Adam Gearhart’s defensive plan centered on one player in particular — Philipsburg-Osceola guard Halle Herrington.
Last time Bellefonte girls’ basketball tipped off against Philipsburg-Osceola, the Lady Raiders held Herrington in check, limiting her production to just 15 points.
This go-around, it wasn’t so easy, but the result hardly differed.
While Herrington notched 24 points in Friday night’s contest, the Raiders limited the rest of the Lady Mounties to just six combined points in a 47-30 victory.
“I know Herrington had 24 points, but we kept the other girls from scoring,” Gearhart said. “That was the difference in the game, our defense.”
Although she recorded 80 percent of her team’s offense, Herrington was kept to just eight field goals on 24 attempts, including a 1 of 12 mark from 3-point range. The rest of P-O hit just 3 of 34 field-goal attempts and went 0 for 7 from beyond the arc.
P-O coach Alexis Bacher expressed disappointment not only at the poor shooting efficiency, but also on the team’s reliance on Herrington throughout the game.
“It can’t just be a one-man team,” she said. “They all know they have to shoot to score and to get people to back off Halle.”
The poor shooting around Herrington allowed the Lady Red Raiders to focus more of their energy on the sophomore guard without having to worry about leaving other Lady Mounties open. P-O’s first basket by someone other than Herrington came late in the third quarter courtesy of Megan Winters.
The balanced scoring Bacher was hoping for was achieved by Bellefonte, as three players — Maddie Steiner, Raisa Gregor and Lauren Young — reached double digits. Steiner led the way with 12, followed by Gregor with 11 and Young with 10.
Mallorie Smith and Abbie Carr contributed six points apiece.
Even with the 17-point victory, Gearhart felt his Lady Red Raiders could’ve created a larger advantage.
“If we could’ve made layups it wouldn’t even have been this close,” he said. “We could have had a running clock maybe.”
The offense didn’t have to be perfect, however, as Gearhart was most impressed with his team’s play on the other side of the ball, which in turn helped out the offense.
“A lot of our offense was fueled off that defense tonight,” he said.
Bellefonte hopes that’s the case again when it travels to St. Mary’s on Monday, while P-O is banking on a better performance when it hosts Juniata on Tuesday.