B-A basketball teams prepare for playoff double-header


Seniors Tina Hollen and Tanner Worthing hope to lead Bellwood onto the next round in the playoffs.

Jake Miller, Sports Editor

Today will be a big day for Bellwood-Antis basketball. Both the boys and the girls teams will take the court at Bellwood-Antis High School tonight, starting their respective PIAA playoff runs.

The boys, who rank fourth in the District 6 3A standings, will face-off against Central Cambria, the fifth-seed, at 7:30. The Red Devils come into the game with a 12-10 record, and a 5-6 record in the Laurel Highlands Conference finishing fourth out of six teams.

The Blue Devils and the Red Devils have had one common opponent, Williamsburg, a team that B-A beat twice, once in double O.T., once 65-58 at home; Central Cambria topped Williamsburg 70-60 in their only meeting of the season.

The Red Devils are led by 6’6″ center Matt Holsinger, who averages a little more than 21 points per game. Holsinger is joined in the Red Devil offense by point guard Luke Bennett, who has a 50% shooting percentage on the season.

Bellwood-Anits senior Trent Walker sees the danger Holsinger brings to the court.

“They have a great player in Matt Holsinger and we know he’s going to be an excellent competitor tonight. We need to find a way to limit his impact on the game and match his intensity,” he said.

Central Cambria plays very similar to B-A, with the Red Devils scoring about 62 points per game to the Blue Devils 65, and both teams averaging just over 30 rebounds.

However the biggest difference between the two teams comes in the more athletic categories. Central Cambria, over the season, has had about 50 more blocks than the Blue Devils and 30 more steals. Yet the Blue Devils excel in other areas of the court, like turnovers, where they average nearly two less per game than the Red Devils, an area that could be crucial in a playoff game.

But before the boys tip off at 7:30, the Lady Blue Devils will face off against the Homer-Center Lady Wildcats in their first round of the 2A playoffs at 6:00. The Lady Wildcats, 14-8, and 11-6 in conference, finished fourth in the Heritage League, and fifth in the District 6 rankings.

The Lady Wildcats and Lady Blue Devils have had one common opponent this season, that being Juniata Valley, who the Lady Wildcats lost 82-57. Bellwood-Antis, on the other hand, split the season against Juniata Valley, losing their first match-up after a buzzer beater, and taking their second meeting 61-55.

The Lady Wildcats also played two of the three teams ranked above B-A in the District 6 rankings, coming home with an 0-4 record from those match-ups. Homer-Center is led by a duo of seniors in Alexis Newhouse and Emily Worchester, who both average just over 14 points per game. Homer-Center is also one of the higher scoring teams on average in Central PA girls basketball, as they put up about 60 points a night.

B-A will look to counter the Lady Wildcats defense with the play of star point guard Alli Campbell, three-point threat Emilee Leidig, and the Lady Blue Devil’s rebound machine Sakeria Haralson, who all are more than capable of scoring over twenty points depending on what type of game Homer-Center decides to bring to the table.