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Bellefonte and PO battle in Mountain League high scoring affair

By Kenny Varner

BELLEFONTE – The Bellefonte gym had an electric feel to it when the Philipsburg-Osceola boys basketball team came into battle the sizzling hot Raiders team that brought a 7-1 record into the contest.

The game had a post season type feel to it as both teams offenses were on fire.

When the smoke cleared and the final buzzer sounded, Bellefonte outlasted the Mounties 76-69.

Going into the final stanza, Bellefonte held a 51-42 advantage. The fire works were about to go off as the final quarter would be filled with excitement.

Cole Crissman opened the quarter by hitting 2-of-2.

Philipsburg-Osceola posted an old fashion three-point play as he hit a jumper and was fouled in the process. He was successful on the foul shot, cutting it 53-45.

Bellefonte responded when Davis Corman got free inside the lane and hit a jumper.

Jacob DeSimone started to warm up hitting an inside shot to make it a9-point Bellefonte lead.

DJ McCaslin put the Raiders back up by double digits with a strong move inside.

On the following Mountie possession,  DeSimone hit an old fashion three-point shot of his own, putting his team within striking distance at 57-50.

But the Raiders continued to push ahead as it would take it back to nine with a Alex Ebling bucket.

PO got 1-out-2 from the line by Nick Johnson.

Crissman upped the lead to 10 as he went back up after pulling down a rebound and sent it home.

The Mounties defense tightened and forced a 8-0 run, cutting the Raiders lead to just two, 61-59.

But like all good teams do, the Raiders were able to respond to the adversity and muscled their way back into a bigger lead.

Blair Eckley -Jones, who finished with 19 points, hit 2-of-2 from the line after being hacked when shooting.

Jeremy Whitehead, who scored six out of his 16 points in the fourth, hit a bucket to close things to within three with 3:04.

But in the final three minutes, the Raiders were able to hit their free throws when asked to. McCaslin helped keep the Bellefonte lead throughout as he hit four clutch free throws.

Philipsburg battled but were not able to get over the deficit that they had ahead of it, giving the Raiders the victory.

Bellefonte had four players finish in double figures.

McCaslin had a game-high 21.

Eckley-Jones followed up with 19.

Rounding out the double digit scorers were Ty Kroell and Ebling with a 11-point and 10-point effort, respectively.

Starting out the contest, Bellefonte posted 22 in the quarter why holding the Mounties to 10.

The Mounties came firing back in the second as they outscored the Raiders by a 23-13 margin.

When the two went into the intermission with Bellefonte nail biting 35-33 advantage.

In the the third, Bellefonte regained the momentum by posting a 16-9 quarter.

Both team are looking strong as the season hits the midpoint and are on the right roads for the postseason.

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