B-A’s Millennium Club tops 10 members


Jake Miller

Trent Walker alongside the leaderboard of Millennium Club members.

The Bellwood-Antis boys basketball team, in recent years at the least, has been a perennial powerhouse in what is viewed as a weak ICC conference. In the last 11 seasons, the Blue Devils have only had two losing seasons, and it looks like this season will be another winning one, especially with B-A’s newest 1,000 point scorer Trent Walker at the helm.

Over their recent run of dominance, some of Bellwood-Antis’ most talented athletes have played, and in some cases dominated – and the stats prove this. Since the 2012-13 season, B-A has produced 4 of the 10 members of its 1,000-point club, including one 2,000 point scorer, Nathan Davis.

Davis, a member of the 2016 graduating class, scored an astounding 2,049 points throughout his high school career, and he now plays basketball at Seton Hill University in Greensburg at the NCAA Division II level.

The obvious question becomes, what happened to turn B-A’s level of play from an average ICC basketball team to a team marked with star players?

It definitely means a lot to be a part of this group. I think it’s a testament to a lot of hard work that we have put into the game.”

— Nathan Davis

Davis thinks he has the answer.

“It definitely means a lot to be a part of this group. I think it’s a testament to a lot of hard work that we have put into the game. I think the key as of late has really been increased motivation to get better,” Davis explained.

This drive has shown in recent years. In fact the Devils’ only losing season in the past five years came with a team featuring just one senior on it’s roster. However, also on that 2013-2014 roster were two future 1,000-point scorers, Joey Padula and the aforementioned Nathan Davis, who used that season, and its embarrassments, to add to their desire to win.

“Nobody likes to lose, and the group of guys we had on that team hated it especially. We put the priority on winning for the years to come,” Davis explained.

After that one season, the work ethic at Bellwood-Antis has only been improving.

“I remember going into my sophomore year Trent, Nate, and I would be in the gym everyday after school working on our jump shots, so it’s pretty cool to see the hard work translate into 1,000-point scorers,” Padula said.

All signs indicate that the culture of hard-work, in the gym and on the court, established several seasons ago, will continue.

A 1,000 point scorer and current teacher at Bellwood-Antis Middle School, Steve Conlon cites a different reason for the growth in 1,000 point scorers: increased playing time as a freshman.

“I think the recent surge may be due to players moving up and getting more playing time as freshmen. If a player sees varsity action as a freshman, it gives them another year to score points. I think this idea of freshmen seeing significant playing time in varsity games is a relatively new idea,” Conlon explained.

This speaks to the Blue Devils coaching in the junior high basketball program to develop players well enough to jump straight into the varsity game.

Sydney Patterson
Millennium Club: In February of 2016, the B-A Boys Basketball Boosters recognized all of the program’s 1,000-point scorers. Since then, Joe Padula and Trent Walker have added their names to the list. Pictures above are, from left to right -Ryan Myers, Gary Hribik, Randy Geis, Kevin Conlin, Steve Conlin, Noah Davis, Brent Gerwert, and Nathan Davis.

Either way, it is apparent that through hard-work and talent, Bellwood-Antis has revolutionized its boys basketball program to develop players consistent scorers, some good enough to score 1,000 points, and it appears to be at about the level it was in the late 90s and early 2000s when the Blue Devils had their first true wave of 1,000 point scorers.

First out of this group was the tandem of Steve Conlon and Brent Gerwert, who reached 1,320 and 1,646 points, respectively, by their graduation in 1997. Next up was Steve’s brother Kevin Conlon, who hit 1,310 points in 2001, and Ryan Myers, who reached the plateau when he hit 1,046 points in 2003.

After this, Bellwood-Antis basketball’s teams failed to produce a 1,000 point scorer for 10 years from 2003-2013. Noah Davis was the first to break this drought when he scored 1,347 points. He, like Steve Conlon, was followed by his brother Nathan Davis, who scored 2,049 points and took the school record from Gerwert in 2016. As mentioned before, Joey Padula followed Nathan and scored 1,067 points through his career. Trent Walker, nephew of Steve and Kevin Conlon, finally added his name to the list when he topped 1,000 against Claysburg-Kimmel January, 19.

Of course, nobody expects Bellwood-Antis to produce a member of the millennium club every year, but the program has shown us in recent years that it has stepped up its game in the gym, and players are expected to have the desire to win from freshman year to senior year.

Nathan Davis explained what he believes happened at B-A to create this culture of winning, one that the freshmen today are expected to continue to pass down to each new freshman class.

“We’ve created a winning program at B-A, and kids want to be a part of that. They’ve put in more hours in the gym to continue to get better and continue winning,”  the Blue Devils record point holder said.