Photo by Tim Weight
By Kenny Varner
BELLEFONTE – Less than two days after an emotional home win over rival Bald Eagle Area, the Bellefonte boys basketball team was back on the court to go up against a very feisty Huntingdon team Thursday.
After a very close first half, the Red Raiders rode the momentum after coming out of the intermission and was able to hold the Bearcats late in the contest en route to a hard fought 55-43 Mountain League victory.
“I knew coming into this game after having that emotional win against Bald Eagle and the effort these kids put in and only having one day off I thought they would be a bit tired,” said Bellefonte coach Rick Hall. “I kind of got on them at halftime about the mistakes we were making. They were more fundamental mistakes than physical mistakes. I thought we adjusted and got that big lead in the third quarter. But that’s a tribute to them. They made the adjustments that we talked about as a coaching staff at halftime.”
Bellefonte iced the game in the fourth quarter on six clutch free throws by Derek Cox.
Cox led all scorers with 19 points, five rebounds and two steals.
Also having a strong offensive night from the field was Jacob McConnell who netted 13.
In limited action, Bellefonte center Cole Crissman finished with nine rebounds, seven points and three assists.
The Bearcats got a 14-point effort by Jack Henney.
Holding a 25-20 advantage going into the third quarter, Bellefonte exploded onto the scene.
Crissman got the scoring started when he got the pass from outside the key and drained a three point shot, upping it to a 28-20 lead.
Bellefonte forced a turnover and took the ball down court. After a miss, Cox pulled down the rebound and scored on a put back.
On the following Red Raider possession, Bellefonte went back to the long game, as McConnell hit nothing but net for another triple, extending the lead to 33-20.
The Bellefonte defense once again stood tall, sending Bearcats back empty handed.
With the ball and the lead, the Red Raiders made it a 15-point lead on a strong bucket in the paint by Crissman.
Before the Bearcats were able to get a point in the third, Elle fonts had built a 38-20 advantage.
The Red Raiders would use the fast start and would take an 18-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
But Huntingdon refused to go away as they opened the final stanza posting a 10-2 run, cutting the lead to eight points still with 3:45 left.
But this night belonged the Red Raiders.
Led by Cox’s six free throws, the home team was able to fend off the early run and take home the 12-point victory.