Blue Devils return to PIAA tournament

B-A aims to go where no team has gone before


Marissa Panasiti

The Blue Devils have been to this point before, but never beyond.

Blair Poorman, Sports Writer

Last Friday night, the Bellwood-Antis boys’ basketball team beat the West Branch Warriors to solidify their spot against the district 7 sixth seed, the 20-6 Quaker Valley Quakers.

The game will be played this Saturday in Holidaysburg at 4:30.

The Quakers are part of the ultracompetitive WPIAL league, and come out with a very impressive record. Even while lacking the varsity experience that is usually essential for success.

Quaker Valley has two 20 point losses to Aliquippa, who many people feel to be the best team in the state, as well as a 72-44 loss to Bishop Canevin in the second round of the WPIAL playoffs.

Bellwood-Antis and Quaker Valley are very similar teams in terms of personnel.

Quaker Valley is led by their three talented guards, junior Wolfie Moser, junior Amos Luptak, and sophomore Coletrane Washington. Luptak is the lone varsity starter from last year’s team, and is performing at a very high level, while Moser and Washington have proven to be viable scoring options in their first year starting. On any given night, any one of their guards can step up and be the star for the night.

What Quaker Valley lacks is what Bellwood excels in, and that is experience. The Blue Devils are returning all five starters from their team last year, as well as their top two off their bench. Bellwood is led by guards Nathan Davis and Joey Padula who led the Blue Devils in scoring per game this year with 21.8 and 13.2 respectively.

“Obviously we have been here before, so I think last year’s first round playoff experience is definitely going to pay dividends for us this year,” said Davis.

The Quakers also have Ricky Guss, a valuable frontcourt player who specializes in getting rebounds and cleaning up under the basket. Guss has been in double digits in most games for Quaker Valley and B-A’s own Jarrett Taneyhill will look to shut him down. Taneyhill averages 8.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 4.6 blocks per game.

If the Devils win, their next game will be against the winner of the District 5 champion Berlin Brothers Valley and the third place team from the WPIAL Greensburg Central Catholic game.