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BEA boys drop close on the Bellwood

By Kenny Varner

WINGATE – As of late, the Bald Eagle Area boys basketball team has been finding its Ruth’s and gaining confidence.
Much like last week when the Eagles played two tough teams down to the final minutes, the scrappy kids from Wingate again found themselves in a battle with a top team in Bellwood-Antis.
The games’ pace was one of a track meet at times and both teams were hitting from all around the front court.
However, a late fourth quarter scoring spurt by Bellwood meant defeat for the battling Eagles, falling 79-66.
Jaden and Jordan Jones led the way for Bald Eagle Area as they both finished with a 22-point effort.
Both Jones’ attack the hoop and were tough on the foul line.
The two got some help from the inside presence of Mark Eminhizer. Though he played sparingly, he was a tough spot in the middle and collected six points while playing a major role in the defense.
Parker Hildebrand and Blake Roberts also chipped in six apiece and helped keep the Eagles’ offense firing when they needed a momentum changing shot.
Bellwood-Antis was led by the versital play of Joe Padula. Padula hit from the inside, hit from beyond the arc, hit from the middle en route to a game- high 25 points.
Teammates Clay Eagle and Trent Walker both finished in double figures as well with 13. Walker kicked in four triples in the game for the visitors.
“This is three in a row. We told him in there just to keep playing hard, we got four games left. We’re getting better. Unfortunately, it took us too long to get to this point,” Bald Eagle coach Bill Butterworth said. “It’s all coming together and hopefully there are good things ahead for us. Unfortunately were playing well when we’re running into teams like the Bellwood’s, Clearfield and teams like that. We play at Huntington and central tough last week we had a good game here tonight. Things are starting to come around. A couple weeks ago we were sitting there wondering when this was going to change and I think now I’m seeing progress. I’m disappointed but I’m seeing progress.”
Coming out at the half, Bald Eagle trailed by 42-38.
Bellwood open the third quarter collecting a bucket from English and then a tough runner by Padula, upping the lead to 46-38.
But the Eagles scrapped their way back in the game and took the lead for the first time as it went on a 9-0 runs.
The scoring run was sparked by two old-fashioned three point shots by Jordan Jones and then a triple by Roberts, giving the home crowd something to celebrate as Bellwood was forced to call a time out with the Eagles ahead 47-46.
After the time out, Padula put his team back up by one on a soft jumper.
But back came the young Eagles as Jaden Jones was a perfect 2-of-2 from the line and Jordan Jones hit field goal off an in Linda pass to put Bald Eagle up 51-48 with 2:21 left in the period.
Unfortunately, the Bellwood offense started to heat up once again and ended the quarter on a 10-0, ending with a three-point free throw mark by Padula after the buzzer.
Going into the final stanza, the Eagles trailed by seven, 58-51.
But that would be as close as the Eagles would get on this night as Bellwood outscored Bald Eagle Area 21-15 en route to the victory.
In the opening quarter, the two came out like gangbusters on offense as the two combined for 34 points.
Bellwood took the slim 19-15 advantage as the buzzer sounded for the second quarter.
Both teams were sizzling in the second quarter as they both put up a 23-point effort to put the halftime score at 42-38.
“I know these kids are capable there just young,” Butterworth said.
Bald Eagle fell just short in the JV game as well, losing in an overtime thriller.

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