By Kenny Varner
BELLEFONTE – Two young lacrosse teams met Thursday when the MIfflin County boys team traveled to Bellefonte for an evening of prime time action.
Both teams posted a youth movement of sorts as they entered the contest.
“Our defense was coming along and now we have one or two guys out. So with those guys out with the progress that we’re making we thought it would slow us down. But the guys who stepped in after that even had less experience actually carried their weight well,” said Bellefonte coach Rick Johnson. “The defense is continually getting better. The offense is a work in progress but I think a few little things tonight probably gave them a little more confidence tonight.”
Bellefonte’s Ryder Hamilton led the Red Raider offense with five goals while teammate Nate Benner also finished with a hat trick in the 11-4 win over the hard hitting Huskies.
Hamilton hit the first shot for the Red Raiders sending a blistering shot from the top of the circle.
Less than three minutes later, teammate Austin Smith, made it 2-0 as he found the back of the net.
It was a very physical contest from beginning to end by both teams.
“It seems like our defense is doing a great job, especially down low,” said MIfflin County coach Anthony Everly. “We’re getting a body on someone when they get close to the goal. Hopefully it will be a different ball game the next time we play them.”
Early in the second, the Huskies cut the lead in half, Dreyson Weaver hit on a runner past the goalie, making it 2-1.
But the Red Raiders extended the lead back to two after hard shot in traffic at 5:56 by Logan Williams.
Mifflin County goalie Aidan Berich kept his team in striking distance saving six in a period and a half. He would finish with 17.
Coming out of the intermission, the Huskies came out opening with a goal from Lucas Sheetz, cutting it to a 3-2 contest.
Bellefonte came right back on a blast at the top of the circle that just skimmed through.
Back came the Red Raiders again, hitting on consecutive goals when Nate Benner was falling to the ground and swung a tough shot in traffic, making it a three goal advantage for the home team.
Bellefonte pushed another goal past minutes later as the lefty, Hamilton hit a one hopper into the goal, making it 6-2.
In the final minutes of the quarter, the Red Raiders would get another goal from Hamilton, upping the lead to 7-2.
Going into the final stanza, Hamilton hit the opening shot for Bellefonte extending the lead to 8-2.
From there the MIfflin County got a late goal by Gabe Yoder at 4:38 and breakaway goal from Alexander Snyder at 2:40, giving the Huskies a momentum boost as the game wound down, trailing only 10-5.
“We’ve never had a problem with the kids quitting or not playing the full game,” said Everly. “ We just got down early and it was hard to come back from that after your down three to five goals. We’re excited to see these guys come into our place and play on our grass field. It should be a little different.”
But Bellefonte would add one more goal with just over minute to play to end the game scoring and give the Red Raiders the victory.
Bellefonte 11, MIfflin County 4
MC 0 1 1 2 – 4
BE 2 1 4 4 -11
BE – Ryder Hamilton unassisted, 11:01.
BE – Austin Smith unassisted, 8:12.
MC- Dreyson Weaver unassisted, 11:23.
BE – Logan Williams unassisted, 5:56.
MC – Lucas Sheetz unassisted, 11:25.
BE – Hamilton unassisted, 11:00.
BE – Nate Benner unassisted, 9:24.
BE – Hamilton unassisted, 7:39.
BE – Hamilton unassisted, 1:26.
BE – Hamilton unassisted, 11:21.
BE – Benner unassisted, 10:26.
BE – Benner unassisted, 6:32.
MC – Gabe Yoder unassisted, 4:38.
MC – Alexander Snyder unassisted, 2:40.
BE – Eli Rowland unassisted, 1:32.
Saves – Aidan Berich (MC)17, Shawn Clampet(BE) 8.