Lady Devils hold on, clinching ICC North title


Phoebe Potter

Sophie Damiano was one of several Lady Devils to turn it up defensively against Juniata Valley last night.

Ethan McGee, Sports Editor


Emotions were high Wednesday night as the Bellwood-Antis  girls’ basketball team had players labeled “The biggest game of the year” against Juniata Valley at the B-A gymnasium.

The Lady Devils came out on fire in the first quarter, jumping out to a 22-14 lead, which sparked them to a 64-57 victory, clinching the ICC North championship and a predicted third seed looking in the District 6-AA playoffs.

Senior Sophie Damiano was pleased with fast start.

It feels great, just simply great to get a big win over a good team heading into the playoffs.

— Alli Campbell

“Getting our quick start really set the tone. Getting this win really built the excitement heading into our opportunity to win our fourth straight ICC Championship,” Damiano finished.

Juniata Valley was a good test for the squad coming into the game at 18-3 on the year. But Karson Swogger and the high powered offense wouldn’t be denied their sixth straight ICC Championship appearance.

Swogger led B-A with 22 points and a few flashy passes.

“It feels great. I feel like we’ve grown as a team and we’re ready to make a run at a district title,” said Swogger.

Right out of the gate B-A ran the Hornets off the court. Alli Campbell was stellar from the beginning as she netted 9 of her 15 points in the first 8 minutes of play.

Sharing the basketball helped the Lady Devils, who racked up assist after assist through the first half. Running the floor was big for the Lady Devils, and several connections between Swogger and Campbell were huge throughout the second quarter, including an impressive behind the back pass by from the senior to the freshman right under the hoop for an easy two points.

B-A led 33-25 at halftime.

The second half was nothing different. Not only offensively, led by Makyala Carles.

Carles locked down JV’s Halee Smith to only five points. Smith was just this week named the Altoona Mirror Athlete of the Week. This was a big reason the girls found a lot of success getting it done defensively.

Riley D’Angelo was consistent throughout the entire game, stepping up to hit big shots when she needed. She finished the game with 10 points, and six of those points came from big three pointers, one of which was in the fourth with B-A clinging to a two-point lead.

Damiano chipped in 6 points and Carles tossed in 7 points along with their great defense.

It all came down to the fourth quarter as JV cut the lead to only two with a little under eight minutes to play.

A huge three point play by Swogger helped B-A gain momentum in the final minutes going on a 7-0 run. Swogger took the game into her own hands scoring a quick 10 points in the fourth quarter alone.

The Lady Devils got the game they were hoping forand improved to 20-2.

“It feels great, just simply great to get a big win over a good team heading into the playoffs,” said Campbell.