Bald Eagles get 54-52 win after buzzer-beating shot
WINGATE — Trailing 52-51 with 19 seconds left in the game, Bald Eagle Area forced a turnover on defense and called an immediate timeout.
In the break, they discussed securing the ball for the game’s last possession and kicking the ball out to either Jaden or Jordan Jones for the game-winning shot, and the play was perfectly designed.
After Bellefonte’s defense collapsed on Bald Eagle Area and appeared it would make the game-clinching stop, Jaden Jones found himself with the ball in his hands and drilled the game-winning three pointer at the final buzzer to propel the Eagles to a 54-52 win over Bellefonte.
Jones had anticipated an euphoric moment like this for awhile.
“It’s one of those things you always dream of, especially against Bellefonte,” Jones said. “It’s one of those things you just visualize and think it’s never going to happen, but it happened tonight and it’s wonderful.”
When the shot left his hands, Jones was unsure if it would fall through the net.
“It looked a little left,” Jones admitted. “But I kind of just focused on the bottom of the rim and lost sight of the ball. But it felt good and it’s always good to beat a rival.”
Jones’ buzzer beater capped of a sensational comeback by the Eagles who trailed 45-35 early in the fourth quarter.
The game’s momentum shifted after Bellefonte was called for a shooting foul and technical foul on the same play. Mikey Habovick knocked down one of the technical free throws and Jordan Jones (15 points) hit both of his free shots to cut BEA’s deficit, 45-38.
Jaden Jones (12 points) then hit a three pointer to bring BEA within four of tying the game. Logan Fetzer (12 points) then recorded back-to-back buckets to cap off a 10-0 run by the Eagles and tie the game at 45 points apiece.
For the duration of the game, both teams exchanged scores and Bellefonte never surrendered the lead until Jones’ game-winning shot.
Although just a sophomore, Jaden didn’t panic in the last seconds of the game when he had the ball. His impulse was to first pass it to older brother Jordan, but a miscue by the Bellefonte defense gave him a high-percentage shot.
“I saw the defender jumped over, so I just kind of pulled up and [shot it],” Jones said.
The win increased Bald Eagle Area’s record to 5-14, and it was the perfect sendoff for the seniors who played their last game at home.
“The way they played was awesome,” BEA coach Bill Butterworth said. “They kept their composure and I’m proud of the way they played. They play hard all the time and I wouldn’t want to coach anybody else.”
1 2 3 4
BF 14 13 14 11-52
BEA 11 10 14 19- 54
Bellefonte: Ben McCartney- 17 points, Nate Tice- 10 points, Nick Fisher- 10 points, Bailey Decker- 6 points, Caleb Rockey- 5 points, Jaymz McCllelland- 4 points.
Bald Eagle Area: Jordan Jones- 15 points, Jaden Jones- 12 points, Logan Fetzer- 12 points, Drew Bucha- 8 points, Cale Burkett- 4 points, Garrett Barnhart- 2 points,Mikey Habovick-1 point.