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West Branch girls downed by Bellwood-Antis, 67-29
Friday, January 11, 2013
By Jaclyn Yingling Sports Editor
ALLPORT - After suffering its first loss of the season on Wednesday night, the Bellwood-Antis girls basketball team came to West Branch ready to play.
The Lady Warriors, unfortunately, did not.
The Lady Blue Devils broke out to an 8-0 advantage to start the game and cruised to a 67-29 victory on Thursday evening.
"They took us out of our game a little bit, and out of our heads," said West Branch head coach Dan Socash. "It's tough. I was on the bench watching, and they (Bellwood) made some shots I couldn't make. Their pressure is really good. It's constant.
"Every shot that we had to make was contested. They are just so quick to the spot. We are quick, but they are as equal or more quicker than us. It is what it is."
Bellwood-Antis had three players in double digits, with a total of seven different players finding the hoop.
The Lady Blue Devils were led by Katy Leamer's 17 points. Selena Damiano added 15, while Kelly Leamer netted 12 points.
West Branch's leading scorer was Janene Couteret, who scored five of her nine points in the fourth quarter.
"We played better in the second half," Socash said. "Teams speed you up and things that look bad, like turnovers, it isn't because you mean to do it. The processing is just really quick."
The Lady Warriors picked up their first points of the game with 6:31 left in the first when Madison McCracken put in a jumper to cut the score to 8-2.
Damiano answered right back with a three-point play, grabbing a rebound before getting fouled on her way back up. She hit the free throw, giving the Lady Blue Devils an 11-2 lead.
Ana Hollen repeated the feat on Bellwood's next trip down the floor, converting a bucket and a foul shot after a West Branch turnover.
Bellwood-Antis led 23-10 after the first quarter, but the trouble was just starting for the Lady Warriors.
The Lady Blue Devils went on a 22-0 run in the second quarter before West Branch finally ended it with a basket from Nichole Miller with 37 seconds left in the frame.
The Lady Warriors struggled with the pace of the game and with turnovers. West Branch had 30 giveaways in game.
"We started having some shots fall in the third quarter," said Socash. "Bellwood was playing really good, and we just hadn't made any shots.
"It's a credit to Bellwood's defense. Most of our shots were contested. The ones that weren't, it was in our mind."
West Branch played much better in the third quarter and was only outscored 15-11. Taylor Kolesar had two baskets in the frame, while MeLesha Ahlberg hit a trey.
The team's combined for just 13 points in the final quarter, which had a running clock, with Couteret scoring five of West Branch's six.
The Lady Warriors' Christie Sabol set the final at 67-29 with a foul shot.
Ahlberg finished with a game-high seven rebounds, while McCracken and Missy Croyle each had five.
"We will look at the tape and take the good things, and try to correct the bad things," Socash said. "We will rebound. It's just one game."
Bellwood's Katy Leamer and Caroline Showalter each added six rebounds, while Damiano and Hollen had five apiece.
The Lady Blue Devils improved to 10-1 overall and 5-0 in the Inter-County Conference.
West Branch dropped to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the ICC. The Lady Warriors travel to Juniata Valley on Monday.
Bellwood-Antis won the junior varsity game, 44-32. Katie Trude had eight points to pace West Branch.

Crook 1 0-0 3, Hollen 3 2-3 9, Ka. Leamer 7 2-2 17, Swogger 4 1-2 9, Damiano 6 3-4 15, Ke. Leamer 4 0-1 12, Mercer 0 0-0 0, Finn 0 0-0 0, Showalter 0 2-6 2, Claar 0 0-0 0, Whaley 0 0-0 0, Carroll 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25 10-28 67.
West Branch-29
Nye 0 0-0 0, Couteret 4 1-1 9, Ahlberg 1 0-0 3, Sabol 1 1-2 3, McCracken 1 0-1 2, Croyle 1 0-2 2, Miller 3 0-0 6, Kolesar 2 0-2 4. Totals: 13 2-8 29.
Three-pointers: Ke. Leamer 4, Crook, Hollen, Ka. Leamer; Ahlberg.
Score by Quarters
Bellwood-Antis   23 22 15 7-67
West Branch      10  2 11 6-29
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