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Bald Eagle tops Bellefonte in Monday night girls rivalry

By Kenny Varner

WINGATE – This chapter belongs to Bald Eagle Area.

The Bald Eagle girls basketball team opened the week hosting their cross-county rival, Bellefonte.

Though the Red Raiders battled throughout the contest, it just wasn’t enough to keep up with a high-tempo offensive game of the Eagles.

Sybil Thompson could not be stopped in this night as she exploded for five triples en route to netting a game-high 33 points in the Lady Eagles’ 60-37 Laurel Highland victory.

“We went kinda back to old school with those girls. Two years ago their offense was their defense said Bald Eagle Area coach Mike Habovick. “That’s something we have to start pushing now. We should have been doing that since day one. from here out we are going to be a defensive minded team. We are going to get our offense from the defensive side of the court.”

Teammate Gabby Perry netted 14 points as the Eagles’ second high scorer.

Despite the loss, the Lady Raiders got a double-double from Keara Whitman. Whitman pulled down 11 rebounds while finishing with a 16-point effort.

The two teams battled on the boards with a 30-22 advantage going to the side of Bellefonte.

“We fought hard. A lot of our open shots didn’t fall“ said Bellefonte coach Marrisa Ward. “Again, I am proud of my girls for fighting hard and never giving up.”

Offensively, the Eagles started the contest forcing Bellefonte into early turnovers that Bald Eagle would take advantage of.

Addisyn Burns picked up the Eagles first points, going 2-for-2 from the free throw line.

After a missed bucket, Bald Eagle pushed the ball up the court, getting the ball to Perry. Perry was hacked going up for the shot. She hit 1-of-2 from the charity stripe.

The Lady Eagles made it 5-0 as Thompson took the ball in on a fast break.

But with one flick of the wrist, the Red Raiders were back in the contest. Madison Ripka lined up her shot from beyond the arc and hit nothing but net, cutting the Eagles’ lead to 5-3.

But the Lady Eagles had an answer to the triple when the home team worked the ball down to Thompson once again. She hit from beyond the three-point line, upping the lead to 8-3.

Bellefonte got it to a 3-point deficit when Talia Cotter stopped and popped a field goal.

After forcing a turnover on the Eagles end, Bellefonte tied things at eight on a second triple by Ripka with 3:32 left in the period.

Bald Eagle once again had an answer. They got the ball to Perry once again and she let it rip for the trey and was successful to put her team ahead 11-8.

The Lady Eagles used that shot for momentum and outscored Bellefonte 5-1 the rest of the until, taking a 16-10 advantage with 3:00 left in the period.

All five points for the Eagles came from Thompson.

Bellefonte ended the scoring thanks two consecutive shots by Maria Cotter and Ripka, ending the first trailing 16-12.

Coming out of the first, the Eagles offense continued to attack the Red Raiders defense.

The Eagles went on a 14-0 run to start the second, extending its lead to 30-12.

In the run, the Eagles got seven points from Thompson and four from Perry. Rounding out the scorers was three from Olivia Boone.

Its defense smothered the Lady Raiders offense, containing them to only four in the period.

When the buzzer sounded, the Lady Eagles held a 32-16 advantage.

In the third, the Eagles continued its strong shooting, outscoring Bellefonte 18-10.

Playing for pride, led by Whitman, the Lady Raiders were able to outscore the Eagles in the final stanza 11-10.

However, Bellefonte ran out of time as the Eagles took the home victory in front of the home crowd.

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