Blue Pirates take down B-A
WILLIAMSBURG — Coming off its first Inter-County Conference loss to West Branch earlier this week, Williamsburg was in need of a little pick-me-up.
The Blue Pirates certainly got that Thursday when they knocked off Bellwood-Antis, 56-37. The Blue Devils came into the game undefeated in ICC play through six games.
“We went back to some basics the last couple nights in practice,” Williamsburg coach Brock Anders said. “We worked on fundamental offense and attacking the basket. We worked on confidence with our shots, because we didn’t shoot real well at West Branch. We questioned our energy a little bit, and I thought we came out with a lot more energy tonight, particularly the defensive end of the court.”
Williamsburg used full-court pressure to fluster Bellwood-Antis into several costly turnovers. Though the total number was not that high, most were live-ball turnovers that led directly to Blue Pirate layups.
Lambert Palmer finished with a double-double on 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Jared McCall added six points and 11 rebounds off the bench for Williamsburg. Josiah Dowey led the Blue Pirates with 14 points.
“Our depth is a real big key,” Anders said. “We have a lot of different guys that can play, and I thought Jared McCall came off the bench with Shane Brantner in some foul trouble and made some big plays around the basket. We spread them out, kept their poise and kept them at bay.”
The game went back-and-forth early before Williamsburg used an 8-0 run to take an 18-10 lead after one quarter.
The Blue Pirates increased their lead to 12 early in the second quarter on a heads-up play by Dylan James. The senior was inbounding the ball under the basket and tossed it off a Bellwood player’s back to himself for an easy layup.
“I try to think fast when I take the ball out,” James said. “That’s my primary role on the team, taking the ball out. I saw him turned, and I’ve done it before. It seemed like the perfect opportunity, so I just thought, I’ll do it.”
The Blue Pirates went up by as many as 17 points in the third quarter after Palmer’s traditional three-point play, but he was called for a technical foul during the celebration. It sparked a 7-0 Bellwood run to end the third quarter.
“I thought their kids wanted it more than ours,” Bellwood-Antis coach Patrick Cassidy said. “I thought we didn’t execute our stuff well, but that goes back to the physical nature they were playing with and the pressure they were putting on us. We didn’t handle it well early, but we fought our way back into it.”
Adam Uplinger, another senior on a team that won just three games a year ago, made sure Bellwood’s run stopped there. He scored six straight points, including a pair of steals for layups, during an 11-0 run to start the fourth quarter that put the game away.
The victory pulled Williamsburg into a tie at the top of the ICC North with the Blue Devils.
“They are the pillar of this league,” Anders said. “They are well coached and play a disciplined style. Our guys strive to be them, and to be able to beat them tonight is a tribute to our guys and our work the past couple of months to win these type of games.”
Troy Walker led Bellwood-Antis with 15 points, and Zach Mallon added 10 points.
“I don’t think we played our best game tonight,” Cassidy said. “With that said, I don’t think they did either. We watched a lot of film on them, and they are a good team. We know how they’re going to play, but we couldn’t handle it tonight. We have to go back to the drawing board and get better.”
BELLWOOD-ANTIS (37): Gibbons 0 5-7 5, Walker 4 6-9 15, Z. Mallon 2 5-6 10, Pellegrino 0 0-0 0, Miller 2 1-2 5, S. Mallon 0 0-0 0, Morris 1 0-0 2. Totals — 9 17-24 37.
WILLIAMSBURG (56): Dowey 5 1-2 14, Palmer 4 3-5 11, Uplinger 4 0-1 8, James 3 0-0 7, Brantner 0 0-0 0, Wansley 1 1-3 3, W. McCall 1 1-4 3, Hileman 1 0-0 2, J. McCall 3 0-0 6, Kunsman 1 0-0 2. Totals — 23 6-15 56.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bellwood-Antis 10 9 14 4 — 37
Williamsburg 18 9 16 13 — 56
3-point goals: Bellwood-Antis 2 (Walker, Z. Mallon); Williamsburg 4 (Dowey 3, James).
Officials: Rick Dillon, Jack McDougal, John Sloas
Records: Bellwood-Antis (6-6, 6-1 in ICC North); Williamsburg (8-3, 6-1 in ICC North).
JV: Williamsburg, 44-41, OT. High scorers–Tyler Mercer, BA, 9; Aidan Frew, W, 14.