach Jim Swaney said. “We talked about how much we needed to establish control in the second half. I thought we did a good job of that. We took care of the ball and started pushing the ball. We played well in the second half. That’s about as well as we can play.”
Alayna Elliott led Windber with 17 points despite battling foul trouble, and Marideth Tokarsky added 14 points. Amanda Cominsky scored eight points and had 11 rebounds.
Sakeria Haralson scored 11 points and had 12 rebounds for Bellwood-Antis, which will play District 4 champion Mount Carmel on Tuesday in the second round. The Red Tornados defeated District 9 third-place finisher Clarion, 47-34.
Leidig vowed to make sure Bellwood-Antis comes out stronger in its next game before Swaney gave her a lot of the credit for Friday’s win.
“Emilie is a streak shooter, and she’s been on a hot roll,” Swaney said. “The eight 3-pointers tonight actually ties Riley D’Angelo’s school record. I’ve said this all year, Emilie is our emotional leader. None of them were happy with our performance in the first half, and she got us going.”
WINDBER (50): Elliott 8 0-1 17, Tokarsky 5 3-5 14, M. Cominsky 2 2-3 6, Leonardis 1 0-0 2, A. Cominsky 4 0-0 8, Toki 0 0-0 0, Gaye 1 0-0 3. Totals — 21 5-9 50
BELLWOOD-ANTIS (70): D’Angelo 1 0-0 3, Leidig 9 2-3 28, Campbell 9 4-6 25, Haralson 5 1-5 11, Jay. Shuke 0 0-0 0, Decker 1 0-0 3, Musselman 0 0-0 0. Totals — 25 7-14 70
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Windber 14 14 6 16 — 50
Bellwood-Antis 6 15 26 23 — 70
3-point goals: Windber 3 (Elliott, Tokarsky, Gaye); Bellwood-Antis 13 (Leidig 8, Campbell 3, Decker, D’Angelo)
Officials: Brad Martz, Jordan Forester, Pam Grimminger
Records: Windber (21-5); Bellwood-Antis (23-3).