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Bald Eagle battles back to defeat Penns Valley

WINGATE – Bald Eagle Area guard Kahale Burns stepped up to the free throw line as the Eagles held on to a three-point lead late against Penns Valley. The freshman–who ended the night with a game-high 18 points–knew the pressure was on him.

But Burns didn’t mind it. The freshman knocked the pair of free throws down to extend Bald Eagle’s lead to five with under a minute to play. Bald Eagle held on for the 56-49 victory.

“I was just doing whatever to help the team out. They were obviously big free throws if I didn’t make those it would’ve been a closer game. They were definitely big shots,” Burns said.

The victory Friday night not only snapped the Eagles four-game losing streak but also marked Bald Eagle coach Kris Glunt’s first Mountain league victory.

“I’m real proud of the guys. It felt like everybody that entered the game really had an impact,” Glunt said. “The guys who obviously didn’t get in were super supportive of their teammates, we did a lot of great things out here tonight. This is a big step for us.”

Burns tallied six total points in the final quarter including making four of six free throws when it mattered most. Glunt praised the freshman’s toughness after the win.

“He’s tough. Every day he takes a step forward. As a freshman for him to come out and compete, he’s making really great decisions and playing with confidence,” Glunt said. “He’s going to keep getting better. I think the sky is really the limit.”

The Eagles had to overcome a double-digit deficit to defeat the Rams. Outside of Burns, Alex Gavlock posted 12 points and Cam Watkins added 10 for the Eagles.

Hayden Vaughn also chipped in with nine points.

As for the Rams, Zach Braucht led the way for Penns Valley with a team-high 13 points.

Braucht’s six points helped propel the Rams to an early 15-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Penns Valley lead eventually reached 10 halfway through the second quarter. Bald Eagle was able to cut down its turnovers and trim the lead to just seven at halftime. Penns Valley’s stingy 2-3 zone gave the Eagles issues early on.

The second half was controlled by the Eagles from the start to the end.

Bald Eagle opened the second half of play on a 6-0 run, it was capped off by a Hayden Vaughn deep two in the corner. The solid quarter continued for Vaughn as the junior connected on a three to push the Eagles ahead 37-34 with 2:30 left in the third.

Bald Eagle clung to a 42-41 lead going into the final quarter of action.

The offensive outbreak–highlighted by Alex Gavlock’s back-to-back 3s to begin the fourth–continued for the Eagles. Gavlock and Burns were too much for the Rams late as Penns Valley failed to find the bottom of the net.

Bald Eagle’s 14-point advantage in the second half made the difference in the game. Glunt said his team’s ability to find creases in Penns Valley’s zone went along way.

“There was a lot of grit out there tonight, I thought we played tough and really got after it. We made some great decisions with the basketball. One thing we’ve struggled to do is find gaps in the zone -we had a practice before the game tonight and we really emphasized that–they took that and attacked it well. We made shots at the rim, shots at the perimeter. It was just a great basketball game,” Glunt said.

Bald Eagle 56, Penns Valley 49

Penns Valley 15 16 10 8–49

Bald Eagle 5 19 18 14–56

BEA (56)

Kahale Burns 5 7-10 18, Alex Gavlock 5 0-0 12, Cam Watkins 5 0-0 10, Hayden Vaughn 4 0-0 9, Blaze Angellotti 1 0-1 2. Totals:22 8-13 56.

PV (49)

Zach Braucht 5 3-4 13, Logan Crater 3 3-4 11, Kyle Niewinski 4 0-0 8, John Aston 2 2-2 6, Collin Emel 2 0-0 6, Caleb Narber 1 2-2 5, Totals: 17 10-12 49.

3-point goals: BEA 4 (Gavlock 2, Vaughn, Burns), PV 5 ( Emel 2, Crater 2, Narber 1.)

Records: BEA 4-7, PV 5-7.

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