Lady Blue Devils continue on into the second round of playoffs

Blue Devils had an excellent season but see it come to an end.


Denise Showalter

Sophomore Karson Swogger made a pair of foul shots late against Everett to send the Lady Devils into the second round of the PIAA tournament.

On Friday, the Bellwood-Antis Lady Blue Devils traveled to the UPJ Sports Center to go head to head with the Everett Warriors, who were District 5 Champions, in the PIAA Class AA girls’ basketball first round of state playoffs.

With 4.1 seconds left in the game, Karson Swogger found herself at the foul line with a tied score of 48-48.  Swogger managed to sink each one of her foul shots giving the Lady Blue Devils a 50-48 victory.

The Lady Blue Devils record is now 25-2.  They will continue their season on Tuesday, March 10th against Burrell in the second round at Richland.

The winner will play either Seton-LaSalle or Greensburg CC on Friday, March 13th.

This was the third time the Lady Blue Devils had beaten the Everett Lady Warriors this season, and it was also the closest.

“We knew going in it is hard to beat a team three times, so I was proud of us and how hard we played,” said senior Kelly Leamer.

“It’s hard to beat a team three times, we knew what they were going to do and they knew our sets,” said senior Ana Hollen.

By the end of the first quarter, the Lady Blue Devils found themselves in the lead with a score of 17-12.

By halftime, the Lady Blue Devils were up 29-20.

After halftime is when the game started to get super intense and interesting.  The Lady Warriors managed to catch back up to the Lady Blue Devils. outscoringB-A 20-6 in the 3rd quarter to carry a 48-38 lead into the final 8 minutes of the game.

When they saw they were down by 10 points, the Lady Blue Devils had flashbacks to their previous game against Bishop McCort at Saint Francis University and they definitely didn’t want to make the same mistake twice.

“Late game I felt like we were back at Saint Francis, and we were determined as ever to not make the same mistake and come out with the win,” said Hollen.

Leamer led the team with 17 points, all of which she scored in the first half.

Swogger helped Leamer by adding 16 points and Hollen came out scoring 9 points of her own.

The Lady Blue Devils had seven 3-point goals, 5 of which came from Leamer, 1 from Swogger and 1 from Hollen.

Senior Selena Damiano said, “It was a close game, but at this point in the season we just have to survive and move on.”

On Saturday the Bellwood-Antis Blue Devils traveled all the way to Clarion University’s Tippin Gymnasium to go up against the RedBank Valley Bulldogs in the PIAA AA boys’ basketball state playoffs.

The Blue Devils played their hardest but the Bulldogs came out to be the ones with the bigger bite.  The Blue Devils suffered a devastating 60-53 loss.

“I mean it was definitely heartbreaking; no one wanted to see the season end, but I guess it had to at some point,” said Nathan Davis. “All I can say is we are going to get ready for next year, and it’s gonna go down.”

The Blue Devils never led and trailed 30-12 at the 2:09 mark of the 2nd quarter.

The Blue Devils did climb back into the game as Nathan Davis finally got going in the 2nd half by scoring 19 of his 21 points.

Davis didn’t hit his first field goal until the 3:59 mark of the 3rd quarter, when he banked the 3-pointer before the 3rd quarter buzzer making the score 40-35.  Then Davis made another 3-pointer to tie the game at 44-44, which turned out to be the high mark for the Blue Devils.

“It was a winnable game in which we came up short,” said Jake Burch.  “It will definitely be used as motivation for next year and we can’t wait to get back at it.”

Nathan Davis led the team by getting a double double figure of 21 points and 13 rebounds.

Joey Padula helped Davis out by scoring 11 points.  Trent Walker came off the bench to add 9 points to the Blue Devil’s score.  Ethan McGee scored 6 points.

The Blue Devils had nine 3-point goals: 4 from Davis, 3 from Walker, 1 from Padula and 1 from D’Angelo.

“When we did get it to 44-44, we got a little tense and got back to how we were playing in the 1st quarter,” Blue Devil coach Gerwert, told Altoona Mirror writer, Rich Roades. “No one wanted the ball, we kind of threw it around and had turnovers and were forced to foul. I think the game was a lot closer than the score indicated, but you have to foul.  They went to the line 40 times and we fouled a lot.  We went to the line 7 times, that’s a big difference right there.”

The Blue Devil’s season is now done.  They will not continue on into the playoffs any further.

The Blue Devils ended their season with a record of 20-8, which is a huge improvement from last year’s 5-17.

“It was a hard to see our season end,” said Jarrett Tanneyhill. “What made it even harder was that it was a very winnable game.  However, we fought hard until the end and we need to use this game as a motivation to work harder.”

Ethan McGee agreed.  He said, “It wasn’t exactly how we predicted or how we would have liked to see the season end.  It was a tough loss for everyone, but we fought hard and never rolled over when it wasn’t going our way.  This game is definitely fuel for the hard work to come this off season.  We’re going to make sure we don’t have any more let downs.”