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Bellefonte outlasts late run by Eagles in spirited effort

By Kenny Varner

WINGATE – A rivalry renewed!

Tuesday, the Bald Eagle Area boys basketball team hosted its rival Bellefonte in a prime time main event.

Bellefonte took an early lead, posting seven triples.

However, a second half surge by the Eagles closed in on the lead as the two teams went into the final stanza within striking distance.

But the 11-2 Red Raiders came through when they needed to, posting a 60-41 Mountain League victory.

“I am proud of them. We put ourselves in a tough spot. I think we had 11 turnovers in the first quarter. But we really battled back,” said Bald Eagle coach Kris Glunt. “We had a couple days off with the weekend and the weather. I felt like it took us a while to get started. We were a little stagnant early. Our kids always battle. Bellefonte is an excellent team. They are very talented and experienced. We are on the rise. I really liked the way we fought.”

Bellefonte lit things from beyond the 3-point line as they sunk seven. DJ McCaslin and teammate Nick way finished with three each while Blair Eckley-Jones had one.

Jones finished with a double-double scoring 18 points while pulling down 17 rebounds, two blocks and a steal. He was the main go to guy in the final stanza when the Eagles were making their charge.

Bellefonte held a 31-19 lead when the Eagles would try to make their comeback.

Ty Kroell upped the Bellefonte lead to start the half as he picked up an offensive board and put back.

Way scored the next four points, hitting 1-of-2 from the line. He then scored off a triple in transition, padding their lead to 37-19.

Bald Eagle erased three points on its next possession. Alex Garlock hit from way downtown, cutting it to a 37-22 deficit.

Eckley-Jones hit on an offensive board.

Ethan Koleno got the Eagles back on the scoreboard, hitting 2-of-2 from the charity stripe.

Bellefonte went back to Eckley-Jones in transition to boost its lead to a 17-point lead.

With 3:10 left in the third, Bald Eagle made its move.

Camron Watkins, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, started a 10-1 run to end the period.

Picking up crucial baskets for the Eagles were Chase Thompson and Kahale Burns. Thompson had four points in the run.

When the third quarter buzzer sounded, Bald Eagle cut the Red Raider lead to 42-34.

“We played well in the first half again. We kind of let them off the hook,” said Bellefonte assistant coach Josh Kroell. “We didn’t keep the pressure on. We settled on a lot of our shots. We should have attacked more. I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t finish off the game but a win is a win and on the road at that. “

After cutting the lead to single digits.

But that would be as close as the Eagles would get as McCaslin and Eckley-Jones were clutch when called upon.

In the first, the Red Raiders raced out to a 12-0 advantage.

Eckley-Jones and Way started the run. Eckley-Jones opened the game hitting a triple to start the game scoring and then a jumper in the lane less than a minute later.

Burns got the Eagles on the scoreboard on a runner in traffic at 3:53.

But the quick start that the Red Raiders started with would be enough to outscore the Eagles 18-8.

Bellefonte continued its lead as the intermission got underway, leading 31-19.

With the win, the Red Raiders swept the Eagles in the season series.

Bellefonte 60, Bald Eagle Area 48

BEL 18 13 11 18 – 60

BEA  8 11  15 14 – 48


Bellefonte – Ty Kroell 1 0-0 2, Nick Way 5 1-2 14, Davis Corman 1 0-0 2, Gannon Brungard 4 3-4 11, DJ McCaslin 4 3-8 12, Blair Eckley-Jones 7 3-6 18.

Bald Eagle Area – Camron Watkins 5 0-0 10, Alex Garlock 4 0-1 11, Ethan Koleno 2 2-2 6, Blaze Angellotti 2 0-0 4, Chase Thompson  4 1-2 9, Kahale Burns 2 0-0 4.

Played but didn’t score – Bellefonte – Alex Ebling. Bald Eagle Area –

Three-point scoring: Bellefonte – Way 3, McCaslin 3, Eckley -Jones. Bald Eagle Area – Alex Gavlock 2.

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