Bellefonte boys and girls basketball get first round opponents for districts

(EXPRESS FILE PHOTO) Bellefonte's Nate Tice dribbles the ball in a high school basketball game.

By SHAREIK FLOWERS

sflowers@lockhaven.com

BELLEFONTE- With the basketball regular season approaching its conclusion this week, District 6 announced its seeding and schedule for the upcoming playoff tournament.

The Bellefonte girls basketball team earned a No. 5 ranking. The Lady Raiders will commence the postseason Feb. 18 on the road against No.4 DuBois, at 7 p.m. The winner of the game will face No. 1 ranked Hollidaysburg in the semifinals, Feb. 21.

“We’re real excited,” Bellefonte coach Adam Gearhart said of advancing to the postseason again. “We’ve really had to work hard here at the end. We still have to play another regular season game Wednesday, so we’re hoping to add to our win-total.”

The Lady Raiders are 8-13 on the year but are riding a two-game win streak. They’ve been unable to close out close games as six of their 13 losses have been by six points or fewer, with three of those games being by just two points or fewer.

“One of those six point losses is to DuBois, who we will face,” Gearhart said. “So we’re hoping to get a little redemption there.”

Before Bellefonte faces DuBois they’ll have to end the season with a home game against Central Mountain on Wednesday. The Lady Red Raiders defeated Central Mountain, 43-33, in last year’s regular-season finale. Coach Gearhart views Wednesday’s game as a critical matchup for Bellefonte to build steam for the postseason.

“Wednesday is real important for us because we’ve won two in a row [the past two games], and that’s the first time we’ve done it this season,” Gearhart explained. “A win against Central Mountain gives us three in a row, and that will really be good for our confidence heading into the postseason.”

“We really don’t want to overlook Central Mountain right now because we want to get that momentum and confidence,” Gearhart added. “We need to come out and play well against Central Mountain, and keep things coming in the right direction.”

The Bellefonte boys basketball team received a No. 2 ranking. They host No. 3 Hollidaysburg Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. The winner will face top-seeded Greater Johnstown Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the district title game at Penn State Altoona.

In Bellefonte’s previous two seasons under head coach Kris Glunt the team traveled to Central Mountain for the first round of playoffs. Now with an improved and over .500 record (currently 12-7) the team finally gets to host a playoff matchup.

“I think it’s a real special feeling,” Red Raider coach Kris Glunt said of hosting a postseason game in Bellefonte. “The kids have worked really hard, and we’ve dealt with some adversity this year with some injuries and illnesses. But we just kind of found a way to grind it out and win some ball games.”

Bellefonte closes its regular season with three additional games this week. They travel to St. Marys tonight, play the Central Dragons on the road Thursday before a rematch and regular-season home finale versus St. Marys on Friday.

“I think this is the time of the year where we want to start really putting some things together,” Glunt said. “We want to peak as a group, and we want to try and reach that place of excellence that we talked about earlier in the season.”

“So we’re really going to use these three games as an opportunity to come together, to continue to compete, play hard and to do our best just to gel and reach our fullest potential as a unit,” Glunt added.

One game Glunt is particularly glued on is Thursday’s road matchup against Central. Bellefonte’s first loss of the season was a 41-38 home defeat versus the Dragons on Dec. 18. Glunt would love for his team to rise to the occasion and deliver Central just its third home loss of the year in Martinsburg.

“I think that game’s going to be a great environment,” Glunt said of Thursday’s contest. “Central is always a tough place to play, so I think it’s just going to be a great opportunity for us to go up and compete. We’re hoping to finish the year on a high note.”

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