On its best nights, the Bald Eagle Area boys’ basketball team can score with anyone.
The Eagles have had their share of outbursts, even in losing efforts. They scored 93 points in a win over Huntingdon earlier this season.
On Friday night, Penns Valley stifled Bald Eagle Area with an active 2-3 zone and rolled to a 60-37 win. The Eagles failed to record a field goal in the second quarter as the Rams built a 21-point halftime lead. Penns Valley limited BEA to 18 points through three quarters.
“These kids can score,” Penns Valley coach Terry Glunt said of BEA. “They scored (90)-some against Huntingdon, so we know they can score. So I do like the way our guys got after it defensively. I’d really have to be incredibly picky to find something to fault them with.”
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Penns Valley (11-2) broke the game open in the second quarter.
The Eagles (4-8) couldn’t score against the Rams’ zone.
When BEA point guard Trey Butterworth got into the lane and tried to find an open teammate, the passing lanes were closed off, often resulting in a turnover. When the Eagles got inside, the Rams were there to contest and block shots. When BEA had open looks, they didn’t go down.
And the Eagles weren’t going to break the zone from beyond the arc. Three-point shooting has been a weakness for BEA, and the Eagles hit just one 3-pointer all night — in the fourth quarter.
“Our best game is when we can attack the basket and dish the ball off to the open guy,” BEA coach Bill Butterworth said.
Penns Valley outscored Bald Eagle Area 20-4 in the second quarter to take a 34-13 lead into halftime. The Eagles’ four points came on four free throws.
Some of the open looks came from the foul-line area against the zone. They’re the type of shots Noah Chambers has knocked down throughout the season.
“That’s his shot,” Butterworth said. “I’d give it to him all day long in there and he’ll make it.”
But it was an off night for Chambers and the rest of the Eagles. BEA managed just one field goal in the third quarter.
“I thought the guys really got after it,” Glunt said.
Penns Valley’s Luke Snyder was part of an efficient effort on the offensive end in the second quarter.
Snyder scored off the same play, cutting open to the basket for a layup, to account for Penns Valley’s first four points of the period. He then hit a pair of jump shots, scoring the Rams’ final four points before halftime.
Snyder scored 10 of his game-high 13 points in the first half.
“Luke Snyder coming in off the bench and just having a career varsity game was pretty solid,” Glunt said. “That was a big boost for us in that second quarter.”
Snyder was part of a balanced night offensively for the Rams. Zach Engle had 12 points, Ben Alexander finished with 11, and Logan Pearce had nine.
The dominant performance allowed Glunt to clear the bench with his team leading 51-18 with 6:57 left.
On a night when he couldn’t find fault with his team’s play, he could focus on getting his reserves more playing time.
“One thing I can fault myself about is my substitution the first half of the year,” Glunt said. “I want to do a better job the second half.”
Glunt hopes it helps his reserves get more comfortable while providing rest for his regulars so they’re sharper in fourth quarters as they make a run at the Mountain League title.
Butterworth played the final minutes with his starters on the bench as the Eagles turned their focus to their game Saturday afternoon at Bellwood-Antis.