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Braucht, Penns Valley battle for last second win over Bellefonte

By Kenny Varner

SPRING MILLS – Penns Valley has a flare for the dramatics.

Earlier in the season, the Rams boys basketball team hit a buzzer beater against a good MIfflin County squad to take a last second victory.

Though Wednesday nights game against Bellefonte wasn’t quite a buzzer beater, the game went down to the final seconds before they would scrape out a hard-fought 44-39 victory.

Leading the charge for the Rams was Zach Braucht with a double-double posting a 14 point and 10 rebound performance.

Teammate Caleb Narber posted an 11-point night.

Rounding out the double-digit scorers was Kyle Niewinski with 10.

The man in the middle, center John Aston finished with 10 boards and six points.

Bellefonte had two players finished in double digits.

Blair Eckley-Jones finished with a 15-point and 10-rebound effort.

Teammate Gannon Brungard had a hot hand for the Red Raiders posting a 13-point performance.

Going into the final stanza, Penns Valley led 34-29, thanks to a buzzer beating triple by the Rams’ Braucht.

Coming out of the break, the Bellefonte offense got an early triple from Nick Way, cutting it to a 34-32 Ram lead.

After a Penns Valley turnover, Bellefonte tied the game on a 2-for-2 performance from the charity stripe.

Back came the Rams, taking back the lead on a jumper by Braught.

On the next possession, Bellefonte got the ball inside to Eckley-Jones as he took it straight to the hoop, tying it once again.

Penns Valley called a time out with 2:59 left to regroup and set up the next play.

It was a successful break as the Rams came out and dished it to Narber who posted up and sent a triple, upping the lead to three.

Bellefonte went back down to Eckley-Jones inside but this time as Jones went up for a turn around jumper, Braucht was there to swat it away.

That would be the first of three crucial plays that Braught would make in the final seconds.

After getting the ball back with less than a minute left, Braucht went to the line for a one-on-one opportunity, hitting one of two.

After getting the ball back with less than 55 ticks left on the clock, Bellefonte went to Eckley-Jones who was sitting wide open in the corner for the Trey, cutting it to a 40-39 game with 42 seconds.

Bellefonte called a time out, but that would have no effect on the Rams as they got the ball to Kyle Niewinski in the paint, upping it to a 3-point lead with 35 seconds left.

The Red Raiders brought the ball down but could not get the shot they were looking for and when the Bellefonte shot bounced off the rim, Braught pulled it down and got the ball down court where he was fouled with three seconds left.

He iced the game by hitting a perfect 2-for-2 from line, making it a 44-39 win at home.

In the first quarter, the two teams battled back and forth to the bitter end of the first stanza.

The Rams took the lead going into the second, 12-10.

But the Red Raiders bounced back in the second quarter, taking the lead at the half, outscoring Penns Valley 12-7 to take the 22-19 advantage.

But the second half, despite battling tooth and nail, would belong to the Rams despite the valiant effort by the Red Raiders.

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