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Bellefonte boys fall late to Huntingdon

By Kenny Varner BELLEFONTE – It was a battle to the end. Like two boxers in a title fight, the Bellefonte boys basketball team and Huntingdon went toe-to-toe for a four quarter thriller that wasn’t decided till the last stanza. For most of the contest, the largest lead in the game either way was only seven points. But Huntingdon had enough punch left in them to put the game away in the last minute, winning 58-53 Tuesday night at the Bellefonte High School Gym. “Our kids have gotten a lot better. They really have the mindset of changing the culture around here and its been fun to coach these kids. We have a lot of room to grow but we’re making baby steps,” Bellefonte coach Darin Hazel said. “I think tonight we battled to the end. Sometimes we don’t keep our composure but that’s just part of being mentally tough. Tonight was one of the better game we have played in the last year and a half. But at the end of the day it was a loss.” Leading the way on the scoreboard for Bellefonte was Trent Fortney. Fortney got hot late, posting 15 of his team-high 19 points in the fourth quarter. The points helped the Red Raiders keep pace with the Bearcats. Defensively, the Red Raiders shut down Huntingdon center Kobren Frederick. Bellefonte went right at heart of the Bearcats big man as well, forcing him to foul out and miss the second quarter. “We want to attack the basket, get to the foul line and get some easy points. I talked to the guys about that and I thought our guys did a good job of that tonight,” Hazel said. When Frederick was in though, he was still able to post a double-double with a 14-point effort in scoring and 11 boards. Offensively, the night belonged to Huntingdon strong forward Nate Gearhart, who posted a double-double of his own with a 24-point effort and a 12-rebound night. Gearhart was also clutch in the final stanza with seven points. Going into the fourth, the Bearcats took a 39-32 advantage before the Red Raiders came out with a last surge of energy. Fortney started the scoring as he hit a runner in the lane and followed with a triple, cutting the lead down to just four points with 7:13 left. Much like the earlier quarters, the Bearcats had an answer for the early 5-0 run, going on a 4-0 run of their own thanks to buckets by Shane Montgomery and teammate Matt Speck. Montgomery hit 2-of-3 from the charity stripe and Montgomery popped a field goal, making it 43-37. Tanner Helms and Fortney returned the favor, hitting Huntingdon with a 4-0 run of their own, closing the lead back to 45-41. Unfortunately for the Red Raiders, the team was called for a foul and then a technical foul to go with it giving Huntingdon a 7-0 advantage, upping its lead to 50-41 with just three minutes left. With time ticking down in the game, Bellefonte would fight to the very end but Huntingdon made its shots when it counted and was able to hold on, but barely taking the contest by five, 58-53. In the first quarter, the two teams went right into a back in forth struggle for the lead and when the it came to a close, the Bearcats held a slim 12-10 advantage. Fortunes changed for the Red Raiders in the second period as they were able to tie the game up going into the intermission at 21. In the JV contest, the Red Raiders were victorious, winning 56-46.

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