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Bellefonte takes Huntingdon to the wire but falls by three

TYRONE – They fought till the last buzzer. Despite playing a team they lost to twice in the regular season, the Red Raiders boys basketball team pushed the Huntingdon Bearcats to the limit in the opening round of the DIstrict 6 Class AAA boys basketball playoffs Monday  night at Tyrone Middle School.
Unfortunately, the third time also belonged the Bearcats who outlasted Bellefonte in a nail biter 36-33.
Defensively for the Red Raiders, they were able to hold offensive force and strong center Kobren Frederick to only seven points on the night.
However, Frederick was still as active on the boards, finishing with 11 rebounds and four blocked shots on the night.
Leading the way offensively for Bellefonte was Bryce Steiner and Danny Caprio who both finished with an 8-point performance.
Teammate Hunter Knisely was next with seven points on the night.
“It was a tremendous effort by our kids tonight,” Bellefonte coach Daren Hazel said. “They completely sold out for their school. I know that the fans are proud of them and I know we are proud of them here. They are a great group of kids to coach. I know they may be hurting now but they played a great game.”
Huntingdon got a late second half charge that kept them in the lead for much of the final two periods.
Leading the offensively for the Bearcats was Matt Speck with 10. Outside force Taylor Mitchell tallied nine points, as all of his shots came from beyond the 3-point line.
Bellefonte got things going early in the game, taking the lead going into the second quarter.
Mitchell started the game off with a trie for the Bearcats but the Red Raiders came back in the next few possessions to take the lead on a triple by Knisely and a two strong inside buckets by Steiner, making it 7-3 with 5:43 left.
Mitchell brought Huntingdon back within one on another Mitchell triple.
But with a patient offense and a intimidating defense, the Red Raiders outscored the Bearcats 7-3 the rest of the quarter, taking a 14-9 advantage into the second stanza.
Things tightened a little in the second half as Huntingdon’s defense clamped down on the Bellefonte offense allowing them to focus on cutting into the lead. Which they did.
But the Red RAiders did enough to keep the advantage going into the intermission leading 21-19.
“We played well as a team all year,” Hazel said. That is what is so great about these guys. They are so unselfish a fat the end of the daythey just want what’s best for the team.
In the second half, the Bearcats started to catch fire offensively. Leading the charge back for Huntington was Frederick and Matt Speck who both collected six points apiece in the third. When the buzzer sounded to start the final stanza, the Bearcats had taken a slim 31 to 27 advantage. In the final quarter, both defenses knew it was due or die for their team if they didn’t come up with a strong effort. While the red Raiders outscored the Bearcats 6-5, it wasn’t enough to extend their season , falling by three points.

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