Blue Devils advance to finals

B-A takes round two of the backyard brawl


Phoebe Potter

Nathan Davis puts up a half court shot

Blair Poorman, Sports Writer

Last night, the Bellwood-Antis boys’ basketball team advanced to District 6-AA finals with a 63-49 win over Tyrone.

No. 1-seeded Bellwood had a balanced scoring attack with Nathan Davis leading the pack with 16, Trent Walker adding a season high of 13, and Joey Padula, Jarrett Taneyhill, and Jake Burch each pitching in 10.

Now 23-2, B-A will face a familiar opponent in the championship Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Altoona Field House: ICC foe West Branch, which defeated Penns Valley 54-44 in overtime. The teams split two games this season.

We have people who can step up and hit shots when we need to.

— Coach Gerwert

For much of the first half B-A and Tyrone went back and forth, exchanging bucket for bucket.

At the 2:29 mark in the second quarter, Gary Weaver hit a foul shot to extend Tyrone’s lead to 5.

On the ensuing possession, B-A’s Trent Walker hit a 3-pointer that catapulted the Blue Devils on a 9-0 run to close the half, and sent them into the locker room up 33-29.

In the third quarter, Bellwood extended their lead to 5 and finished the quarter up 42-37. With a minute left in the third, Tyrone switched defenses from a 1-2-2, which had held Davis to 4 points at that point, to a man-defense, which would prove to be a key factor in the fourth quarter.

“We have people who can step up and hit shots when we need to, and if you would have told me that Nathan would only have 4 going into the fourth I would have said you were crazy,” said Coach Brent Gerwert.  “Trent Walker stepped up and hit some shots, Joey Padula and Jake Burch made shots, and helped us get that lead to make them switch to man.”

In the fourth quarter the Blue Devils started to pull away as Nathan Davis put up 12 points thanks to the change in Tyrone’s defense.  B-A was also able to capitalize on Tyrone fouls, adding 4 points off of free throws and watching Golden Eagles leading scorer Anthony Politza exit early by fouling out.

Bellwood scored a total of 21 points in the final quarter as Tyrone struggled to make their baskets, hitting just 5 of 13 and going almost six minutes without a field goal.

As the clock ran out the whole gym was on their feet applauding both Bellwood and Tyrone.

“I wasn’t complaining when they switched to man,”said Davis.

Davis also reached a major milestone in the game, becoming the first Bellwood basketball player, male or female, to reach 2,000 career points.

“You can’t tell me that he wasn’t thinking about the milestone, he wasn’t play his game.  But once he hit that last bucket to go up 6, the floodgates opened for him, and the rim looked like the ocean for him,” said Coach Gerwert about Davis.

The District 6 Final will be played this Friday at 7:30 against West Branch at the Altoona Field House, a team that the Blue Devils split the season series 1-1.