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Penns Valley boys earn tough OT win over Bellefonte

By Kenny Varner

BELLEFONTE – It was a quite a team effort Monday at the Bellefonte gymnasium when the Red Raiders basketball team went up against Mountain League front runner Penns Valley and their standout center Zach Engle.

For almost two and a half quarters, the Bellefonte defense allowed only Engle to get his points, as it held a double-digit lead.

However, Penns Valley put the pressure on in the third and fourth quarter, tying the contest to send the game into overtime.

In the extra period, the Rams’ defense and Engle’s inside presence proved to be too much for the scrappy Red Raider team as they outlasted the home team 48-40.

“I thought we had a terrific effort tonight.The kids busted their tail and played as hard as they could against the number three team in District 6 Class AA. We had them on the ropes. It was pretty shaky there in the third quarter but overall I thought it was an awesome effort by our guys,” Bellefonte coach Darin Hazel said. “I thought our team defense was really good tonight. I thought they really bought into the game plan. I am really proud of our kids.”
Bellefonte trailed 38-36 going into the final seconds of regulation.

With the ball and a short time to go before the buzzer sounded, the Red Raiders got the ball to Danny Caprio. Caprio got the ball, set and launched a midrange jumper, setting the crowd wild as it settled in between the netting, sending it to the extra period.

In the extra period, Bellefonte drew the first points on the board when Tyler Keger and Caprio both hit one-of-two from the charity stripe, making it 40-38.

But in the final minutes, the Rams were able to keep the Red Raiders a good shot as its offense was able to post 10 hard fought points, en route to the 10-0 run to finish the game out.

Leading the way offensively for Penns Valley was Zach Engle. Engle was the team’s go to guy throughout the contest, posting a double-double, finishing with a game-high 28 points and 10 rebound performance.

The rest of the Penns Valley team combined for 18 points.

For Bellefonte it was more of a team effort as Trent Fortney led the way with a strong 23-point effort. In the game, Fortney had the hot hand from beyond the arc, posting four of his teams six triples.

Teammate Danny Caprio was Fortney’s right-hand man, finishing with a 10 point effort. Both were strong floor leaders and helped its team keep in the game and getting it to overtime.

In the first quarter, the Red Raiders opened the contest with the hot hand, posting a 11-8 margin as the buzzer sounded ending the period.

The duo of Caprio and Fortney was enough to outscore Engle as the second quarter got underway.

Things went much the same way in the second as the Bellefonte duo was also the only ones to score for the Red and White while Engle was the lone scorer once again for the Rams.

Defensively, Bellefonte stood toe-to-toe with the Penns Valley offense and led by a convincing 23-12 halftime score.

After the intermission, the Rams pushed up the pressure, going to a full court press package which caused the Red Raiders some difficulty.

Defensively, Penns Valley played its strongest in the quarter, chopping an 11-point halftime lead to only six as the final stanza got underway.

By this time, other Rams were getting into the offensive scheme of things as it continued to rally back and then take a brief lead.

They held the lead to the final seconds before the clutch buzzer beater by Caprio.

In the JV contest, the Rams also came back after trailing and held onto defeat the Red Raiders 38-33.


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