B-A Cruises past Sacred Heart

Lady Devils head to PIAA semifinals for first time in 27 years


Phoebe Potter

Karson Swogger and the Lady Devils get one more shot at Bishop McCort tonight in the PIAA semifinals.

Ethan McGee, Sports Editor

Lady Blue Devil basketball continued its complete domination of the West Region bracket over the weekend, crushing Our Lady of Sacred Heart 62-34 in the 2A PIAA quarterfinals at Forest Hills High School.

Bellwood-Antis will now take on District 6 rival Bishop McCort tonight at the Altoona Fieldhouse in the PIAA Western Final with a trip to the state championship game in Hershey on the line.

We played hard on Saturday. We did not shoot the ball well, but it was one of our better defensive games this year.

— Coach Swaney

McCort has beaten the Lady Devils twice this season, most recently in the District 6 championship earlier this month.

“For it to be different this time we must do a better job on the glass and stopping the ball in transition,” said B-A coach Jim Swaney. “Also we need some kids to step up and make some shots.  We do those three things the outcome will be very different.”

On Saturday it was a slow start for the ladies as the game was very back and forth for the first eight minutes, with B-A outscoring OLSH 14 -10.

But as the game ground on Alli Campbell’s 21 points and Karson Swogger’s 20 were too much for the Lady Chargers.

B-A really needed to crank up the intensity after the first quarter. That they did with their full court press, turning over Sacred Heart frequently throughout the second quarter.

The second quarter was what Bellwood needed, outscoring OLSH by 10, 18-8 to take a 32-18 lead at halftime.

“We played hard on Saturday.  We did not shoot the ball well, but it was one of our better defensive games this year,” Swaney said.

The slow-tempo basketball Sacred Heart tried to put on the Lady Devils was no match against B-A’s offensive firepower and athleticism.

When the second half started it was B-A all the way. Steal after steal led the Lady Devils to easy buckets, gaining a 20-point lead in only a few minutes.

B-A was able to knock down six three-pointers to build an even larger lead. Emilie Leidig, Alli Campbell, and Karson Swogger each hit two apiece.

Through the final two quarters B-A was able to score 30 points to Sacred Heart’s 18.

B-A’s appearance in the Western Final is its first since 1990. The team advanced all the way to Hershey that season before losing in the state title game to Pottsville Nativity BVM.