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Big Shots No. 17

Last one standing

February 29, 2008
The Altoona Mirror
This is the fourth in a 20-day series on the biggest shots in Blair County high school basketball over the last 50 years. The Mirror is counting down one per day until Sunday, March 16.

—Buck Frank

Player: Amanda Smith, Bellwood-Antis

Opponent: Southern Huntingdon

Date: Monday, March 8, 1999

Site: Altoona Area High School Fieldhouse

Setting the scene: Bellwood-Antis, which was 8-7 at one point in the season, came into the District 6 Class AA championship game with an 18-8 mark against top-seeded Southern Huntingdon, a team B-A had lost to twice during the season.

The shot: With the game tied 50-50 in double overtime and Southern working for a final shot, Bellwood’s Kim Potts came up with the ball and threw an outlet pass to Smith at midcourt. With Southern’s Amanda Zinobile chasing her, Smith put in the winning basket with two seconds left.

Mirror excerpt from Tuesday, March 9, 1999: “Wow,’’ [B-A coach Missy] Tyler said. “These kids ... they never give up and they never give up and they never give up. What, three overtimes?’’ No, Coach. Two. “Well, it felt like four.’’ — Philip Cmor.

(To view the entire original article from this game, go to


—Smith: “Both teams were extremely exhausted, but I knew we had the heart to win. Kim Potts managed to grab the ball, threw it to me and I took off. At that point I didn’t know how much time was left on the clock, but I went as hard as I could to the basket.’’

—Tyler: “Those two [Potts and Smith] had done that a few times during the season, and as soon as Amanda got the ball, I was thinking, ‘just one more time.’ I knew Amanda could outrun the other girl. After she got the ball at halfcourt, I think it only took her two dribbles to get to the basket.’’

Aftermath: Smith’s OT heroics continued. A free throw and layup helped Bellwood pull out 44-43 and 54-51 OT wins over Brentwood and Cambridge Springs, respectively, in the state playoffs before succumbing to Girard in the Western semis. Currently, Smith is a speech-language pathologist for the Delaware Valley School District and coaches elementary basketball.

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