CLAYSBURG - Because Bellwood-Antis averages more than 60 points a game, coach Jim Swaney said the Lady Devils defense often gets overlooked.
Add Claysburg-Kimmel to the list of teams that would attest otherwise.
Strong pressure defense helped Bellwood knock off Claysburg Monday, 64-33, and improve to 8-0 in the Inter-County Conference Division, 14-1 overall.
Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec
Claysburg’s Kala Brumbaugh shoots between Bellwood’s Kelly Leamer (42) and Lindsey Mercer.
Claysburg fell to 10-4, 5-3 in the ICC North play. Two of those losses have come to Bellwood.
B-A's full-court press keyed a 9-0 run in the final minute in the first quarter and continued over into the second quarter as the Lady Devils opened up a 41-18 lead by halftime.
"Our pressure was fantastic both in the full court and half court," Swaney said. "We score 64-65 points a game, but we work hard for those points. We're a much better defensive team than most people give us credit for."
Katy Leamer led Bellwood with 24 points and 18 rebounds.
Leamer's putback of her own miss started the Lady Devils' run late in the first quarter. Kelly Leamer, Katy's sister, followed with a short baseline jumpshot.
Ellen Crook's midcourt steal led directly to a Katy Leamer layup, and Kelly Leamer drained a 3-pointer following another Claysburg turnover to close out the quarter.
"That was a horrific run," Claysburg coach Jeff Appleman said. "They were able to create turnovers and score really some really quick points. It was pretty even up to that point."
The Leamer sisters continued their strong play in the second quarter. Kelly Leamer drained two more 3-pointers, and Katy Leamer had a double-double by halftime with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
"They were in a triangle-and-two early on so we put Bailey [Swogger] and Katy in the corners, figuring they couldn't cover the wing areas," Swaney said. "Kelly hit three 3s in a row, and they got out of that pretty fast."
Crook and Swogger led the defensive effort with five steals a piece. Swogger also added 14 points.
Crook finished with five assists and just one turnover.
"People that just go by points have no idea what Ellen Crook means to us," Swaney said. "She has a quickness other kids don't have and a real tenacity to her."
Bellwood played without starting guard Ana Hollen, who injured an ankle in the team's previous game. Lindsey Mercer filled in and scored nine points.
"Lindsey did a good job in her first varsity start. She scored some early points and got us going," Swaney said. "Her and Selena Damiano having been doing a great job in the five-hole, playing defense and rebounding."
Abby Kulick led Claysburg with 14 points, and Kara Snyder pulled down a team-high 14 rebounds.
"That's why you play good teams so that you can see what you need to work on," Appleman said. "We have eight games left. Most of them are against teams we've already beaten once. Hopefully we can finish with seven or eight wins and get on a roll come playoff time."
BELLWOOD-ANTIS (64): Crook 0 0-0 0, Ka. Leamer 7 10-11 24, Swogger 2 10-17 14, Mercer 4 1-4 9, Damiano 2 0-1 4, Ke. Leamer 4 1-2 12, Finn 0 0-0 0, Showalter 0 1-2 1. Totals - 19 23-37 64.
CLAYSBURG-KIMMEL (33): Brumbaugh 1 0-0 2, A. Burk 1 0-0 3, Ickes 1 4-4 6, Kulick 5 4-8 14, Snyder 1 1-2 3, Glass 0 0-0 0, Locke 1 0-0 2, P. Burk 1 0-0 3, Walter 0 0-0 0. Totals - 11 9-14 33.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bellwood-Antis19 22 13 10 - 64
Claysburg-Kimmel9 9 9 6 - 33
3-point goals: Bellwood-Antis 3 (Ke. Leamer 3); Claysburg-Kimmel 2 (A. Burk, P. Burk).
Records: Bellwood-Antis (8-0 ICC North, 14-1 overall); Claysburg-Kimmel (5-3 ICC North, 10-4 overall).
JV: 30-19, Claysburg-Kimmel. High scorers-Crider 5 (BA); P. Burk 11 (CK).