Big third quarter knocks B-A out of playoffs
PHILIPSBURG – The seventh-seeded Bellwood-Antis boys basketball team trailed second-seeded Philipsburg-Osceola by only seven points at halftime of their District 6 Class 3A playoff game.
But then the Mounties hit the gas pedal and the boards.
After an icy second quarter in which the teams combined for 14 points, P-O outscored the Blue Devils by 11 points in the third quarter, outrebounded B-A by 20 for the game and rolled to a 60-39 victory on Thursday night at the P-O gymnasium.
“Bellwood is a great team, great program,” P-O coach T.J. Anderson said. “I felt like we came out and we were on fire. We wanted to make a statement tonight.”
It was the first ever home playoff win for P-O and the first playoff win since 1997.
Jeremy Whitehead, a 6-foot-5 junior, scored 17 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Ryan Whitehead, a 6-6 senior center, scored 15 points and led the Mounties (11-6) in rebounds with nine. Sophomore Jacob DeSimone poured in 16 points.
Senior guard Trenton Pellegrino led the Blue Devils (10-8) with 11 points, including three 3-point field goals.
A Ryan Whitehead dunk in the first quarter gave P-O a 15-10 lead, but B-A chipped away at the lead. Zach Mallon’s layup before the first-quarter buzzer drew B-A to within one, 17-16.
“I thought we came out of the gate really strong,” Cassidy said. “I think that’s a sign of not backing down from that height, that length, that athleticism.”
There was a four-minute span in the second quarter where both teams failed to score. P-O’s Nick Johnson ended the drought by scoring inside with 2 minutes left in the half. The Mounties led, 27-20, at halftime.
“Going into halftime, I thought we were confident,” Cassidy said. “I thought if we could keep it close going into halftime, we were going to have a great shot.”
P-O, however, went a 6-0 run to start the second half and dominated the offensive boards.
“That was one of the things that we wanted to control — the turnovers and also the glass,” Anderson said. “More opportunities for us to score if we have the ball in our hands.”
“The first three minutes of the second half really hurt us,” Cassidy said. “We’ve talked all season long about playing in three-minute spurts. We talked before we came out (for the second half) about how the first three minutes of that half was going to be so important. I thought we looked flat.
“Zach (Mallon) was hurt. We had to get him out quick because he was limping. If he goes down, then the next guy has to step up. In that stretch in the third quarter, guys just didn’t.”
A Ryan Whitehead putback, which was the third offensive rebound after the initial missed shot, gave P-O a 41-27 lead. The Mounties led, 45-27, at the end of the third quarter.
As B-A continued to miss shots, P-O extended its lead to 20 points, 47-27, on a Jeremy Whitehead layup.
B-A’s Zach Miller, a 6-6 senior who scored seven points, knocked down a 3-pointer with 5:40 left in the game to make the score 52-30.
A little more than 2 minutes later, Ryan Whitehead provided the exclamation point for his team. Guard Oliver Harpster lobbed a perfect alley-oop pass to Whitehead, who caught the ball and dunked.
The Mounties will host a semifinal game on Tuesday night against third-seeded Westmont Hilltop.
The Blue Devils will be playing in the Inter-County Conference playoffs against Southern Huntingdon at a date to be announced.
BELLWOOD-ANTIS (39): Pellegrino 4 0-0 11, Z. Miller 3 0-2 7, Z. Mallon 3 0-0 6, Morris 3 0-1 6, S. Mallon 2 1-1 5, Gibbons 2 0-1 4, Sweigert 0 0-0 0. Totals — 17 1-5 39
PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA (60): J. Whitehead 8 1-2 17, DeSimone 7 0-0 16, R. Whitehead 7 0-3 15, Harpster 2 0-1 6, Johnson 2 0-0 4, Doyle 1 0-0 2, C. Hahn 0 0-0 0, Phillippi 0 0-0 0, B. Hahn 0 0-0 0, Snyder 0 0-0 0, Putillion 0 0-0 0, Depto 0 0-0 0. Totals — 27 1-6 60
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bellwood-Antis 16 4 7 12–39
Philipsburg-Osceola 17 10 18 15–60
3-point goals: Bellwood-Antis 4 (Pellegrino 3, Z. Miller); Philipsburg-Osceola 5 (Harpster 2, DeSimone 2, R. Whitehead)
Records: Bellwood-Antis (10-8); Philipsburg-Osceola (11-6).