Warriors Open Season with Overtime Victory


John Kristofits

The team celebrates with each other after completing their first victory of the season.

Allport- When the third leading scorer in program history leaves due to graduation, the question of who will replace those points always presents itself. The Warriors took no time in figuring out who that would be in the opening contest of the season, as junior Trent Bellomy went off for 32 points to help the Warriors win 61-57 in a game that consisted of an abundance of fouls; the JV game consisted of two technical foul calls, as well as two in the varsity game. Both teams were in the bonus for the majority of each half.  The Warriors came out of the gates on fire, going up 10-2 in the first before Bald Eagle called a timeout. West Branch maintained the lead throughout the first half, ending the 1st quarter up 13-7 and ending the half on top 19-15. As aforementioned, foul trouble haunted both teams. West Branch ended the half with 9 fouls, while Bald Eagle tallied 7. Chance Eboch had four first half fouls, Ayden Gutierrez had 2, Dalton Kristofits had two, and Eddie Dale had one.

Bald Eagle came out of the half ready to play, as they created their first lead with just under a minute to go in the 3rd quarter. Bellomy and Doug Kolesar were hot from beyond the arc all night long, consistently hitting three after three.

” I was just on tonight,” Trenton Bellomy said. “We had a great crowd, we played as a team, and it was great to start the year off with a win. We did that one for Coach McCracken.”

After three quarters, Bald Eagle led 36-35. Both teams went back and forth before Bald Eagle manufactured a 7-0 run to go up 49-42 with three minutes to play. The Warriors called a timeout, and after a West Branch basket a foul was called on Bald Eagle star Jaden Jones. Having fouled out, all of the momentum went to the home team. West Branch went on a 7-0 run of their own to tie the game with a minute remaining in regulation. With both team’s in the double bonus, each foul would result in two free-throws. Each team would pick up a foul within the final seconds, notching the score at 51 all.

With Bald Eagle’s best player out for the rest of the game, the Warriors were confident that they could finish the game with a win. However, the Warriors also fell victim to the foul game, as both Kristofits and Gutierrez both picked up their fifth and final fouls of the game. The Warriors went with a full-court trap defense in the overtime period, and the Eagles struggled to hold onto the basketball. West Branch forced a set of turnovers to put them in the lead. Eboch stepped up in the final period, hitting a pair of clutch free-throws to seal the game with a final score of 61-57.