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Bald Eagle Area falls to P-O in opener

The Eagles fell to P-O 66-32 Friday night. TIM WEIGHT/ For The Express

With an ever-changing schedule, a new head coach and other obstacles, Bald Eagle knew Friday night’s home-opener against Philipsburg-Osceola would be far from a cake walk.

The Eagles welcomed a solid Mounties team to Wingate Friday night as the 2020-21 BEA team took the court for the first time. P-O used a dominate opening-quarter to propel itself to 66-32 victory over the Eagles.

“There were some positives there tonight, this is a young group,” BEA coach Kris Glunt said after his first career game with the Eagles. “We have had an unprecedented preseason and an unprecedented off-season. We just have to get better in a lot of areas. We’re going to stay positive. I don’t believe the way we finish the season will be anywhere near how we start the season.”

P-O’s combination of Jacob DeSimone and Ryan Whitehead were too much for the young BEA team to handle, the two scored 20 and 19 respectfully.

The Mounties, who earned their fourth victory of the season Friday night, opened the game on a 7-0 run. BEA coughed-up the ball on its first three possessions and the Mounties made the most of it.

Ayden Jodon fights for possession during Friday night's game. TIM WEIGHT/ For The Express

BEA registered its first points of the night when Hayden Vaughn made a jumper to make the score 10-2 in favor of P-O. After BEA’s first bucket of the night fell, the Mounties ended the quarter on an 11-4 run behind Whitehead’s nine points.

P-O had a 21-6 lead at the end of the first period.

It was a solid display of offensive rebounding, combined with stingy defensive play that helped the Mounties jump out to a commanding lead early. P-O managed to grab five offensive boards in the first half alone.

The Eagles settled in during the second. BEA’s bright spot came from junior guard Alex Gavlock’s eight first half points. Gavlock was a perfect two-for-two on threes in the second quarter.

Glunt said he knew his team was not going to give-up after a lackluster first quarter of play.

Kahale Burns attempts a lay-up during Friday's game against P-O. TIM WEIGHT/ For The Express

“They’re not going to lay-down. These kids are going to battle. That’s what I love about them, they’re tough, they fight, and they come to practice and work hard. We really don’t have our system in place yet. We have to to continue to compare and continue to get better,” Glunt said.

The Mounties took a 33-16 lead into the half.

Bald Eagle began the second half of play with a more relaxed offensive approach, its guards began to see the floor much better.

But P-O’s duo of Whitehead and DeSimone was too much for BEA to stage a comeback.

Whitehead’s soft touch around the rim helped him carve up the Eagles defense. The Mounties made it a priority to run their offense through the 1,000-point scorer in an effort to build the lead.

Outside of Whitehead, the Mounties got a solid quarter out of Kyle Hahn. Hahn had an impressive third quarter for P-O as the senior added six off the bench. Between Whitehead and Hahn, P-O had a commanding 31-point lead heading into the fourth.

The Mounties slowed their offense down in the game’s final quarter. P-O worked the ball and went deep into its rotation of players.

P-O held on for the Mt. League victory.

“I was proud of the way we handled pressure and played our defense. Also, I liked the way they stuck together, our culture is everything to us,” P-O coach TJ Anderson said after his team’s victory. “This was actually a good game for us as we’re gearing up for the end of our season. We want to get these guys seasoned, and opportunities early so that when we call them, they’ll be ready.”

P-O 21 12 22 11 -66

BEA 6 10 8 8 -32

P-0 (66) Jacob DeSimone 9 1-1 20, Ryan Whitehead 7 0-0 18, Tristan Doyle 2 4-8 11, Jeremy Whitehead 3 1-2 7, Oliver Harpster 2 0-0 6, Aaron Depto 2 0-0 4. Totals 25 6-11 66.

BEA (32) Hayden Vaughn 5 0-0 10, Alex Gavlock 2 4-6 10, Aidan Jodon 3 0-0 6, Kahale Burns 1 0-0 2, Owen Irvin 1 0-0 2, Blaze Angellotti 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 4-7 32.

Three-pointers: Philipsburg-Osceola 6 (Harpster 2, R. Whitehead 1, Doyle 1, DeSimone 1, Hahn 1). Bald Eagle Area 2 (Gavlock 2).

Records: Philipsburg-Osceola 3-2, Bald Eagle Area 0-1

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