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Lady Dragons give Bellwood-Antis a scare

TYRONE — Close only counts in horseshoes and … well, you know how the saying goes.

After Friday night’s opening round in the ninth annual Reliance Bank Holiday Tournament against Bellwood-Antis, Central girls basketball coach Rob Mock wasn’t interested in being close.

Mock’s Lady Dragons put a huge scare into two-time PIAA state champion Bellwood-Antis, but the Lady Blue Devils — as they usually do — found a way and held on for a 58-56 victory.

“I told the girls when we came in here that this is a good opportunity to compete,” Mock said. “They’re a great team. Alli Campbell is a great player … a special player, but we kept ourselves there.

“We probably led most of the game and gave ourselves an opportunity (to win).”

A pair of 3-pointers by Macy Decker gave B-A a 17-15 lead after the first quarter, but Central grabbed a 28-25 lead at the half as sophomore Leah Johnston scored nine.

“Leah Johnston stepped up big,” Mock said. “She knocked down some shots.”

Johnston and post player Kylie Metzger pushed the Dragons on top 36-33 in the third before B-A rallied to take a 39-38 lead into the fourth period.

Campbell, one of the state’s premier players who is headed to Notre Dame, put the game in her own hands in the fourth quarter and scored 12 of her game-high 33 points in the final session.

The Devils opened a 47-42 advantage only to see the Dragons cut it to 53-51 on a Madison Eicher basket at the two-minute mark.

Free throws by Jaydyn Shuke, Chelsea McCaulsky and Campbell enabled B-A to keep a slight edge down the stretch. McCaulsky, a freshman, also came up with a couple key rebounds late.

Central, whose only other loss was to Penns Manor, fell to 5-2 and will play Penn Cambria in today’s consolation game.

“I’m proud of the girls,” Mock said. “We have to continue to build, but I can’t say enough about how the girls played.

“I’m really excited about how we played, but we came to win.”

Bellwood coach Jim Swaney gave kudos to Central’s performance.

“We knew they were going to spread the floor … give them credit,” Swaney said. “They played far better than we’ve seen them play. We had them on film a couple times and they didn’t shoot the ball well. Tonight, they did.

“Metzger. That’s the best I’ve seen her play. And, all of their guards were much more aggressive with their hands. They’ve lost some key players (to injuries), but they’re finding a way. They’re good athletes and well coached.”

Swaney didn’t lose sight that his Lady Devils are now 6-0.

“A win is a win and I don’t want to fall short of that,” Swaney said, “especially against a team that was 5-1. They’re a good basketball team.”

Bellwood-Antis will play Tyrone for the girls championship tonight.

Tyrone overcame a 19-9 first-quarter deficit with 24 points in the second quarter in its 58-51 win over Penn Cambria.

Emma Getz (15 points), Jaida Parker (12 points) and Stephanie Ramsey (10) all reached double figures for the Lady Eagles.

Lora Davis scored a game-high 17 points for Penn Cambria.

BELLWOOD-ANTIS 58, CENTRAL 56

CENTRAL (56): Metzger 5 6-7 16, Eicher 5 2-6 13, Heuston 1 2-3 4, T. Longenecker 3 0-0 6, Johnston 6 2-2 15, Oakes 0 0-0 0, Miller 1 0-0 2. Totals — 21 12-18 56.

BELLWOOD-ANTIS (58): Campbell 13 5-10 33, Haralson 1 2-2 4, Leidig 3 1-4 9, Decker 3 0-0 8, Jaydn Shuke 1 1-2 3, McCaulsky 0 1-2 1, McCracken 0 0-0 0, Musselman 0 0-0 0. Totals — 21 10-20 58.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Central 15 13 10 18 — 56

Bellwood-Antis 17 8 14 19 — 58

3-point goals: Central 2 (Eicher, Johnston); Bellwood-Antis 6 (Campbell 2, Leidig 2, Decker 2).

Officials: Ray Wotkowski, Randy Burkett, Sean Albright.

Records: Central (5-2); Bellwood-Antis (6-0).

TYRONE 58, PENN CAMBRIA 51

PENN CAMBRIA (51): Maccia 0 0-0 0, M. Saleme 2 3-6 9, O’Donnell 1 2-2 5, Kunsman 4 1-3 9, Lilly 3 2-3 8, Davis 7 0-1 17, Hite 0 2-2 2, H. Saleme 0 0-0 0, Robatin 0 0-0 0, Shuayis 0 0-0 0, Corneu 0 1-2 1. Totals–17 11-19 51.

TYRONE (58): Ramsey 3 1-1 10, Fusco 1 0-0 3, Shaw 3 2-2 9, Getz 5 2-4 15, Parker 3 6-7 12, Gibbons 3 3-8 9, Lewis 0 0-0 0, Saltsgiver 0 0-0 0, Johner 0 0-0 0, Brodzina 0 0-0 0, Kohler 0 0-0 0. Totals–18 14-22 58.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Penn Cambria 19 10 11 11–51

Tyrone 9 24 11 14–58

3-point goals: Penn Cambria 6 (M. Saleme 2, Davis 3, O’Donnell); Tyrone 6 (Ramsey 3, Fusco, Shaw, Getz)

Records: Tyrone (5-1); Penn Cambria (3-4).

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