By Kenny Varner
WINGATE – Defense took center stage Monday night as the Bald Eagle Area boys basketball team was able to keep a feisty Penns Valley at bay in their first contest of 2023.
The Eagles took home the Mountain League battle, defeating the Rams 47-28.
Penns Valley battled throughout, cutting the Eagles lead to within nine in the final stanza before Bald Eagle would get hot late and posting a 14-point fourth en route to the 19-point Eagle win.
Bald Eagle got a strong all around effort by both Cam Watkins and Blaze Angellotti. Both finished with 12points.
Watkins added seven rebounds and three steals.
Angellotti also notched seven boards en route to the victory.
Bald Eagle out rebounded Penns Valley 23-15.
Bald Eagle coach Kris Glunt like how hard the defense worked.
“Penns Valley is always going to battle. I have a lot of respect for the program and have a lot respect for their head coach. They made it tough on us,”said Glunt. “ I was really pleased with our defensive effort. Their offense is going to continue to improve through out the course of the season. Anytime you can keep any team under 30, you have to tip your cap to your defense. I was very proud of our effort tonight.”
Despite the loss, Penns Valley was led by Carson Webster who finished with 11. Nine points came from beyond the three-point line.
In the first, Bald Eagle’s offense opened strong.
It would be the Rams that would get the first bucket of the game.
Jackson Romig scored off an offensive rebound.
On the following possession, Bald Eagle battled back tying it on an Angellotti bucket.
Colin Niewinski put his team back the lead as he caught a pass from underneath, making it a 4-2 contest.
Bald Eagle started to heat up as Angellotti and Watkins took control of the offense, leading to a 6-2 run.
Angellotti finished the quarter with six while Watkins added four.
Things continued to roll offensively in the second as the Eagles continued to have the offensive advantage, outscoring the Rams 15-6 in the stanza.
When the two went into the intermission Bald Eagle lead the contest, 25-12.
Coming out of the half, Penns Valley was able to cut into the Eagles lead as they were able to notch 10 points while holding Bald Eagle to eight.
The run was led by Romig and Webster. Webster hit two triples and a field goal, cutting the lead going into the final stanza, 33-22.
Penns Valley had some momentum early on cutting their deficit to 35-26 midway through the fourth quarter.
However, the Eagles would tighten down the inside and forced the Rams to shoot contested shots, leading to a 11-2 run to end the contest and seal the victory.
In JV action, the Eagles escaped a thriller, winning 42-39.