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Strong shooting too much for MU

MOUNT UNION — It wasn’t exactly how Mount Union wanted to start its season against rival Bellwood-Antis, but the Blue Devils came out aggressive defeating the Trojans by the final score of 64-35 in an Inter-County Conference girls basketball game on Tuesday.

One of the main issues Mount Union faced was having little depth on the roster as some members of the team were quarantined. Another was the absence of coach Chris Lehman who was unavailable to coach on Tuesday night.

“This year with the pandemic we didn’t get to start until Jan. 4th, we have three girls out on quarantine, two of them won’t be back on the 27th and one won’t be back until February so we are kind of down on numbers,” Trojans assistant coach Alix Isett said. “But overall I was very impressed with how we played tonight. I mean we were getting good drives to the hoop, we were being more aggressive than I’ve seen us, so for a first outing of the year, I’m pretty impressed with how we performed.”

The Bellwood-Antis offense was firing on all cylinders in the opening quarter of the game, spreading the ball around finding the open shots. All five starters for the Blue Devils — Aly Partner, Chelsea McCaulsky, Jaidyn McCracken, Jaylee Shuke and Lydia Worthing — each scored a basket in the frame.

Bellwood-Antis did not make anything easy for Mount Union with its defense as well, forcing the Trojans into tough shots.

It was bad enough that Mount Union was down players on the roster, but the Trojans got into foul trouble right away. Minerva Sheeder committed the first three fouls of the game, forcing her to sit for the remainder of the half.

Foul trouble continued in the second quarter for the Trojans as Camille Posey and Morgan Brumbaugh found themselves with their fouls adding up. Mount Union had nine total fouls for the half.

“We had some silly fouls in the first half,” Isett said. “I mean some of them don’t really have much varsity experience and we haven’t been able to play basketball because of the pandemic, so it was just getting re-adjusted to what’s going on.”

However, unlike the first quarter, the Bellwood-Antis offense could not capitalize on its opportunities as it seemed that the Blue Devils couldn’t miss a shot in the first, they struggled to make a basket for most of the second quarter.

Despite foul trouble, Mount Union mounted a comeback, cutting the lead to single digits at one point. But as the half drew to a close, the Blue Devils scored a big run to push the lead back to double digits.

Then in the third quarter, McCaulsky went off for Bellwood-Antis. Wherever she was on the court, it seemed as though she could not miss. McCaulsky scored 19 of the team’s 22 points in the frame and 30 points overall.

“She definitely surprised me, the first half I thought we were good, third quarter she just came to life,” Isett said. “I wasn’t quite anticipating that, we were trying to figure out what defense works best but she just kept finding openings at the three-point line.”

Posey was the lone Trojan to score in double digits for the evening. Posey scored 18 points for the Trojans.

“Posey definitely had a great night,” Isett said. “She looked to drive, she finished hard and kept fighting through it.”

Mount Union starts its season off (0-1, 0-1) and will look to get its first win of the season on Thursday as the Trojans host Dubois.

“The biggest thing going forward is just working on those small improvements,” Isett said. “We got that first game out of the way, first time jitters are gone and we can kind of move forward from that and just work on playing as a team aggressively.”

Bellwood-Antis 64, Mount Union 35

MOUNT UNION

Karrigan Woodward 3 0-1 6, Morgan Brumbaugh 2 0-0 4, Camille Posey 8 2-5 18, Minerva Sheeder 0 0-2 0, Abbie Brodbeck 1 0-0 2, Chelsea Williams 2 1-2 5. Totals: 16 3-10 35.

Did not score: Sophie Smith

BELLWOOD-ANTIS

Aly Partner 1 2-4 5, Chelsea McCaulsky 10 3-5 30, Jaidyn McCracken 7 2-3 18, Jaylee Shuke 1 0-3 2, Lydia Worthing 3 0-0 6, Dakota Woomer 0 1-2 1, Chloe Hammond 1 0-0 2. Totals: 23 8-17 64.

3-point goals: McCaulsky 7, Shuke 2, Partner.

Did not score: Katie Robinson.

Score by quarters

Bellwood-Antis 19-10-22-13 — 64

Mount Union 6-12-7-10 — 35

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