Bellefonte Red Raiders get 50-43 victory over Tyrone High School

Senior Noah Badger (21) of Bellefonte High School Boy’s Basketball shoots the ball while in the lane against Tyrone High School during a high school basketball game in Bellefonte on December 12, 2018. The Red Raiders won the game, 50-43. (The Express/Tim Weight)

BELLEFONTE — Trailing 35-31 entering the fourth, the Red Raiders knew they needed a spark. So on Tyrone’s first possession, Bellefonte’s Caleb Rockey recorded a highlight-reel block, setting up a Nick Fisher three pointer to inch Bellefonte within one point of evening the contest. The two plays electrified the gym and were the momentum-shifting game-changers the Raiders were seeking.

Fisher’s three pointer was the beginning of a 12-0 run for the Raiders, who maintained the lead and dropped the Tyrone Golden Eagles, 50-43.

“It was a good win, and a solid win,” Bellefonte coach Kris Glunt said. “I feel like we have a lot of areas for improvement and we need to clean up some of the mental mistakes, which will clean up some of the physical mistakes. But it’s good to get out of here with our second win and still feel like we have a lot of room for improvement.”

Ben McCartney recorded a game-high 13 points, and Nick Fisher and Caleb Rockey rounded out Bellefonte’s double-digit scorers with 11 each.

“It was a solid-team effort,” Glunt said. “Ben McCartney shot it well, Caleb Rockey hit the boards hard and Isaiah Nadolsky gave us great minutes off the bench, because we were in foul trouble. I’m real proud of the team effort.”

Nick Fisher scored all 11 of his points in the fourth before fouling out of the game. He drilled a trio of three pointers in the period, but deferred his game success toward his teammates who presented him with high-scoring opportunities.

“I gotta thank my teammates,” Fisher said. “They gave me those chances. They drove and drew the defenses toward them, which gave me the open shots and I was just feeling it.”

Fisher nailed a three pointer on Bellefonte’s first possession of the fourth to cut Tyrone’s lead, 35-34. Fisher then drilled another perimeter shot on Bellefonte’s next possession to regain the lead for the Raiders, 38-35.

Later in the period, Fisher connected with Caleb Rockey in the paint, who was fouled on a converted layup. Rockey hit his free throw to extend Bellefonte’s, 40-35.

Fisher was active on defense, too. He drew two charges in the fourth before nailing his third three of the day to stretch Bellefonte’s lead, 43-35.

“Nick Fisher took over the game for us in the second half,” Glunt said of Fisher. “And it’s so rewarding for me because he’s worked so hard in the offseason. He’s put in a lot of time in the gym and I’m proud of him. I thought he was really mentally checked in tonight.”

Tyrone’s Blaine Hoover disrupted Bellefonte’s 12-0 rally with a pair of free throws to cut Bellefonte’s edge, 43-37, but the Raiders never relinquished the lead. Bellefonte dictated the duration of the game and exited with a 50-43 victory.

Bellefonte, with seven seniors on its roster, has gelled early and commenced the season with high confidence. They notched their second win of the season yesterday — a feat they didn’t accomplish last season until January 5.

“We have a unified bunch,” Glunt said of the early-season success. “I think when the guys are together, good things happen. The ball is moving and guys are sharing the basketball. It feels good to get off to a strong start.”

“But it’s a marathon, not a sprint. We have a lot of work to do. And if we can commit to the grind, and be willing to grit throughout the season, then I think we can have a nice year.”

Bellefonte returns Friday to host the Philipsburg-Osceola Mountaineers.Two of Bellefonte’s seven wins a season ago were against P-O. They defeated the Mountaineers, 30-27, back on January 5, then 48-39 on January 30.

“They’re scrappy,” Glunt said of P-O. “They play hard, they’ve been putting in a lot of time and they’ll be ready. And we’ll be ready, too.”

1 2 3 4 F

TY 11 12 12 8-43

BF 11 11 9 19-50

Individual scoring

Bellefonte: Ben McCartney-13, Nick Fisher-11, Caleb Rockey-11 Nate Tice-8, Joey Maggs-4, Noah Badger-2, Bailey Decker-1.

Tyrone: Blaine Hoover- 11, Brandon Lucas-9, Damon Gripp-8, Landen DeHass-8, Andrew Ferguson-3, Corbin Moon-2, Jacob Taylor-2.