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Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Williamsburg’s Rowan Gorsuch and Bellwood-Antis’ Brayden Wagner battle for a rebound on Friday night.

BELLWOOD — Williamsburg held a comfortable lead for most of Friday’s game at Bellwood-Antis, but late in the third quarter things got tense for the Blue Pirates.

Sean Mallon made a pair of layups to cap a 9-0 run by the Blue Devils to pull B-A within a point, but Williamsburg coach Brock Anders never called a timeout.

His eyes were not on just Friday’s game, but the looming postseason. The patience paid off as Williamsburg recovered to score the final four points of the corner, and the Blue Pirates pulled away in the fourth in a 60-47 triumph to complete a season sweep of Bellwood.

“If we’re getting ready for playoffs, this is an atmosphere and a time where we need to understand how to weather some of those storms,” Anders said. “The word we used in pregame today was ‘roller-coaster’ because when you are on the road playing in a hostile environment, you have to be able to weather some of those. I wanted to see what they would do with it. We had the opportunity to learn, and I thought we made the plays that we needed to at the end of the third. I couldn’t be prouder of the guys overcoming that adversity.”

Rowan Gorsuch snapped the Bellwood run with a layup that started an 11-0 Williamsburg run that quieted what had been a loud and raucous full gym moments before.

“Tonight’s energy was awesome,” Bellwood-Antis coach Patrick Cassidy said. “This place was rocking in the third. Games like this can be pretty emotional and take a lot out of you. I think so much of that came out in the third, and you have to give a lot of credit to Williamsburg for handling it. I remember looking down at (Anders), and he wasn’t taking any timeouts through it all. They certainly weathered our storm we threw at them and did a nice job handling it.”

Trailing by 10, Kyler Sweigert’s third of four 3-pointers on the night got the Bellwood run started and a gym full of people supporting B-A’s Sideline Cancer night erupted.

“It’s always awesome to see the fans reacting to everything we do,” B-A senior Dawson Miller said. “Obviously that inspires us too, and we rode that during that run.”

But following Mallon’s layup to make it 40-39 with 1:29 left in the third quarter, the Blue Devils managed just eight points the rest of the way.

“I was very happy,” Anders said. “We have been really preaching and working on defense in practice the last couple weeks. We know we need to get a little better at that with playing bigger and better teams, particularly on the road. You have to defend them in order to beat them, and my guys did a real nice job in the fourth quarter holding them down and finishing them off.”

Gorsuch finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Lambert Palmer had a game-high 22 points for the Blue Pirates, who are now 16-4. R.J. Royer also scored in double figures with 16 points.

Mallon led Bellwood-Antis with 11 rebounds and 17 points after scoring 26 points in B-A’s first meeting with Williamsburg. Sweigert added 12 points, and Miller had 10 points as the Blue Devils slipped to 9-9.

“Our guys fight so hard,” Cassidy said. “The way we play our defense and do it for 32 minutes is really hard to sustain, but it’s also really hard for offenses to play against us. I think the way we have mixed things up and rotated guys in has given us a chance. The way we play has kept us close, but we’ll continue to go back to the drawing board and look at different things we can do to add, even though it’s late, to get over these humps.”

Cassidy took a moment after the game to reflect on the most important part of the night, Sideline Cancer’s time in the gym.

“Their mission is to sideline cancer and take it to the finish line and to have that ‘I can’ attitude and that ‘believe aways’ spirit that lived within Cathy Griffith’s husband, Greg,” Cassidy said. “And I think at times, that was really felt tonight. I really hope that message gets out to this community which does a fantastic job supporting the cause.”

WILLIAMSBURG (60): Kagarise 3 1-1 8, Palmer 8 6-8 22, Brantner 0 0-0 0, Gorsuch 4 5-12 13, Royer 5 2-2 16, Woodruff 0 0-0 0, Lynch 0 0-0 0, Zehner 0 0-0 0, Brumbaugh 0 0-0 0, James 0 1-2 1. Totals — 20 15-25 60.

BELLWOOD-ANTIS (47): Mallon 7 2-5 17, Wagner 1 0-0 2, Beiswenger 2 0-0 4, Sweigert 4 0-0 12, Miller 4 1-2 10, Shanafelt 1 0-0 2, Schreier 0 0-0 0, Gibbons 0 0-0 0. Totals — 19 3-7 47.


Williamsburg 14 16 14 16 — 60

Bellwood-Antis 9 10 20 8 — 47

3-point goals: Williamsburg 5 (Royer 4, Kagarise); Bellwood-Antis 6 (Sweigert 4, Mallon, Miller).

Officials: Todd Parker, Mike Andrews, Dave Heim.

Records: Williamsburg (16-4); Bellwood-Antis (9-9).

JV: Williamsburg, 38-33. High scorers–Zehner, W, 15; Buss, BA, 8.

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