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Bulldogs get by Bellwood-Antis, 60-53

Dalton Dougherty RBV

Dalton Dougherty scored 18 points in Redbank Valley’s win over Bellwood-Antis. (Photo by Eric Elliott)

By Rich Rhoades

CLARION — The Redbank Valley Bulldogs ended more than one dry spell Saturday afternoon at Clarion University’s Tippin Gymnasium.

The biggest one concerning the D9 Class AA champion Bulldogs was winning their first PIAA state playoff game since 1979 after beating District 6 third-place finisher Bellwood-Antis, 60-53.

That also ended a drought by the district’s Class AA teams that hadn’t won a state playoff game since Keystone reached the quarterfinals in 2004.

The Bulldogs nearly blew an 18-point first-half lead, but still never trailed in the game as Bellwood-Antis tied it at 44-44 but went scoreless for five minutes as the Bulldogs answered with a 13-0 run to seal state playoff win No. 2.

The 21-6 Bulldogs advance to Wednesday’s second-round matchup with West Branch, the District 6 runner-up that beat District 10’s Mercyhurst Prep, 69-66, also on Saturday.

“Toward end of season with Venango Catholic and C-L when we started focusing on our overall goals … we didn’t play well,” Bulldogs head coach Greg Bean said. “We’re really just putting one foot in front of the other and saying that we’ve accomplished our goals and however far it goes, it goes. That’s why we’re playing as well as we are.”

Redbank Valley got two double-doubles from Dalton Dougherty (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Zach Westover (12 points, 14 rebounds). Devin Shumaker, who was 13-for-18 from the foul line, finished with 15 points.

The Bulldogs held Bellwood’s top scorer, junior Nate Davis, to just two points in the first half. He finished with 21 points, four points under his scoring average, and he finished 7-for-20 from the field. The first-half defensive effort turned out to be a huge factor.

“(Davis) is a great player,” Bean said. “We knew on film he could really shoot it and they looked to give him the ball and a shot every possession, so we knew it was a one-headed snake and luckily the other guys didn’t knock down a whole lot of shots.”

With Dalton Dougherty lighting it up in the first half with 12 points and seven rebounds along with the Bulldogs’ defense, things appeared to be well under control for the Bulldogs. They jumped out to a 16-6 lead after the first quarter and built their biggest lead of the game at 30-12 on a Shumaker jumper with 2:07 left in the half.

“Our bigs, they’ve come a long way,” Bean said of Dougherty and Westover. “It was a helluva game by Dalton Dougherty today. He really carried us in that first half. I thought that’s what kept us going. Jake (Dougherty) had five points, our leading scorer has five points and we win a state game, that really talks about the team concept we’ve kind of grasped the past three weeks.”

Bellwood (20-8) outscored the Bulldogs, 34-30, in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to offset its early deficit.

In the fourth quarter, the Blue Devils went into foul mode to put the Bulldogs on the line. Redbank Valley was 16-for-30 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter, but the Blue Devils couldn’t take advantage.

Bean was impressed with his team’s ability to hang in there and finish strong.

“I was happy our composure stayed the same,” Bean said. “They cut it to one and I called the timeout. They took a deep breath and they all said ‘OK Let’s play.’ That’s a veteran team. Even though we haven’t been to this stage, we’ve been in close games, we’ve been in blowouts. This time of year anything can happen.”


Score By Quarters

Bellwood         6          13        16        18        –           53

Redbank          16        14        10        20        –           60

Bellwood-Antis – 53

Joseph Padula 5-12 0-1 11, Ethan McGee 3-6 0-0 6, Jarrett Tanneyhill 1-4 0-0 2, Nathan Davis 7-20 3-4 21, Jake Burch 0-3 1-2 1, Tanner Worthing 0-0 0-0 0, Noah D’Anglo 1-3 0-0 3, Nevin Wood 0-2 0-0 0, Trent Walker 3-7 0-0 9, Tyler Shultz 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-57 4-7 53.

Redbank Valley – 60

Devin Shumaker 1-8 13-18 15, Sam Heeter 3-11 1-2 8, Jake Dougherty 1-6 3-6 5, Zach Westover 5-9 2-6 12, Dalton Dougherty 8-11 2-6 18, Greg Nolf 0-0 0-0 0, Jarrett Bailey 0-0 0-0 0, Kaleb Reed 0-0 0-0 0, Khorey Neiswonger 1-1 0-2 2, Bracken Scott 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-46 21-40 60.

3-pointers: Bellwood-Antis 9-27 (Davis 4-8, Walker 3-7, Padula 1-4, D’Anglo 1-3, McGee 0-3, Burch 0-1, Wood 0-1), Redbank Valley 1-12 (Heeter 1-6, Shumaker 0-3, D. Dougherty 0-1). Rebounds: Bellwood 41 (Davis 13, Tanneyhill 11), Redbank Valley 39 (Westover 14, D. Dougherty 10). Turnovers: Bellwood 13, Redbank Valley 9.