By Kenny Varner
BELLEFONTE – In the battle for bragging rights, the Bald Eagle boys basketball team traveled to Bellefonte Tuesday in game two of their cross county rivalry.
But it would be the Red Raiders that would make a first half statement and held off a late scoring spurt from the Eagles to take the 56-37 victory.
It would be a total team effort by the Red Raiders en route to the victory.
Leading the way offensively was Jacob McConnell with a game-high 16 points. Teammate Derek Cox followed closely with 14. Center Cole Crissman finished with six points, two assists, seven rebounds and a steal.
“We had a real hard practice yesterday. I broke down three goals. Play hard. Play smart. The third one was play with confidence. I told them the first half was good,” said Bellefonte head coach Rick Hall. “They came out with a vengeance and I was really proud of the way they played.”
In the first quarter, Bellefonte jumped out to an early lead, going on an 11-0 run to start the game.
In the run, Cox had the hot hand posting five of those points.
Defensively, the Red Raiders defense forced the Eagles outside shutting down the middle forcing Bald Eagle to shoot from outside.
Bald Eagle got on the board with two minutes left. Kahale Burns, who led his team with 14 points, found a lane and went hard at the basket. He was fouled and went to the free throw line and hit a perfect 2-for-2 from the line.
Bald Eagle cut it to 11-4 on the following possession. Chase Thompson stole the ball and took it in for the lay up.
When the buzzer sounded, Bellefonte held an 11-4 lead.
Offensively, the Red Raiders heated up in the second quarter opening on a 12-0 run.
In the scoring run, Cox tallied four and teammate McConnell hit some clutch inside shots for six.
Bald Eagle was still trying to find its shot, scoring only three in the period.
Going into the intermission, Bellefonte led 25-7.
Bald Eagle came out of the intermission on a mission to cut into the lead.
Things started out strong for Bald Eagle as they exploded back onto the scene posting an 11-4 five minute run. In that run, Blaze Angellotti Tyler Serb and Kahale Burns all had three in the run.
“It’s disappointing all the way around. You can’t score seven in a half and be able to give yourself a chance to win the game,” said Bald Eagle Area Coach Kris Glunt. “We came out and battled and did some good things but after that we were just exchanging baskets.”
Cutting the deficit to 32-18, the Eagles forced Bellefonte to call a time out to regroup.
But the Red Raiders would keep the Eagles at bay for the rest of the contest as Bellefonte outscored BEA 21-20 en route to the victory.
In the JV contest, Bellefonte took the contest 57-34.
Bellefonte 56, Bald Eagle Area 37
BEA 4 3 16 14 – 37
BEL 11 14 15 16 – 56
Scoring: Kahale Burns 3 7-7 14, Chase Thompson 1 0-0 2, Cam Watkins 3 0-0 6, Blaze Angellotti 2 2-5 6, Tyler Serb 2 1-1 6, Kieran Jodon 1 1-2 3. Totals 12 11-17 37.
Bellefonte – Ryder Hamilton 4 1-1 9, Luke Fisher 1 0-0 2, Derek Cox 6 2-3 14, Jacob McConnell 7 1-3 16, E. Tomasacci 1 0-0 2, Davis Corman 2 1-2 5, Cole Crissman 2 2-4 6, Jacob Corman 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 7-13 56.
Played but didn’t score: Bald Eagle – Kaden Burns 0 0-0 0, Aaron Sharp 0 0-0 0, Ryan Regel 0 0-0 0, Tre Greene 0 0-2 0. Bellefonte Alex Eberling 0 0-0 0.
3-point shots: Bald Eagle Area -Burns, Serb. Bellefonte – McConnell.