Lady Blue Devils swat the Hornets

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Lady Blue Devils swat the Hornets

Coach Jim Swaney addresses his team during a timeout against Juniata Valley.

Coach Jim Swaney addresses his team during a timeout against Juniata Valley.

Riley Miller

Coach Jim Swaney addresses his team during a timeout against Juniata Valley.

Riley Miller

Riley Miller

Coach Jim Swaney addresses his team during a timeout against Juniata Valley.

Colin McCaulley, Sports Writer

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Juniata Valley officials tried to hold back the flood of Bellwood-Antis fans into the game but couldn’t hold back the flood emotion from the Lady Devils as they crushed the I.C.C. championship dreams of the Lady Hornets.

In the team’s first match-up in January,  JV hit a buzzer beater to win to win by one point. It had to be in the back of their minds as the Lady Blue Devils began their celebration in the middle of Juniata Valley’s home floor after senior Tina Hollen hit a pair of foul shots in the final seconds to ice the game.

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There was no winning shot as the buzzer sounded this time as the BA girls held corralled a missed three with a comfortable 61-55 lead in the end.

B-A is now in the driver’s seat for another I.C.C. North title and a spot in the I.C.C. championship game.

“It was pretty satisfying,” said Hollen. “We had to work harder for the North title than any of the other ones.”

“We worked together and accomplished what we came to do. Everyone played with intensity and a big shoutout to Tina Hollen for being a BEAST,” said junior Riley D’Angelo.

The gym was at capacity within 45 minutes of the doors opening, two and a half hours before tip-off of the varsity game. The overflow was redirected into the cafeteria to watch the game on a live stream.

“The crowd didn’t really bother me,” said Hollen. “I was locked in on the game. The only thing I really heard was just the loudness of the crowd.”

Bellwood-Antis never trailed at the end of any of the four quarters in the entirety of the game and even lead by as many as 10 in the first quarter. The highly decorated but highly unproven Juniata Valley squad couldn’t take down the BA girls a second time.

Sophomore Alli Campbell led the charge with a double-double on 21 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal and a block. Sakeria Haralson also picked up a double-double, scoring 12 points, grabbing 15 rebounds, and sending 4 shots back. D’Angelo added 8 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal.

Sophomore Emilie Leidig had been battling the flu all last week and her minutes were questionable last night, but you wouldn’t have been able to notice as she hit a barrage of threes, going 5 for 6 from downtown. She would add 17 points to the Devils effort.

The win almost definitely secured the I.C.C. Championship for BA as long as the win out against two teams they already beat by 50 points each.

“Going into the game, the whole team was feeling confident and extremely excited. We had a tough week of practice to prepare us for the game, so we were ready to go. Our hard work paid off last night,” said Campbell. “We still have to continue to work hard every day the rest of this season.”

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