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Wildcats top Red Raiders in regular season finale

By Kenny Varner

BELLEFONTE – Despite struggling through a below .500 season, Central Mountain boys basketball ended its season on a high note coming into Bellefonte and coming home the victors of a 69-44 contest.

While the Wildcats ended its season, the Red Raiders will start the years second season starting the District 6 Class AA playoffs Monday.

“We have a lot of things to work on obviously as evident in our last three games,” Bellefonte coach Darien Hazel said. “Its another season and another opportunity. It doesn’t really matter now but how we play on Monday.”

Offensively, the Wildcats worked their game from the inside-out Tuesday night at the Red Raider gym, going inside early to open up the long range shooting, which they did successfully by hitting four triples from beyond the arc.

Leading the offensive charge for the Central Mountain team was Alex Garbick. Garbick was strong inside but showed he had the magic touch, posting two triples en route to a 20-point effort.

Teammate Wes Jolly showed no fear in his game as he continually took the ball to the heart of the Bellefonte’s defense to the tune of 17 points.

Rounding out the double digit scoring was Cole Reeder with a 12-point effort. Reeder was a threat early on, scoring 10 of his 12 in the first half.

Defensively, the Wildcats held the Red Raiders in check in the first half, allowing only 19 points while scoring 37.

While playing from behind for most of the game, Bellefonte had a double digit scorer of its own in Trent Fortney. Fortney was automatic from beyond the arc, hitting a game-high 3 triples in a 16-point effort.

Teammate Danny Caprio missed double digits by just two point, posting up an 8-point night with a triple of his own.

But it would be the rebounding from the Central Mountain offense and defense that proved to be the key in the contest.

“I thought we made some good shots tonight which helped relax us tonight. I felt we could get some shots in the lane off of them. We’re used to playing teams that are bigger sized. Bellefonte doesn’t have a whole lot of size,” Central Mountain coach Scott Baker said. “We knew they could shoot the ball a little bit. But again, offensively we knew we could score a little on the paint on them and I think that relaxed us a bit.”

Central Mountain battled from the very beginning scoring the first basket of the ball game.

With 7:20 showing on the clock, Reeder drove the key and quickly layed on in, taking a 2-0 advantage.

Bellefonte rallied back to take a one-point lead on the next possession as Fortney stepped back behind the 3-point line and drilled it.

From there Central Mountain built up a 9-5 advantage on a triple by Brody Baker and a simple jumper by Jolly and Garbick.

With one shot from beyond the arc Bellefonte got the game to within one on a triple by Fortney once again.

A drive in the hole by Reeder put the Wildcats up by three causing Hazel to call a time out.

But it would be Central Mountain that would take advantage of the strategy session, posting the next four-out-of-five shots to take a 19-10 lead going into the second quarter.

“We always talk about going inside out and we were able to do that. One they started to all collapse we started to shoot the outside shots,” Baker said. “ We have some kids that can really hit the outside shots. Fortunately tonight we were able to get them to fall.”

After a 19-point offensive effort in the first, the Wildcats followed it up with a second period that was almost as proficient, netting 18.

Leading the way in the stanza was the combination of Jolly, Kyle Everhart and Reeder who all posted four points each.

While the offense did its job, the defense held the Red Raiders to single digits in the period with nine.

Leading the scoring for the Red Raiders was Bryce Steiner and teammate Hunter Knisely who both tallied three.

When the buzzer sounded to end the first half of play, Central Mountain held a very comfortable 37-19 lead.

Garbick went wild on the scoring in the third quarter as he outscored the entire Red Raider team 14-11 in the period. His team also helped him as well as the team tallied 22 points in the period to up its lead to 29 going into the final stanza.

Bellefonte never gave in and outscored Central Mountain in the fourth quarter by a 14-10 margin. It would be too little too late as the Wildcats went onto the 69-44 victory.

In the JV contest, Central Mountain was just as successful coming out with a 58-41 win.


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