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Bald Eagles take first step for late season run

Bald Eagle 73, Huntingdon 54

HU       9 10 15 20 – 54

 

 

By Kenny Varner

 

WINGATE –The road to the post season began Friday night for the Bald Eagle boys basketball team. Sporting a 6-9 record going into the contest, the Eagles were looking to put all the pieces together against a visiting Huntingdon team led by inside threat Kobren Frederick.

After going 1-5 in their last six games, the Eagles may look back to this game as the contest that started them on their way to a post season appearance.

Make that 7-9 after their impressive victory Friday.

Bald Eagle did not look the worst for wear on the evening as it came out playing very patient and very alert on offense. Its defense also came out and made its presence known, holding the Bearcats to single-digit scoring in the first quarter, in the end the Ealges put on a scoring clinic from outside-in, defeating the Bearcats in impressive fashion 73-54 in front of the home crowd.

“We rose up a little tonight and played a better defense and played together and spread the ball around. We came out pretty well on offense as well,” said Bald Eagle coach Bill Butterworth. “We’re pretty much on a playoff run right now. School policy is that you have to close or at .500 to make the playoffs and we’re 6-9 going into tonight. So we put a lot pressure. This is our playoff run. We are in a playoff game every night now. We play again tomorrow. We travel to Punxsutawney. They rose up and played a super game tonight, all of them.”

Bald Eagle distributed the ball well on offense as four players ended up posting double-digit scoring in the contest.

Jason Jones led the offense as he got hot in the second half, scoring 14 of his game-high 18-point performance in the victory.

Teammates Brandon Gettig and Trey Butterworth followed up Jones performance with both reaching 16 points.

Rounding out the double-digit scorers was power forward Noah Chambers with 11.

“They played together. They made the outside game make the inside game work.When the inside guys were open we got them the ball,” Butterworth said. “It was really nice.”

Huntingdon found itself down early on but tried to make a second half comeback.

Leading the way for the Bearcats was Frederick with a 14-point, 11-rebound game, good enough for a double-double.

Teammates Matt Speck and Nate Gearhart rounded things out with both posting 13 points in a losing effort.

In the first quarter, the Eagle broke out to an early lead and never looked back after going toe-to-toe with Huntingdon for much of the period. When the buzzer sounded, the Eagles, thanks to a triple by Chambers and Butterworth with under a minute left, giving Bald Eagle a 15-9 advantage going into the second period.

Opening up the second quarter, Bald Eagle’s Butterworth was at again, posting his second trey of the game, upping the BEA lead to 18-9.

From there, the Eagles started to heat up offensively by going on a 12-4 run. Highlighting the run was a triple by Gettig and Jordan Jones, making it 30-13 with 2:12 left until the intermission.

When the buzzer sounded ending the first half, the Eagles found themselves with a comfortable 37-19 advantage.

With the first half tempo in the hands of Bald Eagle, the home team’s confidence grew with every bucket on offense and every turnover it produced on defense.

Huntingdon refused to go away without a fight. Like with most good teams, the Bearcats had a run in them in the third quarter and opened with a 7-4 run, cutting the lead to 42-27.

After a Bald Eagle time out, the Eagles came out and took back control of the momentum and the tempo of the game.

BEA evaded a soft full court press, a hard full court press and even double teams and continued to put points on the board in the third, keeping pace with Huntingdon and outscored them 17-15 to take a 54-34 advantage going into the final stanza.

Despite Huntingdon outscoring Bald Eagle 20-19 in the final period, it would be too little too late as Bald Eagle went onto the 19-point victory.

In the JV contest, the Bearcats came out victorious.

Bald Eagle will be back in action today as they take the long trip to Punxsutawney.

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