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Lady Raiders fend off Bearcats

BELLEFONTE – Its been a tough road for the Bellefonte girls basketball in their attempt to go over the .500 mark on its season.
So it wasn’t a big surprise as the Lady Raiders battled Mountain League battle for the second time this season.
In the first meeting, Bellefonte grinded out a one-point victory.
On this night, the game again wasn’t decided until late in the contest before freshman Maddie Steiner hit one-of-two from the foul line to ice the game, 38-35.
Lauren Young led the way for her team as she posted 11 points while teammate Abbie Carr added nine points in the victory.
Huntingdon got a game-high 12 points from Kait McElroy.
But it would be the Lady Raiders’ defense as it was clutch in the final minutes.
“That’s been our strength all season was our defense. These girls adjust well. They came out and they played aggressive and they are playing a lot smarter. We try to make adjustments in practice and they pick it up,” Bellefonte coach Adam Gearhart said. “They are recognizing things on the floor as the game changes and that’s what’s got there so far.”
So far, the Lady Raiders are sporting a respectable 7-6 record early in the second half of the season.
But to the Bearcats’ credit, they refused to sit and watch Bellefonte get the easy victory, despite sporting just four wins on the season.
Going into the final stanza, Bellefonte held a slim 28-25 advantage.
With Huntingdon starting the period using a full court press, the Red Raiders failed to get points until 4;50 left in the game.
The good news for the Lady Raiders is that the defense held as well, allowing just a runner in the lane by Emily Kile making it just a one-point game until that point.
Steiner put her team back up by three on a clutch jumper, 30-27.
Seconds later, teammate Mallorie Smith upped the home team’s lead to four on a strong runner in the lane.
Carr, who finished with 13 rebounds and three blocks, added to Bellefonte lead with 3:01 left in the contest.
But Huntingdon went on a 4-0 run to put the game back at a 3-point game with 1:30 left.
But for everything that was thrown at them, the Lady Raiders had an answer.
Down the stretch, the Red Raiders made the foul shots they needed to take a 3-point lead into the last 2.1 ticks of the clock before giving the Bearcats one last chance.
On the inbounds, Huntingdon called time out with 1.1 ticks on the clock and put them at mid court with a chance to hope for a tie.
However, the Lady Raiders played it close and tight to the bucket forcing Huntingdon to go behind the centerline in hopes to make a shot but the ball didn’t even get close as the Red Raiders went home with the victory.
Huntingdon opened the game strong as they battled tooth and nail to take a slim 11-10 lead as the team’s headed into the second.
Bellefonte took over the momentum in the second quarter by outscoring the Bearcats 13-6 and taking a 23-17 lead going into halftime.
In the third, the Bearcats cut into the Bellefonte lead outscoring the home team 8-5.
But it just wasn’t to be as Bellefonte went on for the victory.
In the JV contest, the Bearcats took the game 47-23.

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