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Hollidaysburg outside shooting too much for Bellefonte

Photo by Tim Weight
By Kenny Varner

BELLEFONTE – Monday night the Bellefonte boys basketball team welcomed in a very tough Hollidaysburg in Laurel Highlands action.

Early on the Red Raiders were able to keep pace with the Tigers only trailing by single digits going into the half.

However, Hollidaysburg came out of the intermission on a furious pace to pull away from the Red Raiders 77-50.

Bellefonte’s Jacob McConnell was a bright spot offensively, finishing with a double-double. McConnell tallied a 14-point effort while pulling down 11 rebounds despite the loss.

Teammate Peyton Vancas was sizzling from the three-point range, hitting three fourth quarter triples and one first stanza trey, finishing with 12 points.

Jacob Corman also had a solid outing grabbing six rebounds and six points.

But one of the factors of the game came from the game-high 24 point effort by Cole Walters. Walters exploded for six triples on the evening.

He was just one of five players that finished for the Tigers in double figures. Kason Metzger and Brady Steiner both finished with 11 while teammates Jacob Hileman and Leyton Weimert finished with 10.

“We didn’t match their aggressiveness in the third quarter. When they got a big lead, I think we got hesitant shooting,” said Bellefonte coach Rick Hall. “We went back to man-to-man defense. I told the kids not to switch on the screens. Don’t let your man beat you. They were just bigger, faster and stronger.”

Starting off the contest, Corman got the scoring started as he took the ball inside and hit a bucket in traffic.

Hollidaysburg’s offense quickly built up an 11-0 run. Eight of those points came from Walters. Walters hit two triples and bucket in the run.

Steiner finished up the run with a triple of his own.

The Red Raiders scraped and scratched its way back into the contest going on a 6-0 run of its own, cutting the Tigers lead to 11-8.

Leading the charge was McConnell who hit consecutive baskets, turning the momentum temporarily.

Hileman stopped the scoring run as he pulled down an offensive board and put it back to add to the lead.

Corman put the Red Raiders to within three, hitting 2-of-2 from the free throw line.

Walters was a three-point machine as he hit two unanswered triples, extending the lead to 19-10.

But it would be Bellefonte that had the last run, hitting two triples to end the stanza. Ethan Tomasacci and McConnell hit nothing but net and both from beyond the arc, cutting the lead to three, 19-16.

Hollidaysburg came out into the second, dropping a bucket by Carson Rhodes.

But McConnell responded hitting a runner in the lane.

Metzger returned the favor by driving the lane and hit on a runner of his own.

Cox returned the game to a 3-point deficit when he scored on a jumper at 5:28.

Defensively, the Tigers defense helped its sharp shooting offense to jump out on a 9-0 run, extending the lead to 32-20.

But a bucket in the lane by Cox stopped the scoreless streak, hitting a leaner in the lane.

After a mini run of 4-0, the Red Raiders were able to cut the Hollidaysburg lead to single digits at 36-28.

But things would fall apart in the second half as the Tigers outscored Bellefonte 41-22.

The Red Raiders never gave up as they would finish the final quarter posting 17 points while being held to only five in the third.

Vancas went down fighting, hitting three triples in the fourth.

With the loss, Bellefonte falls to 5-10 while Hollidaysburg improves to 12-4.

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