RIVALRY RENEWED: Bellefonte and Central Mountain renew rivalry, Raiders get 55-23 win

Bellefonte High School sophomore guard Maddie Steiner (1) runs through the Central Mountain High School defense during a high school girl’s basketball game on Monday, February 12, 2018 in Mill Hall. The Red Raiders won 55-23. (The Express/Tim Weight)

MILL HALL — Four Red Raiders recorded double-figures for Bellefonte en route to a 55-23 win over rival Central Mountain.

The victory was Bellefonte’s fourth of the season and erased a five-game slide.

“We played relaxed tonight,” Bellefonte coach Adam Gearhart said. “We came out and did our game plan. The girls came out relaxed and made shots.”

Bellefonte’s defense surrendered a season-low 23 points. They hauled in 24 defense rebounds and forced Central Mountain into turnovers, which created transition buckets for Bellefonte’s offense.

“Our defense led to our offense tonight,” Gearhart explained. “Our girls played our defense the way it’s supposed to be played and got a lot of steals, and a lot of easy buckets early. We got up early and we were able to just relax, play our game and do what we wanted to do.”

Maddie Steiner recorded the first points of the game before back-to-back buckets by Bella Corman and Mallorie Smith extended Bellefonte’s lead 6-0 early in the quarter.

Central Mountain’s Marissa Moyer ended Bellefonte’s rally when she knocked down a three pointer. CM had a competitive first quarter and trailed Bellefonte just 12-7 entering the second period.

SPREADING THE BALL

Bellefonte utilized excellent ball movement to distance themselves form Central Mountain.

Maddie Steiner connected with Mallorie Smith for a three pointer early in the second period to widen Bellefonte’s lead, 15-7. Soon after, Abbey Bruni had a nice bounce-pass assist to Bella Corman under the basket to put the Raiders up 21-7. Maddie Steiner closed the half with another assist to Maddie Tice in the closing seconds of the period to give Bellefonte a 25-9 lead heading into halftime.

Steiner finished with a game-high four assists. Maddie Tice, Abbey Bruni and Mallorie Smith each added another two as Bellefonte combined for 11 in the game.

“Steiner and Smith were really aggressive in the lane tonight,” Gearhart said. “And as passing lanes opened up, they found the open girls. The posts were staying home and our back-cutters were getting to the hoop.”

BALANCED SCORING

Bellefonte had four players record double figures.

Abbey Bruni posted a team-high 13 points. Maddie Steiner added 12, Mallorie Smith contributed another 11 and Bella Corman scored another ten.

Bellefonte shot for a combined 18-53 from the field, a solid number that boosted them to a 55-23 win.

“We were just making the shots tonight,” Gearhart said. “We had four girls in double figures. We really worked the ball around and got a lot of girls a good amount of points. We’ve been looking for that balance all season and we’ve started to get it.”

LAST SHOT

21 games into the season and Central Mountain has yet to to taste a win. They’ve struggled all year and a rematch with on the road against Bellefonte is their last opportunity to hop into the win column.

“We need to get a win,” Central Mountain coach Terrance Green said. “We need to get a win, that’s all that’s going through my mind.”

Central Mountain’s odds against Bellefonte on Thursday are more favorable than they’ve been all season. Not only is Central Mountain a better road-team, but familiarity with Bellefonte eliminates any questions of their opponent’s identity.

“We play Bellefonte again Thursday, that’s the lucky part for us,” Green said. “So we know what we need to do better when we play them again.”

UP NEXT

The Wildcats and Red Raiders conclude their season on Thursday in Bellefonte. Tip-off for that game has been bumped up to 6:30 p.m.

TEAM SCORING

1 2 3 4 F

BF 12 13 19 11- 55

CM 7 2 7 7- 23

INDIVIDUAL SCORING

Bellefonte: Abbey Bruni-13 points, Maddie Steiner- 12 points, Mallorie Smith- 11 points, Bella Corman- 10 points, Maddie Tice- 7 points, Mia Johnson- 2 points.

Central Mountain: Taylor Fletcher- 9 points, Morgan Wetzel- 4 points, Marissa Moyer- 3 points, Quinlynn McCann- 3 points, Madison Courter- 2 point, Talyn Fredericks- 2 points.

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