HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Blairsville survives Devils' late push in district title rematch
Bellwood-Antis made a remarkable comeback in a rematch of last year’s District 6 Class AA girls’ basketball championship game, but when the final buzzer sounded, Blairsville had once again prevailed.
The Bobcats erased a four-point halftime deficit and then narrowly survived a push from the Blue Devils in the last minute of the game to notch a 49-47 win in the opening round of Hollidaysburg’s tip-off tournament Friday.
With her team trailing 22-14 late in the first half, Blairsville’s Laurel O’Barto hit field goals on back-to-back possessions to trim the Bobcats’ deficit to four points, 22-18.
Blairsville then used an 11-4 run at the end of the third quarter to jump out to a four-point lead, 37-33. Chelsey Koren scored 10 of her game-high 23 points in the third, and O’Barto added six of her 12 points.
“We got into transition more and they started to tire out, and that’s when we started pushing the ball up the floor and scoring on the run,” Blairsville coach Ralph McGinnis said.
The Bobcats went on a 12-4 run in the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter to take a 12-point lead, 49-37, lead with 1:09 to play.
But Bellwood-Antis answered and hit 3s on back-to-back possessions to cut the deficit to six points, 49-43.
Following a made free throw from one of her teammates and a Blairsville turnover, the Blue Devils’ Selena Damiano completed a three-point play to make it a two-point game, 49-47.
But on its ensuing possession, Blairsville moved the ball around until O’Barto drew a foul with two seconds left in the game. O’Barto missed the front end of the one-and-one at the line, and a Bellwood-Antis player grabbed the rebound but could not get off a shot before the buzzer.
“They just strung together some turnovers and hit some big 3s there,” McGinnis said. “It looked like it was over and then it got interesting — very interesting. They just ran out of time.”
Koren grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, Mikala Misleany had seven boards, and O’Barto dished out five assists.
Blairsville faces Hollidaysburg in the championship game today.
MARION CENTER 57, WEST SHAMOKIN 36: Marion Center encountered no trouble in its tip-off tournament, racing to a 21-6 lead and cruising past West Shamokin.
The Stingers held a 40-16 lead at halftime, and West Shamokin outscored Marion Center 20-17 in the second half.
“We came out and played well in the first half,” Marion Center coach Jan Brocious said. “We tried some different things in the second half, and West Shamokin did a nice job and battled.”
Chantel Glasser led Marion Center with 17 points, and Kearsten Brocious scored 15. Hanna Beer chipped in 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Glasser raked in five rebounds, and Karlie Snyder had five assists and four steals.
Kelly Clowser scored 17 points for West Shamokin.
Marion Center plays Westmont Hilltop, a 51-26 winner over Punxsutawney, in today’s championship game. West Shamokin plays Punxsutawney in this afternoon’s consolation game.
UNITED 54, WESTINGHOUSE 9: United advanced to the championship game of Windber’s tournament by blowing past Westinghouse.
The Lions took a 25-2 lead in the first quarter and led 35-5 at halftime.
“The kids were anxious to get on the floor and did a lot of good things,” United coach Lee Ann Ault said. “It was definitely a confidence boost as we move on to play Windber.”
Eden Bloom fired in 23 points and finished with seven rebounds, four assists and four steals for United. Hope Hixson contributed 10 points, and Kylee Surike scored nine.
Taylor Mack came up with six steals and handed out four assists, and Morgan Strait grabbed four rebounds.
United plays Windber, a 52-22 winner over Richland, in this evening’s championship game.
DuBOIS CENTRAL CATHOLIC 37, PENNS MANOR 36: Penns Manor couldn’t quite pull out a win in its tip-off tournament after taking the lead inside the final minute.
Skyler Altemus scored to give Penns Manor a 36-35 lead, but DuBois Central’s Kylee Schaffer answered with a pair of free throws for the decisive points. Schaffer led all scorers with 14 points.
Sarah DaBella paced Penns Manor with 11 points. Emma Tomayko and Altemus finished with seven apiece.
Penns Manor plays Bishop Carroll, which lost to Conemaugh Township 63-52, in this evening’s consolation game.
BETHEL CHRISTIAN 46, CALVARY BAPTIST 29: Calvary Baptist fell to Bethel Christian of Aliquippa in the first round of its tip-off tournament.
Megan Plants led Calvary Baptist with 13 points and five steals. Kayla Chambers chipped in 10 points, and Brittany Prugh grabbed six rebounds.
Catlin Rakowski, Cassie Rakowski and Taylor Duffy combined for all but two of Bethel Christian’s points.
Calvary Baptist played Bedford Christian in this morning’s consolation game.