By Kenny Varner
BELLEFONTE – It was a another second half surge for the Red Raiders.
Trailing by 12 going into the second half, the Bellefonte boys basketball team came out sizzling, outscoring visiting DuBois 36-14, en route to the 48-38 victory Monday.
With the win, the Red Raiders secured the third seed going into the District 6 playoffs.
Leading his team in the second half offensive explosion was Cole Crissman who tallied a game-high 22 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. He also held the Beavers’ big man Tyson Kennis to only six points in the second half.
Coming in for Crissman, Jacob Corman stepped up his defensive game underneath as well in the second half, helping keep the successful first half inside game of DuBois to almost nothing in the second half.
Finishing behind Crissman on the score sheet was Derek Cox and Jacob McConnell with an 9-point and 8-point effort, respectively.
Picking up clutch steals for the Red Raiders were Luke Fisher and Cox as they were very effective forcing crucial turnovers.
DuBois was led by Cam Thompson and Kennis who both posted 14 points.
Things started slowly offensively for Bellefonte to open up the contest as they found themselves behind 24-12 as the two teams went into the intermission.
“I’m going to take the blame a little bit for the first half. I should have put on more defensive pressure in the first like we did in the second. Offensively, we just weren’t shooting well. I made two adjustments at halftime. We really spread the floor out. We were getting compacted inside the three-point line too much,” said Bellefonte coach Rick Hall. “As soon as we started spreading them out, we started hitting threes. We started driving the ball. The kids made a real nice adjustment to our offensive sets and I give them credit for that.”
However, after making some halftime adjustments the Red Raiders went right to work.
Seconds into the the third period, Crissman hit a strong shot inside to get Bellefonte on a scoring run.
On the next trip down the court, the Red Raiders fed the ball back to Crissman and he did not disappoint.
He took the ball strong to the hoop and was fouled in the process, making it a 3-point play, cutting it to just a 24-17 deficit.
On the defensive end, Cox stole the ball on the Beavers next possession, taking it all the way for an easy lay up.
Teammate Luke Fisher forced yet another DuBois turnover as he cleared the ball after the steal and sent the pass down to Cox in transition, making it a 24-21 contest.
Cox would cut the lead to only one when he hit a bucket just minutes later.
But the Beavers would stop the run when Maddox Bennett popped a triple, extending the DuBois lead to 27-23 with 4:15 left in the quarter.
That would be the last points the Beavers would score the rest of the period.
But Bellefonte was just getting started.
After the triple, McConnell cut the lead to two on his first field goal of the game.
Minutes later, Crissman went back to work, hitting a jumper and then a triple in consecutive trips down court, giving the Red Raiders a lead for the first time, 30-27.
Going into the final stanza, Bellefonte continued its hot shooting.
Crissman popped an early three, extending its lead to 33-27.
DuBois would push its way back into the contest, going on a 9-4 run.
With the Red Raiders holding a one-point advantage, the offense continued its strong showing.
A triple by McConnell and a field goal by Corman, the Red Raiders had some breathing room at 42-36 forcing a Beaver time out with 2:25 left.
After the time out, Bellefonte finished strong ending the contest on a 6-2 run to put the record at 11-10.
In the JV contest, the Red Raiders won a hard fought 40-35 contest.
Bellefonte 48, DuBois 38
DU 10 14 3 11 – 38
BE 6 6 18 18 – 48
Scoring: DuBois – Andrew Gudalis 1 0-0 3, Cam Thompson 5 0-0 14, Maddox Bennett 1 0-0 3, Rudy Williams 2 0-0 4, Tyson Kennis 4 4-4 14. Totals 12 4-4 38. Bellefonte – Luke Fisher 0 2-3 2, Alex Ebeling 2 1-1 5, Jacob McConnell 3 1-2 8, Cole Crissman 7 6-7 22, Jacob Corman 1 0-0 2, Derek Cox 4 1-2 9. Totals 17 11-15 58.
Played but didn’t score: DuBois – Benjamin Hickman 0 0-0 0, Aiden West 0 0-0 0. Bellefonte – Ryder Hamilton 0 0-0 0, Davis Corman. 0 0-0 0, Ethan Tomasacci 0 0-0 0.
Three-point shots: DuBois – Thompson 4, Gudalis. Bellefonte – Crissman 2, McConnell.