Lady Blue Devils get title shot from rivalry game

Blue Devils lose, but will play in state playoffs.


Emily Wagner

Karson Swogger scored 21 points in the second half to lead B-A to a win over rival Tyrone.

Sapphire McCready, Sports Editor

Last night in the District 6-AA semifinals, the Lady Blue Devils took on rival Tyrone in an intense game at the Hollidaysburg Area High School gymnasium.

After a struggle to score early, the second-seeded Lady Blue Devils outscored the third-seeded Lady Eagles by 20 in the second half,pulling away for a 53-34 win.

B-A’s record is now 24-1.  They have won 23 straight games.

On Saturday the Lady Blue Devils will take on Bishop McCort, whose record is 21-3, at 5:30 in the District 6-AA championship at Saint Francis in Loretto.

“They have some big kids, we have some big kids,” said Ana Hollen, referring to the Bishop McCort game on Saturday. “I think perimeter-wise we’re solid. We’re better than them.  We’re gunna push them some more and give them some game.”

The Lady Blue Devils had a rough first half and shot badly, only hitting just 6 of 29 shot attempts.

By the end of the first quarter, the Lady Eagles managed to tie B-A 8-8.  Then at halftime Tyrone was in the lead with a score of 17-16.

“We’re a veteran team.” said Hollen. “We’ve been here. I feel like that experience definitely pulled through. We came together so well and the teammates had each other’s back.”

After a break at halftime, the Lady Blue Devils stepped up.

The game was tied with 1:25 left in the third quarter until sophomore Karson Swogger and senior Kelly Leamer hit back to back 3s giving the Lady Blue Devils a lead, 31-25 at the end of the third.

The Lady Blue Devils had a total of 6 three point goals; 3 coming from Swogger, 2 from Leamer, and 1 from Ana Hollen.

Swogger led the team with 24 points, 21 of which were in the second half.  Swogger also had six steals, five rebounds, and four assists.

Following close behind Swogger was Hollen with 13 points, 9 of which were in the first half.  Hollen also managed to grab seven rebounds.

“I’m just very proud of our kids,” said Coach Jim Swaney. “When we stepped off the floor last year, we all made an agreement that whatever it took we were going to win the third ICC Championship.”

Anna Lynn added eight points and Leamer added six more points.

The Blue Devils also played last night at the Hollidaysburg Area High School gymnasium against the West Branch Warriors, whom they had beaten twice before.

The game was tough and at first the Blue Devils were down by quite by double-digits, but they managed to come back in the second half.

The Blue Devils lost by only one point, 54-53 in overtime, when Nathan Davis was called for a foul going for the rebound with 2.8 seconds left on the clock at the end of the game. That set the stage for the Warriors’ winning free throw.

“It was a very tough loss,” said Burch. “It felt awful to be that close and come up short. We have to play strong against Central Cambria and get ready for the state tournament.”

Davis agreed. He said, “It was extremely heartbreaking. Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever felt worse in my life. But that’s sports I guess, there’s always a winner and a loser; it just hurts that we were this close.  Our season’s not over though; we have to get back to work today.”

Davis led the team with 18 points, eight rebounds, and three blocked shots. Joey Padula followed close behind him with 13 points.

Freshman Trent Walker really stepped up and made 8 points and Ethan McGee added 6 more.

Although the Blue Devils lost they will still be playing in the PIAA state playoffs.  They will be playing Central Cambria in the District 6 consoltation game on Friday at the Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School at 8.

The Blue Devils’ record is now 19-6.