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Bellefonte survives BEA scare

By Kenny Varner

WINGATE -It was the tale of two halves Tuesday night when two familiar foes met in a long standing rivalry.
All the record books were thrown out when the Bellefonte girls met up with Bald Eagle Area at the Eagles’ gym.
In the first half, the much improved Bald Eagles gave the Lady Raiders all the could handle and more, taking a 21-12 advantage into the intermission.
After a spirited halftime speech by Bellefonte coach Adam Gearhart and a change into the 1-3-1 proved to change the Lady Raiders fortunes as they. Styled back to take the 40-30 victory, outscoring Bald Eagle 28-9 in the second half.
“It was spirited. It was very spirited. It was emotional, spirited and at a high volume,” Gearhart joked when asked about the halftime speech. “My assistant coach Trevor Momtgomery’s idea to the 1-3-1 full court in the second half. We haven’t practiced that for a couple of weeks but the girls did a good job. They ran it just how we practiced it and that was the change so I have to credit coach Montgomery for making that suggestion.”
Underclassman Mallorie Smith and Maddie Steiner led the scoring for Bellefonte as both topped out a 12 points. They were also game highs.
Rebounding, Abbie Carr led the way with 14.
Bald Eagle Area battled to the very end as the team was led by the 10-point effort of Julia Cingle as she tallied 10 while teammate Lacy Barnhart tallied nine in a losing effort.
“We played really well. We just went cold in the second half. We went 4-27 shooting in the second half,” Bald Eagle coach Jim Josefik said. “I don’t think their press had anything to do with things in the second. We had only two turnovers because of it. I thought that we handled that well. I was proud of our girls. I thought defensively we played great. We had our shots but we weren’t able to put them in.”
In the first period, both offenses started off a little cold.
Bellefonte’s Abbi Bruni hit an early jumper for the game’s first points.
Bald Eagle responded seconds later when Barnhart squared up and hit a triple, giving her team the 3-2 lead.
Steiner’ jumper at the foul line, put the visitors back in front 4-3.
But the scrappy Eagles took the lead back once again when Morgan Chambers was a perfect 2-for-2 from the foul line.
Two consecutive baskets by Smith, gave Bellefonte an 8-5 advantage as the quarter headed into its final 30 ticks.
But that was enough time for Barnhart to hit a tough shot inside to cut the Red Raider lead to 8-7 going into the second.
Bald Eagle heated up offensively in the second period out scoring the Lady Raiders 14-4.
The run was led by Cingle’s 7-point effort. She also got a triple from teammate Chambers and two field goals by Madison Watkins and Barnhart.
When the intermission got underway, the Eagles were leading in grand fashion 21-12.
However, that would change in the second half as Bellefonte shooting woes ended as they plastered 14 points in both the third and fourth quarters while its defense held things on the Bald Eagle side to just nine points, giving the Red Raiders a sweep of their rivals and a possible step closer to a chance at post season play.
In crunch time, Smith and Steiner helped lead the way to the victory with clutch shots and clutch defensive plays.
In the JV contest, the Bald Eagles were victorious, 36-26.

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