Central defeats Bellefonte
BELLEFONTE – Just days before, the Bellefonte boys basketball team found itself losing to Central on the road, 55-34.
But after a commanding win against Bald Eagle on Thursday, the Dragons weren’t facing the same team they dominated earlier.
Friday night, the Red Raiders went toe-to-toe with the 12-4 Dragons, taking them the distance before falling 45-34.
“When you get blown out just days before and you comeback. I give my kids credit. I told them we had to change our style,” said Bellefonte coach Rick Hall. “They’re too athletic, they’re too big (Central) and try to get in a running game like we like to do. But I said we need to slow things down and be patient, adjust our defenses which we did. We kept going back and forth. We went to man and then to zone. We kept going back and forth. The kids played it as well as they were capable of.”
On offense the Red Raiders finished with two players in double figures while the Dragons had one.
Bellefonte got 10 from both Blair Eckley-Jones and Nick Way.
Devon Boyles finished with a game-high 12-point effort.
At the half, Bellefonte started the half within striking distance at 26-16.
Brungard, who had six points in the game, got the second half scoring with a inside shot in traffic, reducing the Dragons’ lead to single digits.
After forcing a central turnover, Bellefonte got the ball to Eckley-Jones in transition for a runner in the lane, making it a 26-20 contest.
But very good team can answer back when called on as the Dragons stopped the 4-0 with two foul shots from Boyles.
On the next Dragon possession, the Red Raiders stole the ball from Central as the ball bounced toward the sidelines but a no look save by by a Red Raider teammate to Ty Kroell who sent it to way who stepped back and hit the triple, putting Bellefonte to within five at 28-23 with 3:16 left in the third.
Central battled back with three points but Bellefonte ended the third with a bucket with 54 seconds, making it a 31-25 ball game as the game went into the final eight minutes.
The home team opened the final stanza on two free throws from Eckley-Jones, cutting the deficit to 31-27.
On the next Dragons’ possession, Eli Lingenfelter hit 2-of-2 from the charity stripe, extending back to a 6-point lead with 7:15.
Back battled the Red Raiders as Way struck again with a bucket from underneath.
Central refused to lose ground when Hunter Smith hit an easy inside shot. Smith was also very active on the boards, especially in the fourth finishing with seven boards.
Ty Kroell got the crowd excited as he stepped up for a clutch triple, cutting it to 35-32 with six minutes left.
However down the stretch, the Dragons were able to pull down crucial rebounds en route to outscoring the Red Raiders 10-2 run to take home the victory, 45-34.
Bellefonte will be back in action on March 2nd as it hosts MIfflin County.
Central 45, Bellefonte 34
CE 12 14 5 13 – 45
BE 5. 11 9 9 – 34
Scoring: Central – Hunter Smith 3 1-2 7, Devon Boyles 4 4-4 12,Eli Lingenfelter 3 2-3 9, Clayton Kling 1 0-0 2, Hunter Klotz 3 2-3 8, Seth Bean 1 0-0 3, Jerry Brumbaugh 1 0-0 3. Totals 16 9-12 54. Bellefonte – Ty Kroell 1 0-0 3, Nick Way 4 0-0 10, Gannon Brungard 3 0-0 6, Blair Eckley-Jones 3 4-4 10, Luke Fisher 2 0-0 5. Totals 12 4-4 34.
Played but didn’t score: Central – None. Bellefonte – Trevor Johnson 0 0-0 0, Cole Crissman 0 0-0 0.
3-point shots: Central – Lingenfelter, Bean, Brumbaugh. Bellefonte – Fisher, Way 2, Kroell.