From time-to-time this postseason, the Bellwood-Antis girls basketball team has gone cold from the field in spurts. Sometimes for a quarter, and sometimes as long as a half.
That happened in the first half of their state quarterfinal game against York Catholic on Friday evening as the two teams went to halftime tied at 15, and Lady Blue Devil head coach Jim Swaney just had two words of advice at halftime.
“Keep shooting,” said Swaney.
The offense did find their rhythm, like they usually have all season, in the second half and came away with a 53-47 win over York Catholic in the PIAA Class 2A quarterfinals at Mifflin County High School.
One of the key turning points actually came late in the first quarter when the Lady Fighting Irish’s Gabby Coley picked up her second foul of the game. To that point, Coley had just two points, but was seemingly picking up every rebound as she had eight boards to that point.
Coley sat the whole second quarter and returned in the second half, but picked up her third and fourth fouls within 11 second of each other midway through the third quarter.
She did not come back in until there was 5:11 left in the game.
At the time when Coley picked up her second foul, the Lady Fighting Irish were up 9-5 as Bellwood struggled to get anything through the net. Alli Campbell and Sakeria Haralson had the only field goals for the Lady Blue Devils, while Haralson also sunk a free throw.
With the rest of the team struggling to find the basket, Campbell kept her team in the game as she scored all 10 of her team’s points in the second quarter.
While the Lady Blue Devils were struggling on offense, their defense wasn’t allowing a whole lot either as the two teams went to halftime tied at 15.
After a half of not much action on the offensive ends, it was the exact opposite to start the second half as both teams hit a pair of three-pointers in their first two possessions.
Campbell hit Bellwood’s two threes, while Drew Kile and Coley each hit one.
Campbell hit another one from long distance in the third quarter, while Emilie Leidig added two in the period, with her second giving Bellwood the lead for good at 29-26 with two minutes left in the third.
The Lady Blue Devils led 34-28 going to the fourth.
Bellwood extended the lead to 11 at one point, thanks to a Riley D’Angelo three-pointer, but York Catholic cut it to five points with just over two minutes remaining.
Although D’Angelo had just six points in the game, Swaney commented on her defense playing a strong role in the game.
“She’s so quick and athletic she can still impact the game with her defense, and just being a smart player and knowing the game inside and out like she does,” said Swaney. “But certainly it’s easy for us as a team when she’s dropping down some shots.”
Bellwood scored all their points from the free throw line the rest of the way as the team went 10-for-15 from the line in the final period.
Bellwood-Antis, which improved to 25-3 on the season, will play District 11 champion Mahanoy on Monday in the state semifinals at a time and place to be determined.
“I don’t know anything about them. I’m sure by noon (today) I’m going to know a lot more about them,” said Swaney. “They’re 26-2. I’m sure they’re good. Everyone playing right now is pretty good.”
The time and location should be determined sometime today and can be found on the PIAA website.
Bellwood-Antis 53, York Catholic 47
Bellwood-Antis — 53
D’Angelo 2 1-2 6, Shuke 0 0-1 0, Leidig 3 2-2 10, Campbell 9 9-11 31, Haralson 2 2-4 6, Decker 0 0-0 0, Musselman 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 14-20 53.
York Catholic — 47
Kile 2 0-0 5, G. Citrone 2 2-2 6, Coley 2 2-2 7, Bulik 3 1-1 9, Rader 2 6-6 11, Kondrasuk 4 0-0 9, Tully 0 0-0 0, Jones 0 0-0 0, M. Citrone 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 11-11 47. Three-pointers: Bellwood-Antis 7 (D’Angelo, Leidig 2, Campbell 4), York Catholic 6 (Kile, Coley, Bulik 2, Rader, Kondrasuk).
Score by Quarters