CLAYSBURG - Southern Fulton's girls basketball team picked the worst time to play a bad first half - against a similar one-loss opponent, and in a championship game.
The Indians got off to a slow start and fell behind by nine points in the first half on Saturday night. It led to a 53-48 defeat at the hands of Bellwood-Antis in the Inter-County Conference title game.
SF coach Terry Bard said, "When you play only one of the two halves, that's what you get. In the first half we weren't there mentally. You can't do that against a good team. In the second half we got back to what we do best, but it wasn't enough."
It was only the second loss of the season for Southern Fulton, against 21 wins. Meanwhile, the Bellwood-Antis Blue Devils improved to 21-1.
Bard said, "Bellwood is a very good team. They're ranked in the top 10 in the state in Class AA. But they weren't doing anything to us that we shouldn't have been able to handle. We did it to ourselves with unforced errors."
The Blue Devils led 20-14 after one quarter and 29-20 at halftime. Southern Fulton got as close as three points in the fourth quarter, but couldn't complete the comeback.
The Indians have nearly a week to lick their wounds before opening in the District 5 Class A playoffs at home vs. Fannett-Metal on Friday night.
Bard said, "We're definitely going to address this. We are going to go back to playing team basketball for a whole game, not just a half. We need all five girls on the floor at any given time to play as a unit."
SF was led by Macey Hollenshead (20 points, 5 steals, 3 assists), Ashley Roman (11 points, 8 rebounds) and Taelor Morton (12 points).
The Blue Devils were paced by Bailey Swogger with 20 points.
Southern Fulton 48
Kayla Chilcote 1 0-2 2, Taelor Morton 5 0-0 12, Kayla Wertz 1 0-0 3, Macey Hollenshead 7 6-10 20, Ashley Roman 4 3-4 11, Morgan Strait 0 0-0 0, Celina Merchant 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 9-16 48.
Ana Hollen 3 6-9 12, Bailey Swogger 7 6-9 20, Katy Leamer 5 4-4 16, Kelly Leamer 1 1-2 4, Selena Damiano 0 1-2 1. Totals 16 18-26 53.
Southern Fulton 14 6 14 12 - 46
Bellwood-Antis 20 9 11 13 - 53
3-point shots - BA 3 (Ka.Leamer 2, Ke.Leamer); SF (Morton 2, Wertz). Shooting - SF 18-60 (30%). Rebounds - SF 21 (Roman 8). Assists - SF 7 (Hollenshead 3). Steals - SF 10 (Hollenshead 5). Turnovers - SF 13. Blocked shots - SF 1 (Roman). Fouled out - Hollenshead.
Next game: Friday, at home in District 5 Class A first-round playoff vs. Fannett-Metal, 7.