Lady Blue Devils set to take on Kane Lady Wolves


From girls District 6 playoff double-header; February 21, 2018. (Riley Miller)

Colin McCaulley, Sports Writer

Tonight the Devils will travel to Clarion High Shool to take on the Kane Lady Wolves.

Kane is stepping in with a record of 22-2 and B-A with a 23-3 record. The Wolves average 53.5 points per game, and like Blairsville hope to control the pace of the game and make teams work for points on offense. Against Blairsville the Devils weren’t hitting shots and letting the Bobcats hold for shots at the other end, eventually losing 44-37 in the District 6 2A semifinals. On Friday they’ll have to try to push the pace.

B-A shouldn’t have to make many adjustments for another stall-ball team; instead they simply have to shoot the ball better. The Lady Blue Devils haven’t shot over forty percent since their first round District playoff win against Homer Center.

According to B-A coach Jim Swaney, Kane is similar to Blairsville in more than one way.

”Kane is a big team that will try to slow the pace of play and work the ball inside,” Swaney explained.

If they hope to make a deep run into states the girls need to shoot better against Friday night because against a slow paced team like Kane you’re never sure when you’re going to get the ball back. In the Lady Devils’ win against Homer Center in the District consolation game, they put up 71 shot attempts compared to a mere 47 shot attempts in the loss to Blairsville. The Devils need to do their typical run and gun to get a lead and speed Kane up.

“We must make it a full court game,” Swaney agrees. “We need to be effective with our pressure defense and force them into turnovers. If we do that it’ll be a fun night for us,” the coach continued.

Much of the pace falls on the shoulders on star point guard Alli Campbell, who averages more than 26 points per game. She’s also getting 5.3 assists per game, and 4.3 steals, ans she has a lot of help from Sakeria Haralson, Riley D’Angelo, and Emilie Leidig, who also average double-digit scoring.

If B-A is hitting its shots, the high powered offense will be too much for the Lady Wolves and it will be over quick, but if the girls aren’t hitting it’s going to be a dogfight all night.

Lady Wolves center Ella Marconi, coming in at six feet two inches, is the tallest girl B-A has faced yet this year and it means Haralson will have her work cut out for her. Haralson has been key for the success of the Devils all season, leading the team in rebounds and blocks, and she boasts the highest shooting percentage at sixty percent on 227 shots this season. The Lady Devils will need Haralson to have a big game on the boards to start the break and get out in transition.

The game will be played tonight night at Clarion High, a two-hour ride for the Devils and a one hour ride for the Wolves. Tickets are being sold in the District office where student tickets are three dollars, adult tickets are six dollars, and all tickets at the door will be six dollars.