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Penns Valley holds onto slim victory over Bellefonte in Ram Winter Jam opener

Penns Valley 41 Bellefonte 38

BE 9 11 8 10 – 38

PV 7 14 8 12 – 41

Scoring: Bellefonte – Shaun Carey 3 0-0 6, Trae Bauman 2 0-1 5, D’Andrea McCaslin 1 1-2 4, Isaiah Nadolsky 4 1-5 9, Ben McCartney 4 1-1 10, Logan Bernier 1 3-4 5. Totals 14 6-13 38.

. Penns Valley – Andrew Tobias 1 0-0 2, Zach Braught 3 4-4 21, Caleb Narber 2 0-0 5, Logan Snyder 4 0-0 8, Kyle Niewinski 2 1-4 5, Aidan Brinker 1 0-0 2, John Aston 4 0-2 8. Totals 17 5-10 41.

Played but didn’t score: Bellefonte  – Mason Grey 0 0-0 0, Nicholas Way 0 0-0 0. Penns Valley    Collin Emel 0 0-0 0.

3-point shots: Bellefonte      McCaslin, McCartney. Penns Valley    Narber.

By Kenny Varner

SPRING MILLS – Two teams very familiar with each other, met again this season to do battle in the opening round of the Penns Valley Ram Winter Jam Friday night in the night cap.

The Bellefonte boys basketball team met Mountain League foe Penns Valley for the right to move on to play in the championship game, played Saturday night.

It would be a game that wouldn’t be settled until the final ticks of the clock.

But in the end, it would be the Rams that protected their court against the Red Raiders, winning 41-38.

Penns Valley was led in scoring by Zach Braucht who netted 11 points on the night. Teammates John Aston and Logan Snyder both chopped in with eight.

Ben McCartney led the Red Raiders with a 10-point effort while Isaiah Nadolsky followed with nine in a losing effort.

“We did battle. There is a lot to be proud of. There are things though that I think our inexperience leads us to situations that where we just implode sometimes,” said Bellefonte coach Kris Glunt. “We had opportunities to capitalize and put ourselves in a position that I think we could have won the game but we just made some bad decisions with the basketball.”

Holding a 28-27 advantage with the buzzer about ready to sound, the Red Raiders were shocked with an offensive outback by Penns Valley’s inside-man John Aston. Aston pulled down the rebound and put it back up before the buzzer, giving the Rams the slim 29-28 advantage going into the final stanza.

The tension began to rise even more as both teams grabbed the advantage all the way until the final seconds.

Penns Valley opened on a 4-0 run thanks to two free throws by Zach Braucht and an offensive outback by Caleb Narber, making it a 33-28 advantage.

But then it was Bellefonte’s turn to take back the momentum, going on a 5-0 run of its own.

Nadolsky went and attacked the middle and hit a shot in traffic.

After holding the Rams, the Red Raiders got the ball back and they worked the ball to McCartney who hit a shot as he was hacked on the way up, hitting an old fashion 3-point opportunity, tying it at 33.

Aston stopped the mini run, putting his team back ahead as he went hard at the hoop and making the shot. Despite being fouled on the play, Aston could not finish the free throw, keeping the game within two with 4:47 left.

Bellefonte took the lead on a triple by McCartney, putting them ahead by one with 4:25.

Trae Bauman our Bellefonte up by three as hit a runner with 3:15 left.

But despite some back-and-forth fast moving action and some good looks by Bellefonte, Penns Valley was able to hit the shots when they needed to ending on a 6-0 to hold onto the 3-point victory.

In the first quarter, both teams came out with a high tempo offensive charge. But both defenses were up for the challenge as the Red Raiders barely outscored the Rams in the period, 9-7.

But the Rams came back and was able to take the lead as they hit a buzzer shot by Logan Snyder, just as it looked like Bellefonte was going to take the lead into the intermission.

With the win, Penns Valley will host Mifflinburg in the Championship game at 7:30 while Bellefonte and Juniata will battle in the consolation game at 6pm.

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