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Bellefonte falls to DuBois in season opener after 10-month layoff

TIM WEIGHT/For the Express Bellefonte’s Blair Eckley-Jones goes for a layup over DuBois’ Chooch Husted during Friday’s game as Nick Farrell looks on.

After taking a 10-month break, basketball made a return to the area Friday night.

A slow first quarter offensively, one filled with turnovers, hurt the Raiders as Bellefonte fell, 64-60, to DuBois.

Junior guard Nick Way led the Raiders in scoring with 14 points. Junior Blair Eckley-Jones added 12 of his own for Bellefonte. Lennon Lindholm dropped a game-high 21 points for DuBois.

Friday night’s game marked the coaching debut for Rick Hall, who was hired by Bellefonte prior to the beginning of the season.

Hall said overall he was pleased with his team’s effort.

“I mean, it is awesome for the kids. We sat around and had these zoom meetings and tape breakdown. Just for them to get out and play I know they were excited,” Hall said.

DuBois led 11-7 after one quarter. The Raiders had a challenging time maneuvering through the DuBois defenders.

Hall said the slow start for the Raiders was not shocking, as it was the first game of the season.

“With both teams playing man-to-man, when the adrenaline is flowing and both teams are playing aggressive man-to-man it is hard to get into it right away,” Hall said. “I think once they started making shots, they started getting confidence and the game slowed down for them.”

The shots began to fall in the second quarter for the Raiders as their offense began to find its rhythm. Bellefonte got solid production from Cole Crissman. The sophomore center found the bottom of the net on a few lay-ins and led the team with eight points at halftime.

Crissman left the game before the half due to an injury, but returned midway through the third.

Bellefonte gained some momentum going into the break as Blair Eckley-Jones drained a 3 prior to the buzzer.

DuBois took a 28-20 lead into the half.

The Raiders came out firing in the third quarter. Bellefonte rattled off seven points in the first two minutes.

After forcing a few turnovers and converting them into points, Bellefonte cut the Beavers’ lead to just five entering the fourth.

The game’s final quarter would be the most competitive. It was back-and-forth scoring between the two teams and DuBois prevailed at the end.

Gannon Brungard, who finished with 10 points for Bellefonte, sinking two 3-pointers in the fourth to keep Bellefonte within reach.

Although, it was Lennon Lindholm’s 13 points in the final quarter which secured the DuBois victory. The senior guard posted a game-high 21 points for the Beavers.

Bellefonte travels to Philipsburg-Osceola tonight to battle with the Mounties. P-O defeated St. Joe’s, 73-55, Saturday.

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