Coaches Bill Butterworth and Terry Glunt found themselves in agreement after their squads went at each other in a back-and-forth affair that wowed fans in attendance at Penns Valley High School on Monday night.
It was one of the best high school basketball games either had been a part of in a while.
Glunt, the Rams’ leader, said as much but it was Butterworth whose squad came out on top as Bald Eagle Area edged Penns Valley 44-40.
The Eagles (17-1) got off to a big start, taking a 12-6 lead into the second quarter and threatened to turn the game into a blowout early.
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The Rams (10-5) would have none of it.
“I thought we might be able to break their confidence but they came back and made some pretty good plays in the second quarter that got them back in the game,” Butterworth said.
Penns Valley played stingy defense in the second and turned its deficit into a two-point lead at halftime. The Rams were determined not to be embarrassed like they were in a 57-28 Eagles win in Wingate earlier this season.
“It was a great turnaround and a fabulous effort on both teams’ part,” Glunt said.
But the Rams couldn’t hold their lead, committing a few late turnovers that proved costly. Jeff Bennett and Bryan Greene added late steals and the Eagles turned them into the winning points to retake the lead in the final minutes.
Brothers Bryan and Bryce Greene combined for 17 points for BEA.
“They have so many weapons and the quickness of the Greene twins really was the difference,” Glunt said. “They did a great job down the stretch defensively.”
Luke Weaver returned from injury after missing the last two games to lead Penns Valley with 14 points. John Ott added eight for the Rams while Cameron Tobias tallied seven.
The Eagles were led by Brandon Gettig’s 11 points, while Dennis Fisher drilled 10 points while battling through double teams for much of the night.